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Profitably Defeating “the Long Knives” – 2019 New Year’s Resolution for MHVille

January 2nd, 2019 No comments

 

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“…Tony, these guys have long knives…” read part of a message from a former, high ranking, MHI member.

Here’s a longer quote from another company president.

“…See you in Louisville.  I just finished a book on [name of book withheld]. One of the sayings from that…comes to mind: “Don’t give up the ship!” Tony, You are so correct about this [Arlington-Knoxville-Omaha Axis].  I always knew you were gonna get attacked.  Don’t give up the ship! (or never quit-something like that)…”

 

Something Different in 2019 on MHProNews and for Manufactured Housing

We’re going to do something different in 2019, but never think for a moment that 2018 and the prior years weren’t necessary.

For those who look back, 4 years ago, we named no names of who were at the root of the industry’s internal problems, we simply pointed out the problems.  Later, we began naming the names, while also citing the evidence. IMHO, these predicate steps were essential as a foundation for what comes next.

Let’s start by setting tonight’s table, then we’ll lay out the logical next step.  By the way, we’ll use a phrase once this post and the content linked from this column cover for simplicity.  We believe that the evidence suggests that the manufactured housing market has been manipulated in a fashion that violates several state and federal laws.  We will say ‘alleged’ to cover this topic, so that any attorney for operations based in Arlington-Knoxville-Omaha, their surrogates and allies, won’t have anything they can use against us in court.

That said, use your common sense, look at the linked and provided evidence and here’s the view from the Masthead.

We became a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member close to a decade ago, based on the advice and encouragement of Ken Rishel and George Allen. If we at MHProNews and our affiliated operations wanted to see the industry advances, Rishel and Allen said that joining MHI was how that could best be accomplished.

Perhaps Ken and George meant well.  Maybe they didn’t, I’m not going to belabor that either way.

TheMastheadEditorialCommentaryLATonyKovachMHProNewsWhat your Masthead writer slowly learned as an MHI member, then as an elected MHI board member for their Suppliers Division is this.  The powers that be at MHI picks winners and losers. Literally. That’s not just winners and losers for ‘contests.’ It is also for who they will support or undermine at MHI, and within the broader industry.

We believe in what we have provided evidence for these things.  So, in fairness to George we’ve often said that with him, one must separate wheat from chaff.  There are things that myself and every human does or has done that is chaff, and is best tossed out.  Some things you, I, or all mortals do are wheat.  Wheat properly prepared, for those whose diets permit it, is worthy of our tables.

The very people and/or organizations that we are exposing are some of the very ones that publicly praised us for some time.

Ken, George, Richard [the] ‘Dick’ Jennison, Jim Clayton, Tim Williams, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, and we could go down the list of those who publicly, on video, and/or in writing have praised our pro-industry, pro-growth work.

 

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But even while some of those where praising our pro-growth efforts, there is evidence that at the same time, our operation – as a member – was being undermined by MHI, and by some of their members.  I frankly wasn’t seeing it at first.

Nor is ours the only such case, as we noted some time ago that George Allen discovered that after years of membership, MHI’s NCC division went into competition with him on several items that he had previously done, like his annual list of the largest community operators. Allen charges for that, MHI gives it away for free. Note too that MHI did so after negotiating with Allen about buying his assets and lists. They reportedly entered into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), reviewed what Allen had, and ‘failing’ to come to terms, began to compete on some of those same ‘services’ that Allen rendered.

What message does that send to others in the industry, when the trade association you are a member of, suddenly becomes your competitor?

So it wasn’t that I didn’t have clues.  Another MHI board member told me that he didn’t trust the Dick Jennison from the first time he met him. Someone connected with the Louisville Show said the same thing to me, “Tony, I wouldn’t trust Dick Jennison any farther than I could throw him.”

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I was wrong about Jennison, they were right.

What the Arlington-Omaha-Knoxville (A-OK, but not okay) Axis do is a bunch of BS, and I’m not one to curse very often.  Tim at 21st attempted to deceive thousands of industry independents with that letter of his, posted below.

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The letter was window dressing for a bold plot to put hundreds of retailers out of business.

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Consider these satirical cartoons to be summaries of what you can in fact find comments on by Kevin Clayton in the video posted on this page. He stated it differently, but it points to these cartoon paraphrases. Those who’ve watched the full video after reading the direct quotes from 21st President Tim Williams, and Warren Buffet’s annual letter in Smoking Gun 3 say that the and report are eye opening.  It is arguably clear evidence of antitrust style action. Who says?  Some attorneys who have reviewed the 21st letter above, the video, and linked article above.

We’ve documented before at the links below the byline and notices that Warren Buffet, and later Kevin Clayton, each contradicted what Tim’s letter claims.  They – 21st – in fact had access to what Kevin said in the video was ‘plenty of money,’ which Kevin said they used to buy other lenders loans plus more industry acquisitions.

So it seems apparent that Berkshire Hathaway simply didn’t want to use those funds to support independents that didn’t buy Clayton products or sell 21st repos.

That’s a manipulation of the market. IMHO, since there were multiple parties involved, that’s collusion.

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Collusion – per attorneys in or familiar with antitrust law – is one of the possible triggers for antitrust action.

 

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We know for a fact that federal investigators are on these matters, because I’ve personally spoken with some of them.

So, we don’t need this mainstream news video below.  But for our growing number of new readers – that add to our already industry leading audience size – it’s a placeholder and reminder that Clayton’s Knoxville metro’s home town media has said some of the same things we’ve reported.  But mainstream media normally does a story like the video posted, and then they move on. Trade media – like ourselves – can spend more time to focus on such concerns.  Industry comments – like the on near the top – and third-party data tell us that our audience eats it up.

 

 

But the purpose for doing any report isn’t click-bait.  The goal or purpose is to get to the root of what holds manufactured housing back from achieving its true potential. This writer began in this industry in the early 1980s, and I’ve been a true believer ever since. That potential for manufactured homes is arguably in the hundreds of billions of dollars a year for several years. That’s why Warren Buffet and several tech giants are keenly into factory-built housing, and/or are exploring it.

Professionals want to know.  Professionals, investors, and those outside our industry who are researching manufactured homes or factory-built housing have asked me for years a variation of the following question.

 

 

With the value so high on a HUD Code manufactured home, why isn’t the industry doing much better?

 

 

It’s an obvious and logical question.

 

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Both a plank in the Democratic Party’s ‘new deal’ plan and a draft by the Trump Administration for antitrust action – each on paper at this point – are in theory aimed at the problem of growing monopoly in America. #OpenMarkets. We plan in 2019 to press both Democrats and Republican leaders on this issue, especially as it relates to manufactured housing. Watch for it.

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Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

The answer, once one sees and ponders the evidence, becomes clear. Market manipulation. Or to borrow a phrase from the political left (Senator Bernie Sanders VT-I, who caucuses with Democrats) or the GOP’s President Donald J. Trump, it’s a “rigged system.”   The rest are details and commentary.

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While several allegations of monopolistic practices have been made against Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway, this website is the only one to date that is known to have produced evidence of how that was actually accomplished, and provided with that evidence, this kind of logic, and related data.

 

 

While we as an LLC are responsible for our own work product, nothing we’ve done in the past 3 years has been solo.  We’ve had thoughtful and tangible support from numerous industry professionals. The number of news tips from within Clayton, or from withing 21st, or MHI, et al are growing.

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

 

The Long Knives…

So, while MHI, their surrogates and allies have tried to:

  • Chase off our advertisers,
  • Try to cast doubts or dispersions about my personal life, character, or work,
  • Try intimidation tactics, from more than one attorney/law firm,
  • Try using part-time surrogates – like George Allen, Suzanne Felber or others – to attack or undermine us,
  • What they didn’t do is try to refute a single allegation we’ve laid out.
  • George claims to be this big supporter of independent communities. Pardon me if I’m not buying his BS. If he cared about them as much as he cares about himself, he’d be working with us to expose this manipulators, rather than acting as their surrogate against us. Whatever MHI and the ‘powers that be’ are doing for Allen, I hope he enjoys it, because it arguably won’t last. Some of George’s followers are now also among those who send us tips.
  • If we were wrong about any of this, why don’t Kevin, Tim, Dick, Lesli, Rick Robinson, Joe Stegmayer, Nathan Smith, or any of the others in the mix take me up on the offer of discussing this live in Louisville or Tunica in 2019? Why not do a third-party moderated discussion on stage, in front of hundreds of industry professionals? Why not do so with their ability to call witnesses or experts, and our ability to do the same?  Why not video record the whole thing? Then, why not provide that video and its content to HUD, DOJ, SEC, FTC, the U.S. Postal Service and other federal or state agencies?  We’d of course post the video, so that MHPro readers from coast to coast and from Texas into Canada could watch it for themselves.

If they had the guts and the wisdom, they’d take me up on that often extended offer in a New York minute. But IMHO, these are white-collar con-artists, being called out publicly – with evidence being provided – for their confidence job.

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When Clayton team members start telling us some of what will come out in planned reports on MHProNews in the days ahead, you’ll see that a number of our readers are ‘getting it.’ Of course, others are still pondering the matter, while some naturally back MHI. That’s life.

When consumers find us on MHLivingNews and call to tell us their Clayton-21st-VMF ‘tale of woe,’ we listen.  It won’t be long before a report on MHLivingNews will be published, and that will further set the stage for the general public on Clayton’s business practices that we began laying out for the industry’s professionals. Of course, we’ll use all of the proper disclaimers.  Clayton won’t like it, but the law arguably is on our side.  If they try a legal maneuver to stop us, we’ll take it to mainstream media contacts we have already been cultivating.

 

Transparent vs. Opaque

We’ve been highly transparent, because it is the right thing to do.  A federal investigator told me that the A-OK Axis (he referred to “the Oracle of Omaha,” meaning Warren Buffett) is “trying to show you that if you investigate them, that they can investigate you.”

That Fed said it was a clear intimidation tactic.

I’ve looked in the eyes of independent community owners, retailers, producers, and others who lost their businesses, and/or others who Clayton tried to put out of business. That’s their “moat strategy” in action. To me, it smacks of RICO, and the reason it does is a former prosecutor who is an attorney advise us that it looks to him like RICO.

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If that former prosecuting attorney, and our suspicions, are correct, these are not only immoral practices by the A-OK Axis, they could be criminal practices.

I’ve spoken with attorneys in and out of MHI, and in and out of our industry. We have a working plan.  While we’ve been very transparent about many things, we will play a few cards later, and hold them closer to the vest.

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There are several things needed for the industry to advance and for independent operations of all sizes to embrace for their own sake, if they care about the future value of their business.

1)    A new post-production association.  MHI is hopelessly corrupted, inept, lies, and has repeatedly failed our industry’s consumers and professional members.  See the graphic below as but one reason why no one should logically take them seriously.  Keep in mind that MHI’s own prior president, Chris Steinbert, used his exit message in the Journal to politely slap them for a string of misses and failures. So George, in saying what you have – you’re either ignoring reality – and/or you are showing your true colors.

2)    As part of the above Post Production association and/or a body that works with the above, there needs to be an ADL of manufactured housing. As part of that concept:

– Every time a city, county, state, or other group tries to block the placement of a HUD Code manufactured home from being properly installed on a home site, they would get contacted by an attorney representing that ‘ADL of MHVille.’

– Every time media, a researcher, or any other public figure misuses terminology or makes a claim in a manner that is inaccurate, they need to be called out first privately, and if needed, publicly by the ADL of MHVille.

– the NAACP and the ADL for years were successful with a similar approach, and that’s not a commentary for or against their organizations at present.  The point is our industry needs that in order to break through to our full potential.

– We’ve had some MHI semi-supporters say words to the effect, ‘Tony, MHI has tried a few similar things in recent months.’ Of course they have, but what more have you heard about it? That’s part of the MHI-MO. We published about a year or so ago that MHI didn’t meet with the new acting director of the CFPB.  What was the next thing they did?  Meet with the CFPB. MHARR or MHProNews calls them out on a topic, and in time, they put up a fig leaf as cover.  It’s part of the MHI con of their own members. We pushed them on image issues, what did they do?  Put up a series of videos.  A fig leaf that was so modest, that Frank Rolfe has videos that totally dwarf the number of views that MHI’s ‘promotional’ videos do. Something similar is true for Clayton Homes.

3)    We’d encourage more members for the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Yes, they advertise with us, but so have others, including MHI. That disclosure aside, even while I was an MHI member, there were numerous times I publicly took MHARR’s position on a given issue, because they were demonstrably correct.  For example, Kevin Clayton and others were in the MHI meeting room when I took MHARR’s position on the fire sprinkler issue. Dozens where in that room. Kevin just looked, as he has on numerous occasions at shows or whatever when our public position differed from his. I took MHARR’s side on the fire sprinkler topic, because they were correct.  By contrast, MHI’s proposed position was dumb on its face, unless you see that limiting the industry is part of the Buffett-Clayton moat. Something similar could be said about MHARR and MHI on the DOE proposals.  MHARR is consistently right, while MHI is often inept, deceptive, wrong, corrupt, or whatever you want to call them.

– As a footnote to the above, we at MHProNews have no animus towards the vast majority of MHI members, they are often very fine people.  There are some on MHI’s staff that would possibly be worth keeping, but some on the MHI staff are hopelessly corrupted. As with all things, Wheat and Chaff.  In my view, just as I was misled about MHI, many if not most of the current MHI members have been led down an errant path too.  We all catch on to something at a different pace, as I admitted about myself further above.

4)    Local market level marketing, and coaching in sales.  Call it a shameless plug, but we know things that Clayton Homes apparently doesn’t know, or can’t replicate successfully.  Clayton has purchased locations that we worked with on a consulting basis, that’s interesting, isn’t it?  On our consulting/business development side, we have a proven system that works on marketing and selling manufactured homes to those who are thinking about a site built housing. It is based on candor and surprising people with the truth.  It works, whenever it has been properly used.  When it is improperly used, it doesn’t work.  But duh, that’s true of anything else in life.

  • All sales are local.  All marketing in our industry ought to have a local focus.  Manufactured housing is not the RV or automotive industry.  When enough good local efforts are in motion, that will have an interstate reach.  That is how our industry will recover its greatness.  That is how manufactured homes could become a million unit a year industry, honestly and sustainably.
  • Don’t think for a second that Clayton has their own plans to accomplish, once they’ve captured enough of the market and they don’t think they can squeeze any more competitors out via their “Moat.”
  • But Clayton also has an inherent conflict of interest at MHI.  They are into site building. At present, Clayton wins no matter what happens on issues such as the enforcement of the HUD Code’s enhanced preemption, made law by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

–      We do believe in being competitive, but we don’t believe in driving others out of business.  We’ll leave those underhanded tactics to George, MHI, the rest of the A-OK Axis and their surrogates.

A federal investigator told me we needed to notify local law enforcement about the issues we’ve been dealing with.

 

Words of Caution…

Some in MHVille say in their own words, Tony – don’t talk about the ways they have come after you, that plays into their fear tactics.’ Those voices may or may not be well meaning, but I respectfully disagree.  When we spotlight the A-OK Axis and their dirty tricks, they have often paused or backed off, at least on some of their tactics.

That’s not to say that the time won’t come when they will try to take us to court.  People can sue over almost anything in the U.S. We can’t stop them from that, but they know that as soon as they do, we’ll counter and seek discovery.  We get steady dribbles of information from news tips.  With discovery in litigation, there will be reems of material generated.  Even if they try to destroy some material, other material will out. There will also be witnesses that will be speaking via discovery about matters that they won’t speak about otherwise.

So, if they want that legal fray, so be it.  I’ve told their purported attorney – Graydon Law, that asked us to ‘cease and desist’ has been told just how we’ll deal with them and their ‘clients.’ Transparent.

 

 

Putting a Tail On Us?

That said, and we still haven’t determined who this next person is, but law enforcement will figure it all out.  This person may or may not be connected to the A-OK axis.  The man in the car in the photo below (we’ve cropped off the face of the man and his license plate) was following my wife while she was biking.  A neighbor of ours spotted this “dude.” That neighbor is ex-military and has another resume point I won’t mention today.  But he has good vision, and will be a terrific witness if we need that someday.

 

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We are covering this face, for that person’s privacy at this point in time. But we have that vehicles license plate and his face, thanks to the veteran – a neighbor – who contacted us about his concerns about this matter, see the narrative. Authorities will hopefully do their thing well. As this develops, what we learn, we will share as appropriate.

 

That veteran, still a younger man who is fit and has good vision, etc. told that “dude” following my better half that ‘Dude, if you know what was good you’ for him, ‘you’ll never show your face in this neighborhood or follow that woman [Soheyla Kovach] again.’

It wasn’t until the next day that that neighbor caught up with my wife, Soheyla, and we all three got together for a few minutes face-to-face.  That neighbor shared the photos he took of that ‘dude‘ and said he is happy to testify.

The two quotes from industry voices I opened with above – and others like it above – are right. The A-OK Axis have long knives. Some say they will stop and nothing, but why?

Because housing is more than a trillion dollar a year industry, and Amazon’s Alexa fund has said they see a $330 billion dollar a year market for affordable housing.

That kind of money is tempting to Buffet, Kevin, Tim, or anyone else.

But the irony is that in their greed, they’ve put what they’ve done at risk.  In their greed, they’ve forced perhaps thousands of independents out of business and/or caused them to sell out for less.  There has already been one lawsuit against Clayton on that kind of topic.  We’ll talk about that lawsuit another time.

 

Meeting at Louisville, Tunica…

We plan to meet with some select industry pros at Louisville, and against at Tunica.  We want that meeting to be transparent. We’ll post the details before they come out.

The thrust of the working plan is this. If the A-OK Axis won’t do a public discussion and/or debate, well then yours truly is happy to put on a live presentation with or without MHI, Clayton, 21st or whomever. Your Masthead writer is happy do a power point, lay out the evidence, the money trail, invite the media, and take questions live and answer them.

When we schedule and do that planned presentation, we’ll even invite MHI-Clayton-Berkshire brand surrogates or team members to come.  Why? Because nothing will be more powerful or transparent than to have them ask questions, and let me answer them live.  We can video record that entire presentation. We’ll post that for the industry at large.

Let’s be clear.  We are going to cover a full scope of topics that impact manufactured housing.  But Frank Rolfe, who has backed off public criticism of MHI and their puppet masters, was arguably right when he said that the greater threat is from within our industry.

Let’s also be clear on this.  I won’t stop, our family won’t stop until the last stich of this tragic rigging of manufactured housing has been fully explored, and resolved.  If I ever stop, you can bet that foul play was at work.  We’ve taken steps in that event too.

The greatest thing the industry’s members have to fear is NOT standing up to the A-OK axis.  The data in those graphics, illustrations and videos above clearly reflect the trend lines.

If they aren’t stopped, sooner or later, it will be you at some time down the road.  Why not stop them, now?

MHVille is Buffett’s buffet, and the Monopolistic Housing Institute is his buffet smorgasbord. We have, are, and will publicly call them out, supply the evidence, while others are supporting us in calling them out.

We are going to reclaim what’s right about manufactured housing, while rejecting all that is wrong.

That’s how we’re starting 2019.  That’s our new years resolution.  We are going to do our part to make manufactured housing great again, greater than ever before.

How about you?  Want to join us in Louisville or Tunica?  You can use the link above or below to contact me, and we’ll begin the planning and execution of the next steps. “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

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Related References:

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

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

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

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

Forbes Focus on Manufactured Home Communities, Spotlights Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), MHC Investing

2019 – ‘Don’t Tease?’ RV Horizons, MHI v CSPAN, HUD’s Brian Montgomery, Clayton – New Year’s Spotlights

 

Eye Opening – Manufactured Homes in National, Global Context

 

 

Affordable Housing – Fleetwood, Champion, Clayton – Genius of the Christmas Story

December 22nd, 2018 No comments

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Depending on who’s estimate we accept, there’s some 550,000 to 660,000 homeless in the richest nation on earth, the U.S.A. As rents rise, so does homelessness, says Zillow’s research, which supplied the higher homeless count. With some $22 trillion dollars spent on “Great Society” programs as of a 2014 Heritage Foundation report, one must ask – how much waste, fraud, corruption, and ineffectiveness is there at the federal level alone?

 

The U.S. homeownership rate doesn’t place us in the top 40 nations on earth, how is that possible?

And it’s almost Christmas.

The genius of the Christmas story is so vast that it can’t be fully grasped in any one article, or book. It can be viewed in a variety of accurate ways. Suffice for now to note that Mary and Joseph were home-owners, not per se ‘homeless.’ Rather, they were traveling when the couple finally found shelter in a stable.

What sparked their journey, so late in Mary’s pregnancy? Because the Roman Emperor Caesar had mandated a census count for tax and other purposes. They had to travel to Bethlehem, because it was mandated by imperial decree – their law.

The carpenter and his family experienced what it was like to be homeless. For what Christians call the “Holy Family,” that stable they sheltered in for the Christ child’s birth may have been in a cave.  For thousands in towns like Los Angeles or San Francisco, it may be tents, a cardboard box, dumpster, or a sleeping bag. The ‘luckier’ homeless in the U.S. are living in vehicles, not designed for residential purposes.

Why is it so in the U.S., two thousand years after the birth of Jesus?

There are many causes, of course. Here on MHProNews we track, research, follow-the-money, and report our findings daily on certain aspects of news and view that routinely relate to the broader issue of affordable homes and public policies.

The Holy Family weren’t Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Green, Socialists, Communists, or any other political or special interest group – which isn’t a slur on any of the member of those groups, just a statement of fact.  But with so many who claim to be Christians, it’s no wonder each of those political groups’ leadership periodically gloms onto the moving Christmas tale, spinning or weaponizing what occurred for their own purposes.

Rather, the Jewish Joseph and Mary were faithful, non-partisan, working-class people.

For thousands of years, there’s been dictators like Caesar, or shrewd (unethical) business people who’ve rigged their scales to give less than what a buyer bargained for.

Before there was Clayton Homes in contemporary manufactured housing, there was what we should clearly state is the OLD Fleetwood Homes and PREVIOUS Champion Homes that were affordable manufactured home builders. The old Fleetwood and Champion of the 1990s were in a race to buy up chunks of the industry in their day.  The two firms often paid hefty premiums for retail locations, hoping thereby to increase their market shares, also thereby narrowing the distribution networks of competitors products.

As Warren Buffett observed in an annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that in 1998 Fleetwood, Champion, and Oakwood – then the Big Three of manufactured housing – has some 44% of the market. According to data from the now defunct Manufactured Home Merchandiser Magazine, the top three that year – Champion, Fleetwood, and Oakwood – produced 172,723 of the 372,843 total HUD Code manufactured homes shipped that year, or 46.3 percent of the total.

By 2017, it was Berkshire owned Clayton Homes that had some 50 percent market share, although they claim in their annual report that it was ‘only’ 47.7%. Unlike the old Champion and prior Fleetwood, Buffett’s brand Clayton Homes didn’t overpay for retail outlets, factories, or anything else.  Rather, Berkshire’s subsidiaries bought locations, loans, and businesses at a discount – a ‘value’ – as investors understandably call it.

There are numerous questions that should arise from this outline.  For example, two decades ago – when it was Champion and Fleetwood that dominated the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – how different was it from how the Berkshire brands in manufactured housing dominate MHI today?

Community owners didn’t feel well represented in the old MHI.  So, they forged the National Communities Council (NCC) side of MHI. There are MHI/NCC members – some from the large companies – that tell MHProNews that they still don’t feel well represented. Is it a surprise that a new national MH Communities association is coming to birth?

Among resident groups, there are squabbles and contests too. GSMOL, for example, wags a finger at MHAction, saying the later are taking credit for things that the GSMOL accomplished. On the professional side of MHVille, the independent producers’ Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) similarly asserts that MHI often takes credit for things that MHARR or others accomplished. Interesting, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, there are thousands of professionals – and millions of residents – all trying to earn an honest living. Their struggle is often more about battling systems that are often arguably “rigged” by the “big boys” against the smaller businesses and the masses of workers and retirees whom they seek to serve.

Then, millions more trapped in rentals that one protest leader said was “too damn high.”

But negative media like the problematic Netflix series the “Trailer Park Boys” fuels stereotypes that cause many to never consider what the GAO, NAR, Fannie Mae, Ford Foundation, HUD, and other third-party researchers called the most affordable, permanent, and safe – yes safe – new homes in America.

Inaccurate stereotypes, the propagation of misleading information, stigmas, and corrupted, rigged systems all are contributing factors to the tragedy of over a half-million homeless and relatively low rates of home ownership in the U.S.A. today.

Scales, information, and systems are usually rigged in order to cheat the many to benefit a few. It was so thousands of years ago, and it is similar so today.

But angels reportedly sang at the birth of the child Jesus whose birth into a sinful and corrupted world we celebrate on Christmas.  Wise men came from afar bearing gifts to curiously see first-hand what that star over Bethlehem was all about.

We are wise when we ponder the deeper meanings of the Christmas story too.

As we bring or open our gifts for each other, let’s remember that a greedy and power hungry few are working to manipulate scales, information, and the masses, for their own benefit. That’s arguably why there’s still so much poverty, and why millions in America are trapped in Mr. Potter’s rentals, and don’t own a home.

 

Affordable Homes, Warren Buffett as Mr. Potter in Christmas Classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life”

 

May the inspiration of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus enlighten our minds, hearts, and hands to do whatever is just and good. Because the honest actions of the few – then and now – can uplift the many, inspire the wise, and bring out the good in others.  The honest truth always what sparks change for-the-better in our world.

Merry Christmas to all. ## (“We Provide, You Decide.” © ## – (News, Masthead commentary, and analysis.)

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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:

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Where I Come From

 

Understanding the News as Business, and Manufactured Housing

 

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

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

 

 

 

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???

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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

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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

LeveragingMomentumCreationNewClassofManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoMashteadMHProNews600 (1)

 

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?  

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

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.

 

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

 

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? 

 FrankRolfeObsticalToGrowthManufacturedHousingIndustryItself-postedMastheadBlogMHProNews

 

 

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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.

 TheManufacturedHousingInsittuteLogoManufacturedHomeIndustryOtherImageCampaignMartyLavinMHILogoMHProNews

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

 

Failure, Success and Profitable Truth Detection for Manufactured Housing

November 24th, 2018 No comments

 

FailureSuccessandprofitableTruthDetectionforManufacturedHOusing

Everyone has had the experience of realizing that something that they had believed about a person, thing or group was untrue. 

 

There are scores of reasons that explain why and how that phenomenon of discovery occurs. But the reality is that it does happen, so it needs no more explanation than what’s just been given.

Failure and success are often a matter of proper knowledge. Every parent has observed a child that was doing something wrong. If the child is not properly informed in a parental way of their error, perhaps they would just keep on making the mistake, and keep failing. It is innate for a normal parent to want the best for their child. So, the helping hand of correction is patently and lovingly given as needed.

So, when contradictory information is out there in the public, how does someone detect the truth? When contradictory examples or claims are made, how can one honorably discover and express the truth?

There are many ways. So, let me focus on a simple and proven notions, that anyone can do, and then relate it to achieving a greater degree of Manufactured Housing Professional Success.

 LifewayHomesTulsaStateFairgroundsManufacturedHomeShowDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

 

Back to Basics  

Basics are the foundation of understanding. There are the ABCs of the English language. There are the 1-2-3s of math. There is gravity in science. But how about the basics for sustainable, profitable business? 

In Tulsa, OK there’s a manufactured home retailer whose business name is LifeWay Homes. Clever name, packed with meaning. If you spend much time in their office, it is no secret that their faith – LifeWay – is a core concept for them. Housing is also a prerequisite to what most consider a good “way of life” – again, LifeWay. By the way, they never expressly said that to me, it is intuited.  

In Louisiana, there is another retailer named Alan Amy. He too has a marvelous way of expressing powerful yet simple notions. People come into office and sales center, they are interested, but are not always ready to buy. Why?

Because they have questions, concerns, and doubts.  Those doubts about manufactured homes occur from coast-to-coast, border-to-border with regards to our industry.  It is a phenomenon that few if any industries as well established as manufactured homes are has experienced. 

But back to Alan Amy…

AlanAmyRoyerMobileHomesOpelousasLAMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Alan Amy, sitting in a Sunshine Homes model, a still from a video captured during the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

Touch and feel,’ Alan said during a video interview we did with him, as he described what he sometimes says to skeptical buyers.

Smart. Get someone to experience what manufactured homes are. That’s similar to what the late, great Zig Ziglar taught me about the “puppy dog close” in sales. Experiencing a manufactured home is wise.

The five senses – including setting, touching, and hearing –  those can lead to believing.

Neither Amy nor the good folks at LifeWay knew it, but this writer has used some similar notions for years, although we might describe them differently. Our prime purpose with them was for interviews of them and some of their customers.

Getting someone to experience or confront a truth well told is powerful. We have an entire, formal marketing and sales process that can convert a site-built hosing shopper into a manufactured home buyer. Not 100 percent of the time, but more than often enough, and pleasantly enough, where it works for everyone involved. Happy customers and referrals flow.

But our sales and marketing successes aren’t the point of this column, Truth Detection is. 

The truth will routinely become evident over time. The truth may or may not be so evident ‘on the spot.’ Confidence men or ‘con men‘ know that, and they expect their deception to be relatively short lived, but long enough to separate someone from their money or some other valuable possession. 

By the way, in any con man movie that you ever watched, was the con artist – male or female – ever lacking in charm, or persuasiveness? Often dressed to fit the part, the con is about a well told lie, often based upon believable half-truths.

 

 

For a discerning, questioning, and open mind, the truth is knowable. Time and attention to the details vs. the claims made are among the keys to Truth Detection.

 

Truth Detection 101

Here’s how people around the world have detected the truth from a lie or deception for thousands of years.

It’s called, the 10 Commandments. Let’s first note that the best of believers fails at always keeping these 10 divine commands, but that doesn’t invalidate them. If you or I are periodically hypocritical or fail to live up to our own or another set of standards, that is human enough. I freely admit to errors, as any English major who carefully scopes out our publishing already knows.  

So why do thousands of manufactured home industry professionals flock to MHProNews daily, when there are typos? Why do thousands like yourself overlook our typos?  IMHO, because at some deep level, people know that we strive for the truth. We see value in telling the truth as we understand it. Our readers see value too, or they wouldn’t be reading here. Because anyone’s human understanding deepens over time, so has our writing.

I will focus for a few moments on only two of the Ten Commandments as keys to Truth Detection.  

   You shall not steal.

   You shall not bear false witness. 

That doesn’t mean the other 8 commandments aren’t important.  They are, or God would not have given them to Moses on Mount Sinai.  But let’s focus on not stealing and the truth for the next few moments. Because if you get those 2, you will have a powerful secret of truth detection.  Those secrets, properly applied over time, yield routine, sustainable professional success. 

Here’s the historic – the epic – secret.  

We may or may not know on the spot when someone has made a false statement, or if a falsehood was deliberate or accidental.

This is where history – experiences over time – are priceless. Because if you use the gift of memory, coupled with the gift of discernment, the truth becomes increasingly evident as time marches on.

So, with memory and attention to details, a false witness – a deception – becomes clear over time. Once deception is detected, and once patterns of deception are discerned, is there any reason to trust a deliberate deceiver?

The reverse is also true. Knowing that we all make mistakes, if one becomes aware that a source is routinely reliable, while another source is routinely deceptive or opaque, doesn’t that understanding and clarity help foster success?

Of course it does, so long as truth is followed over falsehood. 

Finally, we come to the divine commandment of not stealing.

The law recognizes many forms of theft. They include, but are not limited to:

   Shoplifting

   Burglary

   Robbery

   Theft by fraud or deception – a “con job

are among the more common types of stealing.  There is also racketeering, collusion that rigs a market, and more. 

But what about a political candidate who promises to ‘tax the rich,’ and give you ‘free stuff’ that ‘the rich’ will pay for? Is that sort of claim a form of stealing?

Absolutely, a scholar might argue, because time and again that false promise is proven to be a lie. It’s a deception designed to rob someone of their opportunities.  Opportunities that go untapped costs our industry tens of billions annually, and per the applied understanding of scholars, costs the USA a stunning $2 trillion dollars a year in lost GDP, because of the harmful impact of our nation not having enough affordable homes. 

What become known as the American Way was a blending of those 10 Commandments with the notion that people could do for themselves better and more efficiently than what a government can often do. If the government can unjustly take from one person, and give it to another, that is only a form of legalized theft. 

When Candidate Z – whomever Z might be – promises ‘free stuff‘ to millions of Americans, it’s a lie. That lie is based upon a form of legalized theft.  There Is No Such Thing As  Free Lunch =TANSTAAFL. That was taught to me around junior high school, just as computer class taught me GIGO = Garbage In, Garbage Out. 

A repeated lie, half-truth, spin, or other form of deception are how people become brainwashed into believing something that is not true.  

Smart people can be brainwashed, as can the simple. I’d venture to say, you and we have all been brainwashed at some time about something, even if it was something as common as the federal government’s dietary guidelines, which today are being medically questioned as contributing to obesity. 

And within that example lies the point.

We might believe something at first, but when time and experience reveals that those dietary guidelines were sold to the Feds by special interests, and those interests profited by their preferred guidelines being used, instead of using another diet that may have been more healthful. The result of poor dietary guidelines? Perhaps the richest nation on earth – the USA – has more than the norm of overnight people, and thus higher healthcare costs than would otherwise occur. 

The truth outs over time, for those who pay attention to the details. Paraphrasing what Marty Lavin has said: 

   Follow the Money trail. 

   Pay attention to what people say, but then pay more attention to the actual results of what they claimed produces.

If the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), or the power brokers behind them, back candidates for public office that tell the repeated lie of ‘something for nothing,‘ why should MHI or those Candidate Zs be trusted?  

At times, for clarity on what may seem like confusing issues, we have to get back to basics.

There are a growing chorus within manufactured housing that are paying attention to the money trail.  More are following the track-record of what has been said vs what has been accomplished, which yielded dissatisfaction with MHI – and those in Omaha or Knoxville who arguably pull the strings for that Arlington, VA based trade group.  

When Warren Buffett backs candidates who promise higher taxes, who offer something for nothing, he is arguably too smart and too experienced in history to believe what he said about various Candidate Zs. The logical conclusion is akin to the dietary guidelines.  A special interest – Buffett and his Berkshire brands – are getting something that they want. That might help him, but not others.

A front person in politics delivers as best they can to their donor, whatever those deep pocket contributors desired.

There are two commandments that if we pay attention to them, will help us discern the truth.

  • Thou shall not steal.
  • Thou shall not bear false witness. 

Couple that with the track record – the history of a person, a promise, or group – and much becomes clear over time.  Your failure or success depends upon facts, not fiction. Truth detection is profitable, buying a lie is costly. Indeed, truth and honesty in business are at the core of sustainable success.

Last point for today is this.  Just as a repeated lie or falsehood can deceive millions, so too the truth must be told often, and lies must be combated and refuted.  That can happen one-on-one, as Alan Amy’s example reflects. It can also occur in the court of public opinion. Those are keys to local, regional, or national success. “We Provide, You Decide.   ©

NOTICE: a different Masthead than this topic was been put on hold to present the above, but the planned topic will likely be published next week. ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

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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:
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Related References:

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

 

Truth, Trump, Tragedy, Triumph, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

October 9th, 2018 No comments

 

TruthTrumpTragedyTriumphAffordableHousingManufacuredHomesMastheadBlogMHProNewsLogo

 

Let’s stipulate that both President Donald J. Trump and his anti-Trump opponents at times error in various ways. No one is perfect.

 

Let’s note later why the bullets below matters for the cause of the economy, affordable housing in general, and manufactured homes in particular.

But we’ll do this systematically, by first laying out a series of bullets, to set the stage.

There are:

  • Muslims,
  • Jews,
  • Christians,
  • LGBTQs,
  • Blacks,
  • Hispanics,
  • Women,
  • Men,
  • Rich,
  • Poor,
  • Working Class,
  • Media,
  • Other groups and professions,

that appreciate, and respect the 45th President – Donald J. Trump’s – polices and accomplishments. Unlike many politicos, the 45th President of the United States (POTUS) is methodically doing what he said he would do.

Depending on what media sources you read, watch or prefer to listen to, you will either agree or perhaps strongly disagree with those bullets. But those points are nevertheless accurate and demonstrably true. More on that further below.

The president isn’t a choir boy, and never claimed to be. That’s not a defense, it’s a statement of reality. God bless his candor on that point.

Yet this non-choir boy president has tackled vexing domestic and foreign policy issues that faced the U.S. as recently as two years ago, which are already seeing significant improvement.

Jobs in:

  • manufacturing,
  • mining,
  • energy,
  • steel, and more are returning to America.
  • Recall that President Barack H. Obama said many of those are jobs that arenever coming back.” But under 45, they’re coming back.
  • Better trade deals are being struck by 45. Yet former President Obama said better trade deals would require a “magic wand.”
  • As a reminder, Secretary Hillary Clinton would have continued the policies of her predecessor in most cases, she said so.
  • Several of the policies of former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama led to massive deficits that roughly tripled the federal debt in 16 years.
  • So, this is not a simple GOP vs. Democratic policies issue.

Candidate Trump wasn’t the first to tap the agenda he did.  Others like Pat Buchanan, former Senator Rick Santorum, and former Gov. Mike Huckabee had similar planks and policies. But “The Donald” won.

 LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

 

Rephrased, the core beliefs of the Trump coalition were already found among:

  • blue dog Democrats,
  • The Tea Party,
  • Evangelicals,
  • Constitutionalists,
  • Free enterprise proponents, and others.

People ought to be honest enough to give the president the credit he is due.  Love or hate his style, jokes, or tweets, his policies are working.

By contrast, prior to the Trump era, the wealth of the oligarchic class grew rapidly during the prior 3 administrations. Democrat, Republican, it didn’t matter. That’s not a slam on capitalism or the 2 party system. It’s a slam on crony capitalism and a rigged political system.

 

The Problem of Monopoly and Oligopolies

The rigged system” is a common point between Bernie Sanders backers and the followers of Donald J. Trump.

Danny Glover is a fine actor. My citing the quote below, or any other quote from other persons or sources, doesn’t imply I think everything the quote source said or did is perfect. We use a wheat and chaff approach with everyone.

 

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

 

That said, Mr. Glover was close to the mark with that statement above.  It is part of the powerful video found at the link below.

 

“Shadows of Liberty” Movie Introduction, Affordable Housing, and You

America has spent huge sums on education. “Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States in 2014–15 amounted to $668 billion, or $13,119 per public school student enrolled in the fall (in constant 2016–17 dollars),” per NCES.ED.gov.

MathReadingTop12CountriesBBCOECDDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

How can it be that so much is spent, and we can’t even make the top nation’s of the world in educational outcomes? Anyone who thinks that big government is the solution has not looked at the facts.

ScienceRankingsBBCUSAnotOntop20ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

There is a lot of reforming still needed, education is part of what must change in the U.S. The low to poor outcomes, in spite of huge sums spent, prove it.

Then why does the U.S. trail so many other nations globally in education? See the data above, per the BBC.

America has spent huge sums on poverty programs, which includes ‘affordable housing’ programs. Then why after spending north of $22 trillion dollars – per the Heritage Foundation in 2014 – does the U.S. trail so much of the world in home ownership rates?

Top50CountriesinWorldHomeOwnershipRatesWikipediaPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews1878

Manufactured homes could be a big part of the solution for housing affordability. We know what is necessary. Enforce the two good laws that are already on the books.

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

Or why does poverty programs enrich a few, while the poverty remains?  Let’s sum up the powerful video below with these words, poverty is business and politics for certain people.  ICYMI, or for later viewing, check out the multiple award winning video found in the linked post below.

Acclaimed Poverty Inc. Video, MHVille – Why Left & Right Should Listen, Learn From Each Other

 

Why is much of the mainstream media so dead set against President Trump? Think about what Mr. Glover above, and others in quotes below, said on this issue of news as a business.

 

ThomasSowellQuoteIfPeopleInMediaCannotDecideWhetherTheyAreInNewsReportingbusinessorManufacturingPropagandaMoreImportantForPub

 

A well informed manufactured home industry executive told me recently, ‘Tony, a lot of what you guys [MHProNews] write about I already knew.’ No doubt. There are numbers of industry pros who knew all of the above, long before we published the data. But what about the thousands who don’t know?  How do you educate and inform them, without articles like this that lay out the facts and evidence?

 

DeepaKumarQuoteGiantMediaCorpLikeTimWarnerandNewsCoprDisneySoForthTheyGetToDecidWhatIsNews

Warren Buffett can get on TV almost any time he wants to. Berkshire Hathaway owns at this time some 31 newspapers. Why don’t they educate the public about manufactured homes? What are they waiting for, and why?

 

But there are thousands in our industry that didn’t know, until they read this, or until they read articles we did previously over the years on the Daily Business News, on MHLivingNews, or here on the Masthead.

 

HumanitiesValueBuisnessCriticismDissentWhenGoingAlongGetAlongWhereWhistleblowersDiscouragedBadThingsHappenBusinssesImplodeMar

 

There’s power in greater numbers understanding the truth.

 

TheFunctionofEducationIsTeachOnThinkIntensivelyThinkCriticallyIntelligencePlusCharaterThatstheGoalofTrueEudcationMartinLutherKingJrMHProNEws

Facts, evidence, morality, and common-sense ought to rule, not blind passion or emotionally manipulated people of any persuasion.

 

 

Threats, Bullying and Intimidation Tactics

Yet, there are rent-a-rioter protesting and/or leading protests.

Who says?

ABC News.

 

CNN.  They call themselves antifascist – or AntiFa. But in fact, they are using violent tactics much like the brownshirts in 1930s Germany.  They take on their opponents “by any means necessary.”  They talk about opposing “white nationalists,” but very few white nationalists ever show up to their own events. So, clearly, AntiFa has a different agenda.

 

 

Note that in the video above, one planner said that they’ve been doing such organizing for years.  It is only more noticeable now. He admits the masks are to make it harder to identify and arrest lawbreakers.

Do we want a society where bullying, violence, and intimidation tactics rules?  “Organized descent,” is what a woman in this video says.  Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) is prominent in this.

 

Odds are good you’ve seen Representative Maxine Waters (CA-D) tell a group to “push back on them” any time you see a Trump administration member in public.  What’s that?  Is that love, that they often claim, or is it hate?

 

The Manufactured Housing Connections

We spotlighted on MHLivingNews just one of several possible looks on why more manufactured homes aren’t already being sold.

Manufactured Homes Could Help Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis, So, Why Aren’t More Manufactured Homes Being Sold?

 

MHI recently came out in apparent support of a bill by Senator Warren that arguably would be harmful to the interests of thousands of manufactured housing professionals, and based upon decades of history, would hurt the interests of millions of affordable housing seekers.

 

Facts & Analysis – Senator Elizabeth Warren re: Manufactured Housing Institute Memo to MHI Members, 10-3-2018

 

Don’t think that protestors are irrelevant to manufactured housing professionals. MHAction disrputed the MHI meeting when HUD Secretary Carson spoke.

MHAction’s own video reflects them targeting industry professionals like Frank Rolfe or the Blackstone Group.  In the MHAction video below, our commentary is on the left, but it is their video on the right.

 

 

If it happens to others, isn’t it reasonable to think that it can happen to you?

If there isn’t a line in the sand now, then when?

 

Why Isn’t Manufactured Housing Doing Better?

For years, MHProNews and MHLivingNews has spotlighted issues in depth, and laced with facts that others with bigger budgets ignore. Why?

 

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data

 

Ignorance is Costly, Accurate Understanding Followed by Sound Action Pays

We spend time spotlighting issues regarding Berkshire Hathaway, which has drawn coverage from left and right-of-center mainstream media.

 

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

 

Seattle Times -Federal Investigations-Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes, GuruFocus Spotlights Buffett’s Clayton’s “Unethical,” Monopolistic Moat

 

But almost no one in MHVille media – outside of MHProNews, and/or MHARR on specific topics – has called Berkshire Hathaway out by name, and then provided the facts and evidence as to why they were being called out.

 

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

 

Clayton Homes Consumer Complaints Saga Continues, Mold and More

 

MHARR and MHProNews have led the charge for spotlighting the various ways that has sold out the interests of the independents in the industry.

Two state association broke away from MHI precisely because MHI failed to represent their interests.

 

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

 

We could go on and on with examples of how MHI has protected big money billionaires, or people like Nathan Smith, who is highly connected in the Democratic party.

 

Nathan Smith, From Mobile Home Resident to SSK Communities Owner and President Barack Obama Connection

 

Democrats and the GOP – Republicans – both needed reforms. President Trump is fundamentally changing some parts of Republican politics on issues like the border, trade, and tariffs.

As a political independent, it must be said that President Trump is making the GOP into a pro-worker, pro-business – notably small business – party.  That’s why MHARR praised President Trump. That’s why the NFIB sings his policies praises too.

 

MHI postures being for less regulation, but they have time and again failed the independents of the industry.  Frank Rolfe may have gone silent, but he was right when he said that the problems the industry faces are internal.  Rolfe named MHI as part of the problem.

 

Marty Lavin was a long-time MHI member.  He won one of their highest awards.  He said that they work for the interests of the big boys, not the independents.

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustrysMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNe

It’s sad that so few will speak out publicly, but it is because they are:

  • afraid, as people that work for Clayton and intendents have told us.
  • Still don’t understand, because they can’t get passed a good time(s) they’ve had at an MHI meeting, or with Clayton or 21st, etc. But how many felt that before they were forced out of business by 21st and or Clayton after 2009?
  • If the ‘big boys’ did it to the industry before, can’t they do it again? Did you know some believe that is what MHI/Clayton/21st/VMF have been doing with the GSEs?

 

GSEs’ “Duty To Serve Underserved Markets” Plans

 

There is no lack of evidence to what’s happening to our nation, and to our industry.  MHI has purportedly sold our industry’s independents out many times. We share some MHARR links just to mix it up, but we’ve covered these topics several times.

 

MHARR to DOE: Only Three Choices for MH Energy Rule – Abandon, Complete Start-Over, Or Face Legal Action

 

Next Steps for Independents, and Free Enterprise Supporters

Job One is to support pro-Trump candidates. They must expand their hold of Congress.  We’ve shown just how that can happen in 2018, in spite of what the pollsters say. Recall, those same pollsters said Trump couldn’t win in 2016.  Vote and get others lined up to do the same.

What some call “RINO” Republicans – more aptly, squishy on the Trump-agenda – politicos like Jeff Flake are stepping down.  Pro-Trump candidates are stepping up in their place.

Who is MHI supporting with their PAC? Flake’s Democratic opponent, and in Indiana, the anti-Trump Joe Donnelly (D).  There are more examples, but let’s just let those two sink in.

Facts are facts.  The Trump track record is very different than some elements of the media portray. POTUS Trump is not a typical Republican from the 10 or 20 years ago.  That’s not saying the GOP was bad then, it is only to say that President Trump has taken elements of Republican thinking, brought in some blue-collar elements from the Democratic thinking, and blended it together.

MHI postures being for everyone, but they have time and again failing independents.  Former MHI chairman, and MHI PAC Chairman Nathan Smith said as much on a video.


The outcome is consolidation. Smith laughs about it, but that’s the game.  The more a few control businesses, including manufactured housing, the worse it is for consumers.

Manufactured housing is poised for historic growth.  But the foot purportedly has been kept on the metaphorical brakes. The time to expose the rigged system, in all its elements is now.  The need to continue to expose it won’t end until the vast majority of Americans realize just how failed and corrupted the system has become.

American workers, American consumers, and independent American businesses first. Its common sense.  There is an opportunity to take the evidence that the Trump Administration is producing and use it to show how it can turn years of tragedy into triumph.

The good results speak for themselves.  More is needed, specifically in our industry, which is why the Omaha, Knoxville, Arlington triangle must be arguably be exposed and broken up.  Antitrust laws could be useful in MHVille and beyond.  The Trump administration has already signaled that antitrust – anti-monopolistic actions – is coming, perhaps soon after the midterms.

I for one can’t wait. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhotoBy 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:

NBC Video – Federal Authorities Investigating Clayton Homes, Maxine Waters Denounces Lending “Discrimination” Against Minorities

President Donald J. Trump Visit to Manufactured Home Community, Video, Hurricane Florence Update

 

Clayton Homes Consumer Complaints Saga Continues, Mold and More

“How Dare You…!” ELS’ Howard Walker Blast at MH Industry Professional

September 2nd, 2018 No comments

 

The late Howard Walker, longtime vice chairman of Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS), and prior Treasurer for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) had at times a brusque sense of humor.

 

Often the best part of many association or corporate meetings are when networking and socializing occurs. In fairness, that statement applies to MHI too.

From time to time, like on a Labor Day weekend, my mind flashes back to an MHI or other industry event. At the moment, I’m thinking of Howard Walker, who boldly approached at an MHI event, during the wind-down of a social/networking period a few years ago.   

The room was emptying. At the moment, I don’t recall the tune I was humming or singing from to those who remained, but perhaps it was from the 1812 Overture. Regardless, the melody was from a classic.  

As that melody was proclaimed, Walker approached, bearing a feigned anger and vexed look. It was quite convincing. He blurted out in my direction, “Tony, how dare you bring culture to a manufactured housing event!” 

His artificial anger melted into a smile.  We discussed culture, music and the classics. As it turned out, Walker enjoyed the classics and cultural activities too. 

There are those on the outside looking in that have a ‘T-word image’ of manufactured housing (MH), manufactured home communities, and by inference, the professionals in this industry. To be sure, some among the MH industry’s own have that view of the business, and/or about themselves. 

Not Howard. He valued culture and the classics. 

 

O Fortuna!

For those who don’t know Carl Orff’s rendition of O Fortuna from Carmina Burana, here you go. This video clip has had over 21 million views on YouTube. Ya gotta believe that it was worth the time for those who viewed and listened.

 

To round out culture, and connect it to our industry, let’s toss in some Henry David Thoreau too. 

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Each photo is of a modern HUD Code manufactured home, which can be 2400 sq.  ft. or more in size, 1 or 2 levels, set over a basement, or can be as modest as 320 sq. ft. These homes are all built to federal construction and safety standards that went into effect on June 15, 1976, administered by HUD, and are thus known as “HUD Code Manufactured Homes.”  

As a kid, my brilliant father – Francis J. Kovach, Ph.D – was into the classics. Every Sunday, the notes from some mix of classical music – plus the periodic opera – came from behind his routinely closed study door. As he did his writing or research on some book or for a scholarly journal, to keep his focus amidst a big family, in hindsight that closed door and music must have been an oasis of sanity amidst the chaos of a somewhat raucous family life. 

By the way, for those who recall the movie Excalibur, it had a scene or two where a short clip of O Fortuna was also the soundtrack playing. Here’s one clip from that movie with that soundtrack playing, that has over 400,000 views.

 

To achieve our industry’s potential, we must meet people where they are. We’ve spotlighted Elvis, Kid Rock, and Eminem’s connection to MHVille (see those linked under related reports, further below).   

Today, Howard, here’s to culture, the industry, and we raise this glass to you.  

Howard Walker, Mensch – Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), Manufactured Homes Retrospective

Culture, classics, and manufactured homes, wow… ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, 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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Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Related References:

Eminem, “8 Mile,” “Mobile Homes,” Frank Rolfe – Understanding Media and Public Perceptions of Manufactured Housing

Elvis Presley’s Personal Mobile Home Restored, Honeymoon Hideaway Up for Auction

“Po-Dunk” Performer Kid Rock, Eyes Senate Run, Makes Manufactured Home Living Hip

Fame, Pretty Little Liars Star Nia Peeples’ Mobile…err….Manufactured Home Tour, Featured on Oprah Winfrey Network Video

FEDs, MHI, Buffett’s Berkshire’s Clayton Homes Moat, Affordable Housing, and Billion$ in Manufactured Home Market Manipulation

August 9th, 2018 No comments

 

FEDsBuffettsBerkshireClaytonHomesMoatManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIBillionsMarketManipulationAllegedMHProNews

For billions of souls who believe, since the time Cain killed his brother Able, history records how dark emotions and desires have motivated some to harm or dominate others. 

 

In manufactured housing, Terry Decio with Skyline quipped on camera “I’m tired of being the best kept secret, I’m ready to help house America.” Terry’s father Art was on the cover of Time Magazine, and in a good way. MHProNews has reminded readers that American Presidents like Nixon and Ford have at times spoken and acted favorably toward our factory buIlt-home industry.

TimeMagazineTerryDecioManufacturedHomeLivingNews

The Decio family had Art on the cover of Time Magazine decades ago, the industry improved, so what happened to the MH Industry since then?

So how could it be that during a growing affordable housing crisis, that the numbers of manufactured homes (MH) shipped are just a fraction of the glory days when the industry shipped north of 372,000 new homes one year in 1998?  Or the even more inflation-adjusted prosperous days when the pre-HUD Code MH industry was selling more than 500,000 new homes in two consecutive years?

ScholasticCororatonFigure1MobileManufacturedHomeSalesSHipmentsVsExistingingNewHouseSalesManufacturedHousingiinudstryDataMHProNews

Realtor University, Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, CBE.

 

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Each photo is of a modern manufactured home, which can be some 2400 sq  ft or more in size, 1 or 2 levels, set over a basement, or can be as modest as 320 sq ft. These homes are built to federal construction, energy, and safety standards that went into effect on June 15, 1976.  They are administered (regulated) primarily by HUD, and are thus known as “HUD Code Manufactured Homes.”

 

Media, Money, Government, and Market Manipulation

Stephenie Meyer once observed, “Sometimes the best hiding place is the one that’s in plain sight,” per Goodreads.  

It’s a matter of history and fact that the interaction of media, money, government officials, and market manipulations have occurred in the U.S. – or any nation you care to mention – going back several centuries.

Even before the Seattle Times reported that federal investigators are probing Clayton Homes and their subsidiarity lenders – Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, and 21st Mortgage Corp – those Knoxville metro business units of Warren Buffett’s Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway were known by this publisher to be under federal investigation. We had already reported federal investigations on the Daily Business News on MHProNews.  

But it is quite likely that the Seattle Times knew of some investigations that we didn’t, and vice-versa. While we’re the most read trade media by far in MHVille, the Seattle Times budget and resources blows us away.

That’s reality.

Kevin Clayton said in his own fashion that Berkshire/Clayton likes to use and work with nonprofits. Do certain Google searches, and the video of Kevin Clayton posted below is among what pops up on page one.

The video below edits not a word Kevin spoke, but written commentary was added by MHProNews to the video interview originally commissioned/authorized by Clayton/Berkshire. So, that video is also the truth hiding in plain sight.

 

 

For a variety of reasons, Harvard’s Eric Belsky predicted that manufactured housing would overtake conventional on-site construction by 2010. Belsky was wrong on that projection, why? Because Warren Buffett is a smart man – Kevin Clayton said so in the video – and Buffett reads a lot.  

Buffett arguably came to the same conclusion Belsky did.

Would it have been a surprise if Buffett knew what Belsky wrote, before buying Clayton Homes and other parts of the manufactured home industry? Didn’t Kevin Clayton obliquely suggests as much in the video, when he said that “Warren” does his homework?  Isn’t that what Buffett suggests himself, in this next video?

 

 

That’s the truth hiding in plain sight, online, among billions of other items. So, you or any researcher only has to look to find it. Or once found, to cross check the data we provide, and verify the accuracy of it. 

What Harvard’s Belsky likely didn’t count on when he said manufactured housing would overtake conventional housing in new construction by 2010, was that Buffett’s Berkshire would buy Clayton, Oakwood, Vanderbilt and 21st, and use “the Moat” principle discussed and linked from herein to manipulate the market. 

As the HUD Code manufactured home industry had been sliding downhill for some 5 years by that time, the new combination made Clayton Homes number one in MHVille, with deep capital pockets Kevin speaks about on camera.  

Buffett explains his principle of the strategic “Moat” in his own words in the video above. Notice how often Kevin Clayton speaks about the “Moat” in his video too?

That’s the truth hiding in plain sight. 

Belsky also noted that credit is the lifeblood of housing.

Presidents Nixon and Ford knew that credit was critical for affordable housing too. They took steps to make more financing available for what was then “mobile home” buyers. That took place prior to the formal dawn of HUD Code manufactured homes, which occurred on June 15,1976. All that’s true, easy to document, and is hiding in plain sight.

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Why does MHI no longer reference this, as they did prior to Clayton Homes being bought by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway? 

 

For the Record 

We’ve previously published numerous examples of what could logically be alleged as market manipulations, carried out by the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Isn’t that a restraint of trade? An antitrust violation?

Voices within manufactured housing and outside observers alike have concluded that MHI is the association/nonprofit tool of Omaha. It fits what Kevin said about nonprofits on that video. 

If you are Warren and Kevin, how do you widen your “Moat?” Why not do that by cutting off lending to competitors during the aftermath of the drama of the 2008 mortgage housing crisis? 

Why not do that by U.S. Mail, fax or other intestate communications?

Need proof? How about this letter below, signed by Tim Williams of 21st, a Berkshire Hathaway sister company to Clayton Homes?

21stMortgageCorpLogoLetterheadJan302009TimWilliamsRetailersBrokersCutSpecifiedLendingMonopolisticConcernManufacturedHome

See key parts of the text from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Annual Letter that contradicts important elements of what this 21st Mortgage Corp letter claims. Click this link here for those Buffett quotations, taken in context.

 

What was the impact and fallout that followed that 21st letter? What did it accomplish in the manufactured home market?  

Read carefully all the facts, and then what MHI’s own document deductively suggests. Isn’t that all the truth, hiding in plain sight?

MHI-21stMortgageKevinClaytonClaytonHomesManufacturedHoomeCorporationsPlantsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003MHanufacturedHousingIndust

Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

These graphics reflect what the facts reveal.

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

This graphic is a snapshot of the industry at about the time of the Kevin Clayton video, posted on this page. In that video, Kevin says what “Warren” teaches about competition and the Moat.

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEnd2017MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

While several mainstream media allegations of monoplistic practices have been made against Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway, this trade publication is the only one known to date to have produced documentary evidence.  The documents, quotes from Buffett, Kevin Clayton and others reveals their own stated practices, and how that plays out in the real world. Neither Berkshire brands in MH, nor MHI has attempted to refute or debate these allegations or concerns, though they’ve been given the opportunity, as long-time industry readers know.

We’ve shown the above 21st document to investigators.

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews-e

One reason so few are willing to speak out publicly on this issue is that they don’t want to be the next in line for disappearing as an independent business. Fear is what state association executives and others have told us holds them in check

We also know that some in the mainstream media are looking into this topic. But the timing of other reports, or investigators on such matters being made public is never a given. 

Buffett has said he likes to invest in businesses that make sense.  Isn’t what’s summarized below, one of the reasons manufactured housing made sense to Buffett?

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data


SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustrysMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNe 

Democrats and Republicans alike are voicing concerns over monopolies, and some are pointing to Clayton and Buffett by name.

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

But they have not yet used these specific “smoking gun” documents – nor the videos – shown on this page.

To the mainstream media, these 21st letters are “news.” 

Look carefully at the linked article below, and you will see how Warren Buffett’s own words contradicted 21st’s Tim Williams – who served several years as the chairman of MHI – and his letter, shown above. That 21st letter by Williams was at best a half-truth, or debatably, a manipulative lie.  Sent in the aftermath of the mortgage credit meltdown, it was plausible to may of those reading it.

The result? “Consolidation.”  The Berkshire/Clayton Moat grew. See the graphics above. People arguably have suffered as a direct result.

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

 

We’ve given Tim Williams, Kevin Clayton, their attorney, and MHI and their inside and outside counsel opportunities to reply, rebut or refute the claims, concerns and allegations of market manipulation that arguably involve them in antitrust and other kinds of illegal activities. So far, silence.  if MHProNews was wrong, why not refute us?

When MHI’s President, Richard “Dick” Jennison was scheduled to speak at the Louisville Show earlier this year, we emailed to our thousands of industry readers that morning a link to 12 questions they should ask Jennison.

Jennison abruptly cancelled that long-planned appearance in the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show’s  ‘educational’ session.

But MHI’s president was photographed at the Louisville Show, feverishly speaking on his cell phone with somebody, during the time he was supposed to be on stage. Who was on the other end of that phone call? Will the Feds do what it takes to find out?

 RichardDickJennisonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIPresidentCEOLouisvilleManufacturedHomeShowByClaytonHomesDispalyPhoto2018MHProNews

 

The irony is that MHI and Berkshire Brand team members own behaviors essentially pushed this writer into discovering the truth hiding in plain sight. Questions and comments to me from industry members kept piling up, forcing this writer to take another look, a deeper dive. Among those that began to trigger my concerns were these publicly stated points, linked here. Among many others, was this comment shown below, also made publicly to MHProNews as part of an interview. 

KennyLipschutzQuotePoorJobOfLobbyinginMHIndustry-postedMHProNews48thMHINCClist

They and others know it took me time to wake up; my apologies for my tardiness. 

Because I was slow, I can relate to why others may be slow to accept reality too.

New Manufactured Home Industry National Association Related Statements

This helps shed light on the following question. How was it possible that so many outside of MHVille – HUD Code manufactured housing (MH) land, or the thousands of industry professionals like Terry Decio – how could the clear need for manufactured homes become so obscured?  Is it because MHI won’t routinely clear up the record on modern manufactured home realities?  The examples of unaddressed issues by MHI are numerous.

 

MobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearch-445x768

Some key manufactured home industry facts at a glance. How is it possible that MHI can’t even get all the basics of the MH data correct?

Presidents Nixon and Ford knew the pre-HUD Code MH industry, and supported it.  

Federal studies, university level research, and insurance reports going back at least twenty years specifically said that manufactured home quality had evolved from the days of ‘trailer houses’ and the later ‘mobile home’ era.

“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

Vice Mike Pence knows this industry well, say our sources. Because as Governor of Indiana, Pence knew modern manufactured homes, and RVs, both built in that state. 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson says he hears the manufactured home industry, Carson has publicly promised a new era of cooperation. All that and more is the truth hiding in plain sight. Additional details are in the report linked, and heavily cross referenced, found below.

“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case

 

What that article above, and the one linked below, reveals is the harm that market manipulation has debatably cost everyday Americans, federal, state, and local taxpayers.

FEAR, a Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis, and the Manufactured Home Dilemma

 

Secretary Ben Carson, Brian Montgomery, and Dana Wade at HUD are among those that should be aware of the “enhanced preemption” that’s called for by existing federal law with respect to manufactured housing over local jurisdictions. The Washington Post obliquely noted how the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) pushed for an end to regulatory abuses by one Pam Danner at HUD. MHI SVP Lesli Gooch at MHI admitted to the Washington Post that they did not make an effort to stop Danner’s overreaches. Why not? Isn’t that the truth about MHI, now hiding in plain sight?

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

The applied logic of the two NBER researchers linked below is this. A lack of affordable cost the nation trillions. 

Local zoning is the apparent headache.  But when 99 percent plus of Americans don’t know about the enhanced preemption of manufactured homes under federal law, the obvious solution is overlooked.

When millions don’t realize the quality, they only consider the stereotypes, fear and prejudice kick in.  Thus the failure to embrace the reality of manufactured homes vs. the outdated myths and misconceptions of the past costs America some $2 trillion dollars a year in lost GDP.  While they aren’t talking about MH, that’s the NBER researchers logic, when applied to our misunderstood and maligned industry.  Put differently, there is no need to pass new laws.  The federal laws already needed to cure the affordable housing crisis have been on the books for years.  HUD officials surely know about it.  When their review of the manufactured housing program is complete, will they apply what they know, and fix these issues?

IthinkFairSawLowerThePeriodicCostSatisfactoryHousingTheGreaterOnAverageWealthCreation

Ken Johnson provided this as part of his reply when asked about manufactured homes as a path to personal wealth creation. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/researchers-shake-up-american-dream-rent-vs-buy-ken-johnson-florida-atlantic-university-exclusive-to-manufacturedhomelivingnews/

 

Rephrasing the Truth

Rephrased, if Secretary Carson, VP Mike Pence, and the Trump Administration simply apply existing laws, our nation’s economy will soar. Home ownership will rise.  The need for subsidized housing will fall.

That will occur naturally, without artificial stimulation, because the lack of affordable housing is choking off the nation.

The future of housing in America, and around the world, is found in factories. Almost everything else we as a nation do is from a production center or factory. Why not housing?

 

The steady pressure of the truth hiding in plain sight, thanks to the tips and support of the few forward thinkers in this industry, has made it possible for manufactured homes to have a potential breakthrough moment.

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticiaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuring

Starting at Page 48, see her 30 page report on manufactured homes, linked here. Please watch her footnotes.

 

Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton at the National Association of Realtors (R), among others, has made it possible for long-obscured realities to come into sharper focus.

But the truth is that Lisa Tyler, Ph.D., tried to spotlight much of this years before, when she did her doctoral dissertation on manufactured homes. I personally tried to get MHI to spotlight Tyler’s work several times. Tyler’s was useful research for the industry. Why didn’t MHI give Tyler’s important work a boost? Or the time of day?

 

DrLisaTylerHousingSolutionInexpensiveEnergyEfficientGreatValueOpportuntiesObsticlesManufacturedHomeIndustryMHLivingNewsDailyB

See the related report, linked here.

Open market manipulation can be described as a kind of confidence (con) game. With that thought in mind, the following quote from American Thinker seems to apply. “Never let your con grown stale. Never give up the con.” It’s a different topic than ours, and like this next quote from the Tucson Weekly, both seem to apply. Through speaking with his fellow inmates, he distilled the four major aspects of the criminal enterprise: 1, Develop a plan; 2, Recruit; 3, Make the pitch; 4, If caught, always deny, never give up the con.”

The “Rajin’ Cajun,” Bill Clinton campaign wizard James Carville obviously demeaned millions of Americans, while using a slur to distract from the sexual-scandal-plagued woes of his boss when he said, “Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.” 

MHI’s prior chairman admitted that there were good reasons to defend the industry against such slurs.

TimWilliamsMediaRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews-500x277

But they routinely don’t defend the industry. It’s an oblique kind of open manipulation of people and thinking that’s oft repeated.

That derogatory prejudicial slur has kept manufactured homes wrongfully in the shadows for so long. So why didn’t MHI address that prejudice over and over, like the NAACP did racism? Surely all those smart people at MHI with all of their degrees know that every once in a while, an advertorial about the industry or social media pages aren’t enough.  The irony is that most of the negative stories, about fires and what not, are about older pre-HUD Code mobile homes. Today’s manufactured homes are statistically as safe as conventional housing, per the NFPA

The point is that MHI could simply reply, as prior MHI Chairman Williams admitted. But as MHI member Frank Rolfe has repeatedly complained, instead, MHI remains silent. It’s a subtle way of letting the industry struggle, while Berkshire brands and other ‘insiders’ consolidate large parts of the industry. 

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

Millions are being denied the American Dream, because of openly used influence, information manipulation, pejoratives that yield prejudice, finance and regulatory abuses. 

Couple that’s with years of a failures to apply existing federal laws. Do the $2 trillion dollar math. This tragedy is costing the average American household some 24k in lost GDP annually.

Rephrased, monopolistic “Moat” manipulations by billionaires and multi-billion dollar entities have cost American trillions a year in lost productivity. These issues ought to be placed on center stage during the next 90 days. They must be kept in the national limelight long after the next election, until the issues are finally fixed.

Seattle Times -Federal Investigations-Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes, GuruFocus Spotlights Buffett’s Clayton’s “Unethical,” Monopolistic Moat

Earning an honest buck, I truly admire. Earning billions honestly and ethically is fine too.

But please don’t manipulate hundreds of millions of people, and cost your nation trillions in the process, all to make several billion dollars a year in sales. Once understood, who can abide by that kind of costly white-collar con?  Where’s Equal Justice Under Law?

WarrenBuffettTheMoatQuoteMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNEws

Buffett’s own words, the graphic is by the third party shown at the bottom left. The truth has been hiding in plain sight, but the various threads – plus the documents and videos above – had to be pulled together to paint the complete picture.

So, industry pros should not expect anyone in Arlington, Knoxville, or Omaha to confess.

But we already have what “Kevin” and “Warren” have said on videos posted above.  They’ve explained in their own words key parts of the moat and how its used to throttle competition. Marry that up with the balance of the facts and evidence.

The odds are that they will never willingly give up the con of a system they’ve debatably rigged and manipulated.

Like the solution to the affordable housing crisis, it’s the apparent truth hiding in plain sight. We’ve alleged it, we provided the evidence others first gave to us. We’ve given Berkshire’s brands and MHI an opportunity to publicly debate it, or refute it. MHProNews laid out the logic of evidence and the facts.

Now, what will you do with this knowledge?

Because if they did it before, what’s to keep them from doing it again?

Cain killed his brother Able out of mere jealousy. Some have scammed others since nearly the beginning of time. May God help us all. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, 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:

“Waste, Fraud, and Abuse” – FHFA, GSE Federal Oversight Announcement

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-575x268

Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

“Insulting” – Local News Report on “Mobile Home” Fire Underscores Why Terminology Matters

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies

Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room