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The Two Gardens, America, and Manufactured Housing

April 19th, 2019 No comments

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Most of human history is a story of the struggle for authentic freedom against various forms of limitations, captivity, or enslavement.

 

Much of history is the hidden or open battle between the truth and a captivating lie.

People are often offended when lied to, and for good reason.  Perjury is a crime in a court of law, also for a proper cause. Betrayals routinely begin with a sweet sounding, or even seductive, lie.

 

 

The First Lies and Temptations

In the ancient book of Genesis, after creating the universe, the earth, all creatures, and then finally humanity, those first two humans were placed in a garden known as Eden.

 

“15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

 

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2, NIV, Bible Gateway).”

 

But jump back a few verses.

“8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin[d] and onyx are also there.)” (Genesis 2, NIV, Bible Gateway).”

 

Keep in mind that in ancient times, there were no chapters, verses, or punctuation marks in scriptural texts. Those are latter editions designed to make references to a passage easier for a reader.

Also recall that the original biblical ‘books’ were scrolls written on parchment. 📜 Discoveries like the scrolls of Qumran are among the most ancient and most carefully preserved writings in human history. A comparison between our modern biblical texts and those ancient fragments reveals an astonishing accuracy.

Why?

Believers that lived thousands of years ago, before smart phones or electronic tablets, were careful to preserve what they believed to be the inspired word of God. They may well have carefully written and copied – millennia before Gutenberg’s printing press – what they sincerely believed was God’s eternal words to humanity.

You don’t mess with the words of the Creator, even if you don’t fully grasp their meaning. But let’s flash back to that account from Genesis about the garden in Eden.

 

20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones

    and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called ‘woman,’

    for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”

 

Of course, there was ‘no shame.’ There were no lies yet, no disobedience to God yet, and no sin yet.

Shame is a consequence. It is an embarrassment or recognition of some evil, however big or small.

Once more, the chapter or verse numbers and the words the phrase, “The Fall” would not have been in the original ancient texts. The term “the fall” means the fall from humanity’s original state of grace into ‘sin.’ Sin may simply be defined as ‘disobedience to the will of God.’  Now, jump back to Genesis, the names of the first book of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

 

 

The Fall

“3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock

    and all wild animals!

You will crawl on your belly

    and you will eat dust

    all the days of your life.

15 

And I will put enmity

    between you and the woman,

    and between your offspring[i] and hers;

he will crush[j] your head,

    and you will strike his heel.”

 

All temptations follow that same pattern. Before we do something that we suspect or know is wrong, there is a period – however brief or long – that the soul wrestles with the reasons to do or not to do what the temptation involves.  People rationalize, and finally justify their decision to do what they suspect or know ought not to be one.

Let’s step back and understand that the Creator gave Adam and Eve Free will. They were given the freedom to choose between right or wrong. A world without sin would look like robots. One might say, God created a moral universe. That said, why is there evil in the world? Because of bad choices. Because of temptations – which are not yet sinful – and the succumbing to that temptation, which is the point of disobedience to God’s will.

Why does God’s will matter?

Because the Creator of all things and people made everything good, and out of pure love. The Creator’s will is for our good. Think of God as the perfect parent, who never loses patience, who may be described as ‘angry’ (disappointed over a bad decision) – but that’s a human term. God is changeless. He isn’t moody. Properly understood, God never stops loving us purely, but the Creator also never stops willing the perfect good of all. He doesn’t will only the good of a few. God doesn’t will merely the good of most. Rather, God wills the good of all humanity.

Recall, God has and had no need for the universe. As perfect, pure, eternal existence, God needed nothing. So why create?  That is a kind of gift to share existence with mortals like you and me.

God is timeless, perfect in understanding, knowledge, power.  None of us can manipulate or outsmart God. For God, yesteryear or a million years from now are all the same. As the short music video posted on the page from the linked text-image box below aptly says in the title, God sees all.  Hiding from God is an ironic joke, because it can’t be done.

 

The God Who Sees, Kathie Lee Gifford & Nicole C. Mullen Inspirational Music Video

 

 

Angels and Devils

Before creating humanity, God created angels. They are creatures higher than us humans. They are pure spirits, without bodies, but may from time to time take on a visible form.

Scripture says that about a third of the angels rebelled, led by the devil known as Satan or Lucifer. The fall of those angels into sin occurred before the fall of humanity into sin. Devils – fallen angels – chose their state for all time.

Unlike we mortals, the angels – whose understanding and minds are higher than our own – make one choice for all eternity. Most angels opted to love and serve God by serving the yet to be created human race. But numbers of those formless creatures followed the ancient traditional cry of the rebel, Satan, “Non serviam!” In English, “I will not serve [implied: God or man]!”

Let’s hop back to the beginning, back to Genesis 1.1 and following.

 

The Beginning

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

 

The waters and some of the terminology used may be literal, and/or figurative or a metaphor.

Let’s skip to the creation of humanity, starting after the last part of Genesis verse 25, where the Creator deemed all that the universe God had made, good.

 

“…And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, a and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”

 

In what sense did God make man in His own image and likeness? Once conceived, a human soul never dies. The soul is eternal, but the body the soul inhabits dies because of that fall from that original state of perfect grace the first parents had. If Adam and Eve had never sin, their bodies would have never died.

Why are we today born into a fallen state instead of a state of perfect grace?  Because had we been one of those first parents, had we been Adam or Eve, we too would have been tempted in much the same way as they were. God’s perfectly fair.

So that original rebel, that devil who took the form of a snake or serpent in Eden, tempted man and woman with something they already had. God made the first couple divine like, in the sense that the Creator made humans good and with eternal souls.

It’s like Satan tricked Adam and Eve into doing something for the sake of a desire that they ironically already possessed. What was so different about that particular piece of fruit of that one tree?  We can shake our heads, but we have done similarly ourselves. It goes beyond the scope of this column, but every temptation is in that sense the same. As eternal souls that live on after the physical body dies, any merely human temptation is selling out a higher good we already have a claim to in exchange for a lesser desire.

Each sin, properly understood, is a tempting but bad deal.

So, in a parental sense, via our first parents, we were there in Eden. We – through those first parents – made that fall from perfection into sin. Certainly, we each make to various degrees make similarly bad choices, day by day.

God didn’t make us all alike, as a look around at other reveals. Even twins or triplets differ in talents or interests. Yet a perfect and wise Creator does nothing that is unfair, we might not understand it at the time, but God makes no mistakes.

 

 

Another Garden

Thousands of years after Eden, let’s jump into and observe the events in the Garden of Gethsemane. That is where Judas Iscariot carried out the betrayal of Jesus that he had already decided to do when Judas bargained to get 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus.

Imagine. Judas had walked, ate, listened to and talked with Jesus. Judas had witnessed firsthand the miracles, including Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. And that same Judas sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver? The worst bad bargain of all time.

Let’s not be too harsh in judging the traitor Judas. That could have been you or me. Every time we opt for a lower desire instead of for a higher good, we’ve done something similar.

Judas betrayed Jesus like this.  From Matthew chapter 26:

 

“47 While He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. A large mob, with swords and clubs, was with him from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 His betrayer had given them a sign: “The One I kiss, He’s the One; arrest Him!” 49 So he went right up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

50 “Friend,” Jesus asked him, “why have you come?”[a]

Then they came up, took hold of Jesus, and arrested Him.”

 

When you, I, or others are betrayed, it is often with a similar pattern. Some betrayals begin behind your back, out of sight, much like Judas plotted to betray Jesus out of sight. But then the plotters may act face-to-face. That can include nice sounding words, or even acts of faked friendship. In parts of the world – including the Middle East – it is not uncommon for men to kiss each other on the cheek, as a particularly friendly greeting. It’s the kind of sign a father and son might share in kissing each other on the cheek.

 

 

Jesus’ Betrayal and Our Own

To atone for the evil of sin, a perfect man had to make amends. Jesus, says Scripture, did no evil did, ever.  God, says Christian faith, took the form of an actual man to atone for the sins of humanity. God allowed Himself in the person of Jesus to live, work, be tempted, suffer and die an unjust death. The goal was not so that people would keep on sinning.  The woman caught in adultery that Jesus showed mercy to was admonished to ‘go and sin no more.’

No number or volumes of merely human laws can make this world perfect. That’s a fool’s errand. The Creator gave humanity’s first parents only one prohibition, ‘don’t eat of the fruit of that one tree.’ Adam and Eve fell into the slick temptation of the devil to do just that one thing. To eat of the proverbial forbidden fruit.

Jesus did more than just atone for sin, or more than perform miracles to reveal Who He Is. Jesus practiced what He preached. He gave us lived examples to follow. We can identify with Jesus, and those with Him.

So, your gifts or talents are different than mine, or my wife or son’s.  We may co-exist at this time with the foreknowledge of timeless God. We can learn what the Creator sought to teach, or we can ignore it as Judas did.

Starting with the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, to that Garden of Gethsemane, humanity has struggled to keep the Ten Commandments that God gave Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai after the Exodus out of Egypt in search of the Promised Land.

Tonight, starts the Jewish feast of the Passover. That’s tied to the freeing of the Israelites from the slavery and oppression of the ancient Egyptians.  The forms of slavery may have changed, but there is slavery now, and slavery then.  Addiction, debt, or anything that has an improper control over you is a kind of enslavement.

The events of Holy Week, starting with the Last Supper on Holy Thursday are intertwined with Passover and the subsequent Exodus.

 

 

False Promises

All sin is a betrayal, and every sin is based upon a fake promise of getting something we ought not have at that moment in time. Perhaps that desire is okay, later in life, when done honesty vs. dishonestly. With God the answer to a prayer is always in three forms, it is now, later, or never. What God doesn’t give you now is rationally for your own good. Nor should we pray for what we know to be forbidden.

The Ten Commandments – properly understood – are the most perfect laws possible. Those ten Jesus simplified into two. Those two? Love God with all your mind, strength, and heart, and then love your fellow human – your neighbor – as should love yourself.

There are different ways those ten commands are numbered, but they all cover the same ground.

Note that Jesus was a tekton – a craftsman who commonly used stone and wood. Jesus was a builder.  Our industry should identify with and look to Jesus.

Our nation, our industry, both need rebuilding. We personally need a transformation too. My shortcomings are similar but different than yours. But we all have them, to various degrees.  That’s why a degree of mutual understanding and forgiveness is merited, while at the same time giving no quarter to the deliberate and repeated acts of those who seek to defraud, harm, murder, rape, or steal.

Here on MHProNews we rail against deception and manipulation, be that political or in business. They are contrary to the divine will, as are any violation of the Ten Commandments.

A well-known personality in our industry claimed in a video interview to be an atheist. He’s given free will. He can’t be forced to believe. But my hunch is that soul – as intelligent as he is – knows that God exists. The Big Bang might have been the moment when time began, but where did that matter, and explosion come from in the first place? Logically, from the Creator of all things, Who could well have used a Big Bang to start it all off with.

Genesis says that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Once more, at Genesis 3:15, we read – with brackets added by this writer this time for clarity – the following.

 

And I [God, the Creator of all] will put enmity

between you [the serpent, the devil] and the woman,

and between your offspring [those who follow the path of evil] and hers [those who seek to follow the path of good];

he [the Savior, the Messiah] will crush your [the devil’s] head,

and you [the devil, those who follow the devil] will strike his [The Savior, the Messiah’s] heel.”

 

Trying to beat God is like nipping at the Creator’s heal. Pointless.

There was a first Adam, and a first Eve. There is a new Adam, and a new Eve. The children of humanity follow the path of evil or good. We slip, we fall. Ideally, we get up, dust ourselves clean, and start again.

Deliberate lies and deception often aim to deprive someone by trickery out of something that is their right. That’s why there are commandments in the first place, to give order and justice in a society that has deliberately bad actors.

The lies of today dimly reflect the betrayal observed in that second garden, when Judas knowingly sold out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Those big boys who sell out others today do so for the sake of billions, not just a few coins.  But in the end, will it be worth it?

Our bodies die, but the soul lives on. This life is temporary, but eternity means endless time.  Why do some get tempted for what is a perceived temporary gain, to risk dying and falling into a pit of endless suffering?

The reason that biblical accounts – properly understood – have timeless value is because people keep doing the same things. It’s the struggle for human freedom. At its core, it can only truly occur in unity with the Divine truths and paths that a loving Creator has set forth for us.

It can be argued that most people want to earn their keep in a honest way.  But some do so like the proverbial snake oil salesman, through cunning, deception, manipulation, and lies.  There is always hope for redemption.  But the wise don’t keep falling for the same old snake-like lies.  Faith isn’t timid, it is for those made strong by the wisdom and courage that comes with faith in a God who Saves.  That’s what Jeshua – Jesus – means. God saves. But that freedom from slavery occurs in the context of the mystery of humanity’s free will.

That’s why this terrible Friday is oddly called “good.” Humanity is given a sure path to be freed from slavery to sin. That’s why Passover the Exodus and Good Friday are intertwined. Thank God, it’s Friday. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

 

Start of Passover for Jews, Good Friday for Christians 2019

The Blind Leading vs. Truth Telling, Life of Jesus Video

 

 

 

 

 

Cui Bono? “Killing Me Softly,” Manufactured Housing’s New Theme Song?

April 4th, 2019 No comments

 

CuiBonoKillingMeSoftlyManufacturedHousingNewThemeSongClaytonHomesBerkshireHathaway#MHIUpdateMastheadMHProNews

Whitney Houston died a tragic death. She began her career in Gospel. It was Roberta Flack’s, not Houston’s song, but one might suspect that near the end of her dramatic life, the lyrics “killing me softly with his song” were perhaps filled with deep meaning for Whitney.

 

11,582,041 YouTube views – published Mar 16, 2016.

When a company is a subsidiary of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, there is not much they are unable to afford, so long as it makes good business sense.

Need great marketing? Berkshire can provide the capital needed. Research? Warren Buffett led Berkshire has personal connections with the Urban Institute, along with other nonprofits. What they may not want to pay for directly – for whatever reason – they can hire done in the way of consumer or other research.

One could go on, but the point is simple.

 

During well-documented affordable housing crisis in the U.S., how is it possible that the most proven solution known in the U.S. is languishing? How is it that Buffett and Berkshire would allow Clayton Homes to be in the manufactured home industry that 2 decades ago was doing 4 times the level of sales that it is today?  How is it possible that once more, for the last 6 months, the industry’s sales are shrinking during an affordable housing crisis?

 

 

The Investigators Question – Cui Bono?

The Latin phrase ‘cui bono‘ is a question that means, ‘who stands or stood to benefit?’ If one is looking for a criminal or a motive for an action, the question cui bono – who benefited – helps narrow down the suspects.

Clayton Homes and their allies demonstrably dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). They and a handful are what MHI award winner Marty Lavin, JD, called big boy” firms that arguably rule the Arlington, VA based MHI roost.

The latest new manufactured home production and shipments data is out for February 2019. It’s sobering. Yet, when MHI put out its latest missive to their members yesterday, there was no mention of the roughly half-year downturn in production and shipments of new HUD Code manufactured homes.

Instead, in an “MHI Update” there is blather about other topics, including the theme for their upcoming Congress and Expo, “Let’s Keep Building.”

The irony and hypocrisy are so thick, a good steak knife and fork are needed. But it’s part of their purported M.O., to borrow from the song lyrics, of “killing me [or thee] softly.” Happy. Upbeat. All is well. New research…

If MHI is doing it, then the big boys must want it done that way, right?

Please try to explain the logic of allowing federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes to languish during an affordable housing crisis? Who benefits? How did or do they benefit?

The answer we’ve logically deduced at MHProNews is as sobering as the latest shrinking production data.

For newcomers, Berkshire is based in Omaha, Clayton and their affiliated lenders are in metro Knoxville, and we’ve noted earlier that MHI’s office is in Arlington, VA.

 

That said, as was noted in Soheyla’s market report feature on 4.3.2019, the question was asked. How does one of explain the manufactured home industry’s poor performance since 2003?

 

SoheylaKovachMD-MHProNewsMHLivingNews“There are only a few possible logical options.

 

  • The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington (OKA) axis and their allies are incompetent. They don’t know how to sell affordable manufactured homes during an affordable housing crisis.
  • The OKA axis are posturing efforts to address concerns that for whatever reasons are not working. This is what MHARR called the “Illusion of Motion.”
  • The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis have a plan, and they are acting upon it. That plan does not short term include short term steps that will fix the headwinds that are buffeting manufactured housing.”

  

We respect the intelligence of Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, Tom Hodges, Rick Robinson, and others in the mix noted above. They are smart, successful professionals. So, one may logically deduce that the OKA axis must for some reason want or accepts these historically low levels of production and sales.

If so, why? Cui bono? Who benefits from it?

The logical answer is stark. Let’s sum up to this point. If one agrees that these are intelligent, capable people, here’s what one comes to conclude. There is some arguable benefit to those who want to consolidate pieces of the industry slowly at a bargain price. Whenever the powers that be are ready to take the foot off the brake pedal, the manufactured home industry will roar back to life. The value of their assets’ that were acquired at a bargain rate will then soar.

We’ve provided several opportunities for Kevin, Tim, Tom, Rick, Lesli, Dick, and others to publicly refute these contentions and concerns. We did so as recently as last week in Tunica, where they and/or their attorneys could have attempted to explain away the following. We invited them to give their version of the impact of what Berkshire Hathaway brand records and video linked below described.  Click on the linked text-image box for the details and ‘smoking gun’ evidence.

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

The reply from the fine folks in Knoxville and Arlington was silence.

Let me confess that some of what we do is arguably unorthodox. For instance, I documented those outreaches to Kevin and his crew with bcc’s to individuals who are in the industry, to federal or other legal officials, and to MHI members and non-members. We’ve advised MHI’s outside counsel, who had previously informed us that he is assigned to monitor moi and our publications.

Put differently, they can’t deny that we’ve given them every opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings. If there is an alternative reading of these linked facts, or others like it, they remain mute. Keep in mind, until 2 years ago, they routinely replied promptly. But now, they rest instead on their 5th Amendment protected right to remain silent.

We respect that right, along with the others protected by the U. S. Constitution.

They’ve made the claim for years that MHI represents ‘all segments of factory-built housing.’ If so, they are failing. If they don’t change behavior, it implies they are either insane – or they must want this outcome of declining sales –  for whatever reasons.  The opportunities for HUD Code manufactured homes are amazing, but the performance doesn’t rise to the level of tepid, based on current and historic trends.  In a U.S. market that did $1.6 trillion dollars in new and existing housing sales in 2018, manufactured housing couldn’t crack $8 billion?  Consider the facts and pull quotes.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

 

Meanwhile, as the industry sags, the routine of pleasant MHI and other meetings goes on. The steady drone of MHI happy talk and happy music strums on.  Cui bono?  Why not take Warren Buffett at his own words?

 

WarrenBuffettAZQuoteCriticalFactorDetermineValuePayFairBargainPriceMastheadTonyKovachMHProNews

GoodBusinessIsLikeAStrongCastleWithaDeepMoatAroundItSharksIntheMoatIwantItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMHProNews

 

If you listen to Amazon’s Alexa Fund estimate in 2018 for the potential for prefabricated housing sales in the U.S., they estimated that at some $330 billion annually.  There are several kinds of prefab housing, but manufactured homes are outselling the others.  So let’s cut that Alexa Fund estimate in half, or $165 billion.  That suggests the industry could be doing some 20x the sales volume it is currently achieving. Is that sufficient motive to manipulate a marketplace?

 

 

Whitney, you were a superstar. Will you warn the advocates for affordable housing that the powers that be, like with thee, are killing the pain of independents softly, with their song…?  “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

New Manufactured Home Production, Shipment Data-February 2019

 

Surprising Discovery on Manufactured Housing’s Enhanced Preemption, Hidden Gem$

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

 

“Democrats Are Sinful Hypocrites. Just Like All of Us.” Weaponizing Information, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and MHVille

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

MHARR Urges Congress to Preserve DTS In GSE Reform Legislation DBN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mobile Home Militia – “Clayton [Homes] Wants Your Cornbread Too” “Join the Revolution” – ‘You Gotta Have Swagger’

March 15th, 2019 No comments

 

MobileHomeMilitiaClaytonHomesWantsYourCornbreadTooJoinTheRevolutionGottaHaveSwaggerDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

They are industry professionals that currently hail from primarily south-central or southern states. They may hunt, fish, go to the honky-tonk, or go four wheeling in the mud for fun.  They’re routinely patriots – people of faith, flag, and family, who love the constitution and their second amendment protected guns.

 

They sell, build pads, transport, install, and service factory-built homes.

DonnieBrewerNateDrizzleMHMMobileHomeMilitisManufacturedHomePadDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

They are manufactured housing industry independents, but for swagger’s sake, they use the handle, “Mobile Home Militia” or #MHM.

 

MobileHomeMilitiaLoytaltyIsEverythingMastheadBlogMHProNews2019-03-15_0907

 

And if you have the courage and swagger, they want you to join their revolution. That phrase, ‘you gotta have swagger,’ comes from a thread with ties to #MHM.

ICYMI, or need a refresher, the article linked below was the runaway most read on the Daily Business News on MHProNews in February. That also means that it was the most read article in all of manufactured housing in 2.2019. It can be accessed by clicking the hot-linked text/image box below.

 

“Mobile Home Militia,” Retail/Production Sources, Sound Alarm Against Clayton Homes, CMH, New “Anti-Competitive Practices” Allegation

 

Omaha, Knoxville, and Arlington, look closely. These folks are part of your wake-up call too.

 

The following are posts mostly from Facebook, on the dates and times as shown. The connections of the various people range from the curious to the engaged, and the specifics of the connections to #MHM or the Mobile Home Militia are known to their participants.

Their posts and quotes as shown paint a picture, in the words and images of those who shared them. We put the meat of their quotes in brown and bold text, but the words are all theirs.

 

“Mobile Home Militia” #MHM and Connected Posts

Mobile Home Militia

February 27 at 4:17 PM ·

You ever had your feelings so hurt you turned down millions of dollars? Clayton just did that. They are refusing to sell TRU homes to Triple C in Conroe because he quit Clayton to become an independent. A threatening email from Clayton retail to Clayton manufacturing sealed the deal. Ask yourself this question…Could you as an independent call Clayton and get them to not sell homes to another store because the manager once worked for you? It won’t be long before Clayton wants your cornbread too.” 

#mhm

#independent

MobileHomeMilitiaEverHadFeelingsHurtTurndDownMIllionsDollarsClaytonDidThatDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews2019-03-15_0848

 

Not unlike their warning to their followers about what they allege occurred between Clayton Homes, Heath Jenkins and Regional Enterprises, they are raising possible antitrust issues.

MobileHomeMilitiaFBMastheadBlogMHProNewsMobile Home Militia

February 1 ·

It’s not just a T-shirt to us. Yesterday Clayton met with Heath Jenkins of Regional enterprises and informed him they would no longer be paying him rebate (essentially cutting them off without having to repurchase) Regional purchased $40m from Clayton in 2018, making Heath their largest retailer. Why would Clayton do something like this? Because he opened a plant and hired some of their people. If they would purposely go out and rape their largest dealer, what chance do the rest of us have? Clayton has convinced hundreds of independents they are your business partner, but make no mistake, they are your largest competitor.” 

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

 

MobileHomeMilitiaClaytonRapeTHeyAreYourLargestCompetitorDevilsGreatestTrickMessWithTrailerParkMHproNews2019-03-15_0930

MobileHomeMilitiaFBMastheadBlogMHProNewsDonnie Brewer is with Lance Inderman and 13 others.

January 26

 We have deeper pockets and we are gonna run Donnie Brewer out of town.”

– Robert Burnett and Mike Quinn of Titan Homes

First of all, I didn’t know who either of you were before someone told me, but now I do. Secondly, you don’t have deeper pockets, you are employees at a corporation and I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate you pledging their money to “run me out of town.” Titan and Champion are too smart to employ a couple of geniuses like you two. I bet they realize it sooner rather than later. If you had first done some research, you probably would have second guessed poking the bear.”

 

MHMWeHaveDeeperPocketsAndWeAreGonnaRunDonnieBrewerOutofTownTitanSkylineChampionMHImemberManufacturedHousingInstituteMHProNews2019-03-15_0939

Titan guys poke MHM member’s bear, says the Mobile Home Miliia, and MHM pokes back. From Facebook, images shown under fair use guidelines for media.

 

 

MobileHomeMilitiaFBMastheadBlogMHProNewsMobile Home Militia

February 18 at 10:11 PM ·

What if I told you that corporate sign is an anchor?

You want to become an independent retailer? We can help.

Join the revolution!

#independent
#mhm

In Medieval Times this next post’s #worldofpain could be construed as throwing down the gauntlet. But from #MHM? Surely, they jest! Satire!

Or not…

 

MobileHomeMilitiaFBMastheadBlogMHProNewsMobile Home Militia is with Lance Inderman and Donnie Brewer.

February 15 at 9:56 PM ·

MHM VPs of public relations 

#worldofpain

 

MHMLanceDonnieBrewerDBNegotiatingDealDailyBusienssNewsMHproNews2019-03-15_0854_001

 

Or check this one out.

#MHMWalkaMiletoAvoidAfightButWhenOneStartsDontBackDownAnInchMastheadMHProNews

Get a feel for DB – Donnie Brewer.

 

DonnieBrewersHiringReceptionstBrewerQualityHomesHiringReceptoinistMHProNews

 

But this will give you a better sense of the man’s thinking when it comes to the ‘big boys’ of MHVille.

 

DonnieBrewerMobileHomeMilitiaFamilyFBMastheadBlogMHProNews

 

Donnie Brewer shared a post.

February 27 at 3:41 PM ·

And they would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for us meddling kids!”

 

ClaytonHomesLogoDonnieBrewerWouldHaveGottenAwayWithItMastheadMHProNews

 

Can you spell, rebel with a cause?  Back to the #MHM…

 

2018ThanksForTheLessons2019LetsDoThisMobileHomeMilitia#MHMmastheadlbogMHProNews

 

Which is a good place to segue to Lance Inderman, a partner with Jessup Housing, who has his own retail centers and is an anchor in the #MHM movement. Let’s look at some of his non-manufactured housing posts, to get a sense of the man, and how that might shape his thinking in being a manufactured home independent.

 

Lance Inderman – FB

No, we didn’t cut his head off in the screen capture below. It is what it is, see the collage below from his Facebook page.

 

LanceIndermanFacebookfamilyMastheadBlogMHProNews

Lance Inderman
March 11 at 12:24 PM ·

Castro eventually made it to number seven on Forbes’ list of richest world leaders, which estimated his wealth at $900 million” — Maxim Lott

LanceIndermanFBSocialistLeadersCastroMaoStalinMastheadMHProNews

 

LanceIndermanIWillGiveUpMyGunWhenIAMalloutofAmmoandDeadVenezulaBansGunOwnershipSecurityForcesKIllHundredsFBDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNews

LanceIndermanAOCQuoteJamesWoodQuoteStudyHistoryFBDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews2019-03-15_0805

LanceIndermanFBSocialistsWanttoDisarmUsMakeUsUseTrainsNothanksIveSeenWhereThatLeadsIlKeepCarGunsMHProNews

LanceIndermanSocialistsBettreThanMeLogicComonSenseWorldHistoryFacebookDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2019-03-15_0759

 

That paints a quick picture of Lance Inderman, with #MHM, Jessup Housing, et al. It doesn’t have to be your style or mine, but Lance’s marketing at his retail center is something like his FB persona suggests.

Like it or not, they do sell houses, which is why they have that swagger.

Short Brigadier Manufactured Home video

Longer Brigadier Manufactured Homes Video

 

These are an eclectic group. For example, there are some who sell upscale manufactured homes, while others sell entry level or ‘shade and shelter’ housing. Others sell a mix of product, from new, to FEMAs, to pre-owned, high or low priced, and so on.

But this Mobile Home Militia has declared war – or perhaps more to the point – they feel that Clayton Homes and company declared war on them first.  They are fighting back.  Stay tuned, because we will.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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“November Rain” – DoJ’s Top Antitrust Cop – Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim ABA Speech on Antitrust Enforcement for Americans

Tim Williams, PBS News’ Bad Bargain, Manufactured Housing Institute, Buffett’s Mirror, and Clayton’s Costume

Minnie Driver, Millionaires, and Billionaires – Debunking “Housing for the Poor” Image of Manufactured Housing

“Tug of War” – Manufactured Home Community Legislation – “Vicious Cycle Goes On,” Impacting Industry, Home Owners, and Potential Buyers

Warren Buffet’s Quotable Quotes on Business, Institutions, Behavior, and News Reporting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

February 9th, 2019 No comments

 

ConquestCapitalismThoughtsofChairmanWarrenBuffettBillionaresCampaigntoControlTrillionDollarAffordableHousngMarketDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The year was 1998. It happened to be the year that manufactured housing hit its last peak, but it was also the year that Simon Reynolds compiled and published “Thoughts of Chairman Buffett – Thirty Years of Unconventional Wisdom from the Sage of Omaha.”

 

ThoughtsofChairmanBuffettThirtyYearsUnventionalWisdomSageofOmahaSimonReynoldsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsUntil you turn to the back of Reynold’s book, not many pages in my copy of his thin volume are even numbered. Starting on page 141 are the following subheadings, bulleted below.  With those one can start the journey of understanding Buffett and his success formula.

 

  • Think Long Term
  • Buy Businesses You Understand

 

After the second bullet, you find this quote, “Remember his [Buffett’s]Circle of Competence theory. Step outside of it and the vultures will begin to gather. Stick to investing in industries you know something about.  When you have a feel for how the game is played, you are much more likely to score a home run…”

Later, Reynolds says this…

Part of understanding a company is understanding its management team. Are the executives competent?

Are they experienced? Or, as Buffett would say, are they fanatics?”

 

  • Don’t Overdiversify

You can’t be Bo Jackson in investing. Spread your energy and capital too many ways and you are courting disaster.”

For those who don’t know – or need a refresher on – Bo Jackson, here it is.

 

BoJacksonBaseballFootballWarrenBuffettQuoteMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Disclosure

We are editorially pro-free enterprise.  But for reasons that will be understood from the research and linked reports, our publication is a Buffett critic.  Some believe he ‘saved’ manufactured housing in 2003.  Did he save this industry, or rather, did he start his conquest of it?

The evidence-to-date suggests that the third-richest man on the planet has purportedly mastered the art of the conceal with respect to manufactured housing.

After years of Buffett and industry research – plus my roughly quarter-century of direct involvement in this profession – there are many things that Buffett says that ought to be understood through these prisms.

  • What Warren Buffett said,
  • What he means.
  • The head fake.

Buffett is routinely selling. First, he is selling himself.

Then, he is selling his business and investing model.  There are plenty of takers on that, in investing, business, media, politics, and so on.

Third, Buffett is coy. Some things he says are straightforward and spot on. Other statements from Buffett have a veiled or hidden meaning. As a critic, let me note anew that with all people or organizations, the principle of ‘wheat and chaff‘ should be applied. Learn what to keep and utilize, but also learn via discernment what ought to be ignored, discarded, or understood in a different fashion than what the speaker may imply.

 

Conquest Capitalism

Let’s begin to popularize or coin a new phrase. Not crony capitalism. Not vulture capitalism. It isn’t a phrase from Reynolds’ book.

In Buffet-World, it is all about we what we are hereby going to dub “Conquest Capitalism.”

Buffett uses capital, information, headwinds, and understanding – including the essentials of human nature, and human weaknesses – to conquer.  “The Moat” is a term for the strategic principles used by Buffett in conquest capitalism. 

Conquest capitalism occurs through capital and the understanding and maneuvering of basic principles. Some of those are noted in Reynolds thin volume, like those quoted above or what follows.

Here’s a gem under the heading, “On Independence” – “You have to think for yourself. It always amazes me how high-IQ people mindlessly imitate. I never get good ideas talking to other people.” So said Buffett, claims Reynolds, citing U.S. News and World Report, June 20, 1994.

Or this “There’s something about smart people explaining ideas to an orangutan that makes their decision making better.”

Or “…people are creatures of habit.” Know right now that Buffett and his Berkshire brands count on that, big time. He counts on your habits. Buffett and his acolytes count on the habits of your team, and the habits of millions of others too.

Uncertainty actually is the friend of the buyer of long-term values,” said Buffett per Forbes 8.6.1979. Reynolds has that under the heading, “On the Advantage of Chaos.”

Buffett is also quoted saying “… – it’s the weak link that snaps you. And frequently, in the financial markets, the weak link is borrowed money.”

One could go on, but that’s more than enough Buffett quotes to outline what follows.  On his borrowed-money point, consider the reports linked here and here.  Arguably, no one can grasp why manufactured housing is as small as it is today without reading and understanding the nuances of those two reports, and others like it.

Buying and selling housing in the U.S. is a multi-trillion dollar proposition over the course of a decade. Last year, per the sources cited in the infographic below, sales of new and existing single family-homes and condos equaled about $1.6 trillion dollars in 2018 alone.

What the data reveals is that manufactured housing, properly understood, could take a huge leap ahead of its currently poor sales levels.  If you are an investor pondering this sector – or are already in manufactured housing – be mindful that the growth potential is stunning.

But if so, the curious mind should ask questions like this one. Why hasn’t MHI – or Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance for that matter – done a better job of marketing or advocacy on issues like zoning and placement, financing parity, and other key obstacles?

Or why have the powers that be that flow from Omaha to Knoxville, TN and into Arlington, VA seem to constantly be in motion, with so little to show for it at year’s end?  Isn’t there plenty of demand for affordable housing?

Ponder the 2018 factoids, data, and quotes that follow in this infographic.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

The headline for this article includes the word “billionaires,” plural. There are more than one in the hunt, so that is not a typo. But Buffett has a clear edge at this time. One of his close friends, Bill Gates – whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Buffett is a trustee of – has been exposed to Clayton Homes and manufactured housing too.

 

When you examine years of research, what you may learn by considering the history of MHVille is this. The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are posturing activity that seems to the casual observer to aim at promoting growth, or removing regulatory barriers. That said, note that the powers-that-be are not using their best possible arguments for zoning or other issues. The text/image boxes below are each hot-linked to a report on that topic.

 

State of the Industry 2019 – Reality vs. Potential for Manufactured, Modular, and PreFab Homes? New Infographic

 

Meanwhile, Berkshire’s market share in manufactured housing grows.

 

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003MHanufacturedHousingIndust

Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

 

They are making billions now. But through patience and conquest capitalism, manufactured homes could swell into one of the largest growth industries in the nation.

 

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEnd2017MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Clayton claims they had ‘only’ about 47.7 percent of the market at the end of 2017. Other sources indicate the total could be 50 percent. Either way, the Moat is working.

 

Steady persistence is an element of the Buffett play.

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuoteMastheadMHProNews

Quote from an MHI member, business executive.

Had Buffett’s Berkshire tried to buy the entire industry in 2003 – which his resources could have allowed him to do – regulatory alarms would have sounded.  Patience allows him several luxuries. One is less regulatory scrutiny. Less chance for antitrust action.

Two, patience in a depressed industry sector allows him to acquire pieces of manufactured housing at a bargain “value,” which is also part of the Berkshire Moat model.

 

 

 

While You and Others Sleep

While you are running your path today, Buffett’s zealous business-unit leaders and their minions are waging a slow-motion war. Their leaders are taught to think long-term. Most others in this industry are thinking only about today, this week, month, or quarter.

That’s part of what allows conquest capitalist tactics – including that strategic Moat they use –  to beat competitors over time.

Some sell out to Clayton, or one of the other big three firms that dominate manufactured housing.  About 5 years before Berkshire entered manufactured housing in 2003, the three biggest firms had about 44 percent market share, said Buffett in an annual letter to shareholders.  Today, three firms have about 80 percent, and those 3 are all different than what existed 20 years ago.

Somewhat related, the SEC, it should be noted, will not yet say what stock(s) Joe Stegmayer, former Chairman and President of Cavco Industries and still Chairman of MHI, invested in that purportedly caused their legal fracas to erupt.

Over a dozen shareholders’ plaintiffs attorney firms are circling MHI member Cavco.

As a factoid, before going to Cavco, Stegmayer used to be a division president for Clayton. The growth at Cavco occurred after 2003, the same year that Buffett bought into MHVille. Coincidence?

Nor will the SEC say what investigation, if any, they are doing regarding possible collusion between various brands in manufactured housing. But if there were no investigations underway, wouldn’t the SEC just say so? We know from other sources that the CFPB and HUD are investigating the Berkshire brands in manufactured housing. Time will tell what comes of it.

 

Information and Disinformation

It isn’t just information, it is disinformation, that the Omaha-Knoxville and their nonprofit cat’s paw in Arlington, VA use.

Buffett and Clayton frankly don’t need their pawns in Arlington to understand anything. That’s not to demean anyone at MHI.  Rather, it is a simple reality. As long as MHI staffers do what Omaha-Knoxville want, as they want it – their ‘job’ is secure.  They can fail or succeed, it matters not for the purposes of their Moat.  The Illusion of Motion is what matters.

So there is no need for a conspiracy theory. The folks at Arlington could be Buffett’s proverbial “orangutan– see quote above – and that part of their strategic Moat system will work just as well.

From Buffett’s tower in Omaha, does it matter if MHI is hopelessly inept and ineffective at their claimed goals? Does it matter if MHI is cagily corrupted? Or some mix of those?  How did the manufactured home industry – which once outsold RVs 3 to 2 about 2 decades ago – slide so far that it now trails RVs by some 5 to 1?  What coach could keep their job with such poor performance?

Unless poor performance is okay? Who would pay bonuses for performance facts like that?

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017MastheadManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

In 1998, manufactured homes outsold RVs by about 3 to 2. Today, RVs outsell manufactured homes by some 5 to 1. Manufactured homes are normally purchased for full time living, many RVs are for recreational or part time living. Many RVs – which are towable as well as motorized – can be higher than a manufactured home. The cost per square foot for a manufactured home is routinely lower.

 

Failure or success by MHI – either can suit the needs of the Berkshire brands.  Meanwhile, conquest capitalism is purportedly deploying the Moat to strike at the Achilles heels of various manufactured housing organizations’ interests

Rephrased, Buffett’s brands deploy capital – Buffett’s term – plus a clever blend of spin that includes facts, near facts, missed facts, and the confident trust that many won’t check the facts.

Plus, he counts on the fact that you and tens of millions won’t read, study, think, and plan as long-term as he and his colleagues do.

That’s a possible weak link. Because as soon as someone does thoughtfully study, in large part by looking objectively in detail backwards, one sees the picture that hundreds of millions miss.

 

InBusinessWorldTheRearViewMirrorIsALwaysClearerThantheWindshieldWarrenBuffettVASpapinquoteManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

If you don’t pay attention to history, trends, and plan years ahead, Buffet’s conquest capitalism can sneak up one day and crush you. Another example, linked here.

 

Several thousand will read this column. I can’t say quite how many going in, but the rear view mirror trend lines suggest that our audience will find this topic of keen interest. Those thousands of readers will include the serious, as well as the merely curious.

It’s the few who are zealously informed and focused on ‘never quit until victory’ who will end up making the difference.

With some $500 billion of new capital coming back or into the U.S. in 2018 as a result of the tax cuts and jobs act of 2017, plus the Trump Administration regulatory reforms, this is possibly the best time in years to challenge Berkshire’s Moat.

 

CNBCCapitalIntoUSSinceTaxCutsJobAct500billionto1TrillionMastheadBlog

 

The Clayton retailers and Knoxville lenders’ can be outperformed. We’ve seen it done. We know those who are doing it in specific markets. On the consulting side of our operation, we’ve been part of several projects that have done it and are doing it at their local level.

 

That’s the introduction. Here’s the balance of the opening headline.

Corruption is rampant in America. That doesn’t mean that most are corrupt. That’s not necessary. It does mean that you can effectively buy off a few key people in high, important roles, and influence events in ways that few can imagine.

It means that billionaires can collude in ways that the SEC, FTC, or DOJ might not consider. We respect law enforcement, but one need not look far to see examples of justice gone awry in America.

So, if the Feds do get it on what’s happening in MHVille, they may or may not be willing to try undertake the effort to stop the collusion of the “conquest capitalists.”

Few should better understand than manufactured housing professionals how much misinformation is out there about our misunderstood industry.  Yet those misunderstandings are accepted as true.  Where is MHI’s efforts to correct the record?  Or to promote and explain the reality vs. the myth?

 

Our widely misunderstood industry is the wake up call for affordable housing industry pros. Misunderstanding is also the wake-up call for investors.  There is demonstrably no more proven solution to the affordable housing crisis than manufactured homes.  How is it even possible that it is so misunderstood?

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews-445x768

2018 infographic with 2017 data.

 

Misinformation can be Opportunities in Disguise

A source with deep ties to Clayton Homes said that they have a two to three year plan to roll out 1,000 to 1,200 Clayton retail centers within a two to three year time span. To most, that defies belief. We have no documentation to reference, it’s a discussion, per sources. Unlike other tips, there is no evidence we have seen yet for that claim. It might even be a false flag.

But is it possible? With Buffett’s billions, of course it is.

If it is true, that number of new retail locations would mean that every remaining independent is no longer necessary to Clayton. The dust hasn’t settled yet on the story linked below. But that recent – and still ongoing issue – is an example of how bold Clayton is already behaving.

 

“Mobile Home Militia,” Retail/Production Sources, Sound Alarm Against Clayton Homes, CMH, New “Anti-Competitive Practices” Allegation

 

Part of the word heard is that Clayton, following our report linked above, reached out to Regional Enterprises to try to ‘mend the fence’ that CMH allegedly busted. But however that scenario wraps up, it is a huge wake- up call to the industry’s independents, isn’t it?

The similar story below was exactly one year ago.  No one else in the industry trades other than MHProNews covered either one. Why not?

 

How Many MH Independents, Retailers Have Been Lost Recently? “They Think They Own Us”

 

Or where are the other trade publishers on this third-party report, linked below?

 

Examining Derek Thompson’s Atlantic Report on ‘Mobile Home’ Retail Market as Fastest Dying Business In America

 

It is very possible that Buffett and the folks in Knoxville have the following in mind. They are clearly supporting mostly Democratic candidates. They got a lot done – from their conquest vantage point – during the Obama Administration.

Well before the 2018 midterms were over, the 2020 contests were already underway. More precisely, as 2016 results became known, the battle for 2020 was launched. Buffett and his buddies are already deep in the hunt for those who will advance their agenda.

 

buffett-obama-mhmsm

Warren Buffett, left. President Barack Obama, right. Credit, Wikipedia.

 

For those who buy into those photo ops of ‘MHI leaders’ with administration or elected officials and their staffs, never forget that you don’t get more influential that the photos on this page.

 

WarrenBuffettBarackObamaAwardMedalMastheadManufacturedHOusingIndustryMHproenws

Warren Buffett’s grandson worked in the Obama Administration White House. You don’t get much closer to than that in terms of access. So MHI’s arguably red herring photos of MHI staff or board members with some representative or administration member, how does that compare to this? If Warren Buffett had wanted regulatory relief during the Obama years, don’t you think he could have had it? Isn’t it all part of his strategic Moat?

ManufacturedHousingIndustryInsightsManufacturedHousingInstituteMHICartoonMastheadCommentarySatireMHProNewsLifeStyleFactoryHomesLLC

MHIEmeraldCityOzManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIhumorsatireparodyMHProNews

It wasn’t until after we first published satire like this that MHI’s ‘engaged lobbyists’ reached out to the CFPB, and asked the business-friendly Trump Administration to consider changes that MHI claims to have been working on for years. Who said? A source at the CFPB.

RichardDickJennisonMHIPresidentPhotoBrianMontgomeryEnhancedPreemptionFHATitleChattelLoans1010RuleTimWilliamsDontLearnFromHist

We took MHI photos and turned them into satire. Instead of attempting to refute what MHProNews or MHARR reports, MHI has been using photo op images – like the one above – to ‘prove’ how much influence they have in Washington, D.C. and beyond. But you don’t get much more influence than Warren Buffett sitting with then President Obama do you? Why is mainstream housing roaring, and manufactured homes snoring? Why do MHI staff get bonuses? Photos are fine, but where are the measurable results for millions spent every year on lobbying, meetings, and promotion?

 

The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington head fake is –  as Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of MHARR aptly put it – the illusion of motion and activity. When was the last time a con artist confessed until formally charged with crimes?

Factory-built homes are potentially a trillion-dollar-a-year industry. Patience and conquest capitalism is winning, and there is no reason to think that won’t continue. Unless the ploys are exposed, and then arguably the axis and their allies have to be defeated.

If we were wrong about our analysis of the facts and evidence, why doesn’t Knoxville and Arlington accept the offer to publicly refute our concerns? Why don’t they accept the offer to publicly discuss these issues, to be video recorded for later reply, in front of an audience of manufactured home industry independents?  Why not have the mainstream media attend such a discussion/debate?

Only in hindsight and by peeling away at enough layers of the onion does the fact-pattern and logic of their strategy become clear. The rest are details and commentary. See the linked text-image boxes for more details.

Investing? It would be hard to find a better bet than manufactured homes. Go back to the top and author Reynold’s quotes.  Grasp how logical affordable housing is as a business to invest in.  But to be successful, one must know how the game is played. Because the system, while arguably rigged, can be profitably beaten. Several are in the process of challenging the system, even as this is being written.

 

 

The Late Howard Walker and “The Book”

The late Howard Walker, Vice-Chairman for Equity LifeStyle Properties told me that “the money is in a book.” In context, he meant that the right book about manufactured housing was worth a fortune.

Properly understood, Walker’s point was arguably correct.

Whatever Simon Reynolds may have earned from “Thoughts of Chairman Buffett – Thirty Years of Unconventional Wisdom from the Sage of Omaha” was only a drop in the bucket compared to what is possible from shrewd investments combined with P.E.P. in manufactured housing.

unzipped-green-eye-black-background-collage-manufactured-housing-professionals-mhpronews-com-704x872pic-framed-

Protect. Educate. Promote – P.E.P. Officials. Advocates. Investors. The public. They are looking for us. Graphic credit, MHProNews, all rights reserved.

Not a ton of money from a book per se, but rather from the lessons that Buffett and his strategic/economic “conquest capitalism” Moat yields.

 

  • Some don’t fight the Moat because they don’t understand it.
  • Some don’t fight the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies out of fear. We’ll explore the question of extortion and lack of options another time.
  • Some don’t fight it because they believe they benefit from it too. As Buffett Moat crowds out smaller players, some of the mid-sized ones think they can gain market share as well.
  • Some are the axis that makes up the Moat proper.

The industry is poised to be disrupted again, for a variety of reasons already in motion. The case could be made that this is the best time in decades to jump into manufactured housing, or to expand through prudent challenges to the Moat builders.  Because either out of patience, or whatever other reasons one cares to mention, Clayton and company are underperforming too.

So motivated, focused, well capitalized, disruptive performers could get in, and blow by them in just a few years. That will be explored too in an upcoming column.

The Moat and conquest capitalism are the truth hiding in plain sight.

To learn more about the Moat, see the linked related reports, further below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Surprising Discovery on Manufactured Housing’s Enhanced Preemption, Hidden Gem$

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

 

“Democrats Are Sinful Hypocrites. Just Like All of Us.” Weaponizing Information, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and MHVille

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

God’s Sense of Humor, Tilting After Windmills, Manufactured Housing – Merchants or Crusaders?

January 27th, 2019 No comments

 

GodsSenseofHumorTiltingAfterWindmillsManufacturedHousingMerchantsOrCrusadersMastheadMHProNews

What’s wrong is that enough people don’t ask what’s right – that’s a faithful paraphrase of the brilliant writer and believer, G.K. Chesterton.

 

One need not look far to discover that the Creator of all has a healthy sense of humor.

 

Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams – among their allies, pawns, lackeys, and stooges – could not have counted on their strategic economic Moat encountering the various resistance personalities found working in the manufactured home industry today.

Former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President Chris Stinebert made a series of arguably interesting, inaccurate, and mistaken comments in his departing message to their association members and followers. One colorful piece of advice Stinebert gave was not to go tilting after windmills.

There are those who understandably believe that it is safer to be a so-called “Merchant” – someone who a self-described MHVille merchant said will do business with anybody –  than it is to be a Crusader, who could be defined as someone who fights for whatever is right.

But as the manufactured housing industry approaches 43 years since the construction of the first HUD Code for manufactured homes on June 15, 1976, there is an increasingly self-evident reality. It’s this. After decades of many MHVille industry pros being mainly merchants, the pool of merchants has steadily shrunk since the last industry high water mark of 1998.

Buffett says he loves to read. He finds value in history, facts, and figures. It’s a point the Oracle of Omaha and this far lesser known Masthead writer concur on. Wheat and chaff. Accept the truth, from whomever or where ever you find it.

In God’s grand sense of humor, Buffet’s minions picked an avoidable fight with this multiple award-winning history major, who happened to be a philosopher’s son. What rich irony!  That divine joke keeps me rolling, in more ways than one.

Not everyone in MHVille is a short-term thinker who will sell out the Master for 30 pieces of silver.

America is a nation filled with tragedy as well as hopes, with a rich tradition of attainable dreams.

Only those who will use some of their time, talent, and treasure to support the crusaders for justice in MHVille will hope to see the day when MH Nation becomes a reality. MHNation is attainable, but it requires enough sufficiently motivated efforts, hands, wit, and resources to help build and sustain it.

 

 

Big and Small, They Lost It All

Over the years, this writer has peered into the eyes of mom and pop businesses who didn’t understand what happened to their once thriving enterprises or land-lease communities.

This Masthead writer also watched as the once mighty fell too.  Previously dominating ‘old Fleetwood’ or ‘old Champion’ vanished in less than a decade, under the headwinds of the builders of Buffett-style strategic economic Moats. 

If the former giants of MHVille didn’t survive the strategic economic Moats of Chairman Mao, pardon me, Chairman Buffett, then what hubris does it take to believe that the also-rans in Claytonville can survive “the Moat’s” steady, grinding, and seemingly invisible methods?

We respect George Allen’s service to his nation.  Lord only knows what he may have encountered during Desert Storm or in the deadly jungles of Vietnam.

That said, it’s pathetically laughable when someone like George F. (F?) Allen calls himself the industry’s “historian.” Here’s how he said it in a recent post, “This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource, & online communication media for North American land lese communities!

 

CommunityInvestorJan152019GeogeFAllenMastheadBlogMHProNews

The next time the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis asks for a hit-job, please send someone less self-contradictory, and more competent.  History?  Allen’s view of history puts him in the center of it all. Fascinating choice of who to answer, Kevin. 

 

Listening, musing, and reading pay. It was listening to a former client/supporter of Allen say, ‘With George, it’s AAA. All About Allen.” Priceless insight, spot on, and moving on.

 

 

Jesus and the 10

Jesus never preached socialism. Nor did Jesus preach monopolistic methods.

Properly understood, the 10 Commandments that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai protect private property and human wealth honestly earned.

It’s simple, really. Constantly reference, strive to support, and follow those Ten Commandments. Let those 10 and the lessons of the Good Book be your decision-making guide. When those 10 Commandments are understood and followed, society will thrive. When ignored, mocked, or trampled underfoot, the weak or most innocent become victims.  The Ten, with motivated merchants, make for the sufficient needs of crusaders.  The rest are details and commentary.

 

UnlessThereisAGodAllMoralityIsJustOpinionBeliefsNoKingsNoMonopoliesNoOligarchsAmercanWayMHProNews

The top images are composites from the Prager U video, further below. Over a million views on that thought-provoking video.

 

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ph.D. was a sinner, like this writer, and the rest of us mere mortals. King had strengths and weaknesses.  Ditto. But that thoughtful strategist led a peaceful revolution in his day. King was a Crusader. That eloquent preacher had merchants who supported his crusader efforts.

Crusaders like Jesus, King, or Gandhi are always the ones who change the world.

 

MahatmaGandhiWIkiMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

This is historic. This is part of authentic history. 

 

Together, with arms locked, King and others marched against the oppressors of his time. King was a visible figure, but never forget that there were numbers of less visible ones who made sure that King secured the victory they sought.

Affordable quality housing – which can be served in the form of modern manufactured homes – is a civil, constitutional, and a legal right. But it will take enough Crusaders to beat those who’ve manipulated the American system in a way that moat builders seek to enrich themselves, as they arguably defrauded their neighbors as they smiled.

 

Don’t stop being a merchant.

 

But if you don’t want to be a statistic among other merchants in MHVille who’ve fallen before you, if you don’t want to be another “value acquisition” of Berkshire or a Buffett buddy, then ponder this reality.  You must use some time, talent, and treasure to support new structures to replace the purported corruption of Arlington VA based MHI and their masters in Omaha and Knoxville.

Buffett’s smart, in a Machiavellian way. Chairman Buffett and his are patiently grinding the industry into powder that he can easily swallow at a cheap price.

You, we, and other people of good will can use cunning, truth, and existing laws to beat Buffett at his own game. Who says? Centuries of Bible stories tell me it’s so.

There are various ways people around the globe express the Ten Commandments. Properly understood, at their core, they are the same. It’s noteworthy that Christian, Jews, Muslims and other believers have similar beliefs to these 10 Commands.

 

 

Read the related reports, further below, for added insights.  Reach out by phone, message, or email to tip, talk or join the merchants who are ready to be or support the spirited crusaders that can beat the corrosive effects of manipulating oligarchs and their Moat builders. Communism and the Nazis were defeated. America had its trust-busting era, that broke up the monopolists. Another one lies ahead. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

 

Puzzling Case of Millie Francis, Where are Religious Liberty, Fair Housing, Resident, and Manufactured Home Organizational Defenders?

 

Former Manufactured Housing Institute President, Manufactured Home Owners, Urban Institute, and You

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manufactured Housing Institute’s Three Stooges? SECO ‘Leaders’ George F. Allen, Spencer Roane, Tom Lackey and ‘Rent to Own’ Scams?

January 16th, 2019 No comments

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoSECOlogoSoutheasternCommunityOwnersSymposiumLogoGeogeAllenSpencerRoaneTomLackeyMHProNewsMasthead

 

Tony…as I think you know, it’s ALWAYS been my position that lease option and rent to own are illegal if they are a “workaround” for chattel financing, which is what most such schemes are…” – MH Industry attorney, not an association exec, in off-the-record comment about his legal perspective about the issue that follows.

 

George F. (F?) Allen has protested the use of the quote above to MHProNews from a non-association industry attorney who wanted to remain anonymous.

Perhaps Allen doesn’t honor off-the-record, but we do.  Beyond honoring the pledge of protecting a source, is an attorney’s name even necessary? Arguably, not when the New York State Attorney General has successfully sued and forced about 100 manufactured home communities and their owners to settle their own rent-to-own cases.

That’s a nettlesome fact for Allen and company, see the NY AG press release to MHProNews, linked here.

 

AGUnderwoodAnnouncesMajorSettlementWithManufacuredHomeParkOwnesToReformRentToOwnFollowingAGIndustryWideInvestigationMHProNews

The issues are many, but let’s simplify some of them to these bullets.

 

  • Allen, Roane, and Lackey are all ‘leaders’ in SECO – the Southeastern Community Owners Symposium.
  • All three of the above fellows have drawn negative mainstream media attention for the use, or defense of the use, of ‘rent to own,’ ‘lease purchase options,’ ‘contract for title,’ or other forms of arguably “disguised credit transactions.”
  • Allen, Roane, and Lackey have all personally earned money from ‘rent to own’ (RTO), ‘contract for title,’ ‘lease purchase options’ (LPO) – or whatever you went to call the modern version of a Lonnie Deal (see download, linked here).  What might have been lawful prior to the Safe Act, and the advent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is now deemed in the eyes of legal authorities as a “disguised credit transaction.” They are routinely seen as a form of predatory lending, and have reportedly harmed numerous consumers who trusted Lackey, and others.
  • You don’t have to look beyond the NY AG Case against for proof, do you? If larger manufactured home community (MHC) operations could not make this work in a legitimate fashion, per the NY AG, are industry independents really going to believe that Allen, Roane, Lackey and SECO know some trick that the large portfolio operators attorneys didn’t discover?
  • Perhaps to protect their own revenue stream and reputations, Allen and Roane defended and/or refused to condemn Lackey.
  • And over the course of several years, hundreds of manufactured home community owners have trusted Allen’s and Roane’s respective Schticks. How many ticking time bombs await?
  • Can you imagine the glee a consolidator might feel, if hundreds of more communities hit the market at a depressed price, due to bad advice taught at SECO and/or by Allen?
  • Allen likes to do magic tricks to entertain his audience. Let’s see what rabbit Allen tries to pull out of a hat to distract his readers and students from the cold hard facts that the NY AGs cases exemplified.
  • But the risks to consumers and independent manufactured home professionals arguably doesn’t stop with problematic RTO or LPO contracts for title. Because they have sponsors and often ‘big name’ supporters. Among them? Joe Stegmayer, who stepped down from Cavco leadership under a SECO Investigation cloud, but who has stayed on as MHI Chairman. Beautiful.
  • Stegmayer graced Allen’s ‘roundtable’ stage, giving each other some measures of ‘respectability.’
  • Fleetwood, a division of Cavco, has given SECO support too. So has MHVillage, and others. Will they demand indemnification for the so-called education that has been taught?
  • But has anyone asked what the liability and exposure are for those who sponsor so-called education that is flawed and risky at best, or illegal at worst?
  • What will that costly MHM certificate Allen sells mean to outsiders, if Allen, Roane, and Lackey end up in more media and/or legal hot water?

 

Ironically, it is Allen who volunteered or was deputized by MHI supporters to call for a boycott of this publication. That can be antitrust trigger. How ironically hypocritical.  See evidence of that and more at the download, linked here.

Besides years of arguable jealousy by Allen over our many-times-larger professional audience, is the fact that MHProNews has previously warned industry communities and retailers about the potential risks from using disguised credit transactions in today’s legal and regulatory environment.  Not to be overlooked are ties with MHI…

 

 

MHI Ties?

Where is MHI on this? A check of their website would suggest, silent. Rather akin to their silence on other issues – like the slow monopolization of the industry – that might be useful or importance?

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoDIsguisedCreditTransactionMastheadCommentaryMHProNews

Allen, Roane, and Lackey can be viewed as the part time critics, and de facto part time supporters of MHI and their ‘big boy’ backers. Don’t ask for consistency from Allen, because you won’t likely find it, save in his arguably hypocritical inconsistency.

But the warning to industry pros is once more given. Allen, Roane, Lackey, and SECO are the typical stew of seemingly useful, but also problematic education. MH Industry

Professionals, hungry for educational opportunities, turns to them in desperation, and they find smiling carnival barkers.

State AG Files Suit Against, Manufactured Home Community, Rent to Own, Lease Purchase Option Warning

A entertaining and feel good blathering isn’t the same as genuine, legally sound, knowledge.

Just read the list of questions, linked here, put to George F. (F?) Allen and his cronies, and Allen’s non-answers.

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefame6DsMastheadCommentaryManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

Caveat emptor. Let the buyer of such education beware. But sponsors, beware too. Because some legal authorities tell us that sponsors of legally risky education may have liability too.

In closing this column, let’s state the obvious. We are not the New York Times or Fox News. We do business development and other expert services to manufactured housing, not just publishing.

Our form of trade journalism is different than what mainstream journalists do.

But no serious person in our industry has disputed the facts, documents, evidence, and concerns we’ve raised. Allen, despite his roar and bluster, was given the chance to disprove a single claim. He hurled invectives instead. Again, the give and take are linked here, and included several individuals in BCCs on both sides.

One catches flak only when over the target. One of numerous examples is the target below.   The axis hates it, because its’ their own words, how do they argue against their own words? Allen and company have the same problem.

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

Be it the three stooges, or the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, their allies and surrogates, our catching flak is a badge of honor, given the sources.

From the smallest to the biggest firms in our industry logon daily to MHProNews by the thousands. They find the content relevant and useful. As an MHI member executive said in the quote below, what we may have periodic typos, but we make a logical case.

 

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuoteMastheadMHProNews

 

That’s what vexes the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis. And it is nettlesome to the three stooges whose purportedly ‘educational’ efforts more closely resembles scams. Sad. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Former Manufactured Housing Institute President, Manufactured Home Owners, Urban Institute, and You

 

New Era in National U.S. Manufactured Home Community Representation Underway?

The Future of Retail, Disney, ‘Trailer Trauma,’ and Manufactured Housing

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Your Profession – Investment of Time, Talent, Treasure – So What’s Next?

December 13th, 2018 No comments

 

ItsYourProfessionInvestmentTimeTalentTreasureSoWhat’sNext600x315

Political correctness – the PC movement – is arguably a form of manipulation and control. 40+ years ago, long before the PC culture took hold, people were aware of the notion that we should be polite and respectful of others. The baby boomer generation were the ones that made greater racial, religious, gender, and other forms of equality an ever-greater reality in America.

 

A recent study reflected that pay gaps have largely been proven to be a matter of choices. Men, per that study, earn more because they put in more overtime. That’s a choice. Within the norms of morality and good laws, choices should be honored.  

MailChimp says roughly 97% of our audience is domestic U.S. and Canadian. There are investors and factory-built housing professionals from across the country – and in other nations around the world – that read MHProNews. Why? Because we seek the truth, lay out facts, provide evidence, and let people make better informed decisions as a result. We don’t mind taking what some might deem to be politically incorrect positions. 

It has been almost a year since a gentleman from outside our industry – a high level executive for a multi-billion dollar organization – asked me face-to-face, why isn’t manufactured housing doing much better than it is? He had spent hours at the Louisville Show, was dazzled by the homes, and was stunned by the value.  

That was a senior executive. Someone with seasoning, a keen mind, not a greenhorn. 

Which is precisely the reason he asked that powerful three letter word question: why? Why isn’t manufactured housing performing better?

Our linked reports further below explore those issues, based on facts, evidence, and following the money.

When I joined the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) some years ago at the urging of industry peers, I expected to find people that wanted to see the manufactured home industry grow.

Indeed, most MHI members most certainly do want growth. 

As the son of a world-class philosopher, as a business professional with decades of experience in high-volume MH retail with high customer satisfaction in manufactured housing, and as a pro-industry and pro-free enterprise publisher, the years at MHI ticked by with little changing. I asked questions. I made suggestions. I was elected by peers to the Suppliers Division board. We did reports on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.

So we would politely advocate for what experience and logic told me was common sense.  

We interviewed almost anyone we wanted to talk to, including:

  • Jim Clayton – Clayton Homes and Clayton Bank,
  • Joe Stegmayer – Cavco and former Clayton division president, 
  • Tim Williams/21st Mortgage Corp,
  • Don Glisson Jr, Triad Financial Services,
  • ELS’ the late Howard Walker facilitated extensive authorized interview quotes from Sam Zell,
  • Sam Landy – UMH Properties
  • Nathan Smith – SSK Communities,
  • Frank Rolfe – who with his partner David Reynolds got tons of media by being politically incorrect and accessible,
  • Mark Weiss and Danny Ghorbani at MHARR,
  • MHI Presidents Thayer Long and Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, 

and the list goes on to dozens of pros from every sector of the industry, including John Bostick, who is a respected independent’s independent.  

Those I’ve not mentioned in the brief list above should not feel slighted – because you know who you are, and so do long-time readers. Those interviews are still being read or viewed.

I’ve also not mentioned by name the dozens and dozens of homeowners with whom we did genuine interviews.  Nor does the list mention the many experts outside of our industry that we have on-the-record statements from, useful for clarity on the truth about manufactured housing.  

We did a report yesterday on the Daily Business News that includes this video by Sharyl Attiksson, award winning journalist. She walks viewers and her live audience through the “fake news” phenomenon. You can later access the video by the star journalist by clicking on the box below, which links to the report.

 

“Check Your Facts,” “Follow the Money” – Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, Fake News, MHVille Takeaways

 

There’s numerous salient points Attiksson makes, which is precisely why we curated and presented her talk to our industry-leading audience.

People who love us, or hate us, and those in between read here daily by the thousands. Why? Because we follow the money, follow the evidence, ask the questions, all while comparing claims to performance and deeds.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Third party data per Webalizer, on Dec 1, 2018. In a small industry, the market penetration of professional readers is striking. We thank sources, readers, and sponsors alike.

 

People have the absolute right to support MHI, and I’d freely admit there were numerous pleasant and insightful conversations there. But what about actual performance? How do they – and their primary backers – live up to their claims? 

This is where MHI award-winner Marty Lavin’s wisdom comes in, when he said the following.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustrysMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNe

 

Danny Ghorbani left MHI back in the mid-1980s. He was asked by independent producers to help form a new association. That trade group today is known as MHARR – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform. Recall that in the 2018 Washington Post report, MHARR was revealed as the industry’s true hero re: Pam Danner (ICYMI or need a refresher, see hot-linked box below for details). MHARR has no top level turnover in years, by contrast, why has there been so much turnover at MHI?

 

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

 

As a report linked below reflects, when Danny ran the Louisville Show, it was a much bigger event than it is today. 

Attiksson makes the point in her TEDx talk that when you hear the same taking points over and over from mainstream media, you should ask, why? With so many media outlets, how is it that so many use the same phrases, the same words, the exact same talking points? 

As you explore trade media in manufactured housing, there are some variations. Some are arguably mere MHI mouth pieces. Some exist primarily to benefit the blogger. We respect their rights under the First Amendment to do so. 

But who besides MHARR and MHProNews routinely ask the tough questions about #NettlesomeThings 

We’ve done our share of ‘happy talk.’ But the facts – year after year – at MHI meetings is summed up in what a member CEO said, it is always more of the same.  

If MHI or Clayton Homes truly had the answers for what ails our industry, at what point will they actually show it?  

MHI claims they’ve exposed tens of millions of Americans to manufactured homes in 2018. If so – if they did such a fine job with their multiple-million dollar budgets – why are only 100,000 (+/-) Americans going to buy a HUD Code manufactured home this year???

 

ManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoMHILogoMHIVideoStillsMillionsofViewsMastheadBlogMHProNews-400x768

Even if MHI’s claims are true – properly analyzed – are an embarrassment to them and anyone involved. If they really had an audience of 84 million, and if their work was so good, why are so few manufactured homes being sold? Their promo video is arguably a magician’s slight-of-hand. Look here! Big Numbers! Oops, poor results…Why Aren’t Others in MH media spotlighting this obvious problem???

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews-756x768 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoOctober2018HUDCodeHomeShipmentsDeclineMastheadLATonyKovachMHProNews600

Both MHProNews third-party site stats plus feedback from professional readers, many of whom are MHI members, tell us that the industry’s professionals and investors want meaty reality checks, not more MHI pie-in-the-sky-in-the-great-bye-and-bye.

 

Why after praising MHProNews in writing and on video – numerous times – did they rescind our membership? Did we ask too many questions? Did we make too many suggestions that could result in real growth that years of experience proved would work when done correctly?

 

 

Or MHI’s then education-division leader (MHEI), Ann Parman’s praise for our presentation to MHI members at their Congress and Expo, urging proper media engagement to correct-the-record as issues arose. 

 AnnParmanVPManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoLATonyKovachMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMastheadblogMHProNews800

TimWilliamsMediaRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryMastheadMHProNews-500x277

MHI can’t claim ignorance, because their former Executive Committee Chairman, Tim Williams was asked and answered about the logic of doing media engagement to debunk every single case of misinformation. MHI has a PR person that works full time. As an MHI member said recently to MHProNews, what is that PR person actually doing?

 

Is growth for the many in the manufactured housing industry the agenda at MHI? Or – as their own evidence suggests – is their real agenda the consolidation of the industry into ever fewer select hands?  Click the box below for more details later, but move on for now.

 

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

 

We at MHProNews respect the rights of factory-producers to build whatever kind of homes they want to build that meet appropriate standards. Clayton experimented with the iHouse and iHouse 2. It was their right to prove themselves unable to successfully market it, despite lots of publicity.

 

ClaytonHomesiHouseChevyVoltGreenBridgeFarmsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Ever wonder whatever happened to the Clayton iHouse? Or Clayton Homes iHouse 2? Not much, very few were sold, and so it was quietly dropped, per sources at Clayton.

 

  • Clayton and MHI both made a big deal about their image and ‘story telling’ videos. A bust. The views and the new home shipments data prove it. 
  • Clayton made a big deal about their relationship with then uber-popular Duck Dynasty. Remember that? Why no surge in retail-sold new home shipments?
  • Clayton made a big deal about a year ago regarding their TV ads on college football games. Huh, why are shipments flat? #NettlsomeThings.

 

MHI’s own data says about 1/3 of new manufactured homes are shipped to communities. The REITs freely admit most of those manufactured homes (MH) shipped to their communities (MHCs) are rented, as opposed to being immediately sold at retail. Subtract out MH rentals in MHCs, isn’t the industry essentially flat since 2010?  

These are all warning signs that industry investors and pros discuss with me off-the-record.  

Why do independents that once spoke freely on the record, now fear speaking out publicly?  Heck, why did historically outspoken Frank Rolfe stop calling MHI out and their failed, hypocritical leadership? Those were his words, not mine. 

These are #NettesomeThings, aren’t they?  

Nettles sting if handled improperly. But properly understood, nettles have medicinal qualities. 

Our purpose on MHProNews isn’t to embarrass Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, Nathan Smith, MHI, MHVillage, or anyone else for that matter.   

Our purpose is to reflect reality. Those stinging nettles are meant as a cure – which is positive – by spotlighting the problems. Until a problem is properly understood, you can’t fix it. You don’t ask a doctor for happy talk, you ask an MD for the truth, and then the treatment that’s needed to achieve a cure.

The so-called ‘new class of homes’ is arguably going to be the next Clayton and MHI backed fiasco. It’s the absolute right for everyone in the program to be in it. 

But it is our absolute right as a pro-industry publication that wants to see the industry grow to ask the tough, #NettlesomeThings questions. That’s for medicinal purposes. Don’t blame the messenger, look at those whose behavior and track record requires that the message be made.

 

Housing Choice, Where Modular, Manufactured, Tiny, Conventional Housing Crisis, MHI and MHARR Intersect

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If we at MHProNews were wrong about any of these matters, why do the Clayton’s, 21st and MHI duck our questions, that for years they once gladly answered? Why don’t they just prove us wrong? They would if they could, right?  

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Rick Robinson, a MHI’s SVP and general counsel, ducked questions at the Deadwood conference in front of dozens of witnesses, just as Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison did at Louisville in 2018.

We periodically ask MHI and the Berkshire brands to show us any fact or logical errors. To quote some comments from MHI and other state association members, “Crickets.” No reply? Why? 

It is MHI’s own members that are troubled by this so-called ‘new class of homes‘ plan, see the related report accessed by clicking the box below, once you’ve finished reading this column.

 

“What Are We, Chopped Liver?” MHI Member December 2018 Reactions

 

The new class of homes logically will undermine over time all other HUD Code homes. Some, per our sources, were promised, prodded, and persuaded into doing them – which again is their right to decide to produce them or not. 

But as multiple MHI-only members have told us, the new class of homes is illogical. Why not build them modular, MHI producers said, if you do all of these changes? 

Why misdirect those Duty to Serve dollars away from HUD Code homes, which is what the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) called for? That’s some of what MHI members are telling me.  

 

 

The Costly Consequences 

Are you a HUD Code manufactured home lender? Mark my words, the value of your collateral will over time arguably be undermined by this misguided program.  That could happen if it succeeds, or even if it is tried for years and fails, as Clayton’s iHouse did.  

Are you a retailer or a community operator? Mark my words, the value of your residents’ homes will decline if this program is pushed. Why? Because the natural question – as MHI members are telling us – will be, why won’t the GSEs give us the same terms and conditions on all other HUD Code homes? The answer to that question undermines all other HUD Code homes.  

If the value of those existing manufactured housing residents homes declines, mark my words, the value of Manufactured Home Communities (MHC) will be impacted. Who says? Among others, legal and communities pros in our industry — who’ve raised these concerns directly to MHProNews. 

Keep in mind that sources in the GSEs have told me personally that this program was conceived backwards. One admitted it could backfire and harm the HUD Code. If so, that source said then they might change it. What?  

Ask yourself — why did they want this done between MHI, the GSEs, and Berkshire brands behind closed doors? Why wouldn’t they release the meeting minutes?  

For all of those who have been given proper notice as to the risks involved, consider the liability. I doubt the E/O policies will cover the losses from such a clearly flawed program.  

Who will do the lawsuits? Contingency lawyers, who are already exploring it, based upon the conversations and messages already sent and heard by me personally.  

Who will they sue on behalf of, you ask? Those millions of HUD Code Manufactured Home Owners, for one group.   

MH Community operations that are MHI members, if you don’t speak publicly out to object to this MHI plan, can you spell liability? 

Publicly-traded companies that don’t speak out publicly? Can you spell shareholder liability?  

Build those HUD Code homes however you want, within the norms of the performance standards, but my best advice is to publicly and promptely kill this term ‘new class of homes,’ right now. Then, stop the separation in HUD product that meets the Fannie Mae ‘MHAdvantage’ standards. Don’t let Freddie Mac do it either. 

Remind Fannie and Freddie that the HUD Code has nationally preemptive standards that should already be accepted. 

 

Who Will Survive This Looming Slow-Motion Tragedy? 

Pardon me for mentioning the fact that only one operation has pockets deep enough to survive the possible – arguably likely – wave of legal actions.  

Berkshire Hathaway, right? Recall that Kevin Clayton said in the video below, that “Warren” would be okay if he lost money for 5 years, as long as he grew his moat. Why not take Kevin at his word on that point?

 

 

For those that don’t know or don’t recall, there were big class action lawsuits years ago on plumbing and siding. Do we think at this current production level, that many in the industry’s producers – or other firms – will survive the logical trend of this emerging threat?  

Every business they put out of business, only helps the big boys, per their own “moat” theory, correct? 

 

The state executives who are caught in-the-middle or feel pressured on this, I don’t envy you. But you won’t be needed if the industry eventually vanishes in a logically coming wave of litigation. That’s why some of you are off-the-record sources for us already.

 

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For those who think that they can pressure or dissuade MHProNews from speaking out about #NettlesomeThings — you’ve obviously misjudged me and mine. 

The time is now – now – to stop this slow-motion catastrophe.

It is also time – now – to forge the new post-production association and/or alliance structures that can keep those who remain in MHI in check.  Otherwise won’t the folks In Arlington, VA only keep making the same purported multiple years of errors that caused NMHCO or MHIdea to launch?

 

“Lots of Sizzle,” Clayton Sales Performance, Other MHI & Clayton Homes News Tips

 

It’s arguably a slow-motion head shot. If I’m wrong, then let Kevin, Tim, Eric, Dick, Lesli et al take a stage in Louisville with me in 2019 and debate it publicly on a video taped session, so all of manufactured housing and the world can see it. 

Ladies and gents, are you up for it? 

Why is manufactured housing underperforming? Could it be that it’s been undermined from within? 

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There is a cost to ignoring bad news, and Marty Lavin’s put his finger on it. But as Rolfe and others have directly or obliquely mentioned, it is powers within the industry that have failed to defend the industry.

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That’s my two cents –  as someone invested in and who cares about this industry – based upon years of research, industry input, third-party experts, logic, and experience.  

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If there is a flaw in the facts and reasoning, anyone who wants to speak up on behalf of the Berkshire brands in MHVille, or MHI are hereby invited to so do. Want the details behind the logic? Then see the related reports, in the linked boxes, further below. “We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

AlanAmyRoyerMobileHOmesOpelousaLALATonyKovachMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryProNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Related References:

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

Back to Basics – What is Classical Liberalism, and What Can It Mean for Manufactured Housing Growth?

Understanding the News as Business, and Manufactured Housing

 

Clayton’s Miss, Kevin and Tim’s Manufactured Housing Kill Shot, More

 

 

Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Shows, Controversial Profitable, Problematic Issues Loom