This podcast of News at Noon is sponsored in part by MHMSM.com/solutions more information on MHMSM.com/solutions will follow this podcast.
Coming up, CountryPlace Mortgage Launches Lending Program for Manufactured-Home Buyers. AN MHMSM.com exclusive report.
But first…these stories.
Arizona boycott could disrupt $3M manufactured home deal
Story by Nick Taborek of the Santa Monica Daily Press
If you thought the Santa Monica City Council’s boycott of Arizona businesses was merely ceremonial, with few real-world implications, think again.
It now appears that a proposed $3 million deal to acquire 20 manufactured homes for the City Hall-owned Mountain View Mobile Home Park could be at risk because of the policy, which the council unanimously adopted May 25.
If the council chooses not to approve the contract because of the boycott that could mean a loss in taxypaper money in the form of man hours put in by city staff.
The council discussed past and future business with the state of Arizona before adopting the boycott, but there was no mention of what it might mean for a proposal to purchase replacement homes from Phoenix-based Cavco Industries Inc.
Cavco was selected from a field of seven firms after a 6-month review process that included a presentation to residents at Mountain View and analysis by City Hall staff and members of the Planning Commission and Housing Commission.
With its headquarters in Phoenix, the company is “one of the largest producers of manufactured housing, park model and cabin vacation homes in the United States,” according to its website. It operates three manufacturing plants in the Phoenix area and one plant in Seguin, Texas.
Like many other cities, Santa Monica adopted a boycott of Arizona businesses and banned official travel to the state to protest the law known as SB1070, which requires Arizona police to check immigration papers when they have a “reasonable suspicion” someone they’ve stopped could be in the country illegally. Critics have said the law, which is set to take effect July 29 pending court challenges, will lead to racial profiling. Supporters of the law say it only enforces our nation’s immigration laws, and can cut the flow of drugs, weapons and illegals entering the U.S. from Mexico.
Housing Administrator Jim Kemper this week said he was not sure how the boycott will affect his department’s recommendation to purchase the homes from Cavco. The proposal was part of a plan to replace older dwellings at Mountain View, where 80 percent of the units were built before 1976, according to a City Hall report.
The City Council has final say on the proposed contract and is tentatively scheduled to vote on the deal by July, Kemper said.
He said there’s been no decision about whether to pull the recommendation or to re-open the bidding process.
“We’re going to present all the facts to the council and then they, of course, will decide,” he said.
City Councilman Terry O’Day, who proposed the Arizona boycott, on Friday said he had not been aware of the proposal to purchase manufactured homes from an Arizona company.
“I’m sure it was a very involved selection process, but I’m sure we can get them elsewhere, too,” he said.
When the council adopted the boycott, council members discussed the possible impact it could have on a proposed $2 million contract with Trapeze Group, a software company with an Arizona facility that is the front runner for a contract to provide real-time signs for Big Blue Bus stops.
That proposal is yet to get the council’s approval, but Stephanie Negriff, the BBB’s director, has said that the contract wouldn’t violate the boycott because Trapeze is headquartered in Canada and will handle the proposed contract through its Cedar Rapids, Iowa, office.
Living in smaller spaces
By Christina Knott, Kerrville Daily Times, Texas
Jun. 12–Smaller space means bigger options for many local residents of recreation vehicles and manufactured homes.
Sam Spears, owner of Spears Homes Inc., said people are attracted to manufactured homes, in part, because of cost. Buyers can get more home for the dollar with a manufactured home compared to a traditional house.
There’s a simplicity to smaller homes, he said, with fewer belongings to worry about and more money in one’s pocket. They offer a freedom that large houses can’t.
“It’s a much easier lifestyle,” Spears said.
Warren and Molly Sliker moved out of their 3,200-square-foot home in Pennsylvania nearly two decades ago to tour the nation in a 400-square-foot RV. Over 10 years, they visited 49 states, including Hawaii on a cruise, before settling in an adult community of manufactured homes at Windmill Ridge.
Having adjusted to living in a small space, they had no problems moving into a mobile home. In fact, with a home four times as large as their RV, Warren Sliker wondered why anyone would need as much room as he used to live in.
“I don’t understand. We have people here in 2,400-square-foot housing,” Sliker said. “We get along fine in small space.”
Small homes also draw people interested in the community atmosphere of RV and mobile home parks that is often lacking in busy neighborhoods.
As Sliker spoke on the telephone, his wife enjoyed a shopping trip to San Antonio with other residents of their community. People meet regularly for lunch or coffee. Potluck parties each month feature the community-organized seven-member band in which Sliker plays bass.
Sliker said residents — who range in age from as young as 40 — won’t get bored in their community.
When a couple is out of town, his wife waters their plants and checks the mail. Following the recent storm, neighbors inspected each other’s houses for damage.
“As far as drawbacks, I don’t see any,” Sliker said.
Debbie Wakely, an office worker at Take-It-Easy Resort, summed up the attraction many have for pared down living.
“You can pack up and leave whenever you want to. It takes 10 minutes to clean. The communities are very nice,” Wakely said. “It’s like a family.”
CountryPlace Mortgage Launches Lending Program for Manufactured-Home Buyers
by Eric Miller, MHMSM.com journalist
ADDISON, TX, June 11, 2009–CountryPlace Mortgage Ltd., announced recently it would expand its retail base and begin offering loans wholesale through community banks and credit unions. Its Manufactured Home Community Lending Program focuses on providing conventional and FHA loans for buyers purchasing manufactured homes in rural and suburban areas.
“By working with community banks and credit unions to provide real property loans for manufactured housing, we can help banks meet the needs of people in their communities who need housing in the low to moderate price ranges,” explains CountryPlace National Marketing Representative Bryan Chamberlain. The average CountryPlace Mortage loan is about $135,000, the minimum loan is $50,000, according to Chamberlain.
The new program was created in an effort to fill a void left largely by the ceased operations of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker in August, 2009 after a federal investigation. The company was terminated as a lender by the federal agencies Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae (GNMA). Taylor, Bean & Whitaker had been the fifth largest issuer of GNMA securities.
The result, Chamberlain says, is a situation where realtors can’t sell homes because financing isn’t available.
“A realtor may have a buyer for house that’s listed, but sends them to obtain financing, then never sees the borrower again because there are just not a lot of options,” Chamberlain told MHMSM.com.
With the program in place, community banks and credit unions will have an option for not only providing home loans for new and resale manufactured housing that is classified as real property, but also will be able to assist their customers who want to convert construction loans for the purchase and installation of manufactured housing into permanent mortgages.
The program is initially targeted to 18 states including Washington, Oregon, Idaho
California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.
Chamberlain says 90 percent of CountryPlace loans pertain to modular and manufactured housing. Founded in 1995, the company began originating and servicing loans for its portfolio in July 2002.
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