What Are Renter Owned Communities?
Matt Fast from LEAP Charities joins us this week to talk about Renter Owned Communities, how they are different than most mobile home parks, and why they make a difference in the lives of mobile home owners.
Are they a good idea? Are they sustainable? And what do they have to do with Sustainable Affordable Housing? Oh, and what in the world is “athirdability” anyway? We answer these questions and more on this Doublewide Dudes podcast.
The below transcript has been lightly edited for clarity purposes.
Alberto Pina: Welcome back to another episode of the Doublewide Dudes. This is AP, and on this episode, I’m going to be running solo.
I am happy to announce that after helping almost a hundred families become homeowners, our very own Mauricio Chacra and his soon to be bride are closing on their very first home today. It’s a wonderful thing when we can help people become homeowners and in turn, help our families achieve that dream of home ownership as well.
And falling right in line with the dream of homeownership, we’re excited to have Matt Fast on here from LEAP charities. Welcome to the podcast, Matt.
Matt Fast: Thanks for having me.
Alberto Pina: I was looking at your website last night, and y’all have got an awesome video right there on the home page. Y’all do all sorts of things regarding home ownership and different needs at different times. I guess for starters, can you tell us a little bit more about what LEAP charities is and how y’all got started up there in Idaho?
Matt Fast: It was in direct response to the fact that Idaho is a hotspot right now in housing, and there’s a lot of pressure on the market. That’s the reason why I’m in Idaho specifically is to address the housing pressure. And the irony of that of course, is that I moved to Idaho adding to the problem. [Laughs]
So, LEAP charities was formed specifically by Bart Cochran. He had been working in the housing arena for a very long time and he realized that there were other needs that people had that really just weren’t being met. And it was just a natural extension of what he was already doing, and the other company that he and his partner work with is called Property People.
And, so the Yes You Can program, they realized that Yes You Can was needed because people don’t inherently know what it takes to buy a house the first time. If you’ve been through the process, you can kind of think back to it, but even then, if you haven’t bought a house in awhile, the process changes.
So Yes, You Can help people through that process under the umbrella of LEAP housing solutions. There’s Yes You Can. There’s welcome Home. Welcome Home is for new people in Boise who are from other countries and trying to find homes that may or may not be available. And it’s very difficult to navigate a new city.
The, other element of it is something called Windy Court, and that’s container homes, using the container home products to serve low to moderate income earners. And there are other developments that they’re looking at.
They’re looking to partner with localities to do whatever the locality is interested in putting in. That being said, a couple of years ago, they asked me to come and, set up the residential community program, which is a national system network of affiliates to apply for affiliation with ROC USA.
We call it LEAP ROC, and we are an affiliate of that national network. And my job was to get that approved, which we did, and that was today in 2018 when we got our, affiliation approved. Then we have spent the last two years, working to help communities that want to become residential communities.
Alberto Pina: That’s awesome. I know you’re the resident owned community program director there at LEAP charities. For our listeners that might not be aware of what ROC is, what exactly is a resident owned community?
Matt Fast: A resident owned community is owned by the residents that live there. So, a traditional mobile home or manufactured home park is a house that I own, and I rent the lot that it’s on from someone else. So, a resident owned community pulls all the residents together and says, okay, let’s form a corporation out of us. And then that corporation purchases the land that we’re going to rent from. So, we end up renting from ourselves.
Alberto Pina: That’s awesome. And I saw in that video that’s on your home page that when you close on it, there’s a big party with all the residents, right. To celebrate.
Matt Fast: We have a party. It’s my favorite thing.
Alberto Pina: I bet. What exactly is the problem that we’re hoping resident owned communities fix?
Matt Fast: I call it the three R’s: rent, rules and repairs.
When you own the company that owns the park that you live in, then everybody gets together annually, and they vote. What should the rent be next year? How much rent do we need to charge ourselves in order to pay our bills, which is the mortgage and the operating costs of running the community?
There’s also something in all manufactured housing communities: rules. And in many cases, and this is not always the case, but in many cases, an external person comes up with the rules and just kind of just says, here’s your rules. Live by them.
In a resident owned community they get together. This is probably not my most favorite process, but it is the process that we go through, which is where we ask the members to give input on the current set of rules.
And then we have a committee that tries to hammer out the differences, and then we vote on what the rules are going to be for each year.
And repairs are super important as well. I know that you are probably aware that many, many communities now that are more than 30 years old, some of them have profound, deferred maintenance issues.
And in resident owned communities, I’m a technical assistance provider. That’s how we work with the network. So, I can work with them and I can say, “okay, how do we create a ten-year plan of how we’re going to address all of the deferred maintenance and get everything back up to snuff, starting with health, safety, and security?”
And then, my favorite is moving to beautification and trash cleanup days and community events like that. Those are my favorite because I like to have conversations about how the sign should look, how does the community look when you drive in, should you start garden bed, is there some landscaping? And everybody has ideas. When they drive in their community, they want it to feel like driving home. You know, it’s a long day, you want to go home. It’s a good feeling. So that’s a fun conversation, but usually, the results of those are very satisfying.
Alberto Pina: I bet. There’s definitely a different sense of ownership when you own the home and the ground that that comes with it.
Matt Fast: And that’s exactly what happens. What I have seen is a change in mindset. There’s two changes in mindset when a community changes to resident ownership. The first thing that happens after we close the deal, is that all of the things that they were talking about before, all the complaints and whatnot, this and that, the minute they close they go, well, we’re a business now. And we really need to think about costs.
That’s the ownership of, “Oh, you know, maybe we should pitch in and rake instead of buying landscaping.” So that’s one of them. And the second is their own personal home. The one that they own. The structure, all of this rehab starts. People feel free to actually invest in their homes.
Whereas before it’s like, oh, do I put a new roof on? Because if I put a new roof on and then they sell me to a developer and I have to move, and I lose, then I don’t want to put money in it. Right. You don’t know that it’s going to get sold, but it could. Well, on a resident owned community, you know that to sell the community, you have to get the entire community together and get everybody to approve it.
Well, that’s not gonna happen. So, they know that they can have comfort around putting work and resources into their own individual structures.
Alberto Pina: That’s awesome. And in addition to the three RS, I’ve got to imagine the security aspects of not having your community sold out from under you is huge. In Austin, in San Antonio, that’s happened a number of times over the last few years.
And matter of fact, our very first customer, that happened to him and his family, they own their home outright, but the community got sold to developers that had no need for the community. And, you know, 250 plus residents had to figure out another solution. So, I imagine that stability is a huge, huge component of a ROC community.
Matt Fast: It’s both. I agree with you a hundred percent. I’ll mark that as the number one reason why, even though it’s a difficult choice sometimes because a lot of resident owned communities, in order to become one, they have to raise the rent on themselves in order to purchase the community and afford the numbers that supports them.
And that’s a tough decision to make. And that’s a tough decision to ask people to make. And I’m the one that asks them to make that decision. But I think that the reason why people do approve it is because they’re thinking specifically about stability and stability in your family, that makes a stronger family.
And when I’m talking about family, I’m not just talking about the nuclear family. I’m sure you probably know that manufactured housing parks are unlike any other housing system. There are extended families that live in manufactured housing communities. So, grandma’s across the street, the uncle’s down the way, and the grandkids are nearby that I can walk to.
These are super important, but forgotten things, I think, in the way we think about suburban housing living, and when somebody can know that they’re going to be able to be with their family- that’s stability. So, they’ll approve it for that. But the other thing that they also think about, I think the second most important thing is security, which means now I can say who comes and goes.
Now I can approve who is the new neighbor next door. Who gets to come to my community? What kind of a background check are we doing now? Obviously, they have to follow fair housing laws. You know, that’s very obvious. However, if you are living in a house that you bought and the house next door gets sold, what is the likelihood that the person selling the house did a criminal background check on that person who’s buying the house, or did they just sell it? And they move in and whoever moves in is who you have to deal with.
And this is one of the key phrases I heard somebody say, was to another person in the community, when they were talking about the rent, she said, “This is your community. We can rely on each other. We know we can, because we’re going to pick each other.”
And I was just like, yeah, that’s it in a nutshell right there.
Alberto Pina: One of the questions that our audience might have, if they’re not overly familiar with this space, is why is this even necessary, and why is competition between traditional park owners not keeping things fair for the tenants?
Matt Fast: We’re not seeing any new construction.
Alberto Pina: Is that city zoning or lack of an interest on the investor side of real estate? Or what are y’all seeing up there in Idaho?
Matt Fast: I don’t think it’s lack of interest on investors. I think that investors would like to crack that nut. Are you just asking my personal opinion on this? Because I don’t really have any data to share on that.
Alberto Pina: I think part of what’s interesting about our industry is that there’s not a lot of data, right? So, a lot of it comes from just insights from those of us like yourself that are in the mix every single day, and, I guess it’s more of an observation. What are you guys seeing up there?
Matt Fast: We’re seeing just really very, very strong interest in manufactured housing, and housing in general.
So, I was in a conference call about a week or two ago, listening to one of the housing agencies give a briefing on many of the multifamily projects, et cetera. And, there isn’t a single County in Idaho with any of these projects that is experiencing anything higher than a 3% vacancy rate.
And in some cases it’s as low as a 1% vacancy rate. That means that you go onto rent.com or Craigslist or wherever and there’s just nothing. I mean, you don’t have any options for housing.
Alberto Pina: Yeah. I think that’s really an issue nationwide, not just on rentals, but also availability of inventory if you’re looking to buy it too.
Matt Fast: Yes. And so, I think you’re right. Investors are definitely interested. I think what we have to do, like our challenge, like you and me and everybody else who works in this space is we have to tell the story of why it’s so wonderful. I think when we say manufactured home community, people are like, oh, if I had to live there, I wouldn’t.
But you know, I lived in Austin, Texas, I raised my kids in Austin, Texas, and they went to Westwood high school. And to afford to live in that neighborhood, as you well know, that was a huge burden for me. That was all just a weight on my shoulders, every single day of the, of the week of trying to figure out how I was going to keep my kids in this school district.
And then when Sarah graduated, I was like, whew, now I can sell the house. Then I moved to Portland, Oregon, cause I’m a free man now. And, I bought a 1976, I think it’s a Merlet for a hundred dollars. This is in 2007, on the riverbank of the Columbia river.
I’m a handy guy, so I love doing rehab and stuff. And so, I was just like, okay, how do you do a rehab on a house that doesn’t have standard fixtures? And I was like, well, the only way to learn is to do it. And so, I rehabbed it for about $5,000. I put $5,000 of cash into it. And even back then, by the time I was done, I had a $10,000 house that I sold for $10,000.
I lived in this beautiful house for a year and a half, whatever it was and lived on the banks of the Columbia river. I’d walk out in the morning and I would sit in the rock and have my coffee and look at the moving bridge, and sometimes it was open and sometimes it was not.
And I was just like, why is this not done? All I had to do was worry about my house. Didn’t have to worry about the pipes to the house. I didn’t have to worry about the yard other than raking it and stuff. I didn’t have to worry about carrying the land cost. I had to pay a lot rent that was very affordable. And so, I could literally wrap my arms around, just as a single person, around this unit and make it the exact way that I wanted and make it meet the exact needs that I had.
I didn’t have to worry about a landlord as far as rental. And that’s what happened to me, and I was like, why isn’t this available? Why isn’t this more available? Why isn’t this a way to do things? And then on top of that, I had neighbors that, we knew each other, and we’re all in the same community, it’s definitely a community.
I had a Suzuki 71, Suzuki 425, that kinda smoked a little bit.
And the guy next to me also was into motorcycles. So, we would work on motorcycles together and I’m like, why isn’t this a way of living that is more available? And that’s what happened to me. And that’s why I eventually moved into the space. And I think that’s the story we have to tell.
That’s not the image that’s in people’s heads. They’re not thinking of a wonderful way of living. I cannot tell you the load of bricks that was taken off of my shoulders when I sold my house, that very expensive house that I could barely afford.
Alberto Pina: Yeah. I think that’s huge. And you know, at least down here, I imagine it’s the same up where y’all are at, a lot of it’s a stigma that if you go back 40 years would probably be rightfully owned by the industry. But these communities, these houses, the people that call these places home, probably completely opposite of what most people think in their mind when they hear a factory-built housing community. And I had some of those stigmas before I got into the industry.
With us, Matt, we use the term sustainable affordable housing, and factory-built housing, particularly in the community setting is the largest non-government subsidized form of sustainable affordable housing. And I know y’all like to like to refer to it as “athirdability”. I’ve never heard the term, pretty sure y’all made that up. What is that? And what does it mean?
Matt Fast: The reason why I came up with that is because affordability to at least half of the people that you’re speaking to at any given moment means government subsidized rental housing.
Many people actually think of the projects when you say affordable housing. And I don’t really want to fight that mental image. I don’t want to have to say the word and then try to undo the thing that’s in their head.
So, I’m like, okay. So, what is it that we’re actually trying to do? And you said it perfectly. So manufactured housing in manufactured housing parks is a naturally occurring “athirdable” housing system. And let me explain that. A third of your income is generally what people can comfortably afford and still leave money left over for paying off your house faster, if you want to own it in less than 30 years and leave money left over for, oh, I actually want to run the heat this month. Money left over for the transmission’s feeling a little hinky, I probably should save up for that. So, this is super important. And again, it’s that load of bricks coming off your shoulder.
If you can get a family into a housing solution that they own for a third of their income, that’s the load of bricks off your shoulders scenario. And now they can see the light at the end of the tunnel where you’d have a house that you’re not trying to pay off 300, 400, $500,000 on $15 an hour.
What you’re looking to pay off is the house that you selected, something between 75 and $120,000 and where you can see a pathway to actually own and get the title to that house. This is the story that we have to tell you: why not just own your house and then the rent that you pay on the land that it sits on probably isn’t that much more than what you pay in property taxes. Even if you own your stick-built house on its piece of land, you still have to pay the property taxes on it, which if it’s analogous why not just own the house outright? I just don’t understand why that part of the story isn’t being told.
Alberto Pina: That’s why we’re doing the podcast, now, we’re going to help you get that story out there, right? But that’s critical, right? Keeping your monthly mortgage payment to a point where you can still afford to live life? Take the kids to a movie, go to the beach, and then have enough money just in cases, the kid breaks their arm, and the transmission goes out, when life happens.
And if you’re paying 50%, 60% of your income for a house, you are extremely vulnerable to not living in that home tomorrow.
Matt Fast: Not only that, but if you have to move out because it goes up too much, too quickly, now you’ve just gotten behind because there’s all these costs to moving and now you’ve just gone backwards.
It’s one step forward, two steps back. What I want is two steps forward, and then one step back if the transmission breaks, but then two steps forward again. And this is the reason why I use the word athirdable. In Idaho here, I try to focus on 12 to $15 an hour because that’s what people are getting paid in the service jobs, et cetera. Maybe it’s different somewhere else. That’s the reason why athirdable is so important. What’s your market? If people go down to apply for a manager position at Office Depot, what are they going to get paid?
And then build your housing solution on what they get paid. That seems very simple to me, but that is not what we’re doing in our system for the moment. Athirdability.
Alberto Pina: I’m going to steal that from you, Matt. I like that.
Matt Fast: You can steal it.
Alberto Pina: You know, in Texas, particularly in the oil and gas areas, we’re seeing this need for athirdability housing creep up into jobs that we just didn’t expect 10 years ago as being affected by the lack of affordable inventory. In cities like Pecos, Texas, out in West Texas, and just South of us here in Cotulla, there are a couple, I guess you’d call them resident owned communities, where the school district has had to purchase land, and develop it into communities so that their teachers don’t have to live in hotels.
Matt Fast: But how sustainable is that? If you are having to have the local government, if the school district pays for it, somebody paid for that way. What does it matter if the school district paid for it or if the city paid for it or whatever. Somebody else paid for it. How sustainable is that? You’re basically always saying, “oh, I know I need somebody to come in and, and give me something”. Instead of build something that people want that is athirdable for the area.
Alberto Pina: I definitely think this resident owned community concept can solve a lot of those problems without, like you said, taking taxpayer money to do it. What are some of the key components for a healthy thriving resident owned community?
Matt Fast: There’s a matrix I work with our boards. So, each committee has a board of directors that’s selected from the membership. And it has about 50 different metrics that we follow, but generally they fall in broad categories like overall fiscal health, financial reporting, you know, are we reporting to our lenders properly or are we reporting to the members properly?
Are we making sure that the members understand where their money is going? And governance, just general good governance. There’s good corporate governance, and sometimes not so good corporate governance. And so, what we want to do is we want to say, okay, these are the things that mark us a good corporate governance, and are you meeting those? And if you’re not, what do you want to do about it or how do you want to approach it?
And then, towards your point, we are also looking at long-term stability. I just got off a conference yesterday with the national director of ROC USA, who told us that, out of the 264 communities nationwide, that all of our ROCs are still, that they’ve gone on.
There are some resident owned communities in New Hampshire that are more than 30 years old. So, what we look to, is we say, okay, here’s what creates long term stability so that you’ve got a good flow of new members and ways people can advertise their home for sale, et cetera.
And then, the backbone of any resident owned community, is, committees. You always have to have a committee to work on things. And, that’s always the one that gets talked about the most because, you know, in any given scenario, if you walk up to somebody and say hey, do you want to be on a committee? Maybe not.
But at the same time, the committees do very important work. They review the rules. And they review rules, violations, rule complaints. They help screen possible new members for the community. They go over the financials before the community meetings so that they know what they want to propose for the major vote, because cannot discuss, you can’t wait for the community meeting to have a big discussion about your finances. This is with 75 people. You’ve got to put something in front of them and say, we’re going to say yes or no to this. And before that everybody gets invited to a committee so that they can, if they want to have an input in it. Committee health is super important and always the thing that we’re talking about.
Alberto Pina: Well, that’s awesome. And I know Matt, a lot of our listeners are mobile home park owners, and there’s a lot of good ones out there that do truly look out for their residents and do so in a way that is mutually beneficial to them as investors and owners and to the community.
I imagine, you know, some of their questions are going to be geared around what’s preventing a group of residents that have never ran a business of this size from running it into the ground, there’s a lot of moving parts that are required for upkeep and maintenance and that kind of thing.
But it sounds like based on that data, out of all the ROC communities, they’re all still alive. So, something’s working. How would you answer that question as to what prevents folks that just don’t know the business side of this from running their community into the ground?
Matt Fast: Technical assistance, and that’s me.
Alberto Pina: And that’s your job.
Matt Fast: Yeah. And the reason why is because there’s a national model that we all use, and we have a network conference twice a year in order to review our model and see what’s working in the field, what’s not working in the field. And, when I set up LEAP ROC, I specifically set it up with the ROC USA model because that’s the model that works. Now, there are other resident owned models out there. There are other communities that do have some other models. I don’t know anything about them. I do know that whenever you have a 30-year history of success, that’s the model I want to use.
We require any community that we work with to follow the model in order for them to receive our assistance. It’s one of the loan requirements. Our program will not set up a community with a financing package that does not include the requirement for the community to have technical assistance for 10 years.
And the way that the finance works is we have a 30-year amortization, but it’s a 10-year loan and the ideal scenario is that they build their Dunn & Bradstreet, corporate credit and they can then refinance in the future, if they want to, with somebody else, that’s not our financing package.
However, we find that they tend to want it anyway. A lot of our communities do refinance with us. The reason being that, the technical assistance does make it work. So, the way that it ends up working out is that if there’s one or two communities that do so well, they got great credit at the end of the 10 years when they refinance with a bank.
Well, the reason why that they did that was because they had a successful learning curve for the 10 years. Now, maybe they didn’t. Well, now we can set them up with technical assistance again and keep doing that until they can get into the position where they can refinance it the conventional way.
Alberto Pina: With a 30-year track record of success and all of the benefits to the residents that we’ve discussed on the podcast so far, Matt, what is holding this concept back from taking off everywhere?
Matt Fast: Well, think about the fact that every manufactured housing community has some sort of owner or owner group. And if it’s performing well for them, if it’s not for sale, then we wouldn’t have a way to change it into a resident owned community. The community has to be for sale. And you mentioned the investor owners that are very concerned about the success, like your question was very pointed and that’s proper, where a responsible investor or a responsible community owner that wants to sell the community and is considering looking at an offer from the residents as the purchaser, it is correct that they question whether or not that’s good for the residents or not.
And to get proof that it is, because if they have a relationship with their residents and their best interests at heart, they’re very much going to be concerned about whether or not they’re going to just throw them to the wolves and whether this thing’s going to crater and everybody suffers and has to move out.
And also, that’s the reason why, in Idaho, why LEAP charities and we use the ROC USA model, because it would be just flat out wrong to put somebody in a position where they set them up for failure. So, in order to get a resident owned community, you need an owner that is willing to sell and then you also need an investor that is interested in making sure that what they have built carries on into the indefinite future.
A lot of times our most enthusiastic sellers are the ones that are very concerned about selling the community, and then it gets sold to a developer and then everybody gets kicked out. And also the ones where they’ve, like you said, they’ve taken care of the residents, they’ve made sure that they have a healthy and safe and thriving community. Well, if you want to continue that, you’re kind of rolling the dice with the next investor because maybe that’s a good investor. Maybe it’s a bad investor. Who knows.
I mean, human nature covers the span, right? So those are our most enthusiastic sellers, and we find them, and I love the team-based approach. My favorite transactions are where the sellers, the eventual president of the corporation, us, all of the real estate agents and brokers are all at the same table and we’re saying, there’s two possible ways to look at it. What’s the least worst for everybody in a negotiation, or what’s best for everybody?
I like that what’s best for everybody conversation, but sometimes you have to do the least worst one. So, I guess what you’d say is that nothing’s preventing it. Any owner that wants to sell to the residents has the option to do that. That is available through us in Idaho.
Alberto Pina: In Idaho, if residents are in a community where the seller is looking to sell, two of the biggest dangers to community residents is either the developer that is going to wipe everything away and build apartments or whatever it is, or there’s a lot of private equity firms coming in now and raising rents at a very rapid pace, right?
If community residents find themselves in a situation like that, what tools are available for them to get together and approach the owner of that community with a third option, if they are looking to sell?
Matt Fast: So, I’m going to speak to Idaho because each state is different. Residents’ options are different in every single state of the union. So, I’ll speak to Idaho.
They would contact the owner and simply express that they are interested in being the next owner. As simple as that. “We would like to be the next owner.” I won’t approach the residents themselves. Because that’s not who you do the transaction with. What the process is, is I work with the owner that wants to sell to the residents and we negotiate an assignable purchase and sale agreement.
And then I take that to the residents. I get permission from the owner to go into the community because it’s their community. I have to get permission to go in. And then, I go into the community and I knock on all the doors, let them know the opportunity is there. I have a meeting and I say, here’s this opportunity and, here’s the market value. And if you’re concerned about the market value, what we’ll do is we’ll get an appraisal during the due diligence period so that you can make a second decision, just like any other buyer. And if they’re wanting to go forward, then we create the corporation.
We have them vote for all their leadership, and we file with the secretary of state of Idaho. And then they become the buyer. They sign on as the buyer on the purchase and sale agreement. The seller agrees to that. And what I agree to is typically, there’s some period of time where I give them a go or no-go so that they’re not sitting there wondering for however long it takes.
So, in a commercial property transaction, there’s due diligence, financial contingencies. There’s all the things. There’s minimum time periods for all of them. A good example is finance contingency is usually 30 days to get all of the paperwork submitted and all the things.
So, it’s really important that an owner is not sitting wondering what’s going to happen during that entire period of time. So, what I do is a pre-feasibility. And so, before I even approach the residents, I have talked to a potential lender. They believe that the value that we’ve signed for is financeable; that’s really important.
I could convince any seller to sell me if I just said sure, a hundred million dollars. But that’s a waste of everyone’s time. So, the thing to do is to understand what’s financeable, present that to the community and say, this meets underwriting guidelines, this price, this set of circumstances, these financials, this performa.
Also, we’re going to help you fund the pre-costs, like paying the engineer, buying the survey before they make the final decision. But the owner needs to understand that they’ve got a deal, pretty quickly. So, usually I try to be within less than 30 days to get to that point where, in Idaho, again, this is all I know, where LEAP ROC says okay. And when I say less than 30 days, sometimes I’ve done it as fast as 12 days. But a lot of the stars aligned to do that. We could do that 10-day notification window that’s required for corporations, et cetera. It depends when the holidays fall, for example. So, the thing that I need to understand is whether or not the residents want to do this in a large enough number, and I have internal standards for votes.
Every state’s different. Every affiliate’s different. I just have internal standards for what I’m willing to say that I want to go forward with, then commit to the seller and then send him or her what we call hard earnest money, which is a check that they receive for an amount that’s negotiated that they keep, even if the deal falls through.
So that they get compensated for the due diligence period. I’m only asking the seller at that point to wait for a short period, you know, a reasonable period of time to know that they actually have a deal. I hope that answers the question about A) how does this happen? But B), you can see how that process, the residents that want to own their community… let’s say that the owner heard they got together in a big committee, or they just knocked on each other’s doors as neighbors and said, hey, would you sign this thing saying you’d be interested in buying this community if it was ever for sale?
And if they presented to that to the owner of the community, then that would be the most powerful thing because then the owner would know, oh, look how much energy there is around this. And I would have a high probability of selling, of having that transaction go reliably through.
So that’s really what owners need to understand. They need to understand that they have a solid transaction.
Alberto Pina: For any residents that are interested, the first step is figuring out if your community members are also interested and then be sure to let the owner know if they sell, that the residents want a crack at it.
Matt Fast: Yeah. And it’s really important to just to just keep it like, “hey, we’re interested in buying if you’re going to sell.” Just like that, it doesn’t need to be complicated. We did one several years ago in Washington and the community had gotten together.
They had created their own corporation, kind of, because they had heard something, and they just basically had to redo everything because we have a model. There’s a specific model that we’re going to use that we know works. And I guarantee you that whatever they’ve created prior to that, that does not meet the model.
And that just made me sad that somebody would go through some work that they would not need.
Alberto Pina: Well, I know I definitely learned a lot, Matt. If listeners are interested in learning more about what your team’s doing on the resident owned community side or all the other amazing things that the rest of your team at LEAP charities are doing, where can they learn more? How do they get in touch with y’all? How do they get in touch with you?
Alberto Pina: Well thank you so much for joining us all the way from Idaho. I know I learned a lot and I’m sure our listeners did, and I’m excited to catch up with y’all here, maybe in a few episodes to learn about some of the other sides of what the LEAP charities does.
Matt Fast: We have an exciting product happening and it’s new, and it’s innovative. And I would love to talk to you about it.
Alberto Pina: Let us know, man. You know we love new and innovative stuff when it comes to athirdable housing, I’m going to steal your word.
Matt Fast: Athirdable housing. Yes. I am committed to athirdable housing.
Alberto Pina: I love it. Well, thank you all for tuning in. This has been another episode of the Doublewide Dudes, and we’ll catch you on the next one.