Friday, July 22, 2016

Former Friend of Many Modular Builders Seeks Your Help

Hi there, John Zimmerman here.  

I'm not sure how many of you know that after the sale of Hickory Lane, I worked part time in service for mods and part time in working with people with addictions at Strait Paths Foundation.  

We look back over those 10 years fondly and some days we miss the manual labor and the relationships that we had built over that time.  I am now full time with the ministry and it's that time of year again where we are gearing up for our Shoot Strait fundraising event. Would you consider supporting us in our effort to raise funds for Strait Paths Foundation??  We are a 501c3 ministry and we sit with clients and instead of charging for our time we are on a donation only basis.  

Your financial support will help enable Strait Paths to cover expenses to the ministry when we help those who are in financial difficulties. Both Joy and I are now full time with the ministry and we appreciate your support very much. Thank you in advance for considering supporting Strait Paths and us as we continue to follow God's leading in our lives.
It is not a little thing to support the work of the Kingdom. Praying God's blessing for you as you also continue to follow His leading in your life. Thank you for any financial gift you are able to give and we also appreciate your prayer support as we work with people and walk beside them for a short period of their journey through life....    

If you have questions, feel free to email me (John) at   Also, if you are curious about the ministry itself, please visit   If you wish to donate to the ministry, click this link.


John & Joy Zimmerman

Manahawkin, NJ Modular Home Builder Accused of Taking $1.1M From Sandy Victims

Manahawkin Company Took $1.1M From Sandy Victims,
Did No Work: Authorities
The Department of Consumer Affairs filed the complaint against
Jonathan Price and Price Home Group.

By Karen Wall (Patch Staff) - July 21, 2016 11:58 am ET

A Manahawkin, NJ construction company and two of its owners are accused of taking more than $1.1 million from Superstorm Sandy victims — including more than $898,000 in federal relief grants — and failing to begin or complete the contracted-for work, according to a complaint.

The Price Home Group LLC of Manahawkin, and its owners, Jonathan Price of Manahawkin and Scott Cowan of Demarest, took significant initial payments to elevate or replace Sandy-damaged homes then failed to begin work, performed the work in a substandard manner and/or abandoned unfinished projects without returning for weeks, months, or at all, according to the complaint filed by the state Department of Community Affairs in Superior Court in Ocean County.

“Residents who trusted Jonathan Price and Scott Cowan to help them rebuild after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy were allegedly victimized again when these contractors took their money without delivering the work the residents paid for,” Acting Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said. “What makes this kind of greed even more repugnant is that these men allegedly preyed on people relying on financial assistance from the state to rebuild or restore their homes.”

The nine homeowners named in the complaint were all recipients of grants from the Department of Community Affairs’ Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program, the state’s largest rebuilding initiative. The homeowners hired Price Home Group between September 2014 and June 2015, according to a news release from Porrino's office.

In addition to paying $898,331.11 in RREM funds to the Price Home Group, the nine homeowners collectively paid $220,483.28 out of pocket, according to the complaint.

The complaint accuses Price, Cowan and Price Home Group of failing to provide consumers with the contracted-for home elevation or installation of modular homes, work which was paid for with RREM grants and the consumers’ monies. The complaint accuses them of violating the Consumer Fraud Act, the Contractors’ Registration Act, the Home Elevation Regulations, the
Home Improvement Regulations and the Advertising Regulations, among other things, by:
  • Advertising, offering for sale, selling and/or performing home elevations without being registered as a home elevation contractor with the state.
  • Entering into contracts, accepting consumer payments and/or RREM funds and then failing to begin or complete the home elevations or the installation of modular homes.
  • Repeatedly rescheduling dates for commencement of home elevation work and/or modular home installation, and then failing to commence the work.
  • Failing to apply for the necessary building permit, despite indicating to the consumer that the permit had been applied for.
  • Performing home improvements in a substandard manner — including elevating a home to half a foot less than the required height, installing inferior footings for the home elevation — and then failing to make the necessary corrective repairs.
  • Representing on the Price Home Group website that defendants were committed to finishing work on time, when such was not the case.
  • Failing to include in contracts all of the terms and conditions affecting price.
  • Failing to include in contracts the principal products and materials to be used in the performance of the contract.
  • On one occasion, abandoning a home elevation project while the home was raised on temporary supports.
  • On at least on occasion, contracting with a consumer for the installation of a modular home, arranging for her existing home to be demolished by a demolition company in preparation for a modular home installation, and then failing to install the modular home.

The complaint seeks consumer restitution, the disgorgement of RREM funds to the Department of Community Affairs, reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and costs, and civil penalties from Price Home Group. The state also seeks to permanently revoke the home improvement contractor registration of Price Home Group and to permanently enjoin Price and Cowan from owning or operating a home improvement business in New Jersey.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Toms River Patch News Release

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Midwest Modular Boot Camp Speakers Anounced

Get your car warmed up, pack your bag, get ready to take a lot of notes, bring your business cards and your camera. The Midwest Modular Boot Camp is coming to Carmel, Indiana on September 14th.

Gary Fleisher, the Modcoach, invites you to be part of the National Modular Boot Camp series.

Speakers for the Midwest Boot Camp include:

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Anthony Zarrilli, owner of Zarrilli Homes in Brick, NJ.
“Modular Homes Advantages When Natural Disasters Strike”

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Harris Woodward, owner of FinishWerks in Savage, MD.
“Building the High Performance Modular Home”

Reed Dillon, Creative Brand Content.
“Modular Marketing 101”

Dave Sikora, Modular Home Builders Association.
“What MHBA Holds for Your  Future”

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Valerie Jurik, Aging in Place Specialist.
“Designing AIP Into Modular Homes”

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Scott Stroud, Cash Flow Engineering.
“Increasing Your Bottom Line Potential”
Sponsored by Rochester Homes

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Ken Semler, owner of Express Modular.
“Working More Efficiently With Your Factory. A Primer for All Modular Builders”

Join with other modular home builders, factory people and suppliers in this First Ever Midwest Modular Boot Camp.

Date:   September 14, 2016
Place:  Hilton Garden Inn, Carmel, IN
Time:  8:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Cost;   $149 per person

Includes a Continental Breakfast and huge Lunch Buffet

Limited Seating. First Come Basis

CLICK HERE to Register.

Wyoming Homes Owner Sentenced for Deceptive Business Practices

Wyoming Homes owner David Dominic Valenti, 63, of Moosic, was sentenced July 13th to 9-18 months in county jail for deceptive business practice in a case involving a man who hoped to relocate to Tunkhannock Township.

Valenti appeared before President Judge Russell Shurtleff in the Wyoming County Court of Common Pleas and said he was trying to fix the problem that originated three years ago.

Court records show that Anthony Wilson entered into a contract with Valenti when he made a $18,000 deposit on a modular home on Nov. 1, 2013, and two weeks later provided $57,165 for the balance on the home, including purchase price, construction and delivery which was to be in place by the end of November.

When November ended, Wilson alleges he was promised the home by Christmas, and when that passed New Year’s Day, and finally by spring.

Nearly three years later Valenti still had not delivered, but excuses continued to be provided, including on Wednesday.

An investigation discovered that the manufacturer of the home Wilson thought he ordered from had never been approached by Valenti.

District Attorney Jeff Mitchell said three years was more than enough time to get things right.

The judge handed down a $500 fine, and said a full $76,165 was due.

Northeast Leads the Nation in New Home Starts

Construction of new homes posted a solid increase in June, led by a surge of building in the Northeast and the West.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that housing starts rose 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million from a revised 1.14 million in May. The June reading was the highest level since February, but was down from 1.21 million a year earlier.

Home construction jumped 46.3 percent in the Northeast and 17.4 percent in the West.

Construction of single-family homes rose 4.4 percent to 778,000. New modular home sales are on target for over 33,000 this year.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Northstar Showcases Their Latest Home

When I hear the words "Cape Cod Home" I think of a home tucked into one of those tiny streets on Martha's Vineyard with a white picket fence, red roses and the wonderful smell of the ocean.

However when a Cape Cod style home is built in a factory in Minnesota, that image just doesn't compute. Except in this case......

Northstar Systembuilt Homes just sent me their latest Cape Cod and all I can say is that it would look great on any street in New England. Both the exterior and interior of this home scream New England.

If you live in the Midwest and are looking for an authentic Cape Cod home, look no further than Northstar. You guessed it, this is another home I can't show Peg. We would be moving to the Midwest tomorrow.

Congrats to everyone at Northstar for sharing this beautiful Cape Cod home with us.

Foremost Homes Angering Builders, Suppliers and Customers

Over the past 3 weeks I have received calls from builders wanting to know if I have heard anything about Foremost Homes. I hadn't.

Then the emails starting coming in from customers wanting to know if I had heard whether Foremost was still in business as they are not returning phone calls and emails. Trips to their offices and factory were met with closed doors and lights out even though there were cars in the parking lots.

Last week I attended an auction at the Foremost Homes modular factory to see what was being sold. Lots of older equipment and surplus materials including kitchen cabinetry, windows and lots of office and showroom furniture.

Looking over at the production line while there, I saw only one module on the entire line. Three modules of a 4 box cape were in the yard ready to be shipped and I can only assume that the box on the line was the fourth one.

I also noticed 2 kitchen cabinet orders ready to be installed in new modular homes.

Today I heard from an inside source that people have been laid off and one vendor called telling me that Foremost owes them upwards of $70,000.

So I called the Foremost Offices (717-597-7166) and got "Welcome to Foremost Industries, at the moment we are not available." That was a strange message. I dialed the Sales Dept and was told the mailbox is full and could not leave a Voice Mail.

If you have any information you would like to share, please leave a comment. I will only publish comments that are signed. No Anonymous comments will be printed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Affordable Modular Multi-Family Housing for Juneau

An article from the Palm Harbor on-line newsletter

Barges carried the modular multi-family condo units to Juneau, Alaska, where the local developer completed the on site construction.

In Juneau, Alaska, affordable modular multi-family condo units are coming to the rescue a growing housing shortage. Although Juneau is thousands of miles to the north, the city faces an affordable housing shortage much like the rest of the country. Limited labor forces, weather-controlled construction timelines, and challenging local terrain combine to make residential development using traditional construction methods difficult in the area.

Recently, Constellation Development’s Travis Arndt joined forces with an experienced construction partner he had used in the past – the commercial division of modular home builder Palm Harbor Homes in Millersburg, Oregon.  Together they collaborated to design, engineer, construct and deliver a 36-unit housing complex featuring six modular, three-story condo buildings. Each condo has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and 1,084 square feet of living space.

The modules for the Juneau project were constructed in Palm Harbor’s environmentally protected building center in Millersburg, Oregon, where they also build manufactured homes and modular homes.  Once these six modules were completed, Palm Harbor transported them in 72’ lengths to a shipyard near Seattle. There Arndt cut the modules to fit them onto skids specifically sized to maneuver around the shipyard. Then they loaded the modules onto barges for the trip north.

In Juneau, the modules were unloaded from the barges and trucked to the construction site where they were carefully attached to prepared foundations. During this set process, Constellation Development’s crew rejoined the modules and then completed the on site finishing work.

On site in Juneau, Travis Arndt and Constellation Development rejoined the multi-family modules and completed the on site finish out of the project.

“It’s great to be able to make this big step to get some good housing for Juneau people!” Constellation Development’s Travis Arndt said. “There is definitely a demand for it.  Working with Palm Harbor’s modular construction allowed us to build during times the weather would not let us build in Juneau. And doing the modular construction off-site in the factory helped to eliminate much of the noise and traffic congestion that would have taken place during a long traditional construction period if we had built these units on site. This is good for the community as well as the nearby wetlands.  I’ve worked with Palm Harbor before and knew that they were the right partner for this job.  I look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Currently, this much-needed housing complex is complete and provides onsite parking spaces for its residents.  It’s located on what was a 2.4-acre vacant lot near an existing site-built complex and an elementary school. The nearby wetlands are still thriving. The current value of the entire project is approximately $3.8 million.

November Modular Builder Breakfast Announced

We are happy to announce that the next Modular Builder Breakfast will be held on November 2, 2016 at the Country Cupboard in Lewisburg, PA.

The featured speaker is Steven Snyder, Attorney, who will speak on the aftermath of the IBS bankruptcy and how modular home builders can take steps to insure their customer's best interests and the fiduciary relationships required with them.

More details to follow.

Monday, July 18, 2016

LA City Understands the Difference Between Modular and HUD Housing

Congrats to the City Council

The Sulphur City, Louisiana Council, at its meeting Monday, July 11, voted to deny a request by Alicia Burton for a rezone from Residential to Mixed Residential at 707 Phillips Street, to allow for a manufactured home.

According to Burton, she obtained a permit from the city’s Public Works Department to have a slab installed on her property to allow her to move in a home.

The problem arose when a driver for Southwest Manufactured Housing approached Burton’s property. City officials told the driver that the neighborhood’s zoning would not allow the manufactured home. The zoning allows only modular homes. Manufactured and modular homes differ in the building codes to which they are subjected. A modular home is built to the specifications of a site-built home; a manufactured home is built to standards outline by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Sulphur Land Use Commission voted against the request at their June meeting. Keith Berry, with Public Works, said the city understood that Burton was placing a modular home on her slab. At the meeting, Public Works Director Mike Daigle advised the commission that allowing this spot zone would open the door for more manufactured homes in that neighborhood and that the city is trying to prevent further placement of manufactured homes.

Southwest Manufactured Housing representative Johnny Guillory told the council that the home, a HUD certified build rated for Wind Zone 3, which means it conforms to higher standards than required by the certification used by the City. He said Burton paid “in excess of $114,000” and that the home is of the “highest standard.” Guillory said no one involved with the purchase was ever asked to submit plans for the home.

Two local contractors — Bill LeBlanc and Johnny Thompson — warned the council that if the exception were granted for the spot zone, they’d be back asking for the same exceptions for their properties.

The vote to deny the rezone request was unanimous.