Category Archives: For Professionals Only

Save the Dates! Louisville 2018

Time to Put it in Your Calendar: The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show 2018

January 17-18, 2018

Kentucky Exposition Center

Louisville, Kentucky

 

The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is the Midwest’s Premier Event for Manufactured Housing Professionals. Make sure you save the dates for this fantastic event!

From thelouisvilleshow.com:

The Louisville Show will treat you to a spectacular array of NEW HOMES, PRODUCTS, AND SERVICES. Whatever your inventory requires, you’re likely to find the most exciting single-section and system-built homes. It will be a feast for the eyes for all of you, with endless possibilities and combinations. It’s also an excellent opportunity to cut great deals; be the first to see new product/home introductions; talk with R&D and marketing execs; compare prices, service and follow-through…and network with industry professionals.

Get more information and sign up to get email updates about the Louisville Show 2018 at the website: thelouisvilleshow.com

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This is an industry trade show. Not a public show. The public will NOT be admitted to the show.

New Manufactured Home Shipments Up

May Shipments increase 15.2 percent year-over-year

In May 2017, 7,848 new manufactured homes were shipped, an increase of 15.2 percent from May 2016, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute, the national trade organization representing the factory-built housing industry.
Shipments decreased month-to-month, down 8.9 percent from April 2017, a difference of 643 homes.
Compared with the same month last year, the trend reflected gains across the board, with shipments of single section and multi-section homes up by 15.1 percent and 15.3 percent respectively. Total floors shipped in May 2017 were 12,156, an increase of 15.5 percent compared with May 2016.

Adjusted annual shipments also up

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of shipments was 89,412 in May 2017, up 9.4 percent from the adjusted rate of 81,767 in April 2017. The SAAR corrects for normal seasonal variations and projects annual shipments based on the current monthly total.
The number of plants reporting production in May 2017 was 129 and the number of active corporations was 35. Compared to the previous month, both the number of plants and active corporations were unchanged.

Rachel Hernandez is ‘going it alone’

‘Mobile Home Gurl’ finds her niche

In her own words, the woman known to some as “Mobile Home Gurl” is an entrepreneur, a dreamer, a thinker. A doer.

Rachel Hernandez, AKA “Mobile Home Gurl”, addresses the audience at a recent author’s seminar.

She started investing in real estate with single family homes, but her mind was captivated and heart captured when she immersed herself in the world of mobile home investment. And she’s taken quite a few of us on the ride with her, in her blog and in the book “Adventures in Mobile Homes” and others.

Rachel Hernandez, as she also is known, operates in the vicinity of San Antonio, Texas. She prefers to buy locally to regionally, and rather than looking for parks she has concentrated on purchasing individual mobile homes, and and more recently securing the land they sit on or a good parcel where they can be placed.

“I focus on the area first and then find the deals,” Hernandez said. “As an experienced investor, I’ve learned to find motivated sellers. Usually, I can tell over the phone whether a seller is motivated or not.”

Strategy

Most of the deals Hernandez pursues are unadvertised. She has an education and background in sales and marketing, and networking is among her greatest strengths. She leverages that capability and relies on her industry interactions and relationships to find opportunity.

Her first deal took about a year to complete, and she continues to take it relatively slow. She purchases one or two homes at a time, and puts her “sweat equity” into them.

“Usually, I get them up to apartment standards,” Hernandez said. “New carpet and paint at a minimum.” She fixes the leaks, fills any cracks or holes and gives a thorough cleaning. Then she offers the home on a rent-to-buy plan.

“Most people appreciate this hybrid as it’s not like a mortgage where you’re locked in, but at the same time you’re not just renting,” she said.

Her inventory is on the rise, to the point where she owns in quantity what would be a small mobile home community. She does receive regular offers to partner, but has resisted the urge to purchase an entire community outright. She remains on the lookout for land, and does work in communities buying both homes and pads, operating just on the fringe from that investor who looks to buy or infill on a larger scale.

Investing-in-mobile-homes

Meet the Challenge

And while she appreciates having all of the particular on paper, she mostly “follows her gut” when deciding what to pursue and what to leave alone.

“It’s more the person than the price. If the person I’m talking with on the phone does not seem trustworthy, or seems like they’re covering something up…  I back off immediately,” she said. “No matter how good the deal sounds, an untrustworthy seller is a deal breaker for me.”

Still, Hernandez has run into problems.

“I imagined buying a home, filling it and moving on to the next deal,” she said. “Though I did this for many years without many issues, I started taking back more homes as my inventory grew.”

A rent-to-own resident loses a job, goes through a divorce or wants to move closer to family, and sometimes the only solution is to reclaim the home and find someone new for it.

“I knew taking homes back was part of the business. But I didn’t plan on it being a large one,” Hernandez said. “So, I had to learn to work with contractors. There was no way I could fix up all these homes myself.”

Another difficulty has nothing to do with residents and everything to do with one of her favorite parts of the vocation… the prime location.

“Unfortunately, sometimes local ordinances may place more scrutiny on mobile home parks, as an asset class,” she said. “There’s still that mindset.”

The not-in-my-back-yard attitude, the general concern of reduced property values, and the perceived threat of residents who pay less tax than many for the same municipal services, often can be difficult issues to navigate when looking to obtain rezoning or a new use permit – regardless of the great need for more affordable housing.

All part of the journey, Hernandez said.

The take-back and fix-up strategy, as well as the municipal hurdles, have resulted in another of her books, this one entitled “Real Estate Investing Sucks: How to Deal with Change and Find Success as a Real Estate Investor”.

“I document my entire experience,” Hernandez said. “I persist. I know what I want and keep going. Success takes time.”

Michigan Home Shipments

New-Home-ShipmentsMichigan receives large numbers of new home shipments

OKEMOS, Mich. — According to reports from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Michigan ranks fifth in the nation in new home shipments for the first quarter of 2017, with 1,261 new homes shipped, an increase of nearly 80 percent from the 702 shipments recorded in the first quarter of 2016.

“Our members are seeing interest and sales of new homes like they haven’t experienced in almost a decade,” said Darren Ing, director, Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA).

For comparison, in 1996, Michigan received more than 12,000 new home shipments; in 2010 325 new homes were delivered to the state.

“The Michigan market has come back tremendously over the past years and communities are playing a large role in that,” said Tim Kuhn, sales manager for Clayton Homes.

One MMHA member in particular — AJR Development — is especially pleased with the renewed interest in manufactured homes.

“In 2017, we licensed a 90-site expansion called Emerald Park in our flagship community, Ridgewood, located in Milford, Michigan. We opened in May of 2017 with more than 20 lots pre-sold. Demand remains very strong and we are seeing double digit monthly home sales in the $85,000-$100,000 range,” said Jerry Ruggirello, managing member, AJR Development.

Reverberations of increased sales go beyond community expansions. For example, HomeFirst, in Birmingham, Mich., needed to hire more people. “As a result of the large increases in traffic across our entire portfolio, we added three home specialist staff to our sales offices to meet the demands of the incoming traffic,” said Danya Mallard, vice president of sales and marketing for HomeFirst.

“With the level of quality product being presented by manufacturers, we expect interest and sales to continue to grow,” Ing said.

MMHA is dedicated to educating the public about the benefits of manufactured and modular home living, connecting people interested in finding a community or home with its members. The Michigan Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA) is one of Michigan’s oldest trade associations, founded in 1941. MMHA is a nonprofit association representing the manufactured home industry in Michigan. MMHA works to improve the image of manufactured and modular housing by educating consumers, media and government about the quality, affordability, design and beauty of the homes. For more information, visit the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association at www.michhome.org. Contact MMHA by mail at 2222 Association Drive, Okemos, MI 48864-5978 or by phone at (517) 349.3300.

Press Release Provided By:
All Seasons Communications
Gretchen A. Monette, gmonette@allseasonscommunications.com
Phone: (586) 752.6381

Aspen Tiny Homes

The Sprout 30-foot model from the original Aspen Skiing Company contract. The company’s 34 new models on order will be 40 feet long.

Aspen Skiing Company Enters Contract for Employee Tiny Housing

Sprout Tiny Homes has entered a contract with Aspen Skiing Company to build 34 commercial-grade tiny homes to meet expanding need for affordable employee housing.

The contract brings the number of homes to 40 that will be deployed in ASC’s Basalt, Colo., location, and may send a message to the manufactured housing industry that new, niche markets are emerging.

The new homes will feature state of the art construction methods and climate control technology to meet the extreme weather conditions of the Aspen valley. Sprout homes feature chemical-free interiors and energy recovery ventilation to provide fresh air and a healthy living environment for residents.

Aspen Skiing Company previously contracted and collaborated with Sprout to design and provide six prototype homes to ensure it could meet the needs and requirements of employees and the region in which they work.

The new models will house a minimum of three Aspen Skiing Company employees.

The new homes will be delivered with living room furniture, a pair of furnished sleeping lofts and a complete main level bedroom, window coverings, wall-mounted flat screen smart TV, full kitchen with dishwasher, 1¼ baths, fixed storage lockers, infrared radiant floor heat, and temperature control and fresh air systems.

The homes are move-in ready upon delivery and are connected to the local utilities.

“We delivered on our first contact with Aspen Skiing Company and are very pleased to be awarded what we believe is the largest single contract of tiny homes to date in the country,” Rod Stambaugh, owner of Sprout Tiny Homes.

Sprout, of La Junta, Colo., has opened a 45,000-square foot manufacturing facility in Pueblo, Colo., to assist in meeting the local demand.

“Having local affordable employee housing solutions in the valley is extremely important as we compete for employees and try to reduce our impact on the environment,” Philip Jeffreys, Director of Planning & Development for Aspen Skiing Company, said.

New Feature: The MHVFastLead

Have you checked out the latest feature on MHVillage?

The MHVFastLead!

MHVFastLead sends you a text instantly when you get a lead.

Lead response time is essential. With this new feature you can respond to customers almost instantly – and hopefully while they are still looking at your ad!

You can customize when you receive alerts. You choose the days and time of day you want text notifications of leads sent to your phone.

Check out this video for more information on how to start using this feature:

 

Nowhere to go but up

 

mobile-home-park-investing

Kevin Bupp will tell you he’s in a better place today than he was just three years ago.

That’s saying something for a guy who’s spent two decades in real estate successfully buying and capitalizing on single-family homes, commercial properties and apartment buildings.

There are worse fates.

And, Kevin wears a big smile and readily shares his joy about where he and his associates have landed.

Sunrise Capital Investors is in the value-add niche

“We’re still small fish in a medium sized pond, because the industry is still not as large as it could be,” said Bupp, a resident of Clearwater, Fla., and co-owner with Charles DeHart and Brian Spear of Sunrise Capital Investors. “Manufactured is all we focus on now.”

Bupp and his partners are seasoned investors who purchase and improve what most often are referred to as “mobile home parks”, though a true mobile home, by definition, hasn’t been manufactured in the U.S. since June 1976. Since then, and today, manufactured homes are stamped for quality by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Some of the communities Sunrise purchases have homes that pre-date the 1976 regulatory change, but most are small to mid-size communities with homes from the 1980s and ’90s, some newer.

Their investment targets represent a middle-market niche that larger investors and owners overlook, though less so in recent years.

2016 Real Estate Returns by Sector

 

 

 

 

 

Value-add Niche

“We’re really value add guys,” Bupp said. “We are really good at taking a community that is in distress, but in a good market, and taking out the bad elements, bringing in some improvements and making things work.”

It’s a niche that’s gaining stability and wider recognition all the time, largely because the ROI doesn’t lie.

“It took us a year to buy the first park, then it’s been one or two in those in between years,” Charles DeHart said. “In the last 18 months, we’ve purchased six parks.

“We have five more parks currently in contract (pending sale) that represent 430 spaces,” he said.

Sunrise has raised more than $2 million in cash during the last two years from the attraction of 10 dedicated outside investors, and they look to raise $3-5 million more to purchase another six parks – perhaps 800 land-lease spaces – during the next 12 months.

It’s not BIG business investing, but it’s been shown as a way to steadily grow wealth. And, if you ask the Sunrise partners and similar investors, it’s a way to improve affordable housing stock – for the metro area and for the park residents.

“We’re in a niche that allows us to earn a very reasonable return for our investors,” DeHart said. “And also provide quality housing for people who may be coming into home ownership for the first time in their lives or even in their family’s history.”

How it’s done

They don’t buy through a broker. Brokers typically want to work with higher volume investors, and also make sizable commissions. Rather, Bupp and DeHart delve into county records within a geographic area of interest. They find out where the communities are and who owns them. If they’re fortunate, they find a phone number for the owner.

After that, it’s sales 101; they make cold calls, employ heavy use of direct mail and sometimes put out bandit signs.

“We typically have five or six unique owners in the system at any given time, and check back with them three to four times per year,” DeHart said. “It’s not just finding the right seller, it’s about finding the right seller at the right time.”

Often, they’re in front of a prospective seller before the owner of a property realizes they’re in a good position to sell. So, checking back often is key to being in the right place at the right time.

They work some of the prospects themselves, but commonly put out a post to acquire a “trainee broker” who can visit communities of interest, take photos and notes, and possibly make an introduction to get talks underway. That trainee broker also learns how to access county records that are unavailable online, and does this on their own time and earns a commission when a sale is made.

In training these brokers, Sunrise is creating more than a strategy, more than a company brand. They’re helping to build an industry. Along those lines, the three operate Mobile Home Park Academy, which teaches others how to do what Sunrise does. Charles and Kevin host a podcast on the topic, and also are in the final throes of writing a book on mobile home park investing.

“We intend to be in the business for a long time. We really enjoy it, it’s lucrative and we appreciate being able to provide a critical affordable housing segment,” Bupp said. “We only buy stuff that makes sense. If we only buy one community in a year, that’s good with us. It will be the one we want to buy.”

Save the Date – SECO 2017

350+ small and mid-size manufactured home community owners and other industry personnel will attend SECO17 on October 11-12, 2017 in Marietta, Georgia.

New location this year:

Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel and Conference Center
Marietta, Georgia

This year we’ll be meeting at the idyllic, and historic, Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel and Conference Center. Their grand structure and idyllic location warmly welcome guests traveling for SECO17. Stay at this hotel in Marietta, GA, and be near hiking, mountain trails and the on-site City Club Marietta Golf Course.

Here’s just some of what SECO has to offer:

  • Network with Fellow Community Owners and Managers.
  • Hear the Good, the Bad & the Ugly from Fellow Community Owners
  • Explore New Ways to Run Your Community
  • Acquire the Knowledge to Better Your Bottom-line
  • Get Tips from the Experts – Steps to Becoming More Efficient
  • New Ways to Finance
  • Walk Through Affordable Community Series Manufactured Homes & Interact with Manufacturers
  • Share Ideas and Best Practices to Ensure Greater Success.
  • 501(c)(3) dedicated to community education

Community owners, managers, vendors and other industry personnel from 25+ states are expected. Educational workshops, presentations and panel discussions will complement three days of networking.

Who should attend? Anyone that owns or has an interest in the health and operation of manufactured home communities. Programming is focused on tactics that can benefit those owning 1 – 100 communities. This would certainly include the owners and investors, but also be beneficial for general managers and managers. The networking opportunity with owners/operators will be beneficial for lenders, suppliers, home manufacturers and corporate property managers as well. But there is no mistake – this is a gathering directed by community owners for community owners.

More information about SECO can be found at secoconference.com

MHI Summer Legislative Fly In

Smart industry professionals know that our business has concerns and issues that must be addressed in Washington D.C.. Join the Manufactured Housing Institute for their 2017 Summer Fly-In and make sure your concerns are heard.

From MHI (The Manufactured Housing Institute):

Do You Want Change in Federal Policy for Manufactured Housing?

Join us in Washington, D.C. on June 26-27 at the Hyatt Regency for MHI’s Legislative Fly-In program.

Our story must be heard as Members of Congress consider the many issues that impact our industry. With your participation, we can drown out the misinformation that is being sent to Capitol Hill from those who do not understand the manufactured housing market. We can ensure all Members of Congress understand the importance of manufactured housing as a critical resource for working families and the largest form of unsubsidized affordable housing in the nation.

Let your voice be heard during this two-day program. Visit Congressional offices to advocate for:

-Reducing regulatory burdens to financing for manufactured homes.
-Fighting regulatory overreach by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
-Fostering economic growth by supporting quality, affordable manufactured housing.

The 2017 Legislative Fly-in program includes:

  • Meetings on Capitol Hill with your Members of Congress or their key staff
  • Lunch on the Hill with presentations by Members of Congress
  • Networking with your MHI peers from across the country
  • Briefing sessions on MHI’s legislative priorities
  • Training on lobbying and influencing your elected leaders
  • Tips on continuing relationships with your elected officials once you return home

A complete schedule of events as well as registration details can be found on the Manufactured Housing Institute’s web site.

 

What’s the Deal?

Big Investors Move to Find Best Deals Before Market Levels

Lakeway Mobile Estates,Bellingham, Wash.

From Bellingham, Wash. to Newnan, Ga., Jon Harrison scans the map for just the right patch of land. He talks to brokers, scours county records and relies on whatever information he can gain from inside sources.

All in the name of finding the prime manufactured home community.

Harrison isn’t looking for his retirement place. He’s not looking for the simple yet ideal coastal getaway for the family. He works for Inspire Communities, not the largest of the community owners, but certainly entrenched in the top quarter of the industry.

A former broker himself, Harrison is in acquisitions, and always is looking for the perfect mix of placement and amenities that can be a great home for 200 hundred residents or more – and no less important, a stellar portfolio addition for the company owners and investors.

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