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County Violated the Law in restricting placement of older Manufactured Homes?

November 12th, 2014 No comments

Tony,
We are currently working with Bulloch County, Statesboro, Georgia Code and Enforcement Department as it relates to the recent article you ran in the Daily Business News concerning community member backlash at the recent County Commissioners meeting where they basically devalued all pre-owned homes by limiting their movement and permit process.

The local Code and Enforcement Department was not aware that GMHA had crafted legislation concerning this several years ago. That law prohibits any Georgia Municipality from limiting permits or re-location based on the age of a home. We politely suggest to the counties who pass pre-owned home ordinances like this to read Senate Bill #384 as signed by the Governor. 

We do share some ways of limiting uninhabitable units from being approved by making a set of suggested requirements for individual county Building Inspectors or commissions based on their current housing inventory.

These suggestions may require the Installer to purchase a Completion Bond that cost about $200 per year. This Bond requires the Installer / Seller of the home to insure that all major systems such as electrical, plumbing are in working order.

This Bond can be used over and over but only on one working installation at the time. This Bond may include other cosmetic items such as home to have no missing metal, no missing vinyl, no missing shingles, etc. That the home has adequate entry and exits as well with no broken windows or structural damage. It may require no floor seams or floor damage inside the home.

The county can choose to not require a Bond, but just require certain system and cosmetic items be completed before allowing utilities.  What they can’t do is restrict a home based on age alone. If its restricted based on certain requirements, those requirements have to be published in advance. They can't include items generated at the time of install or the moment of permitting.

Please call if you have other questions, but I believe at the current time the Board of Commissioners have witnessed the true scorn of their voters and are now willing to compromise. Only time and actions will answer that question though.

Thanks,

jay-hamilton.jpgC. Jay Hamilton
Executive Director
Georgia Manufactured Housing Association

(Download of PDF of GA State Law on this issue is attached at the link here.)

Favorable Juncture of Circumstances – CMHI Viewpoint

November 12th, 2014 No comments

(Editor's Note: The facts industry veteran and CMHI President Jess Maxcy below are written using California statistics, but the same points he's made could be applied to other markets – does that mean yours too? Look at this thinking, and think about how this can apply for your market and state.)

My dictionary defines opportunity as “a favorable juncture of circumstances/a good chance for advancement or progress.”

“Favorable Juncture of Circumstances” A case can easily be made that we have arrived at a juncture of favorable circumstances that could lead to significant gains in home ownership opportunities for California families and increased market share for manufactured housing. Consider the following:

Median Home Price/Affordability

• The median home price in August was as its highest point ($480,280) since 2007. The median price has increased year over year for the past 30 consecutive months.*

• From the first quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2014 the annual required income to purchase the median priced home with a qualified mortgage increased 66% to $93,590* • Consequently, the monthly payment on the median priced home increased from $1,410 to $2,340… A payment only 23% of California families can afford!

Qualified Buyers

• The share of equity home sales in California increased to 91% in August and has accounted for more than 80% of total sales for more than twelve months.*

• This favorable circumstance has increased the number of potential cash and/or financeable buyers,

many of whom are looking to down size and are excellent prospects for high value manufactured home

purchases.

• Additionally, the rising median home price has significantly reduced the home ownership opportunities for California’s middle income families for whom midrange and higher end

(developer series) manufactured homes are an excellent answer to their housing needs. While priced

out of the site-built market many have already saved enough for the down payment on a high value

manufactured home. But…it is highly unlikely that middle income buyers will be attracted to model displays and financing and advertising programs that violate their perception of the home buying process. The industry, which encompasses retailers, manufacturers and lenders, all working together, needs to develop a distribution system and financing programs that take advantage of the design advances that have made manufactured homes an acceptable housing option to a wider market.

A Good Chance For Advancement or Progress”

To have a good chance for progress we must have affirmative answers to the following:

1) Do we have an adequate retail distribution network?

2) Are manufactured home sales centers:

• Consumer oriented?

• Sufficiently stocked with fresh homes to promptly respond to the housing expectations of new consumers as well as our traditional market?

• Arranged to display homes in their best light?

Retail Distribution

To be able to take advantage of these favorable circumstances, to really have a good chance for advancement or progress and increased market share, we must improve our retail distribution

network. Consider the following:

• As of July 2014, our approximate retail inventory was only 761 new homes.

• Of those approximately 193 (25%) were very aged.

• Through August 2014, only 194 California retailers have registered at least one new home sale. Of those 51% have registered only two new homes sales in eight months.

Simply put, there are too few retail sales centers and/or home displays with sufficient fresh inventory to attract new consumers. Especially those who have rejected or not considered manufactured housing in the past. This is especially true for shoppers seeking new rather than resale homes.

Companies that have invested in displaying new homes and properly managing their inventory tend to

outperform all other retailers in their market.

• While there is no single solution to improving the distribution systems, some of the alternatives are:

• More environmental boulevard sales centers.

• Enhanced factory model displays.

• Regional environmental model displays, and

• Model displays /sales centers in new

and existing manufactured housing communities.

Synergy

The first steps toward ensuring a “good chance for progress” and for increasing market share must be a joint commitment to improve our distribution system. This is not a task that can be taken on by only one segment of the industry. Manufacturers and their retailers, working together, must take whatever steps are necessary to develop properly inventoried sales centers designed to meet the needs and buying patterns of today’s home buyers. ##

* California Association of Realtors

Improvement in Site-Built Equity Home Sales Increases Potential
Cash Buyers for Manufactured Housing

Single-Family Equity Home Sales

cmhi-org-improving-equity-could-boost-more-manufactured-home-sales-posted-industry-voices-mhpronews-com-.png

jess-maxcy-cmhi-president-posted-industry-voices-mhpronews-com-By Jess Maxcy – California Manufactured Housing Institute (CMHI) President.

A home built in a factory can be a home just like a site built?

November 11th, 2014 No comments

A recent court decision – linked below – has me scratching my head in bewilderment?

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/jdsupra-spotlights-the-6th-circuit-ruling-in-bennett-v-cmh-homes-are-manufactured-homes-a-consumer-product/

  • Senator Moss stated in 1974, that a house would not be a “consumer product” because it is not “tangible personal property.” The Sixth Circuit, expanding on that understanding, held that the Bennett’s’ manufactured home was not a house-trailer or a mobile home designed to be moved; rather, it remained permanently on the land and was taxed as real property.
  • Further, because the triple sectional was as large and looked like a “regular house,” dictionaries for the words “consumer” or “consumer goods” described products that were expendable or replaced, quite different from a dwelling.
  • Judge Stranch dissented, taking issue with the majority’s distinction between “manufactured homes” and “mobile homes.” Stranch said so-called “mobile homes” are not built to be actually mobile, opining that the factory built home industry coined the term “manufactured home” to replace “mobile home” in response to negative stigma against “mobile homes.”

We were always lead to believe a mobile home or manufactured home is never permanent, it is a consumer goods or personal property. It has been a long held belief. The banks do not lend on it due in part to this one definition.

After many years, just when you think it is; it turns out it just ain’t so.

The mobile aspect came about because it is built in one place and transporting it to another location where it will reside. Many years ago these homes were much smaller and could be towed by a car or truck, a “Trailer.” I do not like it here, I am moving, give notice hitch it up and leave.

That image is still with us today even though it has no truth to it.

The homes today require semi-trucks to hitch it, to move it, after the demolition of the accessories and the home’s preparatory work needed to get it to be transported. The money to move it is expensive.

Where are these old mobile homes going anyway when a homeowner wants to leave a community?

Most Land Lease Community (LLC) owners do not want old mobile homes coming into their community so they are refused. They do not even have the distinction of being “Cool”or “Classics” as a desired retro home by the public.

I do not know about you but I have seen many a mobile home sitting for years in an LLC community never leaving its lot location. The term most used by LLC owners is, “Sell it in Place.” It is practice encouraged by management. It makes me think they are permanent because of selling it in place!

The LLC community owners are adamant it stay not wanting it to leave. The LLC owners do not want empty spaces due to the impression of blight and lack of interest in their community. They always hope that Dealer down the street will replace it sometime. It is a better belief to keep the light “On” and stay in place than having an empty lot.

used-mobile-homes=credit-steve-lefler-posted-industry-voices-mhpronews-com-4

The future for manufactured homes with this court decision could be the very change that impacts the old time popular belief and could change the image and acceptance of this home product. The idea of a consumer product nameplate placed upon someone’s home coupled this common-sense decision often effect old time beliefs to change. ##

Steven-Lefler-Vice-President-Modular-Lifestyles-posted-on-mhpronews-comSteven Lefler, Vice President, Modular Lifestyles, Inc.(888) 437-4587.