MH Sales Analysis – Beyond Low Credit Scores

May 25th, 2016 No comments

Financing is routinely a hot topic for pros in MHVille. Recent days are no exception. As we spotlight Titus Dare’s and Ron Thomas Sr.’s respective and popular OpEds, let’s look at a different-yet-related issue.


Titus Dare, SVP, Eagle One Financial. Click his photo to see his recent OpEd on DTS.


Ron Thomas, Sr. Founder of Rona Homes, Midwest Manufactured Housing (MMHF) Chairman. Click photo to see his OpEd.

There is a high cost that the MH Industry pays for low volume new home sales. Yes, we are back up to the 70,000+ new home shipment level, but that’s well below where the industry was in 1998, when we peaked out at over 372,000 new home shipments. When Richard Cordray engaged Senator Joe Donnely in a back-and-forth war-of-words, Cordray pointed to a long term overall decline in MH sales. It was akin to the CFPB director saying, ‘For some reason, the public is not buying manufactured homes as they once did.’


MHProNews believes in sustainable lending, which means that customers, sellers and lenders are all benefiting in the mix.  The MH peak of the 1990s was driven in part by poor credit underwriting standards.  Sustainable loans that perform are the best for consumers, lenders and the industry in the long term. Image credit, calculated risk.


In 2015, manufactured housing topped the 70,000 new home shipment mark, an average of 8% growth annual for the last 6 years.

That’s technically true, but so is the Indiana Senator’s retort, that access to capital is a big reason for that overall decline.

Clearly, lending – capital access – impacts new and pre-owned MH sales and refinancing. One should note the same principle holds for all forms of housing, or automotive, RV and marine sales too. Constrict lending and sales drop.

But let’s be candid. That’s not the full story. 

If more better-qualified buyers opted for manufactured homes vs. conventional housing, we’d see sales rise – even if the MH credit sources didn’t change at all.


Kevin Clayton said to a packed audience that manufactured housing should not forget those who brought us as an industry to the dance. We concur, serving the lower end credit scores has a unique value. That said, all three of the major producers said in the article linked here that manufactured housing is capable of attracting more customers with better credit scores.

Dick Ernst asked a panel of MH lenders a few years ago, ‘is there any practical lack of capacity to your firm’s ability to make more MH loans?’ Every major MH lender on that stage answered by saying, ‘with properly qualified customers, yes, we could originate far more MH loans then we currently do. There is no lack of capactity.’

Here are other factors that harm MH sales:

1) Appraisals. Retailers and lenders tell me that on FHA Title II sales, appraisers will get the needed value on a HUD Code manufactured home about 80% of the time. That means that 20% of the time, the appraisal is insufficient. Isn’t that an educational or systemic issue that needs to be addressed with appraisers?

2) Zoning. We could do a book on this topic, so for now, we will only mention it and link to this article on zoning, found here. When over 90% of the nation living in urban and suburban areas, manufactured housing pros better get their arms around the zoning issue, sooner than later.

3) The High Cost of Low Volume Sales. Economies of scale help or harm a business or industry. Part of what Titus Dare’s point in his OpEd is that there is a relatively low number of homes being sold, and that depresses interest in lending on manufactured homes by financial service firms. The more new MH sales rise, the more interest there will be from lenders, investors – and everyone else in the public square.  Want more lending?  Then we have to generate more sales with the lending that we already have, and those are marketing/image and educational issues.

4) Owner Financing. In the automotive world, owner-carry-financing (buy-here, pay-here loans) is done by hundreds of car dealers in almost every state; many thousands of such locations can be found nationally. For decades, so called ‘Lonnie dealers’ did the same in manufactured home sales, most notably on used homes in land-lease MH Communities. With its heavy regulatory burdens and risks, Dodd-Frank/CFPB has largely crushed that model which for years allowed marginal credit customers to become home owners.  While owner-financing is technically doable and is still done, it’s so risky, that many operators will avoid making such loans who previously made them.  That’s an avoidable penalty on would be buyers as well as sellers.

5) Resale Values. There is a bit of circular reasoning by some who look at MH lending that is often missed. The law of supply and demand operates for MH the same as it does with conventional housing. When conventional housing credit was choked off in the 2008 housing/mortgage meltdown, values on existing houses dropped like a rock for years. As lending returned, so have existing home’s resale values.


Note that the more mature the age group, the higher the credit scores tend to be. The last three graphics on this page are by ValuePenguin, based on information that gained from the Federal Reserve and other sources.

Similarly, when lending on MH is artificially choked off by the CFPB or anyone else, resale values are impacted. That manufactured homes can increase in value is a fact, and some of the reasons why it can and does hold value in the right circumstances are described in the video, linked here.  The point?  For the GSEs or others who may hesitate on serving MH, there is a degree of self-fulfilling prophecy at work.  More lending on new and resale MH would support values, and thus create a lower risk for lenders. 

6) Education! Increasing the appeal of manufactured homes among site-built home shoppers. Lindsey Bostick nails it in the video linked here, when she says that it is up to manufactured housing professionals, working together, to inform and attract more good credit and cash buyers.

Note that none of the above takes the CFPB, the GSEs, Congress or anyone else ‘off the hook.’ What it should do is motivate goal-and-solution oriented manufactured housing professionals to do all they can to grow the demand among home seekers who qualify for current lending.


Overall, credit scores have been steadily rising since the crash of 2008. The average U.S. credit score is 695. But what’s notable is that the average American home buyer’s credit score is 728. Compare those credit scores with the traffic coming to your sales center, or the applications your sending or recieving on MH home loans. The point? As an industry, we can and must begin to attract customers with better credit scores.

It should also cause MHPros to always be thinking and working at ways to improve the image with local, regional and national media and public figures.

More on these issues in the days ahead. Our rapidly approaching June issue, packed with new featured articles, will give you food for thought and points for profitable pro-active action. Look for them next week on the MHProNews home page. ##


L. A. “Tony” Kovach is one of the most popular presenters on marketing, sales, image building and other topics in manufactured housing today.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach,
Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –

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Bernie, Hillary, Donald and Manufactured Housing – Dodd-Frank, Regulations Plus HUD and DTS Revisited

May 22nd, 2016 No comments

Let’s machine gun (rat, tat, tat) through some topics today, because there’s a lot going on that impacts manufactured housing pros and our current and prospective customers.


The presidential candidates are on an extended interview to take over the job first held by George Washington. Adjusting President Washington’s net worth to today’s dollar, some have estimated his net worth at $500 million in 2016 dollars. Image credit –

1) We’ll begin with the Democrats, and note that Senator Bernie Sanders refuses to lay down, though Hillary at this point is only a few dozen delegates shy of the number needed to clinch their nomination. Where it not for the super-delegate system, their race would be much tighter – but that’s an issue for Democrats and party insiders to wrestle with. What’s clear is that the enthusiasm seems to be with those who feel the Bern.

Jane Sanders, Bernie’s wife, has hinted she wishes the FBI would hasten their decision about Mrs. Clinton. DC insiders tell the Masthead that what seems increasingly likely is that the FBI will turn over their evidence to the DOJ, where Loretta Lynch will do as her president quietly asks, and unceremoniously kill any chance for an indictment of Secretary Clinton on the criminal offense of allegedly mishandling classified material. Sources suggest if DOJ won’t indict, it could then result in some at the FBI who are angry that Clinton is not being prosecuted to leak to the press information damaging to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

To rephrase; what looked like a more unified Democratic party could in fact have greater fractures than what the Republicans, who are rapidly coalescing around their presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.  Trump is surging in the national polls, now a few points ahead of Clinton.


Image credit – Kansas Policy.

Who is Best for Manufactured Housing?

2) Let’s step back from that thumbnail primary analysis and ask a fundamental question. Which party this fall would be better for Manufactured Housing and our industry’s current and potential customers?

MH Associations – and certainly MH professionals – often get engaged in state or federal races – for example – for the Congress and the Senate. Why aren’t we hearing more about the race for the presidency?

We’ve seen and heard very little formally out of the DC or Arlington based national MH associations on this presidential candidate topic, although there are quiet conversations that have been and continue to take place on who would be best for MH in the White House.

Let’s keep it super-simple. Bernie and Hillary are generally both for:

  • higher taxes
  • strengthening Dodd-Frank
  • more regulations
  • keeping or growing ObamaCare into a single-payer health care system

among a host of other issues that impact jobs and businesses.

The presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump,

  • announced last week that he is for dismantling most of Dodd-Frank
  • favors morphing ObamaCare into something more free-market driven, like Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and increased interstate competition between private insurance companies
  • lowering taxes
  • decreasing regulatory burdens on businesses
  • and a host of other measures he asserts will protect the border, improve trade deals, grow American jobs, boost lower and middle class income and reduce the drain on federal budgets

For accuracy and balance, we must note that the Libertarian Party is planning on making the biggest splash they can in this election cycle. Much will depend on their ability to get on national presidential/vice presidential debates. While there are many other so-called third parties out there, none at this time seem to have the requite tools, treasure and talent to mount a serious national effort.

Stay tuned as we continue to monitor the national political scene, and its impact on MH. Because as a well-connected source told us, what happens in the race for the Oval Office, along with control of the House and Senate, will clearly influence every current effort in Washington to deal with regulatory issues that impact the manufactured housing industry, MH home owners, along with our increasing numbers of new home customers.


Image credit – Famous Quotes.

A new HUD Issue that may impact Manufactured Housing?

A new Obama Administration ruling outlined and a legislative response described in the story linked here concerns me. Could this issue negatively impact manufactured housing’s preemption?

Keep in mind that in a state like Texas, where TDHCA’s Joe Garcia gives a very positive interpretation to the power of the MHIA 2000s preemption over local zoning matters, this issue could help or harm local placements and thus sales in many markets.

We have one legal source that tells us that, no, this latest regulatory issue linked above won’t change a thing for HUD Code manufactured homes.

I’m not an attorney, but recalling how HERA 2008 surprised us with SAFE, I’m not yet convinced. We’ll stay on this, watch for updates. Meanwhile, you might ask attorneys you or your association know: will this HUD ruling and proposed Senate fix help, harm or have no impact on HUD Code MH preemption?

Duty To Serve Manufactured Housing by GSEs Fannie and Freddie revisited 

Credibility on a topic – any topic – requires an openness to a variety of perspectives. Credibility always requires an openness to new insights and new information. If a statement, view or opinion is inaccurate, then credibility demands a willingness to correct the record. 

There are some topics that are fairly black and white. Others – like the one noted on preemption – may be more complex or nuanced.  In this case, we are considering the issue of the Duty To Serve (DTS) by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

There are two pending OpEds by industry pros on financing/Duty to Serve that are awaiting revisions by their respective authors.

Depending on when they come in, those may end up on Industry Voices or possibly as a Featured Article for our rapidly approaching June issue. Having reviewed these drafts, one in particular will have interesting insights on the finance/DTS issue.

Plus, and this ought to be its own headline: *** there is a reliable source that claims that one of the GSEs are already making some home only/personal property/chattel loans *** in some manufactured home land lease communities. 

We will keep you posted on all those as they develop. 

ImageCreditsSlideShare-netLogosTheirRespectiveNewsOrganizations-postedMastheadBlog-MHProNews and each strive to bring a positive yet accurate view of the manufactured housing industry to their resepctive audiences.  We also strive to bring you issues in a way that mainstream media generally doesn’t.  Mainstream media logos – Image Credits -left- SlideShare-net, right – to each logo to their respective organizations.

Correcting the Record

MHProNews and MHLivingNews strives to be pro-Industry and yet accurate all at the same time. When we produced the latest version of our popular tornado/hurricanes/windstorm video, we strive for accuracy while keeping a focus that debunks long held beliefs about manufactured homes as tornado magnets.

From time to time, we get a message or call from a reader that effectively says, this or that article needs a correction. Our response is simple. We’re always happy to correct the record, and for accuracy – please supply the facts, figures and source(s) that supports your statement. 

We also encourage well reasoned letters to the editor – OpEds – and these can take positions that agree, disagree or have an entirely new look at topics that your Masthead editor or others in MH present.

Pro-industry trade journalism encourages a candid look at the issues that can help or harm our great industry.  Thousands in MH today have never known now defunct publications such as the MHMerchandiser Magazine.  To you and thousands of others, here and at are the places where you get fair and balanced views we hope will advance MH for consumers and professionals.  ##


L. A. “Tony” Kovach questioning NY SAA team during the 2015 New York Housing Association meeting. Photo Credit, Mark Simon, Dirty Jerz Images.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach,
Office 863-213-4090.
Connect on LinkedIn –

Publisher –

It’s #1! Get our industry leading, free, Twice Weekly emailed news, tips updates (our emailed Newsletters look like this) – sign up free in seconds at 


L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka

Manufactured Housing Financing, Regulatory Issues and Beyond

May 18th, 2016 No comments

MHVille feedback on the news that officials with the GSEs at Freddie and Fannie are telling that they have no interest in doing chattel lending to fulfill the Duty to Serve mandate of HERA 2008 continues to come in.

As MHPros know, this is far from the only financing or regulatory hurdle that the industry faces.

  • HUD’s new on-site completion rule and other ominous steps from HUD,
  • local zoning battles,
  • DOE,
  • CFPB,
  • in some jurisdictions, rent control on MHCs and

a growing alphabet soup of regulators that seem bent on blunting manufactured housing’s 6 year recovery.


Original CFPB logo parody credit – Plus1Properties. Cartoon credit – MHProNews.

Opening, Closing and Consolidations

The good news of plant expansions or HUD code production facilitates being opened has to be balanced out by the reality that some modular and manufactured home builders are still struggling, or in some cases, closing down. In every aspect of manufactured housing, but perhaps most notably in the communities space, more consolidations are taking place.

Are mom and pop independents being marginalized by the growing maze of regulatory, finance and other pressures?

Pro-active steps need to be taken by those whose interests are being the most impacted.

While activity at the national level in DC metro based associations continues, is there something MHPros can hang their hats on for relief from the pressures coming from HUD, CFPB, DOE, etc.?

Don’t get me wrong, we along side and in support of MH pros – state associations and their members – plus others who want to see regulatory relief continue to work. But is there any substantive progress to report?


Still from the video, found at this link here. Cordray’s contradictory position above and previous doesn’t seem to have raised enough eyebrows in DC…yet.  We’ll keep spotlighting it for you.

The CFPB is seemingly thumbing their nose at manufactured housing.

We have strategic and tactical thoughts on this matter, but are keen to hear from others in the trenches before we roll those options out.

We’ll close on the good news, which is that MH shipments – the sales of new homes – continues to rise. But make no mistake, we can and should be doing far more that we currently are.

Its that combination of encouraging results and pressing for more that should keep MHPros eyes focused on the prize of ever greater results for a public that needs precisely what we collectively as industry professionals offer. ##

l-a-tony-kovach-mhlivingnews-mhpronews-latonykovach-com-L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
Publisher of


Video, Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training,

Consulting, Speaking. |

Office 863-213-4090 |

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka

The GSEs – Just Say No to Duty to Serve = DTS

May 14th, 2016 No comments

One of the take aways from off-the-radar discussions in Vegas was this. The GSEs – Government Sponsored Enterprises of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – are being as polite as they can to our industry, but they have have clearly said they have no intention to offer chattel lending on manufactured housing. Support for lending on MHCs?  Sure, no brainer for them and MHC operators. But sources tell the Masthead, anything one hears or reads to the contrary about DTS for chattel is wishful thinking, or spin, etc.  

freddie-mac-fannie-mae- creditValueWalk-postedMastheadBlog-MHProNews-

GSEs – Government Sponsored Enterprises – Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac. Image credit ValueWalk and respective operation’s logos, posted here under fair use doctrine terms.

This ain’t happening.”

We believe there can be value in cheerleading for a worthy cause.. We also believe in mutual victories, no one who works with manufactured housing ought to do so thinking they are about to enter into a losing proposition, or another blood bath such as occured for lenders in the late 1990s and early 2000s on MH chattel loan paper.  

That nearly 2 decades old experience is what has caused the fears and concerns the GSEs want very much to avoid. We’ve long supported DTS, periodically brought the issue up, when others failed to do so. We believe this ought to be embraced by the GSEs, and the FHFA ought to make this happen. So what more needs to be said about this issue?  Some elements of the dicussion ought to include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:

home-sales-rising-housing-wire-com-credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com- (2)

Growing sales graphic, image credit – housingwire.

1) Is the law, the law? Is HERA 2008 which mandated DTS applicable to the GSEs on chattel lending?  Can you or I ignore a law that we don’t want applied to us? 

2) Should there be an effort to “win over” the GSEs?  To ally their fears? Show them how personal property loans on MH can profitably work for everyone’s benefit?

3) Do the GSEs not see that if chattel lending works for four proven MH lenders who make loans in most states, then why should they fear it? 

4) Our sources tell us the ONLY way that DTS on home-only loans is likely to happen short term is for the FHFA to order that DTS on chattel lending takes place.

5) Given #4 above, what happened behind close doors in meetings with MHI, consumer groups and the FHFA? What happened to transparency? What happened to those media reports last fall suggesting chattel financing with DTS was an all but a done deal? Did something go sideways, and if so, what was that something(s)?

6) When affordable housing is a growing crisis that manufactured housing can uniquely address, and with federal and state budgets so strained, as good corporate citizens, don’t the GSEs have a moral duty beyond the legal one to support MH with a sustainable lending program?

7) It will likely take a major effort to get a DTS program that provides chattel lending from the GSEs. That’s the word heard by MHProNews in Vegas, from sources in DC and elsewhere.

Let’s be clear.  While DTS could be helpful, and we support at MHProNews continue to support it, there has to be parallel paths that develop and increase our MH industry’s production.  We’re growing in new MH shipments, but not nearly at the pace we are capable of, and not at pace the nation needs to keep up with the growing demand for quality, affordable housing.

We could grow faster with DTS, but there are solutions available right now that makes advancing a profitable, positive thing to pursue.

Keep that DTS fire burning, but don’t sink all your eggs into that one basket. ##


One of the educational sessions at the 2016 Tunica Show, to see the recap video, please click here or the image above.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

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L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka

A Different Way to Explain the MH Regulatory Lending Challenges

May 11th, 2016 No comments

There are no easy or perfect ways to explain a complex issue to someone else. If there were, a K Street Lobbyist would be using such a method for 100% results, and it would be worth billions in DC (sad, but true).

So those trying to get that 15 minute meeting with a Congressman, Senator or their staffers to discuss HR 650/S 682 (Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act) have their written ‘leave behind’ hand outs with talking points ready to go.


Still from video, see video at this link.

What web marketers know is that video is hot and getting hotter. Websites with video get more engagement and more conversations, so say the experts. And while videos under 2 to 3 minutes are preferred by numbers of Millenials and others, some studies demonstrate that videos up to 20 minutes or more in length that interest the viewer will be finished some 65% of the time. A recent example of that is politically focused video that has had millions of views on a 13 to 14 minute topic, and was highly rated by viewers.

Video doesn’t have to:
> clear the mind or its throat,
> get a glass of water, coffee or an energy drink.
> 99.98% of the time, video is ready to go with a click of a high-speed internet connected button.

We’ve been told by our sample group that every time this video is viewed, a new point and ‘aha!’ moment pops up, even for those informed on this issue. “This is one of the most important videos you’re team has done so far,” said one veteran.

The video shows how out of touch “Lord Cordray is,” opined another MH veteran.

An industry attorney went on to say that “Maybe the DC Circuit will find the whole place unconstitutional, which is possible.”

Want to unshackle MH lending? Take the time to view and share this video link with your:

  • association and/or members,
  • others in your company or location, and have them pass it onto your Senators and Congressman. You can contact your federal elected officials at this link here.
  • News media and social media.

If we want to change what ails us in DC, and get relief on the MLO rule and lending, its beyond question that it will take mobilized action. Using this video as a tool to educate others in that cause ought to be a tool in the chest for taking steps in the right direction. ##


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, speaking at the 2015 New York Housing Association meeting. Tony is one of the most popular presenters in manufactured housing today.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Connect on LinkedIn.

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L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka

2016 MHI Congress & Expo–Manufactured Housing Institute-Photo Recap Report

May 6th, 2016 No comments

Let’s change things up on reporting today by using more photos than words, as we let these pictures walk you through elements of the 2016 Manufactured Housing Institute Congress and Expo, the related mixers, receptions, presentations and breakout sessions.


Conference Center entry at the Caesar’s Palace, site for the 2016 MHI Congress and Expo.



MHI Chairman Tim Williams, left and colleague Eric Hamilton of Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) center.


Part of the excitement and appeal of Congress and Expo – a.k.a C&E – are the private events, such as the one held annually by Security Mortgage Group, this year at the elegant Le Cirque restaurant in the posh, world-renowned Belagio.




Service at the Le Cirque was top shelf, provided by the gent in the center and their team of dedicated servers: Jerry DiMarco from Security Mortgage at right.


Anthony DiMarco, standing in the center, thanking guests and their firm’s co-hosts for being at their private event.  The networking was great, as was the drinks, dinner and the DiMarco/Security Morgage team’s hospitality.  About 125 MH pros were there.


The Lamb’s at Le Cirque.  Be looking for their guest columns on coming in the days ahead.


Doug Ryan, CFED – found in the spacious hallways between sessions at the 2016 MHI Congress and Expo. Action at C&E – beyond the presentations and exhibits – takes place in those halls and other sites in Vegas.


One of those hallway networking discussions, Bill Matchneer at right, and Matthew Rabkin from FEMA – playfully dropping his head to look up from the top of his specs – center.


Another example of the many invitations to a private networking mixer, this one from HAS Capital.


Some new faces as well as powerful stalwarts at the HAS reception, including Barry Cole, left, and Joe Stegmayer from Cavco, right.


Some of the estimated 4 dozens MH Pros who were at the HAS mixer.


It’s not all dinner, drinks and hallway networking at Congress and Expo. One of the breakout sessions was this one with CU Factory Built Lending, sharing a powerfully insigbhtful session on change management, using the ADKAR method. Rachel Young, John Walters and Barry Noffsinger – at right – speaking. A Cup of Coffee with…Barry Noffsinger, is linked here.



Towards the right, Chris Northley, MHRE and his associates at their display during Congress and Expo. MHRE is experiencing rapid growth. Click Chris’ name to see an interview video.


Among the fun items found at C&E this year were lifesize cutouts of the 5 remaining D and R contenders for the Oval Office. By Tuesday night, that number seeking the nation’s highest office had dropped to 3, with Cruz and Kasich bowing out after Donald Trump’s big win in Indiana that day.


L-R – John, George and Kamal, outside a break spot at Caesar’s.


The exhibit hall had hundreds of MH Pros comparing products and services, making deals as well as socializing and networking.








Part of the view from the 14th floor suite for during the MHI event.

There were an estimated 700 pros in the main discussion Wednesday morning – Where do we Go from Here?  Moderated by Dick Ernst, FinMarkUSA and featuring Kevin Clayton – Clayton Homes, Joe Stegmayer– Cavco Industries, Keith Anderston – Champion Home Builders, Gary McDaniel – Yes! Communities, Todd Baker ELS Properties, and Don Westphal. It was by far the best attended event during this year’s C&E, and we will be bringing you and exclusive report on that topic. MHI states that registrations topped 1000 for the first time in some 8+ years. ##


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, speaking at the 2015 New York Housing Association meeting. Tony is one of the most popular presenters in MH, and the publisher of and – the runaway #1 trade publications serving professionals and consumers, respectively.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka

Mischief, Mayhem, Marvel, More in May for MHVille? 

May 2nd, 2016 No comments

Our industry has its routine mix of events and news: ranging from good, interesting and some troubling, as we roll into May 2016.

1) There is a serious plant show being done by Clayton Homes in AL during this same week that MHI’s Congress and Expo is set for Las Vegas. I love industry home shows, so it would be great to go and see the plant show, but other prior commitments take me to Vegas; and it will be interesting to see if any on-or-off-the-radar sparks fly during C&E. Time will tell. 

2) Our sister-site will be sharing a new video report, beyond the latest one now live on  Regarding the one that just went live, this is another foundational video for establishing just how well built – engineered! – modern manufactured homes are.


Foundational defined by

Your feedback on the Inside MH video interview with engineer Skip VanZant linked here and on the image below is welcome. Shared with interested parties who are still on-the-fence housing shoppers, this video will no doubt open some eyes of those who want good reasons to justify investing in a new manufactured home.  It could also prove useful with public officials, and of course, the media in your market(s).

3) That upcoming video report (noted in 2a) that touches on an MHI related topic is in production, and has information hiding in plain sight that could cause some heartburn in Arlington, VA. We’ll likely let C&E conclude before publishing and spotlighting that festering issue, which will immediately be obvious to anyone who closely follows MHI ‘alerts.’ 

Of course this post signals those on staff who are involved in a sensitive matter the opportunity to think things through. That would be just fine with us. Because, it’s the course correction that’s needed in Arlington – achieved one way, or another – that’s what matters most on this topic. We’d rather they change course with no drama – via their own ‘mea culpa’ – than to have to spotlight their latest unforced error.

Either way, the video will be produced, published and again, what they do in response, time will tell.

4) The costs for the MH Industry over the years for game playing coming from the DC metro has already been too high. At times, I think back to what JD Harper in AR wanted to do a few years ago, pondering his floated concept. Likewise, I ponder the initiative, that created a website, but did not go farther. Would an association for retailers and communities apart from MHI make sense, given the history of the last decade or so?


State and Community Executives are doing important things and are getting some of the positive attention and credit that their work so richly deserves. While national associations meet with DC based regulators, policy advocates, Congressional staff or members, its the state and community associations and their members who are the “boots on the ground” that makes it all happen. MHEC logo is their property, and is shown for editorial purposes.

5) MHEC (Manufactured Housing Executives Council) is a reality, and in many ways MHEC state and community association members are those who do much of the heavy lifting with Congressmen, Senators and their staffs. Those MHEC touches are then also engaged by lobbyists and staff working for MHI or MHARR in DC. The grass roots – state/community association – efforts are thus critical to advance any industry initiatives in Washington, DC.

What is obvious is that the MH Industry’s agenda in DC is moving ever so slowly…

…and that costs our industry billions a year, which in turn means a company like yours is losing your pro-rata share of those dollars.

Election 2016

We keep one eye on the primaries for POTUS headlining towards the two major parties respective summer conventions. Each of the Democratic hopefuls are very pro-Dodd-Frank. The remaining Republican candidates would modify or repeal Dodd-Frank. Anyone who pays close attention to the impact of Dodd-Frank, SAFE Act, HUD, DOE et al in DC knows that real reforms are needed that could save taxpayers billions while earning our industry billions more and obviously benefiting the public too. That’s a win-win, save in the often topsy-turvy world of the federal government.  

It would be no surprise if Donald Trump wins in Indiana, the race between Clinton and Sanders seems closer, with Clinton on paper ahead, but Sanders within striking distance.  Tuesday night will tell the tale. A Trump Train victory won’t clinch the nomination for him, but he’ll have a big lead heading to the remaining states, momentum from NY and those 6 Atlantic state victories. Sanders is now trying to chip away at the Democratic super delegate issue.  Mrs. Sanders publicly mused that it would be nice if the FBI finished their work more rapidly…

C&E and Trade Shows

MHI routinely has good information at its meetings. I’m looking forward to what this year’s Congress and Expo brings.  You’ll find C&E focused articles on the new May Featured Articles found on the home page, and linked below.

A) Some are taking about new trade shows for MH, with one concept being a West Coast/CA/AZ et al regional event with homes on display, as happens in Tunica or Louisville

B) An obvious opportunity exists in TX, where numerous plant shows occur – why not turn that into a rebirth for a regional trade show there?

C) Florida and the Carolinas could support a full blown industry trade show too. We’ll keep an eye on developments along those lines for industry pros and afficianadoes.  Could other areas in the U.S. also support and sustain a successful MH trade show?

This Month’s Line Up!

In the Merry Month of May we feature a new Cup of Coffee with…Ed Zeman, of Zeman Homes (and communities – see link below). Zeman is a Chicago-based regional player with eyes to grow beyond their current Midwestern stronghold.

That soon to be read-hot link and over a dozen other new Featured Articles, the final episode of our in depth interview with Don Glisson Jr., a new Nadeen Green legal column, corporate news, invites for Congress and Expo, online reputation management with Wayne Coakley, inspirational thought provoking articles, West Coast design trends with Katy Weldon and more from moi and others are in store below!

As a programming note, given the trip to Vegas, it will be this weekend before the next Masthead  blog gets posted. 

Knowledge is Potential Power!  With no further adieu, the May 2016 line up of Featured Articles and reports awaits. 

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 7, No. 8, 2016

Alphabetically by Category




• Warmly Welcoming Martha Stewart

by Nadeen Green, JD

nadeen-green-mhpronews-comWell, my previous post from a view weeks ago was somewhat prescient as later that day Mr. Castro went public with HUD’s position on criminal background checks for folks wanting to rent.

Read more…



• Manufactured Home Lending, Regulations, Rentals and MH Communities – Don Glisson, Jr. – Video 

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachAs an interview in this same issue with manufactured home community owner/operator Ed Zeman underscores, the MH Industry has undergone significant changes; often sparked by regulations born of the financial crisis of 2008 triggered by conventional housing/lending meltdown.

Read more…



• Blowing Away the Outdated Myths for Fun and Profit

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachManufactured housing has powerful truths on its side, but decades of outdated information, biased, slanted (or worse) kinds of media coverage have harmed us.

Read more…


• We All Need Deadlines plus the Will to March On

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachRegular readers of my Masthead Blog, featured articles or other posts by moi know you’ll often find a good, inspirational or historic quote being applied to an MH industry related issue.

Read more…


• MHARR, MHI Spar over FHFA & Duty To Serve Manufactured Housing via GSE Chattel Lending 

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1On April 26, 2016 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) held a roundtable discussion with manufactured housing industry leaders, inviting those who commented on the proposal, to get their input on the FHFA’s proposed “Duty to Serve” rule, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute‘s (MHI) Housing Alert to MHProNews.

Read more…


Clayton Acquires another Site-built Home Builder

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1MHProNews has learned from builderonline that manufactured housing giant Clayton Homes has acquired Goodall Homes of Gallatin, Tenn. as it increases its mark on the site-built home industry, having purchased site home builder Chafin Communities of Georgia last fall.

Read more…


• Challenges to CFPB Constitutionality could Create Financial Havoc? 

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1Writing in National Mortgage News, Craig Nazzaro says there are two significant court cases now challenging the authority and structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), both of which would have been avoided had the agency been established with a five-member commission to operate it, not a czar, and with congressional oversight.

Read more…


• Champion Homes Expanding Operations in Kentucky

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1Champion Home Builders will invest $6.3 million in a manufacturing plant in Benton, Kentucky, leasing a 100,000 square foot facility and create up to 150 jobs for production of manufactured homes, according to kyforward.


Read more…


“Why is HUD Bent on Destroying the Manufactured Housing On-Site Market?”

by Mark Weiss, JD


M-MarkWeiss-MHARRPresident-ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-As has been previously addressed in this column, one of the central reforms of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 was its matching directives to HUD to: (1) “facilitate the availability of affordable manufactured homes” and (2) to “facilitate[e] the acceptance of the quality, durability, safety and affordability of manufactured housing within the Department” itself.

Read more…


What do you call it?

by Tifanee McCall


I recently returned from exhibiting at the Tunica Show where I had the opportunity to meet and talk with many of my fellow industry members.

Read more…

• Designs, Décor and Manufactured Housing Advancement

by Katy Weldon

KatyWeldon-DesignerManufacturedModularHomes-credit-linkedin=posted-MHProNews-com50x50-Exciting things are happening in manufactured housing.  Everywhere there seems to be enthusiastic energy and the upbeat momentum that comes with positive change.

Read more…


• A Cup of Coffee with…Ed Zeman, Zeman Homes

a-cup-mhmsm-comWho, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Zeman Homes and where your company is based).

Edward Zeman, Chairman, Zeman Homes, Chicago, IL.

Read more…


• Learn how to drive change in your organization and the industry at MHI Congress & Expo

by Rachel Young

RachelYoungCUFactoryBuiltLending-SanAntionCreditUnion-ManufacturedHomeLoans-postedMHProNews-com50x50-Have you ever tried to make a change in your organization, with family or yourself, only to find things quickly reverting to the way it’s always been done?

Read more…



• Would you buy from you?

by Wayne Coakley

WayneCoakleyGrenadeMarketingGroupReputationMarketing-ManufacturedHousing-55x62 headshot_MHProNews-com-

Do you have a plan to inspire your staff, sales team, and management to give first class service to your customers?

Read more…

• Are you stuck on your own pedestal?

 by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-mhmsm-comWe all have a certain degree of “self-adornment” but the real question is – is our self-made pedestal beyond – humility, wisdom, compassion and the ability to step off this podium when essential or even needed to achieve success, happiness and inner peace?

Read more…


• ZigOn Good Guys & Girls

by Zig Ziglar

zig-ziglarJoe Craven had an idea to start a pottery manufacturing business. He built an advanced kiln but could not make it work.

Read more…

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal aka aka

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