By Their Deeds We Shall KnowThem

We hear and read people’s opinions about various aspects of the MH business based on past situations and experiences. Some focus on their circumstances of the present only. But life is dynamic, and the present should be a preparation for future expectations universally.

I find it reasonable to assume that the demand for the services we offer will increase substantially in the future when compared with other housing accommodations and various demographics. A few reasons (without order):

  1. MH’s are, and will be, the most affordable housing available.

  2. The living standard of the vast majority of families will be materially reduced as unemployment increases and wages continue to decline as we compete with Asian cultures.

  3. America’s economic hegemony, the value of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, is waning, which could conceivably result in a (world) currency crisis.

  4. How about a Black Swan: a natural or man-made catastrophy caused by “unintended consequences,” though obviously in the cards?

I believe that we are in the eye, the calm, before the worst of economic and social storms will descend upon us. The bottom line is that affordable, decent housing will be more and more in demand in most US geographic locations as time progresses. Consequently, supply your market with what it wants and enjoy the fruits of your efforts. Remember that, generally, people will shop for the best accommodation (housing) their money will buy.


Thank you for your comments. I am concerned for the investors who have investments in poor economic areas. When the economy was “booming” these areas were marginal and well-served by our ilk. Now that the economy is down, these areas are below marginal and we cannot both serve their needs, and stay in business.

From my ivory tower chopped down to about 6 feet high, It makes sense that after the calm, the storm will bring us more qualified people to whom we can provide affordable housing. However, there are at least three intervening issues. Primarily; How do we survive the calm? This is, at least partially, answered by the Morganton contingent “Liquidate, Consolidate and Speculate (Invest-igate)” Switch to land-home rentals, etc. But poor is poor and one may have to "vote with ones feet’ as you say and move our business to a different locale.

Secondarily; If too many parks and manufacturers go under, we will be in the odd position, as compared to recent history, of not having enough capacity. From an individual investor point of view, this makes for money-making opportunities.

Lastly; It could be argued that when the “real” economic crisis hits, EVERYTHING will be devalued and mobile homes will maintain their relative status to other housing. IF, and that’s a big if, manufactured housing stays permanently out of favor despite economic conditions, it will go the way of the drive-in movie and we must be keeping our eyes open for different opportunities.



Good Morning, Steve,

Your concise sharp=shooting approach keeps me focused. I find it easy to think, say, from the general to the specific, or from the larger pictures to the details. When I start with mundane details compounded by immediate personal circumstances, I usually get bogged down, discouraged in quagmire, without ever taking an unemotional bird’s eye view of the macro map.

One of the Morganton suggestions – liquidate, consolidate, and invest-igate – seems to be one road map during the calm period. As a corollary, eliminate all unnecessary private debt. Become frugal. When the most devastating wall of the tempest hits us, all options are taken off the table and we will be forced to rely on the choices we will have made today.

In the past, I have sacrificed for me substantial amounts of money by repeatedly voting with my feet, but I believe that I eventually improved the quality of my life every time. The devastation of the economy in Morganton, as in many other depressed areas, was caused by government interference in the economy, not by the free market. To wit, everything government does today is the exact opposite of what should be done to minimize the effects of our past sins.

As I have opined in the past, manufactured housing is here to stay for a long time. Some additional evidence would include that a site-built home is much more costly to construct than a similar unit that is pre-manufactured. McMansions with a turret here and a turret there, balconies and dormers from nowhere, etc., are history for obvious reasons. Our large, aging population, once their pension plans have been socialized, nationalized, will be forced to seek affordable housing, whether that is their retirement dream or not. The historical “credit economy,” the only economy known to most Americans, is obviously in its death throes. The government will help the poor folks to avoid home ownership (the SAFE Act). More and more people are destined to become tenants of the money-grabbing landlords.

The government should do something! such as to get out of the way and let us, the free market, rectify the economic, monetary problems facing us.


I find it interesting that part of your response came up in a conversation I had with Glen(OH) today. He has observed in a rural area where he has a few ailing Lonnie Deals, there are two, only two, thriving parks in that area. One is a 5-unit park run with an iron fist. The other is a small, well-maintained, over-55 park. The 4 or more other parks in the area are dismal with more drama than a Shakespeare play.

From a macro view of economic forces, it would seem well-run, over-55 parks may be a good spot to position oneself. However, when I look at the miserable numbers being generated by the MHC for new manufactured homes, I have to wonder if the industry itself will survive.

On the other hand, if renewed demand occurs, as you suggest, manufacturers will likely respond. So I might also keep my eye out for a manufacturer for sale, cheap. Like the 295 acre 5 million s.f. Chrysler plant for sale west of St. Louis for $5 million. Now that is cheap space!

I appreciate your suggestion to work a top-down theory. This weekend, I’ve been organizing all the petty, mundane, thorn-in-the-side tasks. I have already planned to get them cleared off my desk by the end of the day tomorrow. With the minutiae cleared out, I can focus again on what is important for the long-term.


Good post, basically we are heading to a second world then a third world America, based on the vison that this President hsd( that the nation somehow elected ). He has a world vision of affairs and America is the “problem” with our rich, European history and outlook. American voters, what have u done. You are right on Bernd and u know . Thanks

Ernest Tew wrote:


        The ability to borrow money makes it possible for us to acquire goods and services and pay for them over a period of time.  Without financing, most people would not be able to start a business, buy a home, or even a car.  Indeed, financing is the ingredient that drives the American economy.  

When financing is easy to obtain and interest rates are low, Americans will buy more goods and services. The economy will thrive as businesses expand to meet the growing demands. More people will be employed and incomes tend to increase. Higher employment and increased wages result in more buying, much of which will be financed.

When interest rates rise and financing becomes more difficult to obtain, Americans will buy fewer goods and services. The economy will decline as businesses contract and begin to lay off employees. If little or no financing is available, the economy will enter a recession with all the associated problems.

While financing is the lifeblood of the economy and for those who use it wisely, it can become the downfall of those who don