Posts Tagged ‘Marty Lavin’

Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room

June 19th, 2018 No comments


A) In manufactured housing production, the elephant in the room is Clayton Homes. They are owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which also owns the 2 largest industry lenders, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF). Berkshire also owns a large stake in the industry’s third largest single family manufactured home loan lender, Wells Fargo.

There are only three (3) options on the following topic. The Berkshire owned manufactured housing brands either:

1)     know very specifically what must happen to grow manufactured housing sales up to the industry’s sustainable potential, which some estimate to be between half a million and a million HUD Code manufactured homes (MH) annually.

2)     The Berkshire brands in MH don’t know what must occur to grow the industry to reach its potential.

3)     Some point on the spectrum between numbers 1 and 2 above.

That’s about 150 words. The rest are details and commentary.


B) Arguably, any of the 3 positions above ought to be alarming to the vast majority of the industry’s independents. Why?

The case has be made by voices inside and outside of MHVille, that the Warren Buffett led Berkshire brands in MHVille dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

While he’s been silent in recent months, MH Communities pro Frank Rolfe was among the industry’s professionals who blasted MHI and their “hypocrisy” and failed “leadership” in defense or promotion of the MHIndustry.

Marty Lavin, a MHI award-winner, said on-the-record that MHI only works for the interests of the big boys.” Lavin added that MHI only work for the interests of smaller companies if they happen to align with the interests of “the big boys.”

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) was cited by the Washington Post (WaPo) as having been the driving force for the removal of Pam Danner at HUD. MHI‘s EVP Lesli Gooch specifically told WaPo they took no part in removing Danner. Why not?

We could outline other examples, on the Duty to Serve (DTS), DOE and the energy rule, or how Pam Danner got her job in the first place. MHI has been on the wrong side of numerous issues, plus the execution on other important issues.

The bottom line is that MHI’s track record are seen by several professionals as problematic, save for the consolidation of smaller companies into the hands of larger ones. That’s about 275 words. The rest are details and commentary.


C) So in about 400 words above, a case has been outlined. Logic and evidence-based concerns, plus common-sense reveals why the Berkshire brands and MHI arguably should not be trusted by the vast majority of MHVille independents. The rest are details and commentary.  We’ll invite them again to debate this publicly via video.  If we were wrong, why don’t they take us up on that invite and prove us wrong?


D) State communities associations have broken away from MHI. They are in the process of formalizing the launch of an independent manufactured home national communities association.

Those MH Communities have split because they lost confidence in MHI representing their interests. The rest are details and commentary.


E) Smoking Gun 3 documented and outlined how 21st Mortgage questionably pulled-back on lending to MH Independents in 2009. Hundreds of retailers folded afterwards.

As a result, a number of HUD Code manufactured home producers either failed, or were absorbed by Clayton.  Some where absorbed by Cavco, which is led by a former Clayton division president. Skyline Champion recently combined. Now 80 percent of the industry’s production is in the hands of those three vertically integrated firms.

The rest are details and commentary.


F) Manufactured housing is increasingly being recognized as the affordable housing solution that is hiding in plain sight. MHLivingNews touted that theme years ago. Others in media have been picking up on that very theme. Coincidence?

There is a need for 8.3 million affordable housing units in America today. It can only be provided cost-effectively by some form of factory building. HUD Code manufactured homes are the most affordable solution today.


G) Even though Clayton and MHI each have marketing and PR people, they have routinely allowed bad news stories that unjustly harm the industry’s image to go unaddressed. They have done so for years. 21st Mortgage CEO Tim Williams, the prior MHI Chairman, admitted on-the-record that the case could be made that every unfair story about MH should get addressed. Frank Rolfe has said similarly.

The above is about 700 words total to say that MHI and Berkshire may not cause every bad news story in MHVille, but they fail to address the majority of them.

The upshot? Limited new home sales and more Consolidation. See what award-winning Alan Amy said about that in the video.


H) The MH Communities sector recognized their need for independent representation. Retailers and others in the post production sector arguably need representation do too. MHARR is clearly representing the interests of the industry’s independent producers, as WaPo, the SBA, George Washington University and other third-party sources reflect.


I) Is there any reason why the Berkshire brands couldn’t repeat what they did in 2009? Shouldn’t every independent operator realize that they have a symbolic target on their head?

The rest are details and commentary.


J) Thanks to our supporters, we planned ahead years ago by creating the industry’s first and premier pro-industry educational platform with

MHProNews was a key part of the rebirth of the Louisville Show, as everyone in show management at the time said on camera and/or in writing.

We’ve proven our ability to get into mainstream media, such as Washington D.C.’s The Hill. Or consider often-referenced by others in media, Value Penguin, which ranks among the top 2 percent of all websites in America. Value Penguin dwarfs anything in MHVille for traffic.


K) We and those that support our efforts know what must be done to remove the shackles that have hobbled manufactured housing for years. Information and understanding are the First Phase.

Armed with evidence and reason, we are at the cusp of starting Phase 2.

The details and next steps will follow in the days ahead. Stay tuned, and sign up for our industry leading emailed headline news updates. From the biggest names in MHVille, to the mom-and pops, and thousands in between, we continue to lead the industry in readership. The reasons include insights like those above.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

(Third party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

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

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click this link. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.


Publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for

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

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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The Manufactured Housing Industry’s March Madness

March 7th, 2017 No comments

It’s not just basketball! The Manufactured Housing Industry has its own version of March Madness.

For example, there’s the rapidly approaching Tunica Manufactured Housing Show. The pace leading up to and through the show can be intense. To learn more about the largest event in all of manufactured housing, see Dennis Hill’s two articles. One is on the free business building seminars on the afternoon of March 28th, the other story Dennis Hill provided is the global brochure he produces and shared with us, so you could read all about what draws thousands to Tunica every year.

Those who want to know, and grow, will go.

Before the Madness…

Before we dig into some craziness, let’s note there are positive stories below, about more lending, and more homes sales, that are taking place due to forward thinking industry professionals.

There are profitable tips and opportunities described in featured stories too.  You’ll want to check those out.


Image credit, QuoteGram.

Then, the Madness…

The Madness is also that as an industry, we could be producing, financing and selling some 600% more new homes than we currently are. Who says? See the articles below!

So why aren’t we collectively doing more? There too the answers are spelled out in the articles linked below.

HUD Code MH Shipments of 81,100…why not 500,000 (+/-)?!

In an affordable housing crisis, our manufactured home industry holds a powerful solution.

But we aren’t alone. The MH Industry has Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. (To learn about a SWOT analysis, see that article, linked below).


SWOT definition credit, Google.

Defending and promoting the industry are what association dues are paid for at the state and national level. Right?

So, what has MHI done with the millions in dues – plus the PAC money – they spent in 5 years under Richard “Dick” Jennison’s, Lesli Gooch’s and her predecessor’s leadership?

See the MHI budget insights we obtained, see how many millions are involved, see where the big money goes, and the related articles, all linked below.

Keep in mind we have a video that we can produce. In it, Jennison promises attendees of the meeting he was speaking to on camera that they would pass The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. He specifically said they could pass it in the House and the Senate. He gave themselves 2 years to do it.

Two years have now come and gone. Did MHI’s president and MHI SVP Lesli Gooch meet those promises?


What if I told you that we also have video of Mr. Jennison saying we could be selling 500,000 homes a year (which, by the way, I agree the industry could do. Yes, that means that a location like yours could grow sales by 600%, if you wanted to do so.).

Then, what if I told you that on that same video, Mr. Jennison says that the potential for 500,000 shipments – 600% growth – he thought should be done slowly?

Who decides how fast your business – or any other operation – should grow?

Should it be Richard A. “Dick” Jennison at MHI?

We Provide, You Decide.” ©

As important, who has been sounding the alarm for years (besides MHProNews) that the industry could be doing much more?  Find that article about what MHARR says linked below, and you’ll see.

See too what Frank Rolfe, Marty Lavin, Titus Dare, Darren Krolewski, Tom Fath, and others are saying and questioning MHI on in this March Madness issue. Those articles are likewise linked below.

Don’t Guess, Know! Then, Plan and Act…

We have billions in opportunities, which means a location or business like yours could be doing 600% more if you wanted to do so. As Frank Rolfe said to MHProNews, the industry itself is in many ways holding us back.

Who specifically is responsible?

Don’t guess! Learn more! Why not stop the MH Industry’s self-inflicted madness?

With no further adieu, please see the featured articles and reports for March 2017 below for “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use.”  ©

We Provide, You Decide.”  © ##

DÉJÀ VU AGAIN? A New Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Initiative

by Marty Lavin, JD.

marty-lavin-jd-manufacturedhomefinanceexpert-DailyBusinessNews-mhpronews New Study
I like to say to myself “If you live long enough, you’ll see it all.”
Read more…

Triad Financial Services Introduces Superior Choice Credit Union to Manufactured Housing Industry, Video
by Soheyla Kovach


Every year for many years now, Darrell Boyd, Senior Vice President from Jacksonville, Florida based Triad Financial Services brings banks, credit unions, investors and other financial services professionals to the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.
Read more…

Executive Summary – 400 Words – Manufactured Housing Industry Obstacles and Billions in Opportunities
by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachIt could be boiled down to the 3-letter acronym at the end. Let’s first take a 400 word walk through the top obstacles and opportunities.
Read more…

SECURITY MORTGAGE GROUP Income Property Specialists
By Pierce Redmond

Pierce Redmond-Vice PresidentSecurityMortgageGroup-55x55ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Security Mortgage Group, a national award-winning MH Community lending broker, is pleased to have provided $30,000,000 in financing for several manufactured home communities nationwide in January 2017.
Read more…


Skyline Corporation Makes Executive Announcement
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsSkyline Corp. (NYSE: SKY) tells MHProNews that Jeff Newport has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer.
Read more…


MHARR: President Trump’s Actions Offer Major Opportunity for MH Industry and Consumers
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWashington, D.C., February 28, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that Executive Orders issued by President Trump within the past thirty days provide an unprecedented opportunity for the federally-regulated manufactured housing industry and American consumers who rely upon manufactured homes.
Read more…

Service Animals, Fair Housing, and You
by Nadeen Green, JD

For those of us who teach and write about fair housing, we have come to learn that the topic of service animals is the one that everyone wants to hear about (I sometimes joke that it is unlawful to teach a fair housing class without a reference to service animals). nadeen-green-mhpronews-com
Read more…


New NAR Report Points To Manufactured Housing Opportunities
by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachWhen the National Association of Realtors chief economist says there are more buyers than existing homes available on the market, that should be a huge signal to manufactured and modular home professionals,” said Stan Posey, sales manager at Sunshine Homes of Red Bay, AL.
Read more…

33 Sites | Woodmont Trailer Park | Farmington Hills, Michigan
by Christopher Nortley

ChristopherNortlyMHREinc=postedMHProNews-comy50x50-Woodmont Trailer Park – Farmington Hills, MI
Read more…


Federal Data Spotlights Manufactured Home Industry Quality, Regulatory Questions
by Soheyla Kovach


WASHINGTON, D.C. – With over 81,100 manufactured homes built last year, more than 99.99 percent of all manufactured home buyers had service issues satisfied through normal channels provided by their home’s builder, retailer, community, or installer.
Read more…


Richard Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute, Worth Millions to MH Industry? Facts from MHI Report
L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThe Manufactured Housing Institute, and its president and CEO, Richard A. Jennison, are required as a tax-exempt organization to keep and file certain records.  One of those reports was obtained by MHProNews, and is attached herein.
Read more…


MH Dealer Bill Passes House – What Does it Mean?
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIn the great state of Indiana, a bill recently passed in the state house regarding manufactured housing dealerships that has a rather interesting twist.
Read more…


Industry Lender Announces Name Change

BY Credit Human Federal Credit Union

cufbl_eastern_slide_200x200_2_2016After much consideration the San Antonio Federal Credit Union (SACU)/CU Factory Built Lending (CUFBL)/Mountainside Financial is excited to announce that we are changing our name to Credit Human Federal Credit Union.
Read more…


Ben Carson Confirmed as HUD Secretary, MHI and MHARR Commentary
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe Senate, in a 58-41 vote Thursday, has confirmed Dr. Ben Carson to be the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Read more…


Lancing the MH Industry’s Boil


by Soheyla Kovach

Let’s use the analogy of a pimple, cyst, or boil.
Read more…

Business Building Tunica Show Educational Seminars
by Dennis Hill

dennis-hill-showways-unlimited-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-com-50x50-On Tuesday, March 28th,  at the Resorts Hotel – 2nd Floor, Magnolia Room, you can discover this year’s business building educational seminars. Here is the lineup and schedule.
Read more…

The Report, Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton and Clayton Homes
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWhen the “Oracle of Omaha” speaks, people listen.
Read more…



2017 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show Looms, Final Brochure, Schedule Provided
By Tunica Show

tunicashow2017The Largest Manufactured Housing Show in the United States

The Tunica Show has more homes than any other industry event!
Read more…


Industry Feedback About the Manufactured Housing Institute, Image, Industry Hassles, and Advancement
by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovachA very thoughtful message from a widely-known industry leader is quoted below.
Read more…




Scam Alert! Professionals Warned
by Soheyla Kovach


Fox News and most mainstream media sources are urging caution to professionals and others answering cell phones and landlines from incoming calls from an “unknown caller” or a phone number you may not recognize.
Read more…


HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Increases, January Report
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWashington, D.C., March 6, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that, according to official statistics compiled on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), year-over-year manufactured housing industry production increased substantially during January 2017.

Read more…


SWOT Analysis – Marketing, Sales & Management Tool for Manufactured Housing Success

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachTo truly understand a location, business or organization – and its potential – a SWOT analysis is useful management tool.

Read more…


Modular Tapped to Help City With Housing Needs
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIn Belgrade, Montana, the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has looked to modular housing as a solution to what the organization calls “immense affordable housing needs.”
Read more…


The Evolution of 3D Printed Homes?
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsWhen it comes to 3D printed homes, companies around the world have been working to perfect the ideal system, including Beijing-based HuaShang Tengda, which printed a two-story villa that checks in at 4,305 square feet and can reportedly withstand a magnitude eight earthquake.
Read more…


Lost Modular Jobs Set to Return?
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsOnce known for its booming modular and manufactured home industry, Oxford, Maine has been dubbed the “Manufactured Housing Capital of New England.”
Read more…


The Uncertainties of Life
by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-mhmsm-comMany people today struggle with the need to know what will happen tomorrow, next week or even this year. Some have the need to try and manipulate tomorrow or to have life be ‘in order’ or ‘certain.’
Read more…

Habits to Make or Break for a Cleaner, Healthier Home
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIt never fails. No matter how much you clean, it always seems that something comes up, spills, or gets dirt on it.
Read more…


Manufactured Home Plants May Become Tiny House Production Centers
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsIn Carbon Hill, Alabama this week, the City Council heard about a possible plan from developers to use a couple of old manufactured home plant facilities to make small-sized homes, aka “tiny houses.”
Read more…


Pending Home Sales Numbers Released
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe report is in from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Read more…


Zoning Changes Could Affect Manufactured Housing
by RC Williams

RCWilliams-writer75x75ManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThe Washington County, Maryland Board of Commissioners is holding a public hearing today regarding several proposed changes to the county’s zoning ordinance, including ones that affect manufactured homes.
Read more…


Which Life Season are You in?
by Tim Connor

tim-connor-mhmsm-comFor the past 200 plus years we have experienced an economic downturn and uncertainty every 8-15 years. I am not a pessimist.  I am a realist.
Read more…


Superior September 2016, How Manufactured Housing Can Do It Better

September 6th, 2016 No comments

We as an industry have the superior solution, and while we’re collectively growing nicely, manufactured housing is still just a fraction of its former production levels.


Manufactured housing peaked in 1998, and has been on a mostly sustained slide since. The rise since 2009’s low point has been good, but we are still just a shadow of our former glory. Image credit, Calculated Risk.

ICYMI (in case you missed it), that relatively low level of production is both a threat and an opportunity in disguise.

Reality Checks

Divisions have always been a part of America. From the days of the colonists – or even before them when the native tribes who traveled the great mountains, rivers and plains of Asia, crossed  the straights from what today is Russia into Alaska, and then fanned out across what would become America – divisions have existed. 



Divisions have been a part of our heritage. Native American tribes were often rivals. The colonists were not all for the Revolution against England. Is it any wonder there are divisions today too? Note the tribal map is superimposed upon our modern states, which did not exist when they first roamed this vast land. Image credit – Emerson Kent.

Manufactured housing, modular and prefab systems-building is no different. Divisions exist.  It’s part of being human, we lack perfection, we find ourselves at odds with others; by choice, accident or coincidence.


We’ve reviewed before that it is when the national associations are working together in concert with state and community associations that the most progress has been made. UImage credit – collage of Industry Association logos by MHProNews, each logo is the property of their respective 
organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines.

How do we make what divides us into something that nurtures and becomes our strength?


Blind eyes won’t do it. What won’t fix divisions or help those fissures to strengthen us is to practice denial or insanity.

We’ve all heard or said that the popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things in the same ways, and yet expect a different result.

Let’s be honest. Yet at various times, haven’t MH Pros done just that…right?  We have all traveled that rut time and again, on issue after issue.


Habits, processes and systems are necessary to acheive success. At the same time, a habit can also become a rut, a trap. We must routinely challenge ourselves – and each other – by asking, is this the best that we can do on issue X today? Photo credit, WikiCommons. Poster by MHProNews.

Be it your face or mine in the mirror, we ought to admit that what was once a grove has at times lead to bring stuck in a rut.  That rut has become a trap which slows our progress, or keeps us from going higher and faster. That rut may even mimic an open ended grave.



As Commodore’s Bob Bender, a former Kodak executive noted in our interview with him, there are times when channels become ruts that can trap a person, firm or an industry. Montgomery Wards was once a great retailer, now they are in the dust bin of history. Ditto Eastman Kodak. Photo credit, eBay.

Being years into our industry’s recovery from the bottom of 2009 is good, but it also has its threats. For those of us who survived or now seemingly thrive in America 2016, that self-congratulatory pat on the back for surviving should not lead us to a false sense of success.

We can and must do better. There are too many threats that could still limit or even crush manufactured housing.  Don’t believe it? Just ask a coal miner, or someone who once worked for a giant operation like Kodak or Montgomery Wards.

Bad Media? Good Reporting?

There are often more than two sides to a story, so that thin edge of the coin can become an important insight.

When one fails to properly share each side of a tale, that story is lacking.  When the realities are twisted, that report then morphs into a kind of ghost story or fairy tale.

What is “Good Media?”


In this new issue, we showcase examples of manufactured housing pros who spoke out on the record against biased or incomplete media reports. When the industry makes responding to such attacks routine and effective, we’ll see manufactured housing acceptance, respect grow and sales soar. Hundreds of mainstream media sites picked up our media release on media bias against MH. See article linked below for this topic and others like it.

Good media does more than the basics of – who, what, when, where and why – of Journalism.

Good media reveals the tensions!  Good media reflects what is real, and may hint at or spell out the possible resolutions!

Tensions. Accountability. Reality checks. Good story telling. Resolutions. Each and all are needed to advance.

Skills, insights and resources like yours and your operation are needed to complete a picture.


Better late to the dance than to not come at all. Some in MH questioned and resisted early and often what others more recently have realized could harm our industry. What ought to be a positive for MH, has been shown by third parties as negatives about manufactured housing. The engagement of professionals with good trade media and clear-eyed association leaders is the best way to advance the industry on all the issues facing MH. The collage and response article above hit hundreds of mainstream media sights, to help set the record straight about the fact that MH already saves energy, and the options already exist for more energy savings. Image credits on the article, linked below.

That insight then requires expertise. It requires objectively.  It requires a willingness to dig in by each of those who are touched.

Until we shine the proper light on what’s right, and yet don’t avoid what’s wrong, we have not hit the right balance.

We should make you feel hopeful and good, while challenging you too. If we have never stepped on a toe, odds are you or we or both missed something.

Revealing tensions and reflecting various perspectives well is important.

The blind can only grope their way ahead.

Those blinded by habit, hubris or any of the weaknesses that divides humanity are stuck at the speed of groping.

The jet fuel that could power us ahead is to take the limiting dark and/or rose colored glasses off.

We must believe that we can do it, so a kind of positive attitude is necessary.

But we must also be real. Denying the cliffs along the roads we all travel is as bad as being paralyzed by fear.

Balance and tension alike makes for good journalism.

By being true first to each other, we can then as trade journalists better engage the mainstream media, the public, officials and policy types.

Showing reality, and then dealing with it – that is what makes us stronger.

Manufactured housing is a superior solution. Other forms of factory building each have their vital roles too.

Industry Voices, Real News, Thoughtful Interviews and Reports


Industry pros like Lamb, association and other leaders are among those who have boldly spoken out on issues that impact manufactured housing nationally. We will only advance to the extent that we tackle the issues that hold our industry back.  For the article that drew Lamb’s comment, scroll down to the Featured Articles for Superior Septemember.

We bring you Superior September 2016’s featured articles and reports, each of which includes industry voices like those you know. People like those you work with, or who are and have been walking in shoes like yours.

We can’t fix the world in a single story, issue or report. America’s story isn’t finished, neither is the story of MH.

But day by day, shining hopeful light on issues that matter – on issues which either hold us back or are moving us ahead – these are how we make manufactured and other forms of industrialized housing great in America.

We are in this industry are the future, we must believe that to be true. We must jump or navigate each hurdle, until we arrive at a point that we have the respect and the rewards which comes from doing it right.

With no further adieu, we bring you with the sincere thanks to all who make this and every issue happen, the Superior September 2016 featured articles and reports. MHProNews – “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use.” ©
Another 2016 Manufactured Housing Legal Update – Where Business & Law Intersect


MarcLifesetJDMcGlincheyStaffordmanufacturedhousinglaw-postedManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-50x50by Marc Lifeset, JD
McGlinchey Stafford is proud to provide the Manufactured Housing Update to the manufactured housing industry. 

Read more…


Comparing Mid-America Apartment Communities vs. Sun Communities, Head-to-Head Analysis


By Joe Dyton

Joe_Dyton_DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews55x55CML News recently took a deep dive into a head-to-head comparison between Memphis, TN-based Mid-America Communities, Inc. (NYSE: MAA) and Southfield, MI-based Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI).

Read more…


Two Faces of Manufactured Home Community Closures – Urban Institute’s Preservation Approach Vs. Little Farm Trailer Park Outcome


by Joe Dyton
Affordable housing options are becoming less plentiful around the country, but according to Urban Institute researchers, there are ways to sidestep what has become an outright crisis.

Read more…


Management Group Increases Holdings in Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS)


by Frank Griffin

FrankGriffinDailyBusinessNewDBNwriterMHProNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryNews55x55Schroder Investment Management Group acquired an additional $2,017,000 worth of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) shares for the quarter ending July 30th, 2016.
Read more…


Say No Socialist Driven Economy, Praise for Revolution PreFab Homes


by Jay Hamilton

jay-hamiltonTony, I have no plans to vote for a Socialism Driven Economy.

Read more…


Carlyle Group (CG) Urged To Invest Multi-Billion$ In “Dry Powder,” says Bloomberg’s Tan


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
The Carlyle Group (CG) is reportedly one of the top 100 largest manufactured home community operators in the U.S..  Its big hedge fund business is said to be heading for the exit, according to SeekingAlpha and Bidness.

Read more…


UMH Properties Closes on 2 Manufactured Home Communities, more Closings Pending


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
Freehold NJ based UMH Properties, Inc. (NYSE: UMH) announced that it has closed on the acquisition of two communities located in Ohio for a total purchase price of $2,954,000.

Read more…


Man Shot in “Trailer Park” (sic) says ABC TV’s Marla Carter, MH Pros React


by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
Tragedy and violence occurs in neighborhoods across America.

Read more…


MHC Pro/Owner – “Highly Conflicted” over Manufactured Home Community Closures


by Marty Lavin, JD
Tony, I am highly conflicted by the closing and eviction of the El Portal MH community.

Read more…


MH Community Owner’s Reaction to Baytown, TX “trashy mobile home park” story


by Richard Nodel
I become incensed when I see examples of the absolute worse type of landlord.

Read more…


Zoning, Opening up Urban Infill and Making Sure Citizens who want Manufactured Homes are Heard


EdSchaferGovtAffairsManufacturedHousingInstituteSouthCarolina-postedIndustryVoices-MHProNews-65x65by Ed Schafer
For the last three or four years, the South Carolina association’s focus is to move beyond killing bad zoning proposals and working to reopen areas that have been closed to manufactured homes for many years.

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Discrimination, Zoning and Disparate Impact on Manufactured Homes, Owners, Prospects


M-MarkWeiss-MHARRPresident-ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform-posted-MHProNews-com-50x50-by Mark Weiss
The discriminatory exclusion of manufactured homes by local governments is a major problem for the industry and consumers.

Read more…


Business Impact – Left, Right Agree – President Obama’s mark is on powerful U.S. Appeals Courts


tony- kovachby L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
Elizabeth Wydra is the president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, which Wikipedia describes as a conservative judicial group.

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Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, Directors Insider Trades – & CVCO Portfolio Holder Updates


   by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
tony- kovach
Cavco Industries director Jack Hanna has filed a Form 4, according to a report byStreetInsider, see that as a download, linked here.

Read more…


Controversial Analysis – NRDC, ACEEE and proposed DOE Manufactured Home Energy Standards for Manufactured Homes – Helpful or Harmful?


by L. A. “Tony” Kovach
tony- kovach
Controversy about the proposed U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) standards for manufactured housing has followed the flurry of commentary from various special-interest and non-profit groups, covered by recent news media reports.

Read more…


Demand for Manufactured Homes in Louisiana Flood Zone Rising, Factories Gear Up for FEMA, Residents


tony- kovachby L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
For two days, rain tortured the heart of bayou country, dumping 24 inches in less than 48 hours on southern Louisiana, says a report in the DigitalJournal.

Read more…


Discrimination, Injustice against manufactured housing – a Call for Action by Industry Professionals


by Todd Lamb
Tony, I agree with the Daily Business News article and the comments from other manufactured home industry professionals regarding Councilman David McCartney in Baytown.

Read more…


HUD Code Manufactured Housing, “The Discrimination Code”


marty-lavin-jd-manufacturedhomefinanceexpert-DailyBusinessNews-mhpronewsby Marty Lavin, JD
Tony, you are so right on the HUD Code has become a deadly “discrimination code,” especially as it applies to manufactured home financing.

Read more…


A Cup of Coffee with… Otis Orsburn, Hybrid Prefab Homes


a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Hybrid Prefab Homes and where your organization is based).

My name is Otis Orsburn, President of Hybrid Prefab Homes based in Santa Rosa, California.

Read more…

A Cup of Coffee with…Mark Weiss, President & CEO of MHARR (Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform)


a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and where your organization is based).

Mark Weiss, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Read more

Responding to Negative News About a trashy Baytown “Mobile Home Park”


KarleRaddeSouthernComfortHomesBryanTX-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-60x63by Karl Radde
Stories like this are the kind of thing that generally helps cast such a negative light on our industry.

Read more…


The Importance and Value of Independent MH Trade Publications


tim-williams-CEO-President-21st-mortgage-corporation-daily-business-news-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-by Tim Williams and are both good communications resources for the Manufactured Housing Industry.

Read more…


Building A Good Reputation Is Hard!


by Wayne Coakley
WayneCoakleyGrenadeMarketingGroupReputationMarketing-ManufacturedHousing-55x62 headshot_MHProNews-com-
Well, maybe not so hard. Surprisingly, building a good reputation is pretty easy if you built your business around trust from the get-go.

Read more…


AMHA Announces 3 New Videos Designed to Promote Manufactured Housing, Dispel Myths


by J. D. Harper


The Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA) has completed a series of short videos aimed at addressing and dispelling myths, misconceptions and stereotypes about today’s manufactured housing.

Read more…


Happiness Happens


by Tim Connor, CSP
I am sure you have heard, or maybe even used the term, SH _ T Happens: well how about – Happiness Happens?

Read more…


ZigOn Preachers


by Zig Ziglar
The typical American believes that those men and women who fill the pulpits in the churches work a few hours on the weekend and probably spend some time visiting, preparing and counseling during the week. In short, they have it pretty easy.

Read more…


September 26th, 2015 No comments

We’re in a nation and world living in critical times. Ensconced in the cocoon of our big screens, tablets, smart watches, phones and social distractions, images of millions of refugees from the Middle East may seem as surreal as a Dali painting.


Salvador Dali used many styles of art over the years, among them a surrealistic expression that was designed to make people think. Image Credit = Asia Forest Gallery.

The moorings of our nation’s constitution were slipped years ago. We awakened to a president who proclaims he’ll act with a pen and phone. The Supreme Court claims authority to redefine marriage against the will of the majority, thousands of years of history and the normal tenants of judicial interpretation.

The House Speaker has stepped down the day after a historical address of Congress by Pope Francis. Having blown past 18 trillion dollars, the House and Senate faces a new debt ceiling. The budget – or more likely, a CR – must still be passed. The southern border remains a porous political football. And Clayton Homes builds a 3D printed solar concept house in conjunction with ORNL.

For good and ill, there is simply too much for millions of people to track and follow, much less digest and truly understand.

The Renter’s Nation is not the American Dream of yore. No wonder people are getting stoned on pot 20x stronger than when Jeb Bush smoked it 40 years ago.

Heroin is killing hundreds in cities and small towns across the nation. Reports reveal that Mexican cartel coyotes are leading illegals across the border, using the young and adults as mules to carry drugs to America’s streets.  That leads to more crime. Ann Coulter shrilled her message as she shills her book ¡Adios, America!

The Donald Trumpets the immigration issue too.  Dr. Ben Carson takes the NBC bait and opines on not voting for a hypothetical Muslim for president.  Bernie Sanders and as yet unannounced VP Joe Biden virtually equal the once ‘invincible’ Hillary Clinton in polling. A billionaire Democratic donor joins the growing chorus on the political left calling for more DNC debates, as H-> is apparently caught in the latest misstatement about those private-and-public emails on a personal, unsecured server.

Of course Black Lives Matter, but why did Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley feel the need to apologize that all lives matter, regardless of race, color or creed?  Cops are executed on city streets, as crime and murders are rising in major metros.


As unrest spreads in the cities, will more start moving to the Exurbs?  Matthew Silver’s report on a study Rural Living – Returning to Exurban America we published already says as much.

National and Global Turmoil

Russia has jet fighters now in Syria, armed with air-to-air missiles. Vladimir Putin says they will  prop-up the Assad regime, which President Barak Obama once vowed must end. The Russians have buzzed our borders with long-range bombers for months. ChiComs recently sent warships near Alaska, they too have buzzed our warplanes, as they build a military base in islands in the South China Seas shipping lanes, sending fear across the Western Pacific rim.  While their regime is promising to reduce the dirtiest global emissions on the planet, via surrogates they hack our computers. The Chinese are stealing our technology and jobs, while manipulating their currency to prop up their sliding stock markets.

Few even mention that Putin’s Russia stole Crimea from the Ukraine, while the civil war they’ve fostered aims to reclaim that entire land. ISIS made even Turkey so nervous, they’re now toe-in-the-water on the conflicts that are deluging Europe with the most refugees since WWII. Russia and Iran are ever more openly cooperating with each other. The NATO alliance is being tested as never before.


Yet, the pen and phone wielding POTUS will reward Tehran with nearly $150 billion in a deal that makes no sense to some 2/3rds of all Americans, an agreement many Gulf States and Israel strongly or quietly oppose. We spent trillions in war in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia rewards us by depressing oil prices to harm U.S. oil producers.  No wonder most Americans are frustrated with DC politics and American policies, foreign and domestic.  

No wonder underdogs and outsiders in both major parties are getting such a good look vis-à-vis the insiders and establishment candidates.

We need a combination of Solomon and Braveheart for our next president. We need solution oriented citizen-officials in Congress, and SCOTUS justices that want to enforce the law, not create or protect laws that violate the separation of powers and the original federal/state balance of authority.


See the latest in this ongoing story about DOJ and MH, linked here. While this case is troubling, there are rumors that some are stoking Justice to take other actions against MH that if true look much more like a CFPB style over-reach.   When will we pull together to say, enough is enough? 

Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing, S 682, On Hold…

With all the battles in the Congress looming, our MH bill, S 682 is on hold; part of a larger bill possibly poised for fall Senate passage.  The Marty Lavin video interview on that topic is doing well.

Manufactured Home Personal Property Loans – Are They Predatory?

Are CFPB Regulations Helping or Harming Consumers and Home Owners?

Yes, our MH lenders and the MH industry are harmed by CFPB regulations.

But a lender told me privately – that while negatively impacted – arguably far more harmed than MH lenders are the 4 estimated million living in


An important, in- depth video to see and share with policy advocates, public officials, local media and of course MH Pros.

1.7 million pre-HUD code mobile homes and post-HUD Code Manufactured Homes valued under $20,000. Independent MH businesses, the lender suggested, are more harmed by the CFPB regulations too. What happened to limited federal government?  What’s happened to leaving most matters to the states?

Yes, HR 650 is thankfully passed by a healthy margin. But publicly today, who beyond our twin publications and a relative few in MH are crying out for those millions?

MH Industry Threats at Home and Abroad

Never forget that China claims to be shipping MODs for housing to dozens of nations. Don’t think for a second that they, Japan, or a firm like IKEA couldn’t turn our domestic factory-built home industry upside down within a year if they made that commitment.

Yes, the world’s a mess. We can’t ignore it, nor should we ignore our business and consumers.  This is why we’ve pushed, pleaded and prodded that MH must rise to its potential, or remain vulnerable.

MH Enemies, Friends and Mainstream TV Ads

There is an odd dance of sorts taking place between industry players, from bases such as Arlington and Indy. An industry insider told me the following, off the record:

Isn’t it amazing how many thousands of peoples’ lives in this industry have been upended

by the unwillingness of so few people to get along?

Now, a retired vet who was unofficially (allegedly) declared persona-non-grata about 2 years ago, this year finds 3 representatives of that same group at his event of a few weeks ago. What message does that send to others who want to be part of the solution for the industry? What message does that send to those who want to stir the pot, but so far, have not?

Another retired (really?) leader is said to hope to knit together a coalition of a loose business alliance to challenge the association status quo, seen as being lead by MHI.  In conjunction with that new national association plan, there is talk of their creating a national campaign for MH.

StrawberryMansionBridge-HABS2 credit Wikimedia Commons posted on

The time to bridge the gaps is long overdue in MH. Frankly, even those deemed ‘trouble makers’ bring ideas to the table that are worthy of exploration. There needs to be a healthy discussion, followed by action. Otherwise, we’ll be stuck at low levels of production, when the marketplace realities suggest that we should be roaring ahead with much higher new home shipment levels. Peace through strength. Photo credit – WikiCommons.

It’s ironic how on multiple fronts, one group is walking right into another’s apparent snare, while dancing with the very one who is part of the alleged plot against their interests.

It’s been suggested by a well-placed source that one side is thinking, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” How ironic! The other side is thinking the same thing.  Both want to manipulate and use the other.

Far better to settle the issues, if possible. If that’s not possible, then do what ever is fair and just for the many.  We as an industry will advance when the common good and the various talents and skills the many have are brought to the table, thus bridging the various gaps and yielding profitable solutions.

Meanwhile, across town, Mark Weiss at MHARR is giving a wide berth to all of that infighting and plotting, as he focuses on issues he believes will benefit independent producers.

That “New National Association” and Their “Marketing Plan”

The plotter’s for a new association plan for a national campaign – which is certainly worthy of being done.  But do they know what professionally producing a 30 second spot for mainstream TV costs, per the Wall Street Journal?

An average :30 commercial generally costs between $300-500k, depending on how many locations, how many days you’re shooting, how much on-camera talent, and myriad other factors. Costs start to skyrocket when you add celebrities, license music instead of scoring it, heavy special effects, and so on.”

Please note. That’s not the cost of running the ads! That’s just the cost of producing one prime-time quality commerical.

That’s one of many reasons why for years MHProNews has pushed for an alternative strategy that is local market based, but yields national coverage. A plan that reflects industry realities. But that’s another Masthead post for another time. Suffice it to say for now that $2 million for 2 years could yield another $4 billion annually per year in new MH sales at retail.

Lumaxart Graphic by Scott Maxwell

Industry pros are better together, to borrow the ROC tag line. Luxmark graphic by Scott Maxwell.

Yes, we’re making progress.  Yes, its slow.  Again, egos and agendas are part of what is holding the many back. Supporting common sense might mean that some would be embarrassed.

So the struggle goes on here to thread the needle of exposing threats and opportunities alike.

People say things they don’t truly understand, based upon ego, envy, and other errors.  The off-the-record quotable quote above bears repeating:

Isn’t it amazing how many thousands of peoples’ lives in this industry

have been upended by the unwillingness of so few people to get along?

The National and MH Crossroads

Let’s step outside ourselves and use a very recent, non-MH analogy.

America is the land of the free, and the home of the brave. So Pope Francis quoted the great American hymn as part of his fascinating address to Congress. The left embraces him on issues like climate change and immigration, and the right on issues such as being pro-Life and Religious liberty. I wonder if either political camp realizes they aren’t fully or truly listening?

The papal words are quite capable of being understood – for example – not as a call to open borders; nor does he lay out a program on climate. Pope Francis praised business and the creation of jobs in English; does that sound like a socialist?

One forgets – or many didn’t know – that Argentina has lived an extreme form of crony capitalism, not something akin to America’s free enterprise system. Tyrannical power and greed are among what the Pope decries, aren’t those part of what Jesus also taught?

The current pope is a Jesuit – meaning, highly educated.  He is seeking to thread needles. He wants peace, not this unnamed Third World War being waged in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia where Russia and China team up with jihadis, Iran’s and North Korea’s killer regimes to foment anti-Western terror and destabilization. He says we should care for the environment, but did you hear him say we need cap and trade?  So he states a goal or principle, not how we should put a principle into action.  He said we should be just and welcoming to foreigners, not that we must ignore our own laws (which were enacted with justice to legal immigrants and U.S. nationals in mind).

Seen in the light of Judeo-Christian and much of the American tradition, does the pontiff’s full address (linked here) read anything like what either the left or right wing media portrays it to be?


Tim Willams spoke of our industry as a fraternity, meaning, as a brotherhood. Are we routinely acting in a fraternal manner?


Image credit – KY Olsen, Flickr Creative Commons. 

I share this as an example to say, we must learn to listen and truly respect each other. We should try to get to the heart of issues, instead of talking past each other and hearing only what we want to see, read or hear.

Confronting people with the Truth

The truth can be uncomfortable. Our Industry’s leaders need to seek the common good. We need to work for the success of our home owners, and that in turn will benefit virtually all of us.

Those who want to carve a fiefdom or an empire at the expense of the many may find themselves challenged and suffering the same fate that Kodak or Montgomery Wards did.  We are entitled to our own opinions. But we should care enough about our collective interests to subordinate ourselves to a reasonable degree of enlightened mutual self-interest.


Triad Financial Services Chairman, Don Glisson, Jr. called for solutions, not gripes, and working between groups like MHARR and MHI, for the common good.

We need that fraternity that Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage spoke about, linked here.

We need to re-read the call to action that Triad Financial’s Don Glisson Jr issued to MHI, MHARR and all – to be goal and solution oriented, not just gripe oriented…see his wisdom again, linked here.

15-minutes-daily-mhpronews(2) (1)

15 minutes daily here and on MHProNews and on MHLivingNews saves time, becaue you get a syntheysis of news tips and views that pros can use. Investing the time – and giving support when possible – yields a proven path for MH professional and MH industry advancement.

One of my favorite quotes which we strive to apply to MH daily is this:

You can get everything out of life that you want, when you help enough other people get out of life what they want. – Zig Ziglar 

The world is in crisis. President Kennedy reminds us from his grave in Arlington that the 2 characters that spell crisis in Chinese also means opportunity.



As a closing segue/promo, please take a look at our latest video on a model home named The Kennedy, linked here. And if you’ve not yet seen the Marty Lavin video interview, grab a favorite beverage and click here. ##


By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.


Comical, but not funny – Manufactured Housing, Lending and Industry Crossroads

November 15th, 2014 No comments

There are phone calls, and then there are great calls. One of the latter this week was a pro who told me that the cartoon character Dilbert was his favorite management consultant.


Here is some of what Dilbert has to say about being in a “niche market.”



Cartoon credits: Dilbert.

I laughed reading these cartoon panels because we have a number of industry pros who are using the term “niche market” or similar terminology to describe manufactured housing.

Do they realize that when they say ‘niche market’ in a trillion dollar a year U.S. housing industry, that they’re admitting they are going after the crumbs instead of pulling up a chair for the great feast possible?


Credit: Flickr Creative Commons.

There is nobility in serving the poor, retired or working class. If that is all we could do as an industry, we should hold our heads high! Everyone deserves a good place to live.

But what’s the harm reaching out to the hundreds of millions who can afford to buy bigger, nicer homes, as well as serve the economically challenged?

Isn’t it logical to do ‘all of the above,’ – low, middle, high – instead of just some? The article linked at the end below gives 6 million reasons why we should be doing more than sub-70,000 annual new HUD Code manufactured home shipments this year.

Blinders! Head in the Sand!

head-in-sand-wikicommons-dilbert=credit-posted-masthead-mhmsm-com-There are times when I could laugh – or cry – at the amazingly experienced people in MH who seem to think that all we can do is sell our cheapest MH homes to souls who are difficult or unable to get credit qualified.

By contrast, we see some nicer 55+ MHCommunities – which may sell 6 figure manufactured homes on a land lease – selling to the middle class, or in some markets, selling MH to millionaires – so its doable.

Hello MHville managers and leaders? Are you really seeing the full picture, or just a narrow part?

When others in MH prove they can do X, why can’t more people in YOUR market believe they can do that too?

In fact, don’t be surprised if people in your state are doing now what some in your organization think can’t be done. That’s why we’ve said for years that all that is needed to advance MH is within our collective grasp.

Trying to hoard the pie, shrinks it. Sharing knowledge and resources to market and train sales pros for 21st century home selling, that is where growth for all will come to pass.

MH Lender Clarification

Before digging deeper, a clarification on the U.S. Bank exit from MH direct lending topic from Wednesday’s Masthead. Others ‘soon to be exiting the business’ reference in that column was not meant to suggest other MH lenders are getting ready to pull the plug. A close look at that post makes it clear we suggested that exits/consolidation would be builders and others. In fact, there is talk of one (or more) new lenders entering/growing their MH market presence.

If you missed the news, or need to reference those facts/comments – here it is:

The lesson from the U.S. Bank exit is the same as any other MH exit from MHville that is avoidable. We must grow our collective new home business. We must collectively escape up. It can be done, is being done here and there already and is BEST done synergistically.

The Enemy is Us?

Proverbs 29:18 is translated by some this way, “Without prophetic vision, the people perish…”


Credit: Pogo.

We need to realize that without internal changes – within the ranks and leadership of our industry – we’ll only limp along. Yes, we’re five years into a recovery, but a tepid recovery in what Marty Lavin calls HUDville.

Without change, MH will continue to chase the crumbs that regulators, politicos, economics and market conditions will continue to make harder to to survive on, much less thrive upon.

$70,000 pirce difference-manufactured-home-community-copyright-mhpronews-posted-masthead-blog-


Credits: MHProNews.

Your Masthead scribe has spoken to pros whose organization used to sell hundreds of homes a year; now they are down to a trickle. Why?

I hear the justifications for doing rentals in MHCs, and certainly understand the regulatory motivations (fear) for doing it. But isn’t it far better to sell homes – the classic MHC business model of owner occupancy vs. rentals – than lease manufactured homes? Can’t we get credit qualified buyers to move into ABC MHCommunity?

surajit-paul-flickrcreativecommons=credit-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-475-309-The MHCrossRoads

Intersections, crossroads and parking lots are the most dangerous places when driving.

But they’re also a necessary way of getting from where you are to where you want to be.

Drivers who understand the ‘rules of the road,’ traveling the highway together, can go faster and farther than those who drive solo on a lonely path.

Specific thoughts on the route forward is outlined in this column.


Credit Cartoon Clips.

The theme for L’ville 2015 is the Road to Success. We will flesh out more details for all those who attend the free related business building sessions at the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. Traveling that road can be almost as much fun as laughing all the way to the bank. ##

(Related link – 6 million Reasons Manufactured Housing Sales Should Grow Now)

(Credit for unmarked images: Wikicommons and FlickrCreativeCommons respectively.)

la-tony-kovach-latonykovach-com-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach


Nuclear November 2014 – Energy or Explosions for Manufactured Housing?

November 1st, 2014 No comments

As the headline implies, this brief intro to our monthly line-up of featured articles isn’t about environmental or energy policies, as important as each may be. Rather, we’re using a metaphor of releasing nuclear energy in a way that will be productive, or we risk energy that is destructive instead.


Darlington Nuclear Generating Station – Canada

nuclear-bomb-credit-wikicommons-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-The atom – and then the nuclear – bombs are the most destructive forces generally known to humanity. But harnessing such “nuclear energy” powers the electric grids in many homes and businesses worldwide. That principle is our brief thought for today.

When you read

> Marty Lavin’s article,

> Cup of Coffee with…Ross Kinzler or

> Tim Connor’s article on management,

or other commentary in Industry Voices, there is an unplanned but common thread! That thread – IMHO – includes leadership, but it also includes channeling energy and facing challenges. Ignore a challenge, and it will sooner or later catch up with you or your firm, as have the finance-or-image issues for our industry.

Someone suggested we are trying to start a revolt by raising the leadership issue, not so. We are simply giving voice to those who are already talking about these topics.

I recall a MHEC meeting about 3.5 years ago, and a veteran state executive turned to then MHI President Thayer Long, and said,‘Thayer, with all due respect, you are not getting the job done.’ Was it a coincidence that not long afterward, Thayer resigned and went on to other association work?

The point is that it is best to have issues like leadership – when they are being so widely discussed already – voiced. Let people see precisely what others are thinking. That gives others the opportunity to adapt as needed. As a leader at a publicly traded firm told me, ‘Tony, there are advantages to transparency.’

We’ll provide a periodic forum for that sort of leadership discussion, so long as the topic resonates with MH Industry pros and enthusiasts like you.


We are ‘recruiting’ new team members. As I describe our industry via videos and words – written and spoken – part of what I share is a vision of our being agents for positive, profitable change for Manufactured Housing in America.

In a trillion dollar a year U.S. housing industry, we can and must muster the will and wisdom to triple or more our new home shipment levels. When that happens, most all engaged in the mix will benefit.

Some cower or are angered by discussions of changes needed in MH. Being afraid of the public discussion is about as smart as being afraid of a virus you know how to avoid or treat. And if you don’t know how to treat a virus, then its time to learn.

Experts and Informed Opinions!

I deliberately reach out every month to those I know will have a different point of view than mine, because how else can we see where the truth is without comparison between varying ideas?

Agree or Disagree – let us know, with your own OpEd or letter to the editor. What is certain is that the energy – negative and positive – flowing through the manufactured and modular housing’s “power grid” must be tapped and channeled, or it will become destructive.

Speaking of energy, we bring you three different views in one article below on the DOE Energy standards for manufactured homes. “We Provide, You Decide.” (c)


Image credits – WikiCommons

Speaking of Finance…

There are articles by Marty Lavin, Dick Ernst and from MHI to the FHFA, all relating to finance issues. “We Provide, You Decide.” (c)

Speaking of Change…

You’ll see articles on changes we are making here to better serve you. We walk the talk. Please check them out.


Adieu in French or Adios is Spanish have the original meaning of “God go with you,” or “Fare Thee Well!” Matthew Silver share his Adios message, please see that linked below. Parting is sweet sorrow!

That said, let’s jump into the strongest line up of experts, insights, analysis and more on the #1 – and still growing! – factory built housing trade media platform, found via the links below.

November 2014 Featured Articles

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 6, No. 2, 2014

Alphabetically by Category



• Foreclosure and Insurance Proceeds

by C. William Dahlin, JD

bill-dahlin-hkc-law-california-posted-manufactured-housing-pro-news-com-50x50-Any person or entity who lends money for the purchase of real property can, of course, become a secured lender. In simple terms, that means that the lender, in California, has a Deed of Trust recorded.

Read more…


• “You Should Get a Spanking…”

by Nadeen Green, JD


…if you are being naughty when it comes to fair housing and familial status issues. Actually, you would likely prefer a spanking than what you might get for your misbehavior with rules for children at your community.

Read more…


• The 6th Circuit Court says Manufactured Homes aren’t Consumer Product

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony-kovach-2-50One of our legally connected friends very thoughtfully shared this article, republished from Law360, which is significant to our industry and directly related to it. Every association, builder, retailer and community has a direct interest in this case and its outcome.

Read more…



• Preparing For CFPB’s New Appraisal And Valuation Rules 

by Dick Ernst

dick-ernst-50By now industry participants should be very aware of the “Big 8” Dodd-Frank regulations that have been implemented since January of 2014.

Read more…


• MHI Letter Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel – Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)

by MHI

mhi-logo-50x50Subject – Enterprise Housing Goals; Proposed Rule 12 CFR Parts 1282 – Blanket Loans on Manufactured Housing Parks.

Dear Mr. Pollard:

Read more…



• The 2015 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show Tunica, Mississippi – March 25 – 27, 2015 – A Phoenix Rises

 by Dennis Hill

dennis-hill-showways-unlimited-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-com-50x50-A Phoenix is a mythical bird that near the end of its life builds a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young Phoenix…arises, reborn anew to live again…So goes the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show!

Read more…

• The 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show Kentucky Exposition Center Louisville, Kentucky January 21 -23, 2015 The Road to Success 

by Dennis Hill


The numbers really add up. Think about all of the exciting brand new homes. Think about the 2,500 professionals who were in Louisville in 2014, representing hundreds of organizations from virtually all aspects of our industry.

Read more…


A Cup of Coffee with… Ross Kinzler

coffee-501) Who, What and Where: (Your name, and your role/job title at organization or firm and where you are based.)

Ross Kinzler, executive director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance based in the People’s Republic of Madison, Wisconsin.

Read more…


• Approaching Version 3.0 – Impacts You and Manufactured Housing Industry 

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach


Manufactured Housing Professional News – – is widely recognized as the runaway #1 industry professional trade journal serving the factory built housing industry, as numerous positive comments from industry leaders linked here demonstrate.

Read more…


• Where Are We Now? – A Second Chance

by Marty Lavin, JD


As we view the manufactured housing industry condition at present, one can’t help but wonder about its status now and in the immediate future. When I speak about the future I mean in the next 5 years. Even conjuring that far out is challenging, longer than that is outside my ego to predict.

Read more…


• Three Views on Manufactured Housing DOE Energy Efficiency Standards

MHI, Don Westphal and MHARR

spotlight-report50x50We’ll share without commentary three different perspectives on the DOE Energy Efficiency Standards for Manufactured Housing. We’ll start with MHI’s view, share Don Westphal’s letter to dozens of MH professionals and conclude with the MHARR’s M Mark Weiss reply.

 Read more…


• About the MBA’s Lobbying, Conventional and Manufactured Housing’s Roles in U.S. Recovery 

by Rick Rand


Lucine Colignon‘s Daily Business News column on the MBA’s lobbying to change current regulations is a great article.  It raises a number of topics relevant to MH businesses, professionals, investors and associations.

Read more…


• Adios

by Matthew Silver

matthew-silver-mhpronews-comIt has meant a lot to me to work with Tony and Sohyela (at MHProNews – writing the Daily Business News articles), I have learned so much. I have the utmost respect for them and for their mission.

Read more…


• Look for Reality – Management 101

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-50Perceptions become reality in the minds of people.  What are the prevailing or dominant perceptions that exist in your organization? Are you in touch with the causes of those perceptions?

Read more…





• Top 25 Steve Jobs Quotes

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach


Girish sent these top 25 Steve Jobs quotes via Linkedin, and it was immediately apparent that this was worth sharing with our MH Industry. Jobs was about excellence, and manufactured housing can increasingly be about excellence that creates enthusiastic customers too.

Read more…


• ZigOn Integrity

by Zig Ziglar


This morning as I sat at my desk, I spotted a large hawk in the willow tree behind my home. Two or three small birds, which I believe were sparrows, were driving that hawk nuts!

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Outstanding October, Trending Turbulence and Re-energizing Manufactured Housing!

October 1st, 2014 No comments

Years ago, a speaker said that without positive and negative polarity, you have no (…electric…) power. The truth is what it is. Some is good, some not good, or even ‘negative.’ When a commercial airline encounters turbulence, there are a few choices –

  • change course,
  • go higher or
  • descend until it eases up.

Here on the Masthead, based upon feedback from key pros, we think the turbulence we face is due in part to the need to go higher and make some course corrections.

Starting with “Trending Turbulence,” we’ll move on to other manufactured housing (MH) professional news commentary.


  1. Breaking is the CFPB’s published comments on MH lending and interest rates – linked here – which we’ve asked experts to sound off on.  Interesting to note that among the CFPB’s sources (see footnote 15) was an article from MHProNews….hmmm. We’ve been saying for some time, the feds are all over our sites. So are investors, more media, not-for-profits and – based up our ever growing numbers – so are more of MHPros and MH Enthusiasts (aficionados) like you.
  1. The Cavco – Skyline dance is all over the business/market news. Some of this was quite predictable, and expect more such events with suitors for MH firms within the industry seeking to consolidate, even as players from outside the industry eye and calculate their best paths to move in.
  1. TheThink Google” report on housing trends – including MH! – in conjunction with others like – the Senior Tsunami! – is but the most recent one that ought to reminds us  why manufactured housing pros can and should be bolder and opportunity oriented. Hitting turbulence? Escape up!
  1. The multi-millions-to-billions buying spree we expect to accelerate should clearly say, ‘Manufactured Housing is Quality Affordable Living – and thus the Land of Opportunity for Forward Looking Investors and Professionals.’

The reason pros like you should think ‘bigger and more’ is because the players in and outside of our industry are planning big moves. They are putting or seeking to place their money in MH. So shouldn’t you be thinking and planning for growth too?

More on all of these in the days ahead; my thanks to those who’ve given us tips, thoughts and talking points for the items shared.

Pressing on now to the ‘welcome’ message’ for our 5th anniversary celebration edition!



The Fifth Anniversary of!

The MH world is trending up for over 4 years! We’ve been part of the efforts, reporting, plans and action in support of moving UP from our launch 5 years ago. Keep in mind part of what “makes us different” is that your Masthead scribe has been in the trenches with you in MH, starting in 1981: selling, managing – owning a retail center before selling it at a profit – managing MHCs, working with lenders on remarketing repos, etc.

More recently consulting/web/marketing and sales training besides publishing.

We are as much MH veterans as thousands of you are! Maybe that’s why thousands like you vote with your browsers, smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktop browsers daily by joining us here? Thank you!

Lots of great articles below. Don’t forget to keep up with our news Daily Business News, Industry in Focus Reports, MHARR, MHI news modules too! In fact, if you haven’t toured the site in a while, please go to the home page and click those menus! Remember, another MHProNews face lift – version 3.0 – is coming!

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Kindly see for yourself why thousands of articles are accessed here every month. Most of our experts have shared timeless tips, which is why researchers are doing deep dives daily in our ever-growing online archive.


Thank you!

Many thanks for the call, messages and encouraging comments for our 5th anniversary, which we hereby share and point to the those writers and team members who make this possible! Before sharing the October line up, lets dally for a moment about our initial vision and how it has evolved.

From the start, part of our desire was to create a place where the widest possible numbers of experts, MH Pros and thoughtful writers would have an opportunity to sound off. You and I don’t have to agree on everything to have you published here. Different perspectives are healthy for understanding and growth.

As to my own commentary, let me be the first to say what some gently said privately. Paraphrasing: Some of your early commentary is okay, some better, but other parts are frankly an embarrassment. I confess, there some things I wrote that I wish we didn’t publish! My thanks for your mercy to me on those…

Thanks to wiser Industry souls who pulled me aside and counseled me, we continue to grow and evolve.

We now get routine tips from the trenches to the C-Suites and owners from large players – mid size, “mom and pop” independents to the leasing manager, suppliers or sales people!

Thank you all:

      • who followed from our launch in mid-October 2009,
      • those who have shared their talents here by writing,
      • or doing an interview,
      • plus of course to our team members, then and now, naturally!

My thanks as well as those thousands who’ve found us more recently. The input of all are valued and appreciated. If you like what we say (for example, here on the Masthead) more than those early days, look in the mirror! Pat your own back! Input from you, your colleagues, peers and our team here makes that possible.

If you don’t like what we say or publish, look in the mirror then too, because industry commentary – on or off the record input – from you and your associates is welcomed!

And Now A Word…

Naturally, we thank our sponsors and more are welcome! For those of you looking to advertise to the largest professional MH audience, a brief plug for the fact that among those who’ve praised our work are those who’ve enjoyed good results in promoting on our sites.

We’ll talk about our plans soon to help you and others grow the industry even more as we move toward 2015.

With no further adieu, here is the line up for the Featured Articles for an Outstanding October, 2014!

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 6, No. 1, 2014

Alphabetically by Category


• Why the “ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE” Wasn’t ‘Trademarked’

by David Baker, JD


Have you taken the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge”? If not, you may be one of the few Americans left who wasn’t caught up in the remarkably successful fundraising campaign made popular by YouTube videos of prominent celebrities, politicians, philanthropists, everyday folks, and even hand puppets, having a bucket of ice water dumped on their head.

Read more…


• “Hello, this call is a …”

by Nadeen Green, JD


What? A sales pitch? A political robo-call? Somebody calling to ask you to donate money (again!)? A TDD call?

Say what? A TDD call? What is that?

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• Manufactured Housing Industry – Phoenix Rising!

by Dennis Hill


You don’t have to look far for signs that manufactured housing (MH) is continuing the recovery since hitting bottom in 2009. I recall Ron Thomas, Sr. saying that we had to adjust our thinking about the new MH Industry baseline. When you do that, you see plenty of reasons to plan NOW for the best possible start for 2015!

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• Quotes from Manufactured Housing Industry Leaders and A Cup of Coffee with… 

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach


Some of the most popular articles we have every month are from our periodic interview with manufactured housing industry leaders. “A Cup of Coffee with…” appeals to some of the biggest names in our industry, but also connects professionals from any sized operation with keen insights that can spell SUCCESS.

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• Manufactured Housing Professionals News – MHProNews – 5th Anniversary Celebration, Kudos and Quotable Quotes! 

by Manufactured Housing Industry Leaders

5th-anniversary-fireworks-wikicommons-posted-mhpronews-com-quotable-quotes-industry-leaders-50x50-.jpgThousands of manufactured and modular home professionals recall the days of the MH Merchandiser and other now defunct trade magazines; but thousands more have never known any serious industry trade journal other than MHProNews.

 Read more…


• Marty Lavin’s Comparison – The Merchandiser Magazine vs. MHProNews

by Marty Lavin, JD

marty-lavin-50Editor’s Note: For those who know Marty Lavin, you know the man has a long, storied and successful career in manufactured housing retail, finance and communities. Marty’s commentary has for years often shaken things up, including the way he does things.

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 • The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Holds their 78th Annual Meeting 

by MHI Staff

mhi-logo-manufactured-housing-institute-posted-mhpronews-com-MHI held its 78th Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona with 143 members and guests in attendance.  The event was on September 14-16th, at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, and MHI thanks their sponsors for their support that made the event possible.

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 • A Doctoral Dissertation on Manufactured Housing and why it matters to the Industry 

by Lisa Tyler

lisa-tyler-walden-university-posted-manufactured-home-professional-news-mhpronews-com-50x50-The doctorate journey is a cycle of processes that is often misunderstood. The designation of “doctoral candidate” signifies the completion of post-graduate coursework and focus on completing the dissertation process.

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• News of the New

bob-vahsholtz-author-dueling-curves-battle-for-housing-posted-industry-voices-guest-blog-mhpronews-com-manufatured-housing-professional-news-50x50-by Bob Vahsholtz

New fangled news media can befuddle old timers like me, but fresh, crisp and honest? Wow, what’s not to like! I’m spending more time on Tony’s sites than my retirement schedule calls for … the stuff is hard to resist.

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 • Remember – It all started with a Mouse!

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony-kovach-2-50I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.” – Walt Disney. Disney’s legendary creativity and vision lead him to do things successfully that few before or since could have dreamed possible.

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• What does it take to Change Minds?

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach


The headline is a question every manufactured housing (MH) professional worth her or his salt should ask regularly! How does one change a mind? Why is this important?

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• Get Business Exposure With Facebook Ads for Cheap

by Joe Karns

joe-karns-web-tech-social-media-mobile-web-design-email-marketing-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-latonykovach-com-50x50-facebook adsIf you are like most business owners, you’re constantly on the lookout for effective, low-cost ways to get maximum exposure for your business. Whether you are look for more leads, brand recognition, or possibly just more social media followers/fans, this strategy to get business exposure with Facebook should work for you.

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• An analysis of Norm Schultz – We need the horsepower of the RV industry 

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony-kovach-2-50One of our industry friends sent in the article that follows below, with this single line message above their signature/contact info: Everyone thinks an image campaign like the GoRVing is a great idea.

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• Green Home Marketing is a Challenge

by Steven Lefler

steve-lefler-vp-modular-lifestyles-newport-pacific-manufactured-homes-mhpronews-com-50x50=I do not know about you, but I find marketing green homes to be a challenge. The public reads or watches TV shows about these unique homes and would like to see one.

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• The best day of your life

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-50Too often we get stuck in the negatives in life and fail to remember those special days, events or weeks and even years that bring a smile to our face and a warm glow to our heart.

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• ZigOn Cheating

by Zig Ziglar

zig-ziglar-50With schools welcoming children back from the summer break, the following message is particularly timely. The good news is that whatever we have learned we can also unlearn . . . . That’s important because, unfortunately, many people have learned some things that desperately need unlearning.

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• An Alternate Approach to The High Cost Of Low Volume Sales, or Why Doing Manufactured Housing Correctly Pays 

by Ron D’Ambra

ron-d-ambra-professional-warranty-service-corp-posted-manufactured-housing-mhpronews-50x50_1After reading Tony’s article on this subject, I was prompted to recall my retail experience, which would forever change my attitude towards a “retailer,” and his or her responsibility to maintain the integrity of our industry.

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