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by Edward 'Eddie' Hicks

Edward 'Eddie' Hicks photoThe Manufactured Housing Industry needs to…
• improve the image of our homes and communities with the general public to overcome many years of belief that our homes depreciate, are cheaply built, are prone to failure in high winds and earthquakes, that our community residents are sub-standard citizens, and that our communities hurt neighbors home values.

The Manufactured Housing Industry needs to…
• adapt our factory built homes with innovative new designs and concepts,
• offer more realistic home financing options,
• and build new communities to appeal to a broader base of home buyers: primarily those with financial resources that are substantially better than those we are currently serving, yet still lower than those required for the purchase of a single family detached home or attached apartment unit.

The Manufactured Housing Industry needs to…
• attract new investors to land lease community developments that provide a competitive return on investment, at minimum risk of capital and/or credit ,which communities are viable in a broad range of markets with fair-to-good area employment and demographic characteristics.

If this sounds a little like the well-known secret of the equity markets: buy low and sell high, it's not. We have all of the above-listed survival tools currently at our fingertips. We just haven't learned how to put them all together. Cooks know it's not just the ingredients, but how they are all put together that makes the recipe work.

Substantial improvements to the FHA 207m loan guarantee program with its 40-year, combined construction and permanent non-recourse loan programs for LLCommunities. It has the potential to provide for community owners to improve their properties to increase the number of vacant homesites that are being leased.

For more information on the program details, go to: www.fha207m.com/.

Right now (June 2011) we are getting some minimal support from MHI with the HUD staff on potential improvement to this much maligned, but little-known loan guarantee program. If they listen to us, and have a real interest in supporting out industry, we should see some positive changes soon which will greatly help with property re-financing and rehabilitation.

A brief list of current FHA207m program issues that are being considered by the HUD headquarters staff for implementation are as follows:

1. The manufactured housing industry is being required to process the applications using MAP (Multifamily Accelerated Processing) procedures. This means the lender (Mortgagee) does the underwriting using procedures which were designed for apartments, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. The program manual specifies TAP (Traditional Application Processing) in which the HUD staff does the underwriting.

2. The MAP program doesn't take into account the fact that homes must be sold and financed to establish a viable market condition. So the required market studies don't always reflect that critical information.

3. MH LLCommunities must sell a home or lease to own or rent for a site to be leased. Therefore the available home financing programs are important to the potential success or failure of a proposed project.

4. The FHA Title I financing program was just revised in 2008 as a part of HERA, and was just implemented by FHA in July 2010, and GNMA removed their moratorium in August of 2010. The various HUD staffs don't seem to know anything about the program revisions, or how they will positively affect FHA207m loan applications.

5. The manual hasn't been modified since June 1976, and as such prohibits seniors only communities unless the residents are age 65+. They have not recognized newer laws that provide for 80% of the homes to be occupied by at least one resident which is 55+.

6. The FHA207m underwriting doesn't require any specific percentage of a project for improvement under the substantial rehabilitation financing aspect of the program. But since some of the other FHA programs require a minimum of 15%, the staff has insisted the FHA207m program also comply.

7. There are many markets in which single family homes and apartments may have relatively high vacancies, but manufactured home communities may be doing much better. HUD staff seems to pin their approvals on the overall housing market conditions, and doesn't seem to be interested in the successes of existing m/h LLCommunities, which are a completely different type of housing and doesn't necessarily mirror other housing types in a given market area.

8. Filling a manufactured home LLCommunity takes considerably more time than apartments, because of the need to sell a home and have it installed. Some staffs have only allowed underwriting based on an absorption period of a few months, which is typical for apartments. Manufactured Home LLCommunities necessarily need more time because of the need for a sale, construction of the home at the factory, and subsequent transport and installation on the homesite.

9. In many market areas, there are virtually no more home retailers (so-called street dealers), and the only way a Sponsor/Community Owner can get homes sold and installed in their communities is to also be the home retailer. There are restrictions in the existing regulations, which allow a retailer to have only two model homes on display and allow any area retailer to install homes, whether or not they meet the community home physical standards.

10. Community centers attract residents and are very popular, but are difficult to include in the first phase of a multi-phase development, because the capital costs are being amortized over too few a number of homesites. Thus many community developers eliminate them, making the communities less desirable.

11. Some lenders have proposed providing long term, real property type financing for the installed HUD code homes, but for their protection, need to encumber the real property with a "notice of contract" to protect their investment. HUD's financing agreement specifically prohibits any property liens other than the HUD insured first mortgage. Providing long term, low interest financing should be a goal of the industry. FNMA tried a pilot program about 12 years ago, but it failed because of the FHA financing agreement limitations.

12. While the processing times are limited by the regulations after the "invitation to submit" is received by a Sponsor as the result of the pre-application meeting, the staff can take their time in getting to the invitation, after the meeting has been held and the requested third party reports viewed. This makes the application process agonizingly slow.

13. At least one of the HUD offices I have spoken with has openly said, "We don't want to do any trailer park loans. We are busy with other more meaningful projects in our area. You can submit a request for a pre-application meeting, and we will have to meet with you, but I am going to tell you right now no matter what you present, we aren't going to approve your project." Raw, unadorned prejudice!

A few years ago, WMF Huntoon Paige (Prudential) staff and I met with the HUD staff and a MHI representative in Washington to discuss some of these issues, and we got nowhere. Not even a kiss-off letter as I recall.

No doubt if some changes were made to the program, it could immediately be used for the refinancing and rehabilitation of existing communities to provide for badly needed improvements. And, eventually as the overall market improves, there would be some more attention to new developments, which are sorely needed in some market areas.

There may be an upcoming seminar series similar to the one that was held in Louisville a few months ago, based on continuing interest. If you are interested, please let me know and I will come up with a list of proposed cities.

###

Edward 'Eddie' Hicks is a licensed RE Broker and Mortgage Broker in the Tampa, FL area. He has over 45 years experience as a manufactured housing retailer, manufacturer and developer. In recent years, he has assisted investors in acquiring or developing investment grade manufactured housing land lease communities. He is a specialist in the FHA 207m loan program for private lender financing of qualifying communities with HUD loan guarantees. Contact him at (813) 661-5901, www.mobilehomepark.com, www.factorybuilthome.com or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more information about the loans addressed in this article: www.fha207m.com.

Daily Business News Briefs

Hoarding along with dozens of cats found at home in MHC

Hoarding along with dozens of cats found at home in MHC

“Is there an unwritten rule that every third MHCommunity has someone who hoards and/or has a bunch of cats?” quipped manufactured home industry consultant and publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach. The comment flowed from the discovery of dozens of cats seized from the Niagara Mobile Home Park in Newfane, NY. “The stench coming from a […]...

01 Sep 2014

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Manufactured Housing’s Labor Day 2014

Manufactured Housing’s Labor Day 2014

Wikipedia says: “Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and […]...

01 Sep 2014

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William ‘Bill’ Steenberg, Award winning Steenberg Homes founder, Passage

William ‘Bill’ Steenberg, Award winning Steenberg Homes founder, Passage

William “Bill” Steenberg died Sunday, August 24, 2014, in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida, after a short, courageous battle with cancer. His fiance Wendy was by his side when he passed away. Bill’s children, Julie, Shelly, and Jeffrey and his granddaughter, Miranda, visited a couple weeks earlier in Florida.  Bill founded and owned ...

01 Sep 2014

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Equity LifeStyle’s stock hit record high as August ends

Equity LifeStyle’s stock hit record high as August ends

The glow of investors and commentary for Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (NYSE:ELS) hit a peak as August drew to a close. ELS witnessed the stock hitting a record high on Friday. The stock traded as high as $45.81, up 39 cents from yesterday’s record closing price of $45.42. The Street, Trade-Ideas  and Chicago Business  were among […]...

31 Aug 2014

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INC names mancamp provider Reliant Asset Management 3rd fastest growing pri…

INC names mancamp provider Reliant Asset Management 3rd fastest growing private business

Barry Roman is the co-founder of Reliant Asset Management, a provider of mancamps in ND, Texas, Canada and other high demand housing markets. Roman says his modular building company’s revenues rose 55,000 percent in three years, to just over $85 million. Inc Magazine named Reliant to their annual list of high flying companies. Reliant is ...

30 Aug 2014

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Manufactured Housing Stocks Rising before Labor Day Weekend

Manufactured Housing Stocks Rising before Labor Day Weekend

The Dow slipped, while other U.S. exchanges rose and most tracked stocks went up in advance of the Labor Day weekend. Dow 17,063.88 -15.69 (-0.09%). Nasdaq 4,572.95 +15.25 (+0.33%). S&P 500 1,999.93 +3.19 (+0.16%). Yahoo! Finance’s Manufactured Housing Composite Value: 831.1. Today’s Change: +0.12%. Affiliated Managers Group (AMG)...

29 Aug 2014

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Judge says MH class-action lawsuit heading for trial

Judge says MH class-action lawsuit heading for trial

Following up on our previous report on Moscow, Idaho’s Syringa Mobile Home Park legal fracas, Latah County 2nd District Judge John R. Stegner has told attorney’s representing community owner Magar E. Magar and roughly 140 residents that the case is heading to trial to settle the claims and damages. Elizabeth Rudd of the Tribune  tells ...

29 Aug 2014

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Allegations of Flooded, Fixed, Flipped ‘Mobile Homes’ hit state, internatio…

Allegations of Flooded, Fixed, Flipped ‘Mobile Homes’ hit state, international news

The City of Federal Heights is changing building inspection rules in response to a televised investigation in a manufactured home community by 9Wants to Know, exposing safety concerns when flooded “mobile homes are resold to unsuspecting families,” NassauNewsLives tells MHProNews. Hundreds of flood damaged homes were sold rather than scraped. Tho...

29 Aug 2014

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Freddie Mac’s new Manufactured Housing finance program orignated by Walker …

Freddie Mac’s new Manufactured Housing finance program orignated by Walker Dunlop

The new Freddie Mac manufactured housing community (MHC) finance program announced last spring has been originated by Walker & Dunlop (W&D). The loan was for $10.5 million on Longhaven Estates, an MHC in Phoenix, AZ. The financing was secured for Cobblestone Real Estate, LLC, based in Oak Brook, IL, and Tricon Capital Group, based in...

29 Aug 2014

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Canadians Investing Large in U.S. Housing Markets

Canadians Investing Large in U.S. Housing Markets

“In the U.S., given the affordability and the fact that prices in the suburbs went down more significantly than in the cities you will see more and more options and opportunities outside big cities,” said Benjamin Tal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) analyst. With Canadian markets hot – and some fear over-heating – the [...

29 Aug 2014

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Manufactured Home Community Rent Control on Public Meeting agenda

Manufactured Home Community Rent Control on Public Meeting agenda

The City of Santa Clarita, CA, will host three public comment meetings to discuss draft updates to Santa Clarita Municipal Code 6.02, the Manufactured Home Park Rent Adjustment Procedures. Meetings are open to the public, as well as to residents of manufactured home communities, business owners and managers. The City of Santa Clarita and...

29 Aug 2014

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Featured Articles and Reports - September 2014 Vol. 5 No. 12

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UnBranding - a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

UnBranding - a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

by L.A. "Tony" Kovach Years before Palm Harbor Homes went into bankruptcy and eventually ended up with Cavco Industries, Palm Harbor ran TV ads showing beautiful, “residential style” manufactured homes. Read more

MARKETING

“Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

“Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

by Nadeen Green, JD Many if not most manufactured housing folks truly make the effort to be compliant with the Fair Housing Act and are well aware of the need to... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Earthquakes & Other Disasters: Are you Prepared?

Earthquakes & Other Disasters: Are you Prepared?

by C. William Dahlin, JD  As reported by major media outlets, a 6.0 earthquake hit Northern California  in late August on a Sunday. Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Pool and Spa Safety

Pool and Spa Safety

by Kathleen Bianculli While the end of summer is drawing near and pools in some areas will be closed for the season, in many areas of the country the pool never... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

“How Sweet the Rose” - Senior Housing Communities - Advertising Do's and Do…

“How Sweet the Rose” - Senior Housing Communities - Advertising Do's and Don'ts

by Nadeen Green, JD While a rose may smell sweet no matter what it may be called, names are in fact labels. Using the wrong label when you market your senior... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step P…

A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step Program!

by Jerry Bretton In our previous report on SUN, we mentioned that Mountainside Financial has been making loans on manufactured and mobile homes for 14 years. Read more

FINANCING

Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?

Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?

by Ron D'Ambra Let's start by saying that, from a business perspective, MORE government involvement is not always viewed as a good thing. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

3rd Annual Open Space Pace - September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

3rd Annual Open Space Pace - September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

by Sam Landy Dear Friends, UMH Properties and Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corporation (MNR) sponsor The Open Space Pace at Freehold Raceway September 20, 2014. The event begins with a 10:00 am parade of... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

A Cup of Coffee with… Sheila Dey

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GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Sho…

5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

by Dennis Hill We could name more than 5 reasons why manufacturers and exhibiting companies as well 5 reasons why attendees from the ranks of retailers, communities, builder developers, installers and... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories …

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories and others

by L. A. “Tony' Kovach We will demonstrate that the cost of not selling more homes is always high.  Capital is tied up in your inventory, location, general overhead, personnel, marketing,... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Lead, manage or get out of the way

Lead, manage or get out of the way

by Tim Connor, CSP The world is changing at the speed of light. Everything is being touched by this accelerated pace of change. No person, entity, industry, profession, and no part... Read more

MANAGEMENT

Knowledge is Potential Power - 4 Steps and 91 words = Enhanced Manufacture…

Knowledge is Potential Power - 4 Steps and 91 words =  Enhanced Manufactured Housing  Professional Success Infographic

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach We'll share an infographic that explains in 4 easy steps how any MH Industry professional can learn more to earn more. Here is the infographic... Read more

MANAGEMENT

ZigOn Qualities of Success

ZigOn Qualities of Success

by Zig Ziglar Dr. William "Bill" Ross was truly one of a kind and was known for his sense of humor and his zest for life. He had exuberance for... Read more

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Four Ingredients for MH Sales Success

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by Tim Connor, CSP There are four significant areas when it comes to consistent high sales performance. They are: Self-image and self-esteem. Read more

SALES

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MHLIVINGNEWS.COM FEATURED HOME OF THE WEEK

Classifieds

Press Releases

RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inducts the Cl…

RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inducts the Class of 2014 into RV/MH Hall of Fame

(Back row l-r) Thomas "Tom" L. Kern, Style Crest Enterprises; Ed Evans, EPM; Gary McDaniel, YES! Communities ; Richard "Dick" King, King Insurance (second row row l-r) Barry Cole, Manufactured Housing Insurance Services; Bob Livingston, Good Sam; John D Roba, Roba and Associates (front row l-r) Mrs. James F Shields. accepting on behalf of her husband,James F Shields (deceased), Pan Pacific RV Centers; Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices and Peter B Orthwein, Thor Industries. ELKHART, Ind., August 5. 2014 -- The Class of 2014 was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall) last night in Elkhart, Indiana, in a gala ceremony before a record breaking crowd of more than 440 family members, friends, and colleagues from across the country. The Class of 2014 includes: Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices;...

the MHMSM Team 05 Aug 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Steve Lefler - Modular Lifestyles and Ne…

Steve Lefler - Modular Lifestyles and Newport Pacific – Successfully Gaining Acceptance for Super Energy Saving, Green Manufactured Homes

Learn more at the article linked here, or by calling Steve Lefler, Vice President of Modular Lifestyles, Inc., a division of Newport Pacific Family of Companies at Ph. (888) 437-4587. Email steve@modularlifestyles.com. Steve is a Dual DRE and HCD Salesperson. Advanced Green Building Professional. CEC Solar Wind Retailer/Installer. http://www.modularlifestyles.com ##

the MHMSM Team 01 Aug 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Sun Communities, Inc. to Acquire America…

Sun Communities, Inc. to Acquire American Land Lease Manufactured Housing Portfolio from Green Courte Partners for $1.32 Billion

Increases Sun Communities' portfolio to 245 communities totaling nearly 90,000 sites in 29 states with a combined enterprise value of approximately $5.1 billion Southfield, MI, July 30, 2014 - Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI) (the "Company") today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a portfolio (the "ALL portfolio") from Green Courte Partners, LLC ("GCP") sponsored funds. The ALL portfolio consists of 59 manufactured home communities, including those acquired from American Land Lease, Inc. by GCP in 2009. The communities comprise over 19,000 sites in eleven states, including nearly 11,000 sites located in Florida. Over 14,000 sites, or 73%, of the ALL portfolio are age-restricted.  In connection with this transaction, the Company will assume GCP's right to acquire an additional manufactured home community pursuant to a binding purchase...

the MHMSM Team 31 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Mountainside Financial launches Dodd-Fra…

Mountainside Financial launches Dodd-Frank compliant non-MLO, MLO SUN Manufactured/Mobile Home Direct Loans and Refinancing

Using online articles, banner ads and video, Mountainside Financial is announcing the launch of the evolution of their direct lending platform promotion. As a division of San Antonio Credit Union (SACU), Mountainside has a unique 14 year history of making direct to consumer loans on manufactured and mobile homes. Direct loans are often done in "partnership" with brokers, communities, Realtors ®, other housing professionals and manufactured home retailers who refer consumers to them. Anthony Ducharme, Direct Channel Manager for Mountainside, explained how they created their new SUN System with Manufactured Home Professionals in mind who needed a compliant process to navigate SAFE Act and Dodd-Frank regulations enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). "If you've been originating your own loans, talk to us. If you want to have a legally complaint...

the MHMSM Team 08 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Call for Nominations for the RV/MH Hall …

Call for Nominations for the RV/MH Hall of Fame Class of 2015

ELKHART, Ind., -- The RV/MH Hall of Fame Selection Committee has issued a call for nominations for the Class of 2015. Darryl Searer, Hall president, said, "The Hall welcomes nominations from all RV and manufactured housing sectors -- manufacturers, dealers, campgrounds, housing communities, suppliers, user groups, trade media, associations, etc -- for the class of 2015 and beyond. "The nomination guidelines and forms available online atwww.rvmhhalloffame.org/pages/nominations.cfm." According to the guidelines, anyone can nominate a person to the Hall of Fame that meets the eligibility requirements. The only people who may not be considered are those who currently serve on the Hall's Selection Committee. To be eligible the nominee must be, or have been, an active participant in any segment of the recreation vehicle, campground or manufactured housing industries for a minimum of 25 years....

the MHMSM Team 08 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Southwest Region Manufactured Home Commu…

Southwest Region Manufactured Home Communities Showing Rent and Occupancy Growth, Outpacing National Average, According to JLT & Associates’ 14-Year Market Summary Report

Grand Rapids, Michigan – JLT & Associates (JLT), the nation’s #1 market research company for the manufactured housing industry, today announced a 14-year summary report of its manufactured home community rent surveys for 6 Southwest markets. Recognized as the industry standard for manufactured home community market analysis for over 20 years, JLT Rent Surveys provide detailed research and information on communities located in 72 markets throughout the United States, including the latest rent trends and statistics, marketing programs and a variety of other useful management insights. The most recent JLT Rent Surveys for the Southwest region cover 261 manufactured home communities encompassing 69,728 homesites in Albuquerque, Greater Kansas City, Greater Phoenix, Las Vegas, Tucson and Salt Lake City. This summary report is based on rent and occupancy trends from 2000 to 2014. Findings...

the MHMSM Team 01 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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