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The Prefab House That Sears Built?

March 16th, 2017 Comments off
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A Sears home in Illinois. Credit: Sears.

An upcoming presentation in Sandyston, New Jersey, takes a fun and interesting look at the impact that Sears Roebuck had on prefabricated or “kit-homes” as they were called at the time.

The popular homes also, in part, inspired the Chevy Chase neighborhood just outside of Washington, D.C.

The houses that Sears built — or did they?” takes place on March 19th, and is presented by Jeff Walter, an avid genealogist and local historian. His interest in prefab homes stretches back to childhood memories of his grandparent’s lakefront property.

When his grandparents purchased the lakefront home in 1961, for $8,500, the seller informed them that the 1928 home came from Sears Roebuck.

It was obvious that everything inside was purchased by a Sears’ enthusiast. The vintage appliances in the kitchen came from Sears, the furnace came from Sears, and everything down to the doorbell came from Sears,” said Walter.

If Sears didn’t sell it my father didn’t own it. The car battery was a Sears Diehard but, unfortunately, the car was a Rambler. It there ever was a Sears Tourister Automobile my father would have owned one.

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Walter’s grandparent’s home as it was originally designed. Credit: NJ Herald.

Over time, Walter’s curiosity continued to spark.

As a genealogist, I decided to apply the same principle to researching our home as I did tracing my family’s roots. I visited the old Hall of Records in Newton and met the then-County Clerk, Honey Ackerman,” said Walter.

She proceeded to show me how to do a deed search. We started with my parents’ deed from my uncle and then back to the Bauman family. The earlier grantor was a person named Frederick W. Steadman. By coincidence, two weeks later my mother decided to remodel the kitchen. Upon pulling the wide craftsman molding from around the door, there was a discovery. Stenciled on the back of the wood was the name Frederick W. Steadman, Montclair, N.J. Branchville, N.J. Now I knew that not only did I live in Frederick Steadman’s home, but I was also sleeping in his bed. The 1946 deed stated that all furnishing in the home were to remain.

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Credit: Sears.

After this experience, Walter started to spend hours in libraries researching, and photographing different homes looking for answers, but eventually moved on.

Walter returned to the area 15 years later when his father passed away in 2008, to care for his mother. He found that the family home was suffering from years of neglect, and he instructed the contractor to take the house apart.

That’s when the true identity of their home was discovered.

When the old window casings were taken out, the bottom was marked: ‘Summer Cottage 305.’ Next the wall came out and the interior of the siding was marked ‘Gordon-Van Tine Co., Davenport, Iowa,” said Walter.

That’s how we learned that our lake front cottage was not a Sears. A catalogue of Gordon-Van-Tine homes in the 1920s revealed a summer home number 305 that showed an exact floor plan of our home.

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Walter, with his mother, outside of the remodeled home. Credit: NJ Herald.

Walter kept digging, and his research revealed that this company was one of the first to sell pre-cut or kit homes. Their roots go back to about 1865 in Davenport, Iowa. By 1923, they offered 150 different homes, and stayed in business until 1940.

When he looked into Sears Roebuck further, Walter discovered that they started selling building supplies in 1895 and, after 1900, they began selling house designs. The first Sears Modern Homes catalog appeared in 1908, offering all the parts needed to build a house.

Then, from 1916-1933, Sears offered completely prefabricated homes throughout the country. From 1911-1933, they offered mortgage loans, while from 1929-1934, Sears offered actual house construction by contracting with local carpenters,” said Walter.

Over the years, Sears sold an estimated 100,000 prefabricated homes. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and the 1929 ‘crash’ that led to the Depression, and the unpaid home mortgages led to the end of the Sears Roebuck’s prefabricated homes.

Walter says that of all the “kit homes” in existence, the Sears Roebuck ones are the hardest to identify. In addition to houses, their catalogues offered garages, barns, schools, churches and even outhouses.

When providing more details on the effects of the stock market crash on the industry, Walter shows the domino effect.

The stock market crash on Oct. 29, 1929, brought on the Great Depression and the beginning of the end of the Kit-Home era. Montgomery Ward closed its housing division in 1931. In the spring of 1933, Sears Roebuck closed its Modern Homes Division, after suffering a loss of more than $8 million in uncollectible mortgages,” said Walter.

They reopened that autumn with fewer designs and no mortgage financing. Their sales never rebounded and they closed permanently in 1940.” ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

UMH Properties Makes More Moves, Promotion Announced

December 22nd, 2016 Comments off
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Credit: UMH.

UMH Properties, Inc. (NYSE: UMH) has been busy in the week leading up to the Christmas holiday.

UMH announced on December 19th that it has closed on its $4.33 million acquisition of a community in Ohio. The all-age community contains 124 developed homesites situated on approximately 121 acres with and occupancy rate of approximately 82%.

The purchase represents the third acquisition in their five-community portfolio located in Ohio, which contains a total of 821 sites situated on approximately 337 acres.

The acquisition of the remaining two communities is expected to close before the end of the year or shortly thereafter.

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Sam Landy. Credit: Carisa Chappell.

UMH is pleased to continue to grow through acquisitions in areas where we believe there will be above average economic growth,” said Sam Landy, President and Chief Executive Officer.

We are beginning to see an increase in demand in the energy rich Marcellus and Utica shale regions. This community will fit nicely into our operating platform and should see occupancy and revenue growth in the near future. This community has substantial acreage for potential future expansion. UMH continues to seek acquisitions that fit our growth criteria.

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Credit: UMH Properties

Also on December 19th, UMH announced that Brett Taft, Vice President of Acquisitions and Integration, has been promoted to be Vice President and a corporate officer of UMH Properties.

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Brett Taft. 

Brett Taft has been a major driving force in UMH’s growth in size and growth in income,” said Landy. “He is fully familiar with UMH’s business plan, our people and all of our properties. He has demonstrated an ability to put things in perspective, work with people, and achieve our goals.

For more about Sam Landy, see “A Cup of Coffee… interview with him, linked here.

According to Equities, UMH stock hit a new 52-week high on December 19th, hitting a peak of $14.59. Shares closed at $14.49, up from an opening price of $13.80, an increase of 5.23 percent.

The company now has a market cap of $415.42 million.

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UMH 1 year look. Credit: Bloomberg.

As Daily Business News readers already know, UMH is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates 98 manufactured home communities (MHCs) in seven states east of the Mississippi, composed of 17,800 developed home sites.

UMH is also one of the various industry-connected stocks monitored each business day in the industry’s only daily market report, featured exclusively on the Daily Business News.

For the most recent closing numbers on all MH industry-connected tracked stocks, please click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Manufactured Home Community Founder Supports Non-profit in New Jersey

August 13th, 2015 Comments off

eugene_landy__google_comMHProNews has learned from sboanj that Eugene Landy and his wife will serve as Grand Marshals for the Fourth Annual Open Space Pace on Saturday, September 19, 2015, an event of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey (sboanj).

Festivities begin with a parade of horses from Freehold (NJ) Borough’s Hall of Records to the Freehold Raceway where the event will continue with live music, vendor tables, harness racing, a petting zoo, food trucks, high school marching bands and educational exhibits.

Longtime standardbred horse owners, the Landys are founding sponsors of Open Space, a non-profit celebrating New Jersey’s state animal, the horse, and to promote open space in New Jersey.

Eugene Landy is the founder and chairman of UMH Properties, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates 92 manufactured home communities in the eastern U. S. comprising 15,700 developed home sites. UMH also owns a portfolio of REIT securities. ##

(Photo credit: google photos–Eugene Landy)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

UMH Selects Vice Presidents, Declares Cash Dividends

April 2nd, 2015 Comments off

umh_properties_creditFrom Freehold, New Jersey, President of UMH Properties, Inc. Samuel A. Landy tells MHProNews that Regina Beasley and Robert “Bob” VanSchuvyer have been appointed as vice presidents. According to prnewswire, Mr. Landy said, “Both Robert and Regina have added significant value to the manufactured home communities acquired by UMH and have been dedicated to the Company for many years.

Separately, on April 1, 2015, the Board of Directors of UMH declared its quarterly cash dividend of $0.18 per share of common stock payable June 15, 2015 to shareholders of record on May 15, 2015. Also, the board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.515625 per share for March 1, 2015 through May 31, 2015 on the company’s Series A preferred stock. The stock is payable June 15, 2015 to shareholders of record on May 15, 2015.

UMH is a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates 89 manufactured home communities comprised of 15,200 homesites in seven states east of the Mississippi. The company also owns a portfolio of REIT securities.

Bob VanShuyver was recently featured in a video interview with Chris Sliwinski on their model village in Port Royal, PA, found at this link. ##

(Image credit: UMH Properties, Inc.)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com  Article submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

MH Rebuilding Funds still Available in NJ for Sandy Victims

March 4th, 2015 Comments off

hurricane_sandy_aftermath__cnn_news_creditMHProNews has learned from capemaycountyherald.com that rebuilding efforts continue following the ravaging of Superstorm Sandy in October, 2012 that affected over 50 million people along the northeast coast in 24 states, killing 109, and causing damages in excess of $65 billion.

The Christie Administration in New Jersey has extended the low-to-moderate- income (LMI) Homeowners Rebuilding Program for manufactured home owners from March 2 to March 20, targeting in particular those who have yet to apply for funding.

New Jersey is working closely with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to ensure MH owners are considered for assistance. #

(Photo credit: cnnnews.com–effects of Superstorm Sandy)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com  (Article submitted to Daily Business News MHProNews by Matthew J. Silver)

Residential Building Permits Rise in DE, NJ and PA

December 30th, 2013 Comments off

According to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, new residential building permits rose significantly from November 2012 to November 2013 in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Compared to the same month period in 2012, the growth in all three states was in double digits, as housingwire.com tells MHProNews. While permits were 21 percent higher in DE and rose 17 percent in PA, they spiked 36 percent in NJ. Additionally, values of the planned residences were up 19 percent for PA and 36 percent for NJ. Whether the rise in permits were in response to the Hurricane Sandy rebuild effort was not mentioned.

(Image credit: Fotosearch.com)

More Modulars Moving to East Coast

November 14th, 2013 Comments off

As part of the Hurricane Sandy rebuild effort, New Jersey-based Statewide Custom Modular Homes is having seven modular homes supplied by Nationwide Homes of Virginia, all using Eco Red Shield Lumber. As MHProNews has learned from wsj.com., Eco Building Products, Inc. manufactures treated wood products that are protected against fire, mold, fungus, rot/decay, wood ingesting insects and termites. Statewide has a contract for 75 modular homes total utilizing Eco Red Shield.

(Photo credit: National Association of Home Builders)

UMH Acquires Ohio MHC

July 30th, 2012 Comments off

KTVN tells MHProNews UMH Properties, Inc. of Freehold, New Jersey has acquired the age-restricted Meadowood manufactured home community in New Middleton, Ohio. The 123 site community, located on 20 acres, was purchased for $3,400,000, and increases UMH’s holdings to 42 MHCs comprising 9,100 developed home sites in New Jersey, New York, Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. A real estate investment trust (REIT), UMH also has a portfolio of REIT securities.

(Image credit: UMH Properties, Inc)

Home Builders Applaud Legislation Aimed at Credit Flow

February 9th, 2012 Comments off

NAHB LogoThe National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently commended Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) for introducing the Home Building Lending Improvement Act of 2012, legislation to help restore the flow of credit for new housing production in order to create jobs, meet rising housing demand and bolster the economic expansion. Builders say with new housing inventories at or near record lows in many parts of the country, builders should be gearing up to produce homes to meet sizable demand from pent-up household formations. However a current lack of credit for projects hamper prospects.

(Image Credit: NAHB)

Stop Work Orders Making Home Lifts Costly

January 26th, 2012 Comments off

Wayne New JerseyFrom NorthJersey.com, MHProNews.com learns that residents of Finn’s Mobile Home Park are trying to raise their homes after last year’s floods, but the process is being held up by stop work orders from the township. The township requires surveyor’s reports and architectural drawings that are costing residents hundreds of dollars. The requirements have been waived in other communities, but haven’t at Finn’s because of what the township calls non-standard concrete foundations. Others who live in flood zones qualify for home buyouts, but Finn’s residents are not eligible because they don’t own the land. The community owner tells reporters no land surveys or architect drawings are needed for simple lifts made by stacking dry cinder blocks on a concrete slab.

(Image Credit: Google Maps)