Multi-Story MH?

Multi-story manufactured housing.

That is a new idea, right?

Not really. As this informative article shows, it is an idea that some folks have talked about, and even tried, before.

Interesting read. Thank you to our colleagues at the Manufactured & Modular Home Association of Minnesota for sharing it with us.

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Virginia Chamber of Commerce Candidate Interviews – Health Care

Last week, we brought you Virginia Chamber of Commerce interviews with candidates on business climate.

This week, we invite you to take a look at candidate interviews on health care. Please take the time to view these interviews and share this with your employees so that everyone can cast an informed ballot in November.

Up next week is transportation.

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Virginia Chamber of Commerce Candidate Interviews – Business Climate

As much as we spend time focusing specifically on housing issues, we know that issues affecting the wider business community are very important to the housing industry and the overall quality of life we enjoy here in Virginia.

For that reason, we are members and supporters of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

As they have in past years, this year, they are interviewing General Assembly candidates across the Commonwealth on issues of importance the business community. If you click here, you can take a look at interviews with selected Senate of Virginia candidates on issues related to Virginia’s business climate.

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Recordation Tax Revenue Bumps up 2.2% over 2014

Recordation tax revenue is up 2.2% over 2014. That is positive news on the housing front in Virginia. Let us hope this trend continues. For more details on the latest revenue numbers, you can check out this release from the Governor’s Office.

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Are Federal Regulations Hurting American Home Buyers? (Hint: Yes, They Are.)

According to this insightful article, it does appear that in an effort to enact regulations and “do something,” the federal government has once again created a regulatory scheme that works against the very Americans it is intended to help.

Witness this scenario:

The man spent two hours browsing through models and weighing the many options. This was an important decision — and likely the biggest purchase he would ever make.

Finally, he was ready to get down to business. The salesman handed him an application. The old man barely glanced at it and asked for help filling it out.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do that,” the salesman told him, then explained that new federal regulations prohibited manufactured home retailers from helping customers apply for financing.

The old man might have been illiterate; he may have forgotten his reading glasses. Maybe he just hated filling out forms.

For whatever reason, he seemed deeply offended — and perhaps embarrassed.

“If you’re not going to help me, I’m not buying from you,” he told the salesman as he stormed out the door.

And this one:

One of the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank has all but shut down financing for homes priced below $20,000. That left Powell with a Hobson’s choice: Continue to rent an apartment indefinitely, as he had for the past 10 years, or take out an unsecured personal loan from a non-MH lender at 36 percent interest to purchase a home he could call his own in less than five years.

“Our desire to buy the home outweighed our desire to not pay 36 percent interest,” Powell says.  Even at that rate, Powell’s payment was less than half what apartment rent would have cost him.

Now, you would think that federal regulators who claim to want to protect Americans like these would quickly fixed these broken, ill-conceived regulations.

And there, you would be wrong because while the House and two Senate committees have passed legislation to fix this problem, the President has threatened to veto any relief for these Americans, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the very agency created to help home buyers, has absolutely refused to act:

Presented with a list of questions asking for the reasoning behind the CFPB-imposed rules — why they have been applied to manufactured housing and whether the agency is aware of their impact on consumers — CFPB spokesman Sam Gilford cited excerpts from the Dodd-Frank Act, itself, but did not directly address the issues raised.

You should check out the entire article for yourself. But be warned, the picture that emerges of the CFPB is not pretty. It is actually quite shameful to see how this group of federal bureaucrats has turned its back on the very families it is supposed to serve.

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The Case for Dodd-Frank Reform for Manufactured Housing Consumers

MHI’s Lesli Gooch has written an excellent piece in Roll Call on the need for modest reforms that will benefit manufactured housing consumers.

Here is a part of her on-point assessment:

While the law’s intent was to protect consumers, it is currently forcing many credit-worthy families to opt for less optimal housing alternatives and pay higher housing costs. Current manufactured home owners are losing equity as home values drop because potential buyers can’t get financing. In the midst of a national affordable housing crisis, it is unconscionable that federal rules are limiting access to credit for affordable, quality housing.

You should click through to read the rest of this great summation of the case for Dodd-Frank reform.

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The 2016 Election and Affordable Housing

Here is an interesting Washington Times article on the affordable housing issue.

From the article:

The J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation, a new nonprofit comprising some top names in the housing industry, is aiming to get presidential candidates to commit to solutions to the affordable housing “crisis” afflicting the country, which it sees getting far worse as the nation’s demographics change.

That is great to hear that folks are taking this issue head on. They correctly point out the following:

The J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation laid out the facts in a recent paper: More than a third of U.S. households, almost 41 million in total, pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing. The government sees anything at 30 percent or lower as affordable.

And, they point out the following:

Part of the blame, according to Patenaude, goes to the government’s response to the financial crisis. First, regulators have made banks wary to make home loans for fear of government lawsuits or penalties if those loans go bad. Second, the 2010 Dodd-Frank law put new regulations on lending while also failing to overhaul the mortgage-backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The result has been an uninterrupted decline in the homeownership rate.

Now, let us just hope that they will correctly recognize that manufactured housing, the nation’s best source of unsubsidized workforce housing, can and should be a significant part of the solution.

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2015 Convention and Annual Meeting Recap

Over 120 VAMMHA members and families attended the 2015 VAMMHA Convention and Annual Meeting last week in Virginia Beach.

The VAMMHA Hall of Fame added another worthy member with the induction of Norton retailer Lesia Estep (Horizon Homes) into the VAMMHA Hall of Fame.

Outgoing VAMMHA Chair Stan Rush (VBS Mortgage) was named Board Member of the Year.

The following persons were elected officers for 2015-16:

  • Chair – Jimmy Russell (Valley Custom Homes, VBS Mortgage, Round Hill Estates)
  • Vice-Chair – Alex Montagnet (Schult Homes-Rockwell)
  • Treasurer – Randy Grumbine (Clayton Homes of Roanoke)
  • Secretary – Joe Manis (Manis Custom Homes)

In the Board of Directors elections, two new members were elected: Matt Lawson (Tidewater Mortgage) and Mark Pressley (Oakwood Homes of Wytheville). In addition, three Board members were re-elected: Randy Grumbine (Clayton Homes of Roanoke), Shawn McCavanagh (Wimbledon Properties) and Alex Montagnet (Schult Homes-Rockwell).

Thank you to the following convention sponsors:

Clayton Homes

Triad Financial Services
VBS Mortgage

21st Mortgage
Cascade Financial Services
CU Factory Built Lending

Atlantic Bay Mortgage Services
Park Lane Finance

Fleetwood Homes

MH Transit Authority

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Great Article on Factory Built Housing

Be sure to check out this excellent article on factory-built housing from the Akron Beacon Journal.

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Are You a Factory-Built Housing Customer? You Should Be!

Every industry must decide who comprises its target market so that it can be clear about who it serves. Doing so saves a great deal of time and effort because consumers can concentrate on who serves them, and producers can concentrate on those whom they serve.

So, that leads to this important question: “Who is a factory-built housing customer?”

The answer is here.

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