Posts Tagged ‘MH Retailer’

Most Manufactured Home Lenders Facing Major Changes Revenue Cliff for Some; Business As Usual for Others

October 10th, 2013 No comments

Wall Street calls this a “revenue cliff.” A sudden drop in cash flow. Dodd-Frank regulations that are set to take effect in mid-January 2014 will result in major changes in guidelines for most of our industry’s major Manufactured Home (MH) personal property lenders.

Among the non-captive lenders, the hardest hit will likely be 21st Mortgage Corp. This lender is expecting a decline of up to 47% in loan volume.

MH Retailers who rely on 21st Mortgage should brace for a sudden revenue loss of 50% – 75% including overall loan volume and an adjustment in origination fees.

This will be devastating for many.

An informal survey of our four credit facilities who primarily bankroll the MH chattel financing aide of the MH industry has revealed major changes expected by most, and business as usual for one lender.

Our lender headquartered in San Antonio, CU Factory Built, is at present reviewing their loan products and origination fee policies. Committees have been assembled, reviewing the new regulations and their guidelines.

Informed industry sources tell MHProNews, who advised us, that CU’s very popular “Step Rate” loan product will likely remain intact, surviving the new regulations.

However, this lender’s origination fee schedule could be cut by up to 50%, more closely resembling the origination fee guidelines of their competitor, Triad Financial Services. The final outcome is yet to be determined.

Thus MH reatailers and loan officers who rely upon CU as their primary lender need to brace for a “revenue cliff.”

Our office has learned that Triad, based in Jacksonville, FL, is expecting “business as usual.” Apparently their loan products and origination fee guidelines have been in compliance with the expected changes in regulations.

Our industry’s other major lender, US Bank, with their regional office based in San Diego, is being very tight-lipped about any changes. Their spokesperson recently declined to comment to us.

The anticipated changes in loan products and origination fees will impact everyone in the MH industry. As loan brokers, quite a few of our employees will be devastated.

Analyzing the changes at this juncture is like shooting a bullet at a speeding train. The best advice we can give you is to dig in and redouble your efforts in support of HR 1779 and related.

If each of us contacts our Congressional Representative and two U.S. Senators in favor of HR 1779 and its planned companion bill, there is still time to avoid this fiscal/financial cliff our retailers and communities who sell are heading towards. ##

dave-shanklin-mhmsm-com.jpegDave Shanklin
Loan Consultant
Empire Homes, Inc.
Santa Rosa, CA
800 – 401 – 3372
NMLS ID # 314463

(Editor's Note: All views expressed on MHProNews are those of the author, and may or may not represent those of publisher or our sponsors. We recommend that you contact the representatives of the lenders you work with and see for yourself what they expect. Take Action! You may also find this related article of interest.)

Georgia Manufactured Housing Association’s Executive Director Sounds off on Princeton WordNet’s “Definition” of Manufactured Homes

April 12th, 2013 No comments

(Editor's Note: As with the MH Retailer's letteror the MHC Community manager's letters, linked as shown, this letter below was sent to Princeton's WordNet in response to their flawed definition of manufactured homes as found online and reported in this blog post.)

Princeton WordNet

Good Afternoon,
I have always appreciated the consistency and accuracy of but recently I read an industry article concerning your definition of Manufactured Housing. A recent industry article informed me that your definition of "Manufactured Home" is as follows:  "Mobile home: a large house trailer that can be connected to utilities and can be parked in one place and used as permanent housing."

I would certainly like to think someone with the IQ, life experiences, and test scores required to be accepted as a student at Princeton or to gain employment on the prestigious Princeton Faculty could certainly come up with a more comprehensive term for Factory Built Housing or Manufactured Housing. As a matter of fact, I am 100% convinced people of your intelligence can certainly challenge themselves to a higher level of vocabulary development than what you have demonstrated thus far. People like me that have committed their entire adult lives to the success of this industry would be so appreciative.

I will leave you with a few facts. In Georgia where I am located 43% of our residents live in Manufactured Housing. All of our homes are built to the Federal HUD Code, the International Building Code (IBC) or the International Residential Code (IRC). The latter two codes are accepted worldwide. Over 70% of our homes are installed on a permanent foundation and never moved again for the life of the homes. The National Home Builders Association recognizes that our housing has recently been rated by an independent engineering and architectural firm as having an average lifespan of 53 years. That we build homes on a daily basis that exceed 2500 square feet.

Thank you for your consideration,

Jay HamiltonC. Jay Hamilton
Executive Director
Georgia Manufactured Housing Association
199 East Main Street
Forsyth, Georgia 31029
Phone 478-994-0006
Cell 478 394 5114

(Editor's Note: The email address for the WordNet team is: please take a few moments and email them, asking them to update their definition of manufactured housing. You can use the example above, the one by Retailer Jody Anderson or by Community Manager James Cook, all of which bring a flavor and punch not found in the original sent by Tony Kovach linked here. Whatever you do, email something you like, to encourage they update their outdated and flawed “definition.“

Another letter to Princeton’s WordNet Team about their Flawed Definition of a “Manufactured Home“

April 11th, 2013 No comments

(Editor's Note: As with the Jody Anderson letter, linked here, this letter from a MH Community Manager is reprinted with permission, and was sent in response to this blog post.)

Princeton WordNet Team.

To whom it may concern,
Far be it from me to take issue with a definition published by such an esteemed institution as yours, I still must.

A recent industry article informed me that your definition of "Manufactured Home" is as follows:

"Mobile home: a large house trailer that can be connected to utilities and can be parked in one place and used as permanent housing."

I am sorry, but referring to modern manufactured homes as a "trailer" or "mobile home" is akin to calling a 2013 Lexus sedan a "horseless carriage" or Princeton as a "school."

It is a disservice to our proud industry who serves as housing for 8% of Americans including the poor, lower-middle class, and even millionaires (at least one in my community).  

The definition belies how far our industry has come in the areas of quality and craftsmanship and subjugates us to the level of redneck/hillbilly shacks.

Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

Respectfully Yours:

james-cook-mhc-manager-ma-posted-industry-voices-mhpronews.comJames Cook,
MHC Property Manager.
Ph (401) 402-0373
Fax (815) 572-5255

(Editor's Note: this is how Princeton's WordNet “definition” appears online in Google:

The email address for the WordNet team is: 

Please take a few moments and send them a message of your own, or use a variation on the one MH Retailer Jody Anderson sent, or like the fine one above from MHC manager James Cook, both of which we deem better than the one Tony Kovach sent, linked again here.)

Other messages besides these have been sent to WordNet, but we need more from You and Your MH Circle until Princeton U 'gets the message' and changes their terribly erroneous, so-called definition of a manufactured home. So take a moment now and please send a message to CC in your message to Wordnet, Thank you! )

MH homeowner and MBA’s perspective on MH Industry Turn-Around

October 22nd, 2011 4 comments

Like many young newlyweds in the south, my first homeowner’s experience was a brand new “double-wide” manufactured home.  In the mid to late 1990’s, owning a home was considered a “right of passage” and I was thrilled that my (now former) husband and I were able to accomplish this goal before the age of 25.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before my enchantment with my new home was overshadowed by the negative stigma associated with manufactured housing.  Feelings of pride diminished as references of “trailer,” “tornado magnet” and “cheap housing” were made.

My employment in the retail division of the industry made me fully aware of the truth, but social misconceptions fueled by the media and peer snobbery made me feel slightly ashamed and inadequate.  It did not matter that our home included a two car garage, concrete sidewalks, large front porch, and back deck that wrapped around an above ground swimming pool.  Society deemed that we lived in a “trailer.”

Years later, when presented with the opportunity to use the equity towards the purchase of a ranch style brick home, we did not hesitate to complete the transaction.

In keeping with the comedic southern tradition of a “mobile home” being lost in a divorce, the division of property resulted in my retention of the brick home which was worth substantially more than the purchase amount.  Of course, the large down payment was made possible only by the appreciation of value and subsequent equity in the manufactured home.  The home deemed “second class” by society was the only thing that enabled my family to afford a socially acceptable conventional house.  How’s that for ironic?

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs tells us that the first level of human requirements is basic biological needs – food, clothing, and shelter.  This level of hierarchy is followed by safety needs: belongingness, esteem and self actualization needs.  In short, people need to feel a connection with others and want to be accepted in society.  Self esteem needs are fulfilled through social approval and recognition.  The intrinsic need to feel a sense of pride is one of the most motivating and influential factors of decision making.  It is also a necessary component for fulfilling the basic needs of human behavior.  Yet, the feeling of pride about living in a manufactured home is often swayed by inaccurate perceptions and negative stigmatization.

As productive members of society, we work hard to provide necessities for our families.  As parents, we strive to provide a better life for our children than what we experienced.  The misconceptions about manufactured housing certainly impact our children.  After all, who wants “little Johnny” to get off the school bus among whispers that he lives in a “trailer park?”  Or for “little Suzy” to get overlooked for the cheer-leading squad because her parents are “too poor to live in a real house”” It does not matter that “little Johnny” lives in a well kept community with paved roads, maintained yards, enhanced safety through resident screening and visual appeal or that “little Suzy” lives in a brand new “double wide” that was chosen because the floor plan meets her family’s needs.

Social acceptance and pride often trump logic.  Even though it is logical and practical for consumers to choose manufactured homes, the misconceptions and negative stigma can influence how consumers view themselves and their abilities to provide for their families.

How can the industry convince consumers that living in a manufactured home will fulfill the need of self affirmation (i.e. pride)?

What strategies can be developed to reverse the negative stigmatization?

The obvious answer is to change the image of the industry, but that battle cry has only gathered a small portion of the troops.  Despite the significant changes of the last two decades, the consumer’s perception of the product has not changed.

Instead of trying to reinvent the image, perhaps the industry should modify its approach to the consumer.  A collective voice wields more power than an individual voice.  Create a venue that will fulfill the human needs of belongingness and esteem.  Involve homeowners by providing a way for them to connect with others that share the same interests and lifestyles, thus creating a feeling of belonging and acceptance.  Follow in the footsteps of other industries by changing the image through consumer participation.

For example, people of retirement age are no longer viewed as “too old to do anything.”  Instead, thanks in part to the work of AARP, retirees are able to enjoy an enhanced quality of life that includes a wide range of benefits, products and services.

Another example is the insurance industry.  For a small annual fee of $35, members of Farm Bureau Insurance receive benefits such as reduced premiums, discounts on cell phone packages, rental car discounts, access to community room, personalized tax preparation and a monthly magazine full of useful information and ideas.  Insurance is no longer viewed as a hassle, but as a worthwhile investment in which some of the benefits can be enjoyed without reporting a loss.

Would creating an alliance of manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, service providers, and homeowners be the change needed to turn the industry around?  It is certainly has potential.  As a former manufactured home owner, single parent, community member, and consumer I would definitely pay $36 a year to belong to a group that shared interests, understood issues and validated my housing decision.  It is a small price to pay in order to help fulfill the need of pride and acceptance.

The industry players are not the only stakeholders that see the need for an image change.  The stakeholder with the most power to make the change is the homeowner.  It’s time to give them a voice and the tools necessary to make the change.

Having been in the manufactured housing industry for about a decade, I sincerely appreciate the invitation to attend the webinar regarding the MH Alliance/Phoenix Project.  The opportunity provided a wealth of information, including possible resolutions for challenges facing the industry.

Speaking as an MBA moving towards a PhD, from an academic perspective, the MH Alliance identifies the gaps in current system processes and offers a holistic resolution.  The plan is set up to include not only retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, and finance providers, but the group that holds the most power and has the most vested interest – HOMEOWNERS!

As a marketing instructor, I like the outreach involving every facet of the industry, so the MH Alliance will have the ability to turn this industry around!

For years, industry experts have attempted to improve the image of manufactured housing.  While significant improvements in products and processes have been made, consumer awareness and education has faltered.  The collective power of the MH Alliance can certainly change the image of the industry and product, thus making it a contender for a consumer’s FIRST choice in housing, not the last choice.  Great job Tony and all those on board to promote the MH Alliance/Phoenix Project theme! # #

(Editor’s Note: All links in this article were provided by for context to Ms. Tyler’s article. Here is a link to some recent feedback on the MH Alliance by more Industry pros.

Lisa Tyler, MBA
Walden University
Planning a doctoral dissertation on manufactured home marketing and image.