Manufactured Home Communities – aka ‘Mobile Home Parks’ [sic] – should be 100% Occupied

June 26th, 2015 No comments

Investors, take note.  Manufactured Home ‘Street’ Retailers, your report is coming.  But for the next few minutes, we will look at why manufactured home communities (MHCs) – incorrectly still known by too many as ‘mobile home parks’ ([sic] – since no mobile homes have been built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976) ought to have 100% physical occupancy today.

The most recent reports I’ve seen suggest that the occupancy rate for all age MH Communities is hovering around 88%.  Senior or 55+ MHCs are around the 93% physical occupancy mark.  That number has been slowly rising.

Roughly half of the states in the U.S. don’t maintain a master list of MHCs.  So we must use estimates as to how many MHCs there are, based upon estimates from those-in-the-know tell me is in the range of 37,000 to 45,000 MHCs nationally.  That’s the more likely total of all land-lease MH communities of all sizes.

About 15% of the MHCs are in the 200+ home site size that the portfolio operators – private and publicly trade – tend to prefer. That means 85% are under that threshold.  There are MHCs with under 10 spaces (aka – pads, lots, home sites) or less in jurisdictions that keep such records.  Some experts say the typical MHC is around the 100+/- home sites size.



Can you spell Opportunity?

Bottom line, using facts, figures and estimates, the latest reports suggest there could be some 440,000 unoccupied home sites in MHCs across the country.  That spells serious potential upside opportunities for investors.  It also spells huge opportunities for HUD Code MH manufacturers, chattel lenders, suppliers, vendors, support, insurers and financial services firms of all kinds.

Given the growing need for affordable housing across the U.S., filling those sites is quite doable. What is stopping our industry from those goals?

A variety of factors, of course.  For starters, the CFPB certainly isn’t helping, because those willing to risk their own capital aren’t getting to do so without significant regulatory burdens.  Those risks from the regulators are far greater than the risk of loss from a repossession, how crazy is that  reality?

The public need exists.  The pricing of MH vs. rentals or other options is competitive and favorable.  But the main issues slowing that 100% physical occupancy goal could be summed up in two words joined by an ‘and.’ Image and EducationEven the regulatory hurdles come down to image and education, though some may not see that connection the same way we do here on the Masthead.


Rents are rising in many markets, due in part to the impact of potential buyers being denied access to credit. CFPB policy on MH lending is thus costing the federal government money in their affordable housing subsidy programs. Applying President Obama’s words to MH lending would benefit government budgets, as well as home buyers and business people too.

With the right approaches, our expert sources – and own experiences in marketing MH – suggest those MHCs could be filled in under 3 years.  That figure suggests that the MH industry could be doing some 200,000 new home sales a year average for the next three years, vs. the mid- 60s level annual shipments we are hovering around now.


MH Shipments bottomed out at just under 50,000 new homes annual, and have since rebounded into the mid-60s. But industry professionals must recall that historically we’ve been 20% of all new housing starts, and could be far higher, given the correct approaches at the business, image and education levels.  MHI’s Dick Jennison stated publicly that the industry can return to 500,000 new home shipments with the right efforts.  We agree.

Of course, “could” may not mean “does.” That said, IMHO, all facts shared and known suggests this is a great time for investors to target the MH sector for investments in stocks in related MH companies, direct investments in MHCs, etc..   Investors are indeed doing so, but mostly by aiming at the top 15% of the larger communities.

MH Retailers?  Your report is coming.  As good as the potential for MHCs is, the upside for a good retailer could be even better.  That said, there is value to marrying the MHR to an MHC. We’ll look at that topic too in the days ahead.

Closing News Comments

Our Matthew Silver does an amazing job of giving our Daily Business News readers the Industry news briefs that keep those focused on housing in general – and MH/MODs in particular – informed.  No one else we know of gives an MH Industry daily business news briefs, plus the daily stock market recap report on MH connected firms and suppliers. You can spend less time and learn more about the industry via a daily scan of the news here, than following online alerts that routinely yield information that wastes precious time.

So is it any surprise that several thousands of pros, investors and researchers follow our news, tips and views daily?

Investors & Owners

The beauty of the MHC or MHR worlds are that you can, with the proper approach, move-the-needle in a reasonable period of time to yield healthy returns.  You can have more ‘control’ over the investment.  By contrast, there is not much that most can do personally to move a stock on the public markets.  But you can do a lot of savvy steps to increase occupancy in an MHC or sales at an MHR.


We’ll look more at that in the days ahead, including our upcoming July Featured Articles in MHProNews.  If you have not yet read all of this months issues’ articles, you should! Don’t miss the video related ones, like the red-hot Scott Roberts of Roberts Resort video interview too.


Take a glance today at as well, because a growing number among the public and industry are doing so daily.  Millions of visit(ors) there can’t be wrong!  See what they’ve found, and see why your peers in MHCs are giving that web site address to their community residents in their newsletters. ##

Manufactured Housing State of the Industry Statistics and related Growth Opportunities Reports

(June 2015)

Realtors ® and Manufactured Housing Growth

SIC defined (Google):

adverb: sic
  1. used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original, as in a story must hold a child’s interest and “enrich his [ sic ] life.”.

L. A. “Tony’ Kovach shown here in an educational session in Louisville, KY.


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

Pants on Fire and Manufactured Housing

June 24th, 2015 No comments

The Wall Street Journal’s recent report on emails that documented Jonathan Gruber’s ‘heroic’ roll in putting together and passing the misnamed Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka ObamaCare) is just the latest reminder that public officials at many levels have embraced the strategy of Josef Goebbels, Adolf Hitler, Joe Stalin or Chairman Mao. 

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Josef Goebbels

Should the intelligent laugh or cry when ‘StartUp NY’ – their state funded commericals – runs their zero-tax ads for new or expanding businesses on networks like Fox News? On the one hand, it contradicts the tax-the-rich views that NY, CA or other mostly D run states tend to have. Yet we know President John F. Kennedy (D) and others took positions that lowered taxes, and grew the economy in their wake. The Communists in China, along with now-booming economies that once were so-so, grow today due to easier regulations – and/or lower taxes – than what we see coming from high tax states like NY (they are rated near the bottom on most business climate lists) or for that matter, coming out of DC in recent years.


It is not my goal to carefully analyze the NY plan above, but perhaps the reason that Forbes  reports this program as getting off to a slow start is because the prospective business person has to wonder, ‘Okay, what happens to me in NY at the end of ten years?’ Uncertainty, we’ve all heard from the investor class, is harmful to business and growth.


Photo credit WikiCommons. Poster Credit – MHProNews.

Growing an economy here in the U.S. is not magic! “The power to tax is the power to destroy.”  Likewise, the power to regulate is also the power to destroy. 

So the reverse of the above  implies that lower taxes and easier, common sense (vs CFPB style) regs fuels the kinds of growth that made America great. Herein lies one of many MH connections to the importance of truth-telling and the goal of policy sanity we in MH should seek.  Sure, we ought to fight for HR 650/S 682, but we are wise to also look at a longer term plan that promotes a healthy business climate for all in America.

Self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders’ campaign to be the Democratic presidential nominee is driving Hillary Clinton even further left. The reason I’m a political independent is because Republicans – who tend to be more for free enterprise – can at times play footsie with the facts or simply make bad judgments, as in the case of too many Rs being on board with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bill.  If it is such a great trade bill, why all the secrecy?

When truth is harder to find, a responsible person goes to more sources, then applies reason to sort it all out. So your scribe reads the New York Times, Fox and a spectrum of sources – domestic and international – to triangulate reality vs. the various party lines. 

Let’s see how all of this applies to MH.

The Truth Matters

It is useful (above) to cite examples outside of our arena of immediate self-interest to make a parallel point. The truth about MH matters.  The truth about MH lending matters.


Doug Ryan, CFED’s point man on manufactured housing related issues.

Yet we see forces like Doug Ryan led CFED – who are pro-MH on their website – take a position proven to be contrary to the interests of MH home owners, businesses and by extension, America in general.  

Doug, does the Truth Matter? Or does revenue to CFED from CFPB Trump the Truth? (Political pun intended). 

Relatively Speaking…?

Some say truth is relative.  They’re only half-right. The truth of your taste or mine, that’s ‘relative’ (meaning, subjective or personal). But gravity – for example – is not subjective. Gravity exists. The truth could be defined as ‘what is.’  The iPhone 6 Plus I’m typing this draft of my blog on, it is – it exists – even if no one besides me believes in it or knows it exists. 

So there are both Objective Truths and subjective truths. 

That said, the truths of MH we strive to focus on are objective realities.  The combination of Objective Truth, and the subjective praise from MH home owners is what is making the positive force it is for those owners, and the professionals of our industry. 

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

Is it any wonder there are sales being attributed by MH pros to stories on our public-focused sister-site?  Or is it any wonder that the traffic – already good! – on MHLivingNews doubled in April, and then doubled again in May? Is it any wonder that views of the Dennis Raper video, which went live only 5 days ago, have skyrocketed?


It is simply amazing to think that a home like this could be purchased for around $40 per square foot! We must share the evolutionary truth that modern manufactured homes started out as trailers, became ‘mobile homes, and now today are the eco-friendly, amazing home value that this article linked here explains to the public.


We don’t make it easy for people to find my phone number or email from MHLivingNews.  Yet, we are seeing a growing number of home seekers calling my office to ask questions about: 

> who to buy from, 

> where and how to shop for an MH, 

> or who to turn to for MH financing. 

The truth well told is powerful. We have the right to our opinions, but no one has the right to make up their own facts. The truth – reality – matters. You don’t want to be deceived, right? You don’t want to be lied to about something consequential, correct? These are proofs that at some level, we all know that truth exists and that truth does in fact matter to us, and thus should matter to others.

It is my sincere hope that SCOTUS gets it right on the ACA when they hand down their decision.  Lies should not be rewarded.  It is my hope that Ryan/CFED will own up to their apparent conflict of interest, and reverse course to support MH home owners, MH shoppers, MH Lending and MH job creators.  

We don’t have to exaggerate to make the case for MH.  There were two old TV shows whose titles that come to mind. “To Tell the Truth” and…

“Truth or Consequences”

We’ll look at the profitable power of truth-telling in more details in our rapidly approaching July issue of MHProNews. ##


L. A. “Tony’ Kovach shown here in an educational session in Louisville, KY.


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

President Barack Obama, Dodd-Frank reform and Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing – HR 650/S 682

June 20th, 2015 No comments

A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.‘” – Barack Obama.

There is momentum behind the common-sense changes sought by the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR 650/S 682).   MHProNews has sources that suggest that the bill could clear the Senate when it hits that chamber’s floor for a vote in late summer or this fall.

If that Senate passage happens, then the question will become, what will the president do should the bill hit his desk?


The White House is correct that millions want to own homes, and can afford them. Will they therefor support the common sense reforms sought by HR 650/S 682?  Image credit: FlikrCreativeCommons.

Still, homeownership is out of reach for too many Americans — families who can afford to buy a home, but find themselves shut out because the lending market is too tight.” – White House website. (January 7, 2015).

One big reason the MH ‘lending market is too tight’ is regulatory. MHProNews and MHLivingNews have documented step-by-step though various reports cited below that demonstrates how the reforms sought by the manufactured housing industry are good for consumers. HR 650/S 682 is also needed by current MH home owners; notably those who have homes that would sell for less than $20,000.



Thousands of shoppers came – even in the cold rain – to the Eastern Ohio Manufactured Home Show. The demand for our homes is strong and growing. Will the CFPB relent in their choaking off the aspirations of tens of thousands of would-be MH buyers a year, from lenders willing to risk their own capital on loans where the ability to repay has been proven?

Doug Ryan/CFED and The Seattle Times are both…silent!

On our sister site, the Eric Powell story documented that consumers are being pushed into 36% interest rates when they could get a manufactured home loan for about 1/3 or less of that rate. What kept that lower rate from happening for the Powell’s was the need to reform Dodd-Frank. Because the CFPB – an agency implicated in a conflict of interest with CFED – has failed to respond to the lived realities of their current, clearly-flawed regulatory policies.


The hand-written note obtained by MHProNews was part of a longer reply by the CFPB’s Richard Cordray to a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators.  Those senators asked for common sense changes to regulations on MH lending. What Director Cordray’s note completely ignores is the fact that MH lenders portfolio their loans; they don’t go to the secondary market. MH lending had ‘less than zero’ impact on the 2008 financial crisis. Thus, Cordray’s argument is logically flawed, as an association leader told MHProNews off the record.

Applying President Obama’s quote above to HR 650/S 682, this reform would make good sense for the Powell’s and thousands like them every year who are forced to choose between more renting, or paying an outrageous rate on a non-MH lender’s loan. More, competitive financing would return to the market – originated by firm’s such UMH and others referenced below – and they are only a regulatory or statutory change away.  “Huh. It works. It makes sense.” – Barack Obama.


Triad Financial Services Chairman, Don Glisson, Jr.

Veteran MH lender Don Glisson Jr.’s on-the-record statement shows how a reasonable modification of the MLO rule, would make it as easy for an MH sales person as it is for a real estate agent to advise a prospective home buyer.  Those MH sales professionals aren’t getting paid by the lender. Where is the risk in letting MH sales people do what real estate agents do?

The current state of the CFPB’s regulations umjustly muzzles the free speech rights of professionals, and thus harms the consumers they serve. The proposed law (HR 650/S 682) helps fix that issue.  “Huh. It works. It makes sense.” – Barack Obama.

Let’s note too that MH lenders portfolio their loans. They ‘hold their own paper.’ The loans they make are thus very different than those that caused the financial melt down of housing and the mortgage market in 2008 that gave rise to Dodd-Frank.

We privately and publicly called out The Seattle Times and Doug Ryan/CFED on such topics. How can they defend the apparent errors in their positions and their own conflicts of interest we spotlighted?


Rents are rising in many markets, due in part to the impact of potential buyers being denied access to credit. CFPB policy on MH lending is thus costing the federal government money in their affordable housing subsidy programs. Applying President Obama’s words to MH lending would benefit government budgets, as well as home buyers and business people too.

A Google search we did last night on the Seattle Times and CFED revealed…silence.  See the screen captures below.  Our facts, or those reported by Professor Cunningham (see link below), have to my knowledge gone unanswered. Why?  Could it be that both the Seattle Times/Center for Public Integrity and Doug Ryan/CFED are in a conflict of interest?  Isn’t it apparent they have no good response to the fact-based reports and common sense we’ve brought to the public discussion of HR 650/S 682?

As the Pledge of Allegiance reminds us, we are a Republic.  A nation under laws that are supposed to protect “We, the People.”

The current structure of the CFPB demonstrates that it’s unresponsive to the very body – Congress – that breathed it into regulatory life.  As the president once said, he is not the emperor.  Nor should the CFPB – or any other regulatory body – be so independent of those representing the American people – Congress – that it is essentially unaccountable for its actions. I’d suggest that the current state of the CFPB regulations of MH financing is un-American, and perhaps un-Constitutional too.


Affordability is relative! All demographic and income groups are discovering modern manufactured housing. This two level manufactured home in a Chicago suburb rivaled conventional construction of about the same size being sold less than a mile away.  The home in the photo, comparable to that nearby site-built housing, sold for about half -the-price.

The CFPB must be reigned in.  With respect to its current policies regarding MH financing, it is demonstrably harming millions of Americans who own those MHs under $20,000.  The CFPB is hampering the access to credit and home ownership which the applied logic of the White House’s  previously cited statement wishes to correct; again quoting – “Still, homeownership is out of reach for too many Americans — families who can afford to buy a home, but find themselves shut out because the lending market is too tight.”


The GAO 2014 report  dramatically demonstrates  that even with a somewhat higher  interest rate than conventional housing (which is indirectly subsidized by the federal government), MH is so affordable that it is the lowest cost form of new permenant housing in the U.S. today.

We support passage of HR 650/S 682 because it is good for consumers, good for home owners, good for job creation and good for business.  That meets all of the criteria President Obama has frequently outlined as being good for America.

We hope President Obama and all Senators who care about the millions currently being harmed by existing regulations will join the strong majority in the House or Representatives and support Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing – the most affordable form of quality, greener, appealing homes available to Americans today. ##

References, Sources and Footnotes

  1. Dodd-Frank and Manufactured Home Financing – the Place where Good Intentions and Unintended Consequences Collide, linked here. The article demonstrates that MH lenders are about 2/3 lower in interest rate than the kind of financing Eric Powell was forced into, due to policies supported CFED and enforced by the CFPB. The nuances of MH lending are reviewed in terms that make sense, and which undercut the false arguments advanced by Doug Ryan et al. MH lending experts are quoted in this article, as is Doug Ryan.
  2. Don Glisson Jr., Chairman and CEO of Triad Financial Services, on his company’s experiences and reasons for supporting reforms of the Dodd-Frank Act to correct problems created for manufactured housing lending by current CFPB policies., linked here
  3. Sam Landy, JD, UMH Properties CEO, and other lenders who have been pushed out of the market by current CFPB policies. It is noteworthy that the facts Landy and others present undercut Doug Ryan led CFED arguments and vividly proves that CFPB polices are costing untold thousands annually access to home ownership. See article and video, linked here. It must be noted that ManufacturedHomeLivingNews has contacted every major and some regional MH lenders. All favor changes to current CFPB regulations, so this is not a Berkshire-Hathaway/Warren Buffett issue.
  4. A bi-partisan group of Congressional representatives overwhelmingly approved HR 650,  two of them are cited at length in their own words as to why. She’s Black, He’s White. They are in Different Parties…
  5. Alan Amy, a veteran MH retailer, estimates that current regulations are depressing MH sales by about 30% a year. If so, the practical impact is that 20,000 more homes could be sold a year at the current pace and 20,000 new “good-pay jobs” could be created in the construction of manufactured housing. Amy’s comment came as part of a broader video interview, linked here.
  6. The Integrity of Clayton Homes and the Politics of “Investigative Journalism,” published by Professor  Lawrence A. Cunningham, JD. Cunningham’s arguments have yet to refuted by The Seattle Timeset al. Article linked here.
  7. One must also question why Daniel Wagner and Mike Baker, writing in the Seattle Times articles done in tandem with the Center for Public Integrity, used outdated and inaccurate terminology when referencing modern manufactured homes, improperly calling them ‘mobile homes.’  Was it a tactic on their part? For a better understanding of the terminology and why-it-matters, see the article linked below.
  8. Evolutionary! From Trailer House to Mobile Home to Today’s Manufactured Home
  9. Screen captures of Google Searches, shown below, demonstrate that neither CFED nor the Seattle Times have yet to refute the points noted in our MHLivingNews or MHProNews reports on these topics.






L. A. “Tony’ Kovach is one of the most prominent experts on the MH scene. Kovach has interviewed more MH customers and experts than any other  journalist today. Kovach began his MH career in 1981. Shown here in an educational session in Louisville, KY.

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

Favorite Issues for the Manufactured Housing Industry’s two National Associations

June 17th, 2015 No comments

As thousands of MHPros know, the manufactured housing (MH) industry is represented in DC by two different associations. There is MHI – the Manufactured Housing Institute and MHARR – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform. Each of these is currently pursing rather different courses of action.


MHI’s primary focus has been Dodd-Frank reform. Getting the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR 650/S 682) passed is the big ask on Capitol Hill. There are other goals and items on the wish list, but HR 650/S 682 is at the top of the list, for understandable reasons.


It goes without saying that MHProNews and our sister platform has been supportive of that effort. Our latest on that subject, with numerous cross-links for depth of understanding, is here:


By contrast on the finance front, MHARR is pursuing GSE reform and implementation of the Duty to Serve. The non-profits happen to favor something similar. We periodically raise that topic too, because technically it is already the law, passed as part of HERA 2008. With Mel Watt at FHFA, there is certainly a possibility that it could be advanced on the regulatory front.

Where MHI and MHARR (politely) disagree is on the Department of Energy (DOE) standards that are inching towards finalization. MHARR’s latest on this could be summed up in Matthew Silver’s recent brief, linked below.

In the case of DOE standards, MHI and the non-profits are closer to being on the same page. We published a more in-depth report on this topic, wrapping it around a report that came from the NAHB which MHARR pointed to with great vigor. That report is linked below.


Image credit: NAHB News.

From time to time, it is important to step back and simply look around. Who is pursuing what and why? What do you see and think?

We Provide, You Decide. © ##

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156 (1)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

Doug Ryan, CFED & CFPB – Conflict of Interest in Lobbying about Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing reforms of Dodd-Frank for Manufactured Housing Financing?

June 13th, 2015 No comments

The hot new report linked below on MHLivingNews focuses on what looks like a conflict of interest. Doug Ryan at CFED has admitted that their organization gets money from the federal government, including from the CFPB. They in turn lobby the CFPB, Congress and the media on behalf of “consumers,” including claiming that the largest MH lenders are “predatory” and that manufactured housing producers are greedy. Ryan denies that CFED receiving dollars from the federal government in any way influences their advocacy.

Excuse me?


Each logo above is the property of their respective organization.

Ryan also refuses to disclose exactly how much of the millions-of-dollars a year that fund their organization flows from which federal agencies. If there is nothing to hide – why are they hiding it? –  after first agreeing to provide the data requested?

The complete report, including the definition of conflict of interest, is linked here.

No Longer Unintended…This is Deliberate


Doug Ryan, CFED’s point man on manufactured housing related issues.

Ryan can no longer claim ignorance of the facts or the impact of current CFPB policies regarding the realities of manufactured housing lending, or how the policies CFPB has followed impacts MH buyers and sellers.  Ryan now knows that the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (S 682/HR 650) is needed to lessen the negative impact on MH lending.  Ryan can’t claim ignorance, nor can he now say their intentions are pure, because the outcome is that consumers and businesses alike are being harmed, until Dodd-Frank is reformed, or the CFPB relents and changes course.

This conflict of interest topic should be brought to the attention of every opposing and supporting Senator and congressional representative’s key staff as part of the ongoing efforts to pass the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. Your tax dollars are being used to fund the people – CFED – who in turn are advocating against the interests of manufactured home owners, prospective home owners and the industry itself.

Millions of MH residents are currently being harmed. MH owners may not seek to sell their home for 10 years. That explains why so many MH owners may not yet realize they’ve been harmed by the CFPB’s current regulations and groups like the branch of CFED lead by Doug Ryan.

How can Ryan call himself a consumer advocates, when there is clear evidence of the harm being caused by the CFPB policies CFED advocates and promotes?

Can you spell, Conflict of Interest?


Yes, you’ll also see information on this pair shown in the references found  on the conflict of interest report, found at the link above.

We hereby call on Doug Ryan and CFED to change course and do what is right on this critical subject. CFED is correct in saying that manufactured housing is a critical part of affordable housing in America. But they have been dead wrong on the lending side of their policies. Perhaps we now know why.

Don’t be surprised if more insights and information are revealed on this conflict of interest issue. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you informed.

Now, it is YOUR turn. You contact your Senators and keep your congressional representative informed on this too. Please provide the link above, which in turn links to key evidence of the importance of this bill.

The possibility of Senate passage is real. So this may all come down to a vote to override a threated presidential veto. That means that we as industry professionals must be mobilized and ready with the facts that dispel the clever myths being peddled by the opposition. We must be ready in both the House and Senate and on both sides of the political aisle.

Those good MH pros – we in MH – we must be the true consumer advocates. What is good for them, is good for us, and vice versa. Together, we advance. ##

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156-1By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

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

Why the Scott Roberts with Roberts Resorts and Communities Video Interview on Manufactured Housing Communities (aka Mobile Home Parks) Matters

June 10th, 2015 No comments

There are lots of places online where you can find articles and videos about people talking about manufactured housing community investing. You can find the New York Times, Bloomberg and others writing about the topic, for good or ill. You see those who buy and sell MHCs, or those who coach others on the topic, writing and doing videos too.

What you don’t see nearly enough are those who are not trying to sell something, frankly discussing what some will see as a contrarian viewpoint in MHC operations, marketing and management.  What makes this impressive to pros is that Scott’s team clearly has traction.


Another exclusive Inside MH interview, this time with Scott Roberts of Roberts Resorts and Communities.

Readers (viewers!) have flocked to our MHProNews article and video interview with Scott Roberts with Roberts Resorts and Communities on Manufactured Housing Communities (aka ‘Mobile Home Parks’). Please do check it out and encourage others to do so too.  

Let me give you a hint. Doing what you’ll see in that video and article has been worth mega-bucks to those who ‘get it.’  As (more?) important, it creates a great lifestyle for those involved.  It does and can further upgrade the image of our industry.

Then, check out how pros like you can be…

We have all that is needed to advance MH to knew heights. It takes the forward thinkers, doing common sense, proven steps. More this weekend! We think you might sit up and take notice… ##


My thanks for the kind thoughts shared by the MMHF Chairman, please click the image above or this link here.

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

Manufactured Housing, ‘Mobile Home Parks,’ Industry Reports, Statistics, Investing and News

June 7th, 2015 No comments

The Manufactured Housing Industry is poised for renewed greatness, but it’s not without challenges.  In some ways, those challenges – such as image – are opportunities in disguise for the forward thinking professionals, owners, current-and-prospective investors.  Our newest Inside MH video interview with Scott Roberts of Roberts Resorts and Communities has already drawn praise from some of the top people in our industry. No less important, it’s a magnet for MH pros/viewers/researchers/enthusiasts eager for new insights from a successful MHC leader.

MHProNews has provided a smorgasbord of research, statistics and information in June 2015’s featured articles focusing on The State of the Manufactured Housing Industry.  Among the top reads?  Articles focused on the ‘terminology’ issue!

Let’s lend a pictorial hand to those who are confused or want more clarity and color on this “what’s the proper name” for today’s MH topic. The first two photos – of a true “trailer house” and a “mobile home” – are courtesy of Bob Vahsholtz, long time industry veteran, now an author enjoying the retirement years.


Remember the movie The Long, Long, Trailer with Lucy and Desi?
As shown in the photo above, in the 1950’s, a ‘trailer house’ could be pulled behind a car.



1960’s era mobile home is shown in the photo above.  These were larger than a trailer house,
but still relatively easy (“mobile”) to



Single Section manufactured home, photo credit – and

Compare the ‘trailer’ and the ‘mobile home’ above to contemporary single section manufactured homes. A common size 16’x80′ single sectional home may weigh some 30,000 pounds +/- and need specialized equipment to move. Multi-sectionals may be 50,000 to 70,000+ pounds.  Such homes are moved to a home buyers’ site and permanently installed. They are not mobile, wheels and axels are routinely removed!  There is also a code and quality difference, thus the legal and proper name “manufactured home” built by the manufactured housing industry.  As we like to inform readers, there have been no mobile homes built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976, the day that the HUD Code for Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards went into effect.



Single Sectional crafted by Sunshine Homes, Red Bay AL, as seen at the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.


This home and the one shown above were o display at the 2015 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show. Both were built by Sunshine Homes, Inc., in their production facility in Red Bay, AL.

The pair of single sectional interior photos are courtesy of Sunshine Homes.
They feature residential style f
inished drywall and numerous upgrades, retailing in the mid 40s+.
You can learn some interesting insights about these homes in The Condo Killer video, linked here.


Photo credit, Deer Valley Homebuilders (DVLY), Guin Alabama.

Then there are multi-sectional manufactured homes, commonly called ‘double wides’ but may in fact be three sections, or ‘triple wide.’
The home above is a smaller version of the tastefully appointed Tidmore Residence, see that Inside MH Video tour.


Cape Cod style homes are among those styles that can shatter the sterotypical thinking so many have about manufactured housing, photo credit

Whatever the intent of OZY Media in their terribly named and problematically reported “Trailer House Nation” series, or motives behind The Daily Yonder in their flawed article, “The Hidden High Costs of Mobile Homes,” or The Seattle Times/Center for Public Integrity/New York Times (et al), these reveal either ignorance or malice, take your pick.  Whatever the motivation, the solution is industry corrections and positive engagement!

Education is a key to changing the image and thus the value of manufactured housing today.  Note the choice of words, not just ‘perceived value,’ which is certainly important.  But the actual value of homes and investments as well, because the one feeds the other.

While financing is crucial to any big ticket sale that is being done in volume, clearly when demand, desire and dollars (cash or credit) combine, the value rises.  We’ll look at the link between those items and how they can combine to create more appreciation among manufactured home owners and how that benefits industry businesses, public officials and investors in a future report.

Are these thoughts theory, just nice words?  Hardly.

Randy Rowe and company at Green Courte Partners made the decision to model for the land lease manufactured home community (MHC) industry the value of selecting the right terminology, combined with positive, customer/resident friendly business practices. The reward for doing so was quite real, to the tune of $1.32 billion dollars when Sun Communities acquired their MHCommunities (MHCs) last year.

Yes, the correct Terminology Matters!

So with those thoughts in mind, here is the link to Lea Anne Somervielle and Victor Frost’s respective popular columns on the terminology (what’s in a name) topic.

In the light of the above facts, if you haven’t already done so, please take a look now at the Scott Roberts Inside MH video interview.

While the Sun acquisition were of larger sized and nicer properties, that same principle can also be done in smaller locations as well.  In fact, isn’t it self-evident that you can upgrade/makeover a 50 site community faster than a 500 site one?  We’ll look at that topic too in days to come.

What’s in a name?


Which is the smart phone, which is the crank phone? Names are supposed to have clear meanings, and do when informed people of good will decide to make it so.

While a rose would still smell as sweet by any other name, the value of using the proper terminology – not a ‘trailer,’ or a ‘mobile home’ – rather a manufactured home, is important as these are all clearly different products.   No informed person would seriously refer to an old crank phone by calling it a smart phone.  No informed media or public official should misuse terminology about manufactured homes either.  Ideally, we-who-see must enlighten and inform others, home owners, professionals and the public at large.


Media should be informed by professionals and associations of the difference every time one sees an errant use of the wrong name. It will impact sales and value, for good or ill.

In the consulting and training arms or our operation, we teach professionals how to attract the cash and more credit worthy customer, without ignoring the most entry level or affordable sides of the industry.  Part of this is done through a form of education.  The result? One client, for example, reports that out of every 3 homes sold, two are mid-to-upscale models, while the one is an entry level style home.  The right education, marketing and image pays.  Everyone benefits, including the home owner.

Let’s repeat and underscore that last point.  Marketing, Education and Image pays.  It pays for the consumer and it pays for the professional too.

Want to deepen the understanding of the industry, among professionals or those researching our sector?  Here are some links.

State of the Manufactured Housing Industry

> A Nation of Renters or Home Buyers?

> Examples of successful MH outreaches with real estate agents and the value for each party involved.

> The latest manufactured housing production statistics, provided by MHARR.

On the all-important finance and regulatory topics, let’s share this article with insights from U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, UMH President Sam Landy and Triad Financial’s Chairman, Don Glisson, Jr.

Researchers, investors, media and industry pros ought to share these facts with their peers.  The more we broaden the proper understanding of modern manufactured homes, the more we protect and promote the home owners and business persons value and demand for contemporary factory-crafted homes.  Everyone can benefit. ##

LATonyKovach-Louisville-2015-mhpronews-com-275x156-1By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

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

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