Are you ready for the next Earthquake?

Earthquakes have been shaking Southern Californian’s and their homes quite a bit over the last week. It is important to be prepared. Especially if you live in a mobile home, as stated on the American Red Cross website, “Mobile homes and homes not attached to their foundations are at particular risk during an earthquake.”

First you need to make sure your home is properly insured. Many things can happen to your home because of an earthquake including damage from fallen trees, fire and flooding from cracked pipes.

Next you must prepare a plan to keep you and your loved ones safe.  Choose a safe place in your home to ride out the earthquake far from any windows or other objects that could fall on you. According to the American Red Cross, “Doorways are no stronger than any other part of a structure so don’t rely on them for protection! During an earthquake, get under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on. It will help shelter you from falling objects that could injure you during an earthquake.”

Bolt down all larger items including bookcases and china cabinets. Make sure you have an emergency kit with water, food and clothing.

Have a plan for after the earthquake stops. Know where you will go if there is damage to your home.

For more information about Earthquake preparedness download this checklist provided by the American Red Cross, or visit their website http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake.

ALERT! Public Safety Power Shutoff

According to the California electric power companies, in order to keep communities safe, they may need to turn off power during extreme weather or wildfire conditions. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff. A public awareness program is underway with specific detailed information available at: https://prepareforpowerdown.com.

During a public safety power shutoff, ALL customers serviced by an affected power line will have their power shut off. If you rely on electric or battery dependent medical technologies such as breathing machines, a power wheelchair or scooter, a home oxygen or dialysis, it is critical that you have a plan in place for an extended power outage. Your plan should include:

The website discusses in detail how to prepare, what to expect, when a shutoff will occur, how long it will last and specific information for people who use electricity and battery dependent assistive technology and medical devices.

• Keep emergency phone numbers handy.

• Have a backup location where you can go.

It is important to prepare an emergency plan in advance in the event your family is affected by a power shutoff – or any other emergency.

• Make sure your energy company is aware of your medical device.

• Consider having a safe backup power source, such as a generator or uninterruptible power supply.

• Have a personal safety plan in place for every member of your household including pets.

• Establish multiple people you can contact for help who know how to operate your equipment and back-up systems.

• Plan for any medical needs like medications that need to be refrigerated or devices that require power.

The Americans with Disabilities Act provides detailed Emergency Power Planning Information for People Who Use Electricity and Battery Dependent Assistive Technology and Medication Devises.

• Build or restock your emergency supply kit, including food, water, flashlights, a radio, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.

• Identify backup charging methods for phones.

What to expect if a Public Safety Power Shutoff is needed due to extreme weather conditions:

• Learn how to manually open your garage door.

• Early Warning Notification – Your energy company will aim to send customer alerts before shutting off power.

• Ongoing Updates – Your energy company will provide ongoing updates through social media, local news outlets and their website.

• Safety Inspections – After extreme weather has passed, your energy company will inspect the lines in affected areas before power is safely restored.

• Power Restoration – Power outages could last multiple days depending on the severity of the weather and other factors. It is important that you and your family have an emergency preparedness plan in place.

When will a Public Safety Power Shutoff occur? Every situation is unique.

Your energy company makes the decision to turn off power by monitoring local fire danger conditions across California and taking into consideration a combination of weather and environmental factors. These may include, but are not limited to:

HIGH WINDS AND HIGH WIND GUSTS LOW HUMIDITY LEVELS DRY VEGETATION that could serve as fuel for a wildfire FIRE THREAT to electric infrastructure REAL-TIME OBSERVATIONS by on-the-ground field experts

RED FLAG WARNING declared by the National Weather Service

How long will it take before power is restored? Power will remain out for as long as extreme and dangerous weather conditions pose a potential fire risk. After a Public Safety Power Shutoff event, your energy company will inspect and repair power lines and equipment so that power can be safely restored.

Depending on the severity of the weather and other factors, power outages could last several hours or multiple days – so it’s important you and your family have an emergency plan in place.

Mobile Home Values and Sales Prices

The factors considered in valuing a mobile home located in a community include the location of the park, the amenities and general appearance/condition of the community. However, it is helpful to know that the values assigned by the appraisal guides to mobile homes located in mobile home parks do not take into consideration the market conditions of a region or the costs associated with living in a particular location or park.

All of these factors and others come into consideration when a mobile home is sold “in place” in a mobile home park. As an example, the same make and model 40 year doublewide mobile home located in a mobile home park on the ocean will sell for more than the same home located in a park located inland. In the case of the ocean front mobile home, the purchaser is not paying for the “value” of the mobile home, but rather is paying a premium to the seller because of the location of the mobile home.

In addition to the location of the community park, the cost to live in a park or region is also a factor in the sales prices of mobile homes. The amount a willing buyer and willing seller agree upon depends on the purchasing power of the prospective homebuyer. In other words, the monthly housing budget they have to spend. For example – a typical mobile home buyer may have a monthly housing budget of $2,000.

This housing budget must cover the rent, mortgage, and utilities. They are looking at the same make and model of mobile home in two different parks in central Orange County with similar amenities. One community charges $800 a month rent and the other charges $1,200. There is more than likely a difference in the sales price of the home as well as the rent. The home in the park with the lower rent may sell for thousands of dollars more than the one in the park with the higher rent. The buyer has a choice to pay more of their budget for rent or more for the mortgage.

Some mobile home owners who chose to pay less for the home and more for the rent are upset years later when they say they can’t sell their home for as much as the owner of the same home in another park with lower rent. Nothing has changed, the payment is made up-front in higher cost of purchasing the home, or paid incrementally over a long period of time in rent.

Additionally, it is not uncommon for the buyers of mobile homes to pay cash for the home, making the lower priced home more attractive knowing that the only housing payment will be the monthly site rent.

Affordable Housing vs Low-Income Housing

There is lots of talk these days about the need for more low-income affordable housing in the Southern California region. It is important to recognize the difference between “low-income” housing and “affordable” housing.

Low-income housing is subsidized by the government. There are several projects throughout the region that are monitored by local government housing authorities. An on-line search or call to the regional housing authorities will provide a list of available low-income housing rental units. Some are for veterans, seniors and others for all-ages. There are also low-income for-sale housing projects sponsored by housing authorities and by organizations like Habitat for Humanity.

In these low-income housing developments, renters or home buyers must meet strict income guidelines. Only low-income can qualify to live in these developments.

The income is determined by the income of individuals or families, and includes funds in the bank and investments.

Affordable housing, on the other hand, is not limited to low-income renters or purchasers. There is no limit to the amount of income a person or family has. It is their choice to live in the available affordable housing. Apartments, condominiums, and mobile home parks/manufactured housing communities are generally considered affordable housing stock

in the various individual jurisdictions’ housing plans. However, the location of the housing also dictates the cost. The same apartment or mobile home will sell/rent for far different rates on the beach vs. inland, as an example.

Mobile home Parks/Manufactured Housing Communities, offer a lifestyle choice that attracts a wide range of renters and home buyers. Mobile Home Park residents are both home owners and renters. They own the mobile home or manufactured home and rent the site or lot within a Mobile Home Park for their home. The Park is a little city that provides all of the services and facilities to the renters of individual home sites. The owner of the Park is responsible, just like a city, to maintain the streets, utility systems, public areas facilities, and amenities.

Living in Mobile Home Park is a lifestyle choice, not necessarily an income driven decision. Residents living in Parks may be high income retirees or may have moderate incomes. Many Mobile Home Parks are senior housing communities and attract seniors who are down-sizing after selling a home.

Other Parks are attractive to families because, unlike an apartment and many condominiums, most lots/sites rented in a Mobile Home Park have yards, patios, and parking spaces adjacent to the home. In addition, these communities often offer many amenities such as a clubhouse and pool, which are attractive to both seniors and families.

There is no doubt that the cost of housing in many areas of Southern California is higher than many other regions. Inland counties such as Riverside and San Bernardino, a region referred to as the Inland Empire, offer considerably more reasonable housing than most areas of coastal Orange County, as an example. While rents in a typical Orange County Mobile Home Park may be over $1,200 a month, a similar Park in areas of the Inland Empire monthly rents are as low as $600.

Living in a mobile home park provides a unique lifestyle for all ages and all income groups

Register Your Mobilehome California Saves Mobilehome Owners More Than $1.5 Million in Third Year


SACRAMENTO – Register Your Mobilehome California, a state program that provides waivers for past-due registration fees and taxes for mobilehomes and manufactured homes, has saved homeowners more than $1.5 million, collectively in third year of program run.
Besides the savings in fees and taxes, homeowners who have taken advantage of the program will also see additional benefits.They are now properly positioned to legally sell or transfer their property, apply for fire and flood insurance, receive financial assistance and rebates from utility providers, and obtain permits for repairs and upgrades.
The program, administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), allows people who acquired a mobilehome or manufactured home, but didn’t get the proper registration, to correct the issue and not have to pay back taxes
and fees.
“Register Your Mobilehome California gives owners the opportunity to avoid paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in state and local taxes, fees, and penalties, giving them a more secure situation,” said HCD Director Ben Metcalf. “The program is scheduled to continue through the end of 2019, so please encourage your friends and family
members who are mobilehome owners to apply before time runs out.”
Mobilehome and manufactured home owners who have never applied for registration and don’t have title are eligible for the program. Under many circumstances, the owner never realized the mobilehome was supposed to have proper title and registration. Other owners
may have wanted title but couldn’t afford the back state and local taxes and fees.
For more information, visit http://registeryourmobilehomeca.org or call (800) 952-8356.Assistance is available in all languages. A Spanish-language version of the website, as well as other languages through Google Translate, can be accessed by clicking on the upper right corner of the homepage.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development is dedicated to the preservation and expansion of safe and affordable housing, so more Californians have a place to call home. Our team works
to ensure an adequate supply of housing for Californians and promotes the growth of strong communities through its leadership, policy and program development. For more information, please visit www.hcd.ca.gov.


Sleep – It’s a Valuable Skill!

Whether you are working or retired,
everyone needs sleep. Your mind and body
need to rest and recuperate from the day
before so that you can function well the next
day. But chances are, you have experienced
sleepless nights in your life from many
different reasons and factors.
If you have trouble sleeping, you could be
changing a few things in your daily habits so
that you can get better sleep. According to
W. Chris Winter, M.D., sleeping is a skill that
can be improved if you are not satisfied with
the quality of your sleep. Here are the most
common aspects of your life that could be
affecting your sleep every night, according to
an article written by Paula Spencer Scott:

  1. Too Much Stress — You could be
    causing unnecessary stress and
    anxiety to yourself by thinking too
    much about things that happened
    that day or anticipating what will
    happen the next day. Try to accept
    the fact that instead of worrying,
    you can try to get a good night’s
    sleep and deal with your problems
    the next day.
  2. Being Random — Your body will
    have a hard time keeping up if you
    don’t have a normal sleeping
    schedule. Instead of sleeping and
    waking up at different times every
    day, try to stick with a sleeping
    schedule that you’re comfortable
    with. The article states that adults
    need about seven to nine hours of
    sleep every night, and you probably
    already know if your body prefers
    more or less hours in that range.
    The key is to be consistent.
  3. Not Comfortable Enough — How
    many years have you had your
    mattress or pillows? How about
    your sheets and blankets? What are
    you wearing to sleep? Maybe it’s
    time to explore how comfortable
    you are with your arrangements.
  4. Pet Disturbance — Sometimes our
    beloved animal companions can be
    a little too disturbing at night. The
    author of the article reminds us
    that dogs have different sleeping
    cycles than humans, so they are
    likely to move around while you’re
    sleeping.
  5. Too Much Light — You probably
    already turn off your lights when
    you go to sleep, but do you turn off
    all your technology? There could be
    light coming from the television,
    computer, phone, printer, etc.,
    which can ultimately bother your
    sleep. In addition, close your blinds
    or curtains if you have strong
    moonlight coming through your
    window.
  6. Overthinking — I’m sure we have
    all done this: thinking about not
    getting enough sleep. The article
    states that this is a problem that
    builds upon itself. Thinking too
    much about whether you will fall
    asleep or get enough hours adds to
    your stress and anxiety. Do yourself
    a favor and think pleasant
    thoughts, and remind yourself that
    simply resting in bed is beneficial
    to your body.

Past Rainy Weather Means Roof and Gutter Repairs!

It is important to make sure your roof and rain
gutters are in good repair before and after the rainy season. According to Foremost Insurance, if
your mobile home has a metal roof it needs a
new coating every 2 years and touch-ups after
a storm. Their step-by-step guide teaches you
to make repairs on your own roof so that you
don’t have to hire a professional every 2 years.
They list all the materials you need and
present the following steps:

  1. Check the weather
  2. Inspect the roof
  3. Clean the roof
  4. Make repairs
  5. Rinse and check for puddling
  6. Coat seams
  7. Coat the roof
    Be sure to visit this website to read the detailed information. www.Foremost.com

Billions of Dollars of Unclaimed Property in California Might be Yours

Currently there are more than 48 million items worth $9.3 billion of unclaimed property in California’s custody. The California Controller, Betty Yee, is encouraging people to search the state’s online database to see if any of the property belongs to them. 

The unclaimed funds are a result of California Law protecting consumers by requiring banks, insurance companies and other businesses to transfer unclaimed property to the State Controller’s Office after a period of no activity, which is around three years. The state then becomes the guardian of abandoned savings and checking accounts, insurance benefits, uncashed checks, wages, stocks, bonds, safe deposit box contents and various gift cards.

To see if you have any unclaimed property, you can go to www.claimit.ca.gov. People who find property on the website can submit claims at the site, or by calling 1-800-992-4647. Anyone is able to search the entire unclaimed property database, and see all individuals and organizations who have items protected by the state. 

Time to Address Clean Up Inside & Outside Your Home

It’s that time of year to start focusing
on getting your home clean and organized
– inside and outside. Whether you want to
deep clean, declutter or organize, here are
some quick and easy tips to help you accomplish
your Spring Cleaning goals. Now is the
time to make sure that your parking area and
outside areas are in compliance with your
communities rules and regulations.
• Make a schedule: Evaluate your home and
what areas need the most work. Focus on
what you skip over during routine cleanings
and what you have put off until another time
in your outside carport and landscaped areas,
and start there. Having a plan on what room
and what outside storage and landscape areas
to clean first will keep you focused on the
task at hand.
• De-clutter: Studies have shown that
decluttering makes you more efficient and
keeps you organized. A disorganized home,
porch, storage sheds and carports adds to
your stress level and can take a toll on your
health. In some cases clutter becomes a trip
hazard to you and your family and guests. You
may be surprised at how refreshed you feel
after eliminating clutter from your life – both
inside and outside your home.
• Always Work from Top to Bottom and
Don’t Forget Walls and Windows: People
always remember to clean their floors, but
often forget about the walls and windows.
Keep in mind, not all dust settles on the floor.
When it comes to the windows, hot soapy
water and a squeegee works great, and don’t
forget to remove and wipe down the window
screens outside.
• Kitchen and Bathroom: Clean out the
pantry and refrigerator (throwing out old
items) and clean the appliances inside &
out. In bathrooms be sure to throw away old
toiletries and expired cosmetics.

It’s the Peak of Cold and Flu Season, Are you prepared?

In the United States, flu season occurs in the Fall and Winter.  Influenza viruses circulate year-round, but most flu activity peaks between December and February, and can last as late as May.

The Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs.  It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.   The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that the best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine, but is the vaccine right for you?  

The CDC recommends that you should get a flu vaccine before flu begins spreading in your community.  It takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body.  The CDC also recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine.  Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complication from influenza, such as children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, and pregnant women.

As an added convenience, many drug stores and retail outlets provide flu shots.  It is easy to simply get a flu shot during your shopping trip!   For more information regarding the flu vaccine, contact your physician.

Source:  cdc.gov/flu