The image to the left and those below are from a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) produced booklet.
With nuanced exceptions, it’s accurate.
This booklet – combined with other educational materials – are precisely the kind of document that could appeal to and inform:
- home buyers/consumers,
- public officials,
- policy advocates,
- and the mainstream media.
Such educational material – properly promoted – could over time bring more better qualified buyers into the manufactured home market.
Is There a Catch?
Yes, and no.
First, we’ll make the disclosure that this truly fine Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) booklet is ‘outdated,’ but only in a narrow sense.
There are doubtlessly newer manufactured home professionals in sales or leasing offices that are unaware of some of the appealing styles shown in the complete booklet that this was excerpted from. Those unique styles of HUD Code manufactured housing are, or could be, done as well or better today.
Second, while the booklet doesn’t have a date of publication, MHProNews has indications that it was produced circa 2002. That’s important, as we’ll note later.
Third, unlike documents and graphics produced in the Richard A. “Dick” Jennison era at MHI, which:
- conflicts with other MHI data,
- conflicts with data from other member companies,
- has factual errors, per federal, lender, or other data,
this roughly 15-year-old ‘dated’ MHI document – after an initial read, and given some modest changes – could largely be used today.
It’s arguably better than what MHI now produces, because it is more accurate on the lending options.
For example, this MHI-produced – largely consumer-focused document – cited a useful Harvard study. That university research predicted that manufactured housing would take off in the years ahead.
So, on the one hand, this document is better than some items being produced by MHI today. There were voices such as Harvard saying the era of manufactured housing was upon America.
Bear in mind Warren Buffett’s notable quotes, cited at the link below. Keep in mind that the booklet was produced prior to Buffett’s manufactured housing buying spree. Buffett believes that history is to be studied and learned from, how about you? Do you agree with Buffett on studying and learning from history?
Why Does This Fine MHI Booklet Matter Today?
For several reasons, this 15-year-old MHI booklet ought to raise curiosity, praise or the prior effort, and numerous concerns for:
- MHI members,
- manufactured home professionals,
- and third-party-researchers.
Some bullets why this is worth evaluating and updating could include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- The booklet is generic, which means it did not plug specific manufactured home producing companies, as MHI’s new videos do.
- While it names FHA, VA, USDA (Rural Housing Services, the old FmHA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc. it doesn’t name any lenders that provide those programs. To rephrase, it’s generic on lending too. It doesn’t name a Berkshire Hathaway (BH) lender, for example.
- Because in those days, it couldn’t have named a BH lender, because it was only later that BH bought companies that included MH chattel loans.
To recap, this booklet had no favoritism.
Almost anyone in the industry could have used this to promote a better understanding of manufactured housing, and the kind of loans that most consumers who are comparing to conventional housing would be familiar with.
- There was no picking ‘winner’ companies that got spotlighted at the cost of all members.
- Because there were no featured ‘winners’ companies, there are therefore no by-default, ‘loser’ companies. This is an application of what Drew (now Lippert) Chairman Leigh Abrams told MHProNews in A Cup of Coffee with Leigh J. Abrams interview linked here that the industry should be promoting. “Generic” educational/marketing material.
- What this booklet indirectly spotlights goes to the allegation by contemporary MHI members, and others in the industry, that the Arlington, VA based trade organization now favors a few select companies. What that would imply in practice is that all others who are dues-paying members are paying to promote those few “winner” companies.
Big companies are benefiting from the dollars of the little companies. That clearly wasn’t so when this booklet was produced 15 years ago.
Are these facts, allegations and concerns still more good reason to support a new, post-production trade association?
To learn more click the linked post above, or below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, fact checks, analysis, commentary.)
Notice 1: Looking for our emailed MH Industry headline news updates? Click here to sign up in 5 seconds. You’ll see in the first issue or two why big, medium and ‘mom-and-pop’ professionals are reading them by the thousands, typically delivered twice weekly.
(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.