|This issue of the MobileHomeParkStore.com and MHBay.com Newsletter includes:
Mobile Home Park Owner News
Published by: Jim Carmichael, January 9, 2007
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
It’s been a year since my last newsletter, again. Sorry for that. But there hasn’t been much to write about for Mobile Home Park Owners. I haven’t had a different conversation with any park owner in the last couple of years. Velocity of MHP sales continues to be slow. Appraisers have called me for comps because they can’t find any over 100 pads since I sold the 315 pad park in Louisville in late 2004 and I closed on a 170 pad community in September of this past year.
We are still waiting on some sort of secondary market so that we can once again get financing for units going into the parks. And that leads us to the heart of the matter. The industry (really dealers) has had the luxury of no real consequences when doing some questionable things when getting an applicant approved for a chattel loan. Being on the retail side of this business for eight plus years gave me some real insight.
I worked for different companies and the truth is it happens on some level everywhere. In sales centers where they are doing 100% recourse loans (i.e. Clayton) there is a lot less of it. But in some of the independent dealerships I have seen unbelievable things. Even when the lenders caught them, they really just got a slap on the wrist and a warning. Everyone was so concerned about volume and profit, no one thought about the long term consequences. For which we are now suffering. Long gone are the days of Greentree, the Associates, is Greenpoint even around?
FANMAE has been waiting to see the industry change in some way in order to come back. Has anyone considered licensure for sales people, managers and dealers? Most states at least require some certification to install a mobile home. Yet the people selling them have no accountability. And that friends, is the answer. If an owner was responsible like a licensed real estate broker and the sales people were also licensed, with their job or business being on the line if they violated the law or their code of ethics, I think it would solve a lot of our problems.
Now I am not suggesting everyone get a real estate license. But the National Manufactured Housing Institute could come up with the basic criteria, and then each state could modify it to their own laws. It could be as simple as a one or two day course to become a certified manufactured home salesperson. Then the state associations could make the penalties. If you loose your “certificate”, you can’t sell mobile homes anymore.
Technology should make this a lot easier than it would have been ten or fifteen years ago. Each state can communicate easily with the other and so on. I hope there is support for this. I am going to bring it up at the National Congress in Las Vegas in April.
I have acquired my KY real estate brokers’ license and have opened up the Northern KY office of Sperry Van Ness. For more information on the company go to www.svn.com . But in brief, they are the fastest growing commercial real estate brokerage in the nation right now. More importantly to me, they give me a national marketing platform while maintaining my autonomy. For you, if you ever decide to sell, it means maximum exposure for your property. I will be happy to sing the praises of the company if you want to hear more, call me.
SEE YOU AT THE SHOW
Midwest Manufactured Housing Show January 16 through 18 at the Louisville Convention Center.
8172 Mall Rd., Ste 220
Florence, KY 41042
Jim Carmichael has been in the manufactured housing industry for over 13 years. He has spent time in retail sales with Oakwood, Clayton & Fleetwood and later managed a sales center for Clayton in North Carolina.
Jim has a unique perspective of community ownership. He knows where the homes come from and who lives in a MHP. He has devoted the last several years to learning the operation of communities and what investors look for.
Proficient at the 1031 process, Jim will help you after the sale as well.