As regular readers know, the first Masthead blog post of the month is devoted to ‘introducing’ the Featured Articles on our MHProNews.com home page. Every month, we list them all, and this month will be no exception.
There are times when a theme emerges or is planned for a given month. Last month, it was the State of the Manufactured Housing Industry. The reports were well read. Our guest columns on terminology and the video interview with Scott Roberts were all highly popular. As with all of our published articles, they are still available online. All of those can still be accessed from the June kickoff Masthead linked below.
Learning and advancing due to Past Experience, Using Insights to Advance into the Future
The Fourth of July is America’s birthday party. On the 4th, it is worth recalling that we should not project onto the past our present circumstances. As an analogy, I don’t look at my smart phone and then curse Alexander Graham Bell’s pioneering work in creating the original phone. How would we have smart phones without Bell’s original vision?
Similarly, we ought to see leaders like Washington or Jefferson – who freed their own slaves – as men bucking a pattern that dated back to the oldest records known to humanity. Slavery has existed since the earliest records, and by all accounts, it still exists today.
Nor is slavery a black/white issue. Slavery transcends race. For instance, some historians say there were more white indentured servants – a different form of bondage – brought to the U.S. than African slaves. Free blacks owned blacks in the South; free whites had indentured whites in the North. Tragic that slavery existed, but Americans have advanced a long way from what was then common.
Thus properly understood, our nation’s Founders should be praised for their many advances, not mistakenly dismissed as evil racists. The Bell to smart phone analogy, while remote, applies.
Some today want to toss Judeo-Christian values out of the public square and under the proverbial bus. Really? What happened to the First Amendment? Or what happened to the 10th Amendment? With regards to the slavery issue and the positive impact of the faith-community, wasn’t it the Apostle Paul who plead to the owner of Onesimus, to free him and then treat him as a brother and not as a slave? Start looking around at Philemon 1:10, see for yourself.
Wasn’t it the Hebrew “Book of Leviticus” (25:10) that gave us the words for the Liberty Bell?
“Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land, unto All the Inhabitants thereof.”
People of faith built the American nation. Faith moved people to abolish slavery. Let’s not let the “politically correct” re-write our nation’s history. America wasn’t godless. The First Amendment limits government, not the expression of faith in private or in public.
It was people of faith – seeking freedom from oppression – that established our nation. We must understand the past in its own context before we judge, much less condemn. Judeo-Christian values advanced our Western culture. Let’s not let it be tossed lightly aside. Our own freedom – yours and mine – rests upon those hard-fought values.
From the Past to the Present, and Beyond
All human achievement tends to be a rather messy business. For those of you who have started or managed an enterprise – especially those done ‘on a shoestring,’ but including far bigger endeavors too – you KNOW how messy it is. You try to keep that chaos in the kitchen as far from the eyes of your customers as possible. Yet somehow, businesses, political, social and religious movements manage to:
- begin with fitful starts,
- endure the backsliding,
- lessons are learned and
- then the advance ahead continues anew.
Manufactured Housing Appraisal Rules will Hit home on July 18, 2015
This month we bring lots of material on the Appraisal issue. You’ll see no less than three articles directly on that topic below.
But as we ponder:
- implementation of appraisals,
- pursuit of HR 650/S 682
- and more that is coming our way out of Washington, DC…
…we need to consider on this Fourth of July the intent of the Founders for our nation. For example, did the Founders have in mind a fourth branch of government – the bureaucracy – that could ignore or suspend the very laws that breathed them into existence? Clearly, no. They declared their independence – among many things – from just that sort of tyranny of minor officials.
A Brief Segue…
I’ve frankly seen many sides of the question of having two national manufactured housing associations. As an MHI board member, let me say that there is value to having MHARR in the mix. There are some things each one needs the other’s perspective on. Could it be done differently? On paper, sure. Could the two work be better than they have? No doubt. But that competition between the two may be healthier than some may at-a-glance think.
Why do I bring this up today? Because there needs to be more resistance to the long march toward centralization of political power in Washington, D.C..
Jefferson – whose monument near the Washington Mall was among the places my family and I visited last month – would be horrified at what is happening today. We can’t give into every regulatory over-reach. We ought not begin with the idea of compromise, even when compromise may at some point be expedient.
For example. The MLO rule is a clear violation of free speech. As a non-attorney, it seems to me that the restriction of the use of someone’s own, private capital – as the regulators are doing today – is de-facto an unwarranted seizure of property without due compensation. There are levels to the CFPB – and other DC issues – that we have not explored seriously enough.
We must as professionals do what we have to short term on appraisals, etc., without overlooking the over-reach of regulators like the CFPB. We need parallel paths of action.
Businesses need Certainty
When words at law have lost their plain meaning, as Justice Scalia said last week, we have entered into highly problematic waters.
When an agency goes beyond their natural authority, then we must be concerned and plan mid-to-long term with care, while working with them at the same time in short term ways to right-the-wrongs.
So I’m not advocating bomb-throwing! But we must begin with the thought, what are our NATURAL rights? Are we allowing those hard-earned American rights to slip away to unelected regulators? How is that harming our economy? How does that harm millions trapped in poverty?
So we need parallel paths. We can’t focus on one thing, and ignore all the rest that is going on all around us. MHI has its strengths, MHARR others. Let’s hope the two work ever better together. Let’s see state and community associations broaden their appeal to get more good businesses engaged in making America the engine of free enterprise that lifted millions out of poverty before. With the proper effort, Americans of wisdom and good will can do so again.
We must have a long term view of improving our impact on Washington, at the state and local levels. We must roll-back this centralized, top-down command system that has emerged in America. Each of us can play a part, and even if only 5-10% get properly engaged, the impact of regulators on MH and on our society at large can be mitigated or even rolled back.
Making that happen is a matter of education, organization and image. It is PROFITABLE. There are good reasons to do what is suggested. We will add, likely next week, at least one more Featured Article that will relate to this and other topics noted above.
Our industry, our nation, are at a crossroads. We can’t just sit on our modest 5+ year MH uptick and think the work is done. We’ve only just begun. We can’t just think that what the Founders fought for, what the generations since have worked and bled for is all there is to do. Each of us – every era – must do our own part.
With no further adieu, please check out this month’s Featured Articles. Also, take a look at a special report – Do De Minimus Exemptions Provide Relief to the Manufactured Housing Industry? More reports and food for thoughts from experts across the specturm to come!
Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 6, No. 10, 2015
Alphabetically by Category
COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)
• Tips for Hiring the Right Contractor for Your Community
by Kathleen M. Bianculli, CIC
Do the steps in your community resemble this photo?
•Terminology 101 – Transgender – Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Fair Housing Law
by Nadeen Green, JD
Today there is heightened awareness in our country of issues related to gender identity and gender expression.
• New Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Appraisal Rule, Effective July 18, 2015
21st Mortgage Corporation Update Report
Hopefully all of our retailers have been able to attend one or more of the many trade association seminars and everyone is familiar with the appraisal requirements.
• About Appraisals on FHA and VA Land Home Manufactured Housing Loans
by Cody Pierce
Editor’s note: the following below is the verbatim response from the President of Cascade Financial Services to a question from MHProNews to his firm about reports that 1 out of 4 manufactured homes fail to appraise on FHA land/home deals.
• Triad Financial Services position regarding 7-18-15 implementation of new ‘appraisal’ rules
by Don Sharp
With the above referenced subject being a very hot topic within each Conference/Convention/Annual Meeting this summer, I feel compelled to enlighten all as to my company’s position on this upcoming Dodd-Frank implementation.
GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS
• Can Your Manufactured Home Business Be Trusted?
by Wayne Coakley
• The Manufactured Housing Industry Needs to Embrace the Tiny House Movement
If hindsight is always 20/20, that doesn’t mean it takes 20/20 eyesight to see what’s right in front of us. Across America, the tiny house movement is picking up steam.
• Lobbying Your Congressman and Senator
by L. A. “Tony” Kovach
• Video – Sam Landy on the value of Trade Shows for UMH Properties Team Members
by L. A. “Tony” Kovach
Sometimes, less is more.
• Ron Thomas, Sr. – to President Barack Obama, on Selling over 500,000 new MHs, Financing and the Greatest Event on the Manufactured Housing Calendar
by L. A. “Tony” Kovach
Over the years we have done written and video interviews.
• Wally Comer – President of Adventure Homes – On the Manufactured Housing Industry’s Evolution, The Louisville Show and how its different than 20 Years Ago
by L. A. “Tony” Kovach
“It’s an innovative, creative growth oriented” industry now. Who says? High-flying Adventure Homes President Wally Comer.
• The Manufactured Home TV-Video Channel – Pathway to Progress and Profits
by L. A. “Tony” Kovach
• Staggering Along
by Bob Vahsholtz
Four or five decades ago if someone had been so morose as to forecast a string of years for the MH industry in which unit sales never exceeded 100,000 they’d have been laughed off the stage.
PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION
by Tim Connor, CSP
• ZigOn Doing Well
by Zig Ziglar
I was in Sacramento, CA, and had an hour’s delay before my flight left. I walked over to the yogurt shop and ordered my favorite concoction, a mixture of the white chocolate mousse and fresh strawberries.