Deer Valley Homebuilders Release w/Video Underscores Surprising Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Connections


Deer Valley Homebuilders (DVLY) has issued a press release that will be featured further below. But their release obliquely spotlighted several issues that could easily make Deer Valley a case study on the ways that Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, and Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway’s ability to influence the manufactured home marketplace.  This report – using sources inside and beyond Deer Valley or the other firms mentioned – will begin to unpack the nature of the challenges faced by every independent of most any kind in the manufactured housing industry today.

Clayton Homes’ retail division, per sources, has done several million dollars annual business with Deer Valley in recent years.  That gives Clayton Homes insights into the Deer Valley operation that they may not gain as easily in any other way.

Keep in mind that the same is true for other firms that Clayton retail does business with.

As almost any independent retailer can tell you, 21st financing is a ubiquitous reality in manufactured home lending. Because of overall low totals of new manufactured home retail sales volumes – estimated at under $8 billion in 2018 for the entire industry – there are numerous consequences to those relatively low sales levels.

One of several worth noting is that lenders looking for places to do business may quickly look beyond manufactured housing, because there isn’t enough volume today to gain the interest for many larger lending firms.

To underscore that point, look no further than U.S. Bank.

U.S. Bank had a successful and profitable manufactured housing financing program. But U.S. Bank nevertheless still pulled the plug on their lending program in manufactured housing. Why? Their stated reasons noted the combination of factors which included:

  • relatively low total retail sales volumes,
  • regulatory, and other perceived risks.

What money U.S. Bank made in manufactured home lending was not worth those perceived risks and factors, per both published and insider sources associated with their largely shelved national finance program.

Note that the ‘increases’ in total manufactured home sales volumes since they pulled out of the market has not yet been sufficient to tempt U.S. Bank to return to manufactured home lending. These are all sobering signals to thoughtful industry professionals.

These are among the kinds of nuances and minutiae that time-pressured mainstream journalists – along with others commenting on manufactured housing – are likely to be unaware of or easily digest, even if they are getting input from manufactured home industry sources. And what If those journalists take the easy step of calling the Manufactured Housing Institute? Hold that thought for later, below.

Then, there’s the ‘reputation,’ ‘stigma,’ or ‘image’ of the HUD Code manufactured housing industry.

Journalists are people too. Stating the obvious can bring clarity to issues. ‘Reports’ such as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s satirical hit video on manufactured housing arguably has an outsized influence on others in media.

Unless a journalist or media outlet is motivated to look more closely, it’s like challenging any mainstream narrative that could well have a strongly differing worldview. How many will have the chutzpah to bring forward a contrarian position – however fact-based – in the face of a media dominated by only a handful of mega-corporate interests?



Frank Rolfe, who with his partners in their operations has sparked numerous controversies of his own before Oliver’s spotlighted video hit, was nevertheless correct about several things with respect to mainstream media reporters. The video clip below and the quotes by Rolfe linked here are just some of the ways that media has been given the wrong impression.

It is an entirely fair question to ask, how has Rolfe and his partners influenced the media impression of manufactured home communities and the industry at large? Beyond the Oliver video, a sense of that can be had from the video below, which on this date has had over 1.8 million views.


Publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach’s column in the Jacksonville newspaper Florida Times Union plus others in the Sunshine state that carried the same linked commentary noted the following common thread.  The problematic firms in Oliver’s misnamed “Mobile Homes” viral video report is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Berkshire Hathaway brands in manufactured housing.  A relatively few ‘big boy’ brands and operating principles are creating an outsized negative influence on the impression made in the mainstream media. That same Op-Ed by Tony Kovach also noted the need and value of manufactured homes, and the connection to the also viral “Seattle is Dying” video, which can be accessed in the report linked via the text-image box below.

Why is Seattle Dying? Affordable Housing, Misplaced Compassion, and Manufactured Homes –

In just over three weeks, this video below entitled ” Seattle is Dying ” by KOMO, a local ABC TV affiliate there, has broken 2.1 million views. It is an hour-long and compelling documentary that ends with hope based upon some promising solutions. But it first lays out one troubling fact and example after another.

It is Warren Buffett led Berkshire’s money that can be traced through so-called ‘dark money’ trails to “Manufactured Housing Action” or MHAction. The ‘white paper’ flashed by Oliver in the video was co-authored and co-branded by MHAction.

You build a case, by laying out the evidence, one fact at a time.

Rephrased, Buffett, Berkshire brands, MHI, key MHI members, and MHAction – by a combination of action and inaction – can stoke headwinds that are entirely unforeseen by most independents. Why? As a number of independents have told MHProNews, they are so focused on their day-to-day efforts, that they have little time to ponder such macro issues.

Those that do know, or have begun to grasp the matter, already had a healthy respect born out of fear and necessity for 21st, or the TRU line of homes that Clayton has grabbed serious market share with.

ClaytonHomesTunicaShowTRU13.3PercentHUDCodeMarketShareTotalNonBig3Production20PercentClaytonHomesLogoMHProNewsLogo - Copy

The Final Place Setting on Today’s DVLY Media Release Table…

In a more normal world, or less manipulated marketplace, home such as Deer Valley’s would be flying off the production lines. Absent the influences of media reports like John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” video, well informed retail buyers would be lined up to buy appealing yet affordable housing products like theirs. Bear in mind that just 5 years before Buffett pulled the trigger on manufactured housing by acquiring Clayton and other industry brands, manufactured housing was selling 4 times more homes than the industry is today.

In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders?

Other brands beyond Deer Valley could be named here, such as Solitaire Homes, which for decades has built and sold HUD Code manufactured homes via their own vertically integrated retail locations.

Why isn’t Solitaire – or any other independent producers – doing significantly more business than they in fact are doing? The vexing answers are found in the items linked from within this report, or in the related reports linked after the byline and notices further below.

The influence of misinformed media and a misguided public on the housing marketplace isn’t just in the U.S. Canadians and Austrians are among those moved by reports about manufactured homes that are coming out of the U.S.A.

It is with this backdrop that one of the following linked 300 word summaries in mainstream media ought to be carefully considered.

  Jacksonville

  Gainesville

  Lakeland

  Winter Haven

In the light of such overbearing realities, a press release by Deer Valley or anyone else in the industry to mainstream media gets only a passing look by most writers.

That’s more than a shame.

The impact isn’t only on Deer Valley, but on essentially any independent one might name. This post outlines a tragedy in our nation, because millions are seeking the affordable homes that Deer Valley or numerous other independent builders of any price-point HUD Code manufactured homes produce.

Still from DVLY video. Their new video is high quality, and makes a positive portrayal of the target audience and model home toured.

Those points noted, here below their appealing new video is the Deer Valley press release.

Deer Valley Partners with Mossy Oak to Create the First-Ever Nativ Living Manufactured Home

GUIN, Ala., April 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — In a world of buzzing smartphones and endless emails, outdoor enthusiasts know that there’s nothing like spending time in nature to take a break from the daily grind. That’s why Deer Valley has partnered with Mossy Oak’s Nativ Living Series to help bring the beauty of nature indoors through the creation of the “Robin’s Nest”: a three bedroom, two bath manufactured home for those whose passion for the outdoors inspires them to bring those elements inside.

Deer Valley Homebuilders partners with Mossy Oak to bring you the Nativ Living Series of homes!

Deer Valley’s affordable, high quality homes and commitment to environmentally-friendly construction practices makes a partnership with Mossy Oak a natural fit,” says Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, Senior VP at Mossy Oak.

The Robin’s Nest is a 1,920 square foot, first-of-its-kind prefab home which combines Mossy Oak’s signature nature-focused designs with Deer Valley’s top-of-the-line construction, ensuring that homes are built using the highest quality construction materials in a climate-controlled factory facility.

We’re proud to partner with Mossy Oak to create an ideal home for any sportsperson, whether you’re looking for the perfect family retreat or a new deer camp headquarters,” says Joey Aycock, Director of Sales at Deer Valley Homebuilders.

Because your home should be every bit as enjoyable as a day spent in the woods.

Stay tuned for the construction of three variations of the Robin’s Nest, coming soon!
WL-MOIL-7206 – “Robin’s Nest Outdoor Closet”
WL-MONL-7206B – “Robin’s Nest Man Cave”
WL-MONL-8037 – “Robin’s Nest 4 Bedroom”

Deer Valley Homebuilders
Deer Valley Homebuilders is the number one source for quality manufactured homes that are heavy-built to last a lifetime. 

Mossy Oak Nativ Living
Mossy Oak Nativ Living is for those who are drawn to the beauty of nature and whose passion for the outdoors inspires them to bring those elements into their home. Using textures, colors, elements and designs inspired by nature, Mossy Oak Nativ Living offers a variety of products to complement any cabin, home or lodge.

Another video still from their new production in conjunction with Mossy Oaks.


Deer Valley (DVLY) is one of the stocks tracked in our evening manufactured housing market report. Last night’s data is linked here.


The Wrap  

A competing trade media site approached our publisher at an event at the Tunica Show in March, 2019. With others in earshot, that competing professional objected to the statements in the graphic that follows below, thinking that they were targeted at their work product. In response, Tony Kovach explained that Clayton Homes, as well as other brands or sites, use 3D visual tours, high-quality videos, and other eye-catching images.

So the comments that follow aren’t a put down of any specific company. Rather, it is an observation that is objectively and demonstrably true. Until the core issues are addressed, the impact of great visuals will sadly be nominal.

There is widely acknowledged affordable housing crisis. Manufactured homes as an industry are underperforming. The shipment data reflects that point.



That begs the question, why?




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HBO’s John Oliver on Last Week Tonight Mobile Homes Video, Manufactured Home Communities Fact Check –

” Mobile homes were perfected by humans, but invented by snails,” John Oliver on HBO’s Last Week Tonight, per Time. ” The homes of some the poorest people in America are being snapped up by some of the richest people in America.” Really?


Why is Seattle Dying? Affordable Housing, Misplaced Compassion, and Manufactured Homes –

In just over three weeks, this video below entitled ” Seattle is Dying ” by KOMO, a local ABC TV affiliate there, has broken 2.1 million views. It is an hour-long and compelling documentary that ends with hope based upon some promising solutions. But it first lays out one troubling fact and example after another.


Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier –

America woke up today to division. But perhaps 75 percent (+/-) of the nation’s people could come together on a plan that demonstrably could do the following. Increase the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by some $2 Trillion Annually, without new federal spending.


HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform

MHARR SEEKS HUD STUDY AND ANALYSIS OF ZONING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MANUFACTURED HOUSING Washington, D.C., April 8, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), in an April 4, 2019 meeting with HUD policy, analysis and research officials, called on the Department to conduct nationwide research – and follow-up analysis – concerning local zoning mandates that discriminatorily exclude or drastically restrict the placement of federally-regulated manufactured homes to the detriment of lower and moderate-income American families in large areas of the country.


“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges” | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform

Motion – or, more accurately, activity – in and of itself, is not necessarily synonymous with, or equivalent to, realprogress, or, in fact, any progress at all.

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