John Oliver... UGH


Because it’s easier to create rules for other people to follow?


Actually, no. As long as there is an unscrupulous mob taking advantage of the tennants to earn outsized returns, the price of parks will artificially exceed their proper value. Only through implementation of legal requirements or industry self regulation will the prices for parks return to a level that will allow the implementation of tennant-friendly policies, that result in morally defensible financial returns. As long as owners are allowed to screw their tennants and reap the outsized returns, the prices of the parks will remain too high to let the owners who want to behave ethically, do so, and still return a fair profit.
That said, creating a new park with these kinds of rules is something I am actually considering. Even there, the exit strategy will take some thought; I would hate to sell to an abusive new owner who will go in and destroy my community who trusted me with their home placement. Maybe set it up so that it can be sold to the tennants at some point? Following that line of thought, I have not done the numbers yet, but there might be some serious money to be made in financing the purchase of parks by the tennants, and thereby converting them to co-ops.
At the end of the day, I love the idea of helping folks obtain reasonably priced homes. Way back in the day, I developed (attempted, rather…did not ultimately work out) a mobile home residential development. I subdivided a section of land into lots large enough for a mobile home and small yard. It was big enough so that each lot could have a septic, as we were located in the country. I got the parcel transferred to the adjoining school district, which was more attractive, and I was able to develop and get approved by FHA, a tie-down system, so that these homes would qualify for FHA loans. To complete this short tale, I ran out of money before I ran out of problems, and one of the contractors I spoke with about some of the work I would need done, began selling similar lots on his property just down the road…that tore it and I stopped trying.


Tom- honestly it just sounds like you’re full of judgement and excuses.

I have no interest in arguing your post. I do believe you can have financial returns and be ethical. I go to bed very well knowing that I am providing safe, clean, affordable housing and making a return offering a good product.

Get off your high horse Tom. Put the excuses down and walk the talk.


No MHP experience, never seen a turnaround park (and the investment required to make it nice), no idea that rent control limits development of new affordable housing, taking broad strokes to label everyone a bad actor for the actions of few. All bad no good blah blah blah.

You, sir, are what we call - a troll.


Echo the troll comment.


Interesting comments from tbergman sometimes differing viewpoints are needed just to see others perspective without being judge mental. I personal learn from my critic’s and life is a learning experience and with over 40 years in the business; still learning plus this forum is very helpful.


Charles = savage. Love it :hocho:


So we should all be taking advice from someone who actually failed at the business? No thank you.


@tbergman @frankrolfe @carl and fellow investors: I am a big fan of both John Oliver’s and Frank’s. I attended bootcamp, and talked to Frank many times since (and been grateful for his generous time). It’s thanks to him and the other folks at MHU that I now own several parks. I support MHU and the industry. And: I watch John Oliver regularly and appreciate his team’s deep dives into subjects.

It’s from this standpoint that I just want to say: two things can be true at the same time. John Oliver wasn’t wrong. If we are honest with ourselves, the things his segment criticized – low mobility, devaluation of homes, etc. – are all realities of the industry. Some of these harsh realities are part of what makes MHPs such an appealing investment.

It’s ALSO true that Oliver did NOT show the other side: that many (most) tenants wouldn’t trade their MH for a low-income apartment, ever. That omission was unfortunate.

That said, rather than getting defensive, I wonder if we shouldn’t just look at this as a really good reminder that, as the old man said, “with great power comes great responsibility”. I know I was cringing as I watched it, and a bit ashamed: I recently did a sizable rent increase and the piece made me rethink that. It’s easy to get caught up in our own justifications, and I had plenty. So, while Oliver’s segment stung, I found it to be a good reminder of all the other stuff Frank said about being an ethical owner and creating win-wins for owners and tenants. As for @tbergman suggestions, I figure the more ideas, the merrier.

Again, two things can be true at once. If only life were black and white… Sigh. Now, back to finding the next deal :wink:


I applaud your response and perspective.


aphils, you give us a wonderful model of what good citizenship and stakeholder capitalism looks like. You go, girl.


Apologies for my little outburst on here. I’ve obviously got a lot to work on. I think the thing that disappoints me the most is the way this guy railroaded both our tenants and the industry as a whole. Most of us owe our start to Frank so that was very upsetting for me as well. I don’t know Frank personally but this place has always been a Godsend for all of us who run into issues in our business. Anyways, sorry for acting like an ass.