TMHA is pleased to announce the release of our MH Communities of Texas List to all current members. The list includes the names and address for the locations of 2,458 communities with links to each property on google maps. The list is fully searchable and the format should look familiar to all of you TMHA Retailer, Manufacturer, and Lender Stats users.
With this initial release, I would like to stress that this is just the beginning of an ongoing project we hope you members will help build into an evergreen list of all the communities in Texas. Your clicks and your feedback are your currency that we use to allocate resources. So please hit the list, use it, and let us know how we can build upon it to better fit your needs.
I would also like to note that we know this list is incomplete. Unlike retailers who are licensed by the state, there is no central source to identify every park in Texas. To try and cobble one together you have to hit a bevy of different sources like county tax records and state titling data.
Our data set was built from combining our member records, the research data we received from our project with Texas State, TDHCA's licensee data, and some additional help from TMHA members. When all of these sources were initially combined our master data set included 7,132 potential community property listings.
Many of those were duplicate entries of various complexity to filter out. The same actual physical location could have its address provided in a number of different formats. For example a property located on 1st Street might have a postal address of 1st Street, or 1st St., or 1st St, or First Street, or First St, or First St., or North 1st St, or N. 1st St, or N 1st St, etc …
To combat this we processed the master data set with a number of translation jobs to try and make all addresses conform to standards for street names so that the generic part of a street name like "avenue" or "road" would appear the same way across all records as would the cardinal directions like "North" or "East."
After standardizing the records, we looped through each record removing any duplicate locations while retaining any additional property data that a removed record might contain. After the duplicated record removal jobs were completed we were left with a potential community list of 4,602 records.
From that list we needed to validate that the addresses did indeed represent actual physical locations on planet earth. To do that we wrote and ran a look up job that searched Google's Places API for a matching address for each location. We stored the google places result which corresponded to a location on google maps for each entry. After completion, the job left us with 3,591 addresses that could be pulled up on google maps.
That left us with the last mile to go, which is always the hardest. Before we released a list of communities to our members, we needed to know that the properties we were releasing were indeed manufactured home communities. There was only one real way to do that … click … click … click …
That's right, we went through the 3,591 google places we had on record as potential MH communities and gave each one the old eye ball test. Four or more manufactured homes on a parcel? Looks like a community.
After clicking 3,591 links and filtering out properties that did not appear to be parks, or were different addresses for a park already included, we narrowed the final list we are releasing today to 2,458 records.
This was a long arduous project that took a tremendous amount of effort from staff, contractors, and government agencies. We hope that you will make use of it and help us continue to add value to it for the good of our membership and industry.