Governor Executive Orders Address COVID-19 Crisis

Who would have ever thought that our State and our Country would issue stay at home mandates for non-essential workers? These are unusual times. As we reach out to mobile home park residents we are hopeful that you and your families are safe and well.

Many people have been laid off of their jobs or have had a reduction in income due to the COVID-19 virus. If your household has been impacted, there are a variety of programs being offered to help. Following are helpful information and resources.

Rent Payments

The Governor and some local jurisdictions have addressed the payment of rent. If your family has experienced a reduction in income due to the pandemic and are having difficulty paying rent it is important for you to contact the owner/management of your Park immediately. You need to advise them that you are unable to pay rent or can only pay a portion of your rent. You will also need to provide proof that the reason is due to COVID-19. The Park will then work with you to arrange a rent deferment so that you can pay the amount due once the pandemic crisis has passed and you are back to work.

Unemployment Checks

The California Employment Department (EDD) is processing claims for job loss or reduction of income due to COVID-19. The benefits may be accessed on line and are being processed quickly. For detailed information on benefits visit www.edd.ca.gov

Federal Government Stimulus Checks Are Being Delivered

The good news is that $1,200 checks are being deposited into the bank accounts of adults who earned up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income and who have a valid social security number. In addition, parents will also receive $500 for each child 16 years and younger. Most qualified people will have to do nothing in order to receive the check. The check will be deposited via direct deposit into accounts provided on tax returns filed this year or last.

Social security recipients who do not file a tax return will receive the check. However, others who do not file a tax return will need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive the payment. Detailed information can be found on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website: https://www.irs.gov/ coronavirus/economic-impact-payments.

All payments will be made based on income, with lower-income individuals receiving payment first.

Important Updates on 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is turning the world as we know it upside down with Executive Orders and Health Department mandates from all levels of government published on what seems like a daily or hourly basis. Medical experts are telling us it will get worse before it gets better. It is very important to be informed and to follow the protocols established by our health agencies to slow the spread of the virus and to protect yourself, your family, and our communities.

All meetings and gatherings are required to be cancelled, which means the facilities and office in your mobile home park may be closed and all activities cancelled. Like many businesses, the park office may be closed to visitors. People 65 years of age and older and those with underlying health conditions need to stay home.

Schools are closed, some businesses and retail malls are closing, and medical services are establishing strict guidelines on doctor’s visits. Working at home is being initiated by some businesses and others are having to lay off employees. The President and Governors across the nation are working together to address the issue of families having reduced income. If you are having difficulties paying your rent, contact your park manager to discuss the situation.

Please Stay Informed!

California Department of Health www.cdph.ca.gov

Orange County Public Health Department 714) 834-8196 • (714) 834-8180 www.ochealthinfo.com/phs

Riverside County Department of Health (951) 358-5102 • (951) 385-5107 www.rivcoph.org

San Bernardino Health Department (909) 387-6377 • (800) 722-4794 www.sbcounty.gov/dph/

For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/nCoV

Resolving Issues In Your Community

There is a right way and a wrong way to approach dealing with issues within your mobile home park community. The wrong way is to not work with the park ownership and management. The right way is to make the on-site manager aware of the issue and to complete a written suggestion form provided to the manager advising them of the issue. It may also be a good idea to request a meeting with the manager and agree on an approach to resolve the issue and a reasonable amount of time to reach the resolution. Generally, this is all it takes and a problem or issue is “put to bed” to everyone’s satisfaction.

If a resolution is not reached in a timely manner, then it would be appropriate to reach out to the next level of management, which could be a management company supervisor or the park owner to share the details of the issue and to request a meeting.

Taking a positive, pro-active approach to resolving problems and issues is in everyone’s interest. The most important thing is to listen carefully and to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, be thoughtful and reasonable with an attitude that by working together the issue at hand can be resolved.

The last thing you want to do is go to “war” with the management or ownership, and they do not want that either! When things get out of hand, we have seen a resident post a sign in their window saying, “Don’t Move In Here!”, or they post negative comments on social media. Unfortunately that hurts everyone in the park. It has the potential of reducing the value of the homes and discourage perspective home buyers from considering moving into the park.

Mobile home community living is a lifestyle choice. Part of that choice is living with neighbors and working with the management and ownership of the park to preserve and maintain a positive environment and lifestyle.

Can You Get a Loan for a Mobile Home?

Mobile homes can provide the stability and comfort of a traditional home, but at a much lower price. The catch? If you want to buy a mobile home and finance the cost, it can be more difficult than taking out a regular mortgage loan. Here’s what you need to know if you want a mobile home loan.

Is It Hard to Get a Loan for a Mobile Home?

When shopping for a mobile home loan, you might also come across the term “manufactured home.” Mobile and manufactured home loans are essentially the same thing; “mobile homes” are factory-built before June 15, 1976, and “manufactured homes” are mobile homes built after this date.

Manufactured homes are subject to construction and safety standards put in place by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD’s Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards regulate thermal protection, plumbing, electrical, fire safety and more.

So how difficult is it to get mobile loans? “Financing a mobile home is more difficult than financing a conventional home, but getting a loan for a mobile home is still feasible,” says Daniela Andreevska, content marketing director at Mashvisor, a real estate data analytics company.

The type of loan you ultimately borrow will depend on a few key factors.

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“When approaching the purchase of a mobile home, you first need to determine whether it’s on a permanent foundation,” says Matthew Yu, vice president of loans and investments at real estate lending and investment firm Socotra Capital. You’ll have more options, including conventional and federally backed mortgage loans, if the home is on a permanent foundation.

Mobile homes that meet certain requirements can qualify for a traditional home loan. In addition to sitting on a foundation, the home needs to have its wheels removed so that it’s stationary, and you should also own the land under it. In most cases, it must be at least 400 square feet in size — sometimes more. If these requirements are met, it qualifies as “real property” and can be financed with a mortgage.

“For manufactured homes financed as real property, the terms are pretty much the same as those for traditional ‘stick-built’ houses,” says Gina Pogol, staff writer for consumer mortgage information website HSH. For example, you can choose a 15-year or 30-year fixed-rate loan. Mortgage rates are about the same, too, although they may be slightly higher because there is less competition for that business, Pogol says.

On the other hand, if the home does not meet the requirements for a mortgage and is movable, you will need to apply for a chattel loan, a type of personal property loan, not a real estate loan, according to Andreevska.

Types of Mobile Home Loans If your manufactured home qualifies as real property, there are a number of mobile and manufactured home loan programs you can consider.

Conventional Mortgage Programs

Fannie Mae. You can borrow a manufactured home loan under the Fannie Mae MH Advantage program, as long as the title includes both the home and the land it’s on. It must also qualify as real property. Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages are available, as well as 7/1 and 10/1 adjustable-rate loans. The down payment can be as low as 3%. Some homes are ineligible, including investment properties and single-wide homes.

Freddie Mac. To qualify for a manufactured home loan through Freddie Mac’s program, the home must be considered real property. Fixed-rate mortgages are available, as well as 7/1 and 10/1 ARMs. Both primary residences and second homes qualify, but investment properties don’t. You can put down as little as 5%.

Agency-Backed Mortgage Programs

Federal Housing Administration. FHA Title I and Title II loans are available for manufactured homes. These loans come with terms of up to 30 years and allow for down payments as low as 3.5%.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Some VA lenders allow mobile home financing. VA loans can be used to purchase or refinance a mobile home, plus the lot if you wish; to purchase and improve a lot for your existing mobile home; to refinance a mobile home in order to buy a lot; or to refinance an existing VA mobile home loan. The home must be considered real property with a permanent foundation. It’s possible to finance with no money down and no mortgage insurance, as long as you meet the lender’s credit and income requirements. Loan terms range from 15 to 25 years, depending on the type.

Chattel Mortgage Loan

Another financing option is a chattel loan, which actually is not a type of mortgage but a personal property loan. Chattel loans are designed specifically for movable property, which is what the term “chattel” means. “Chattel loans are usually used when the mobile home will be located in a park or a manufactured home community, and they are home-only loans, excluding the land,” Andreevska says. Because these loans do not include real estate, the closing process is typically faster and less demanding, and the loan processing costs are lower than with a conventional mortgage loan.

However, the amount you can borrow is usually much smaller than with a traditional mortgage. Repayment periods are also usually limited to 15 to 20 years. “Moreover, the interest rate is higher because of the shorter loan period,” Andreevska says. “This means that overall, the monthly payment amounts often actually exceed the payments on a conventional home.”

Installment Agreement

If you’re buying a mobile home from a private owner, it’s also possible to work out a financing deal with them. In this case, you’ll want to be sure that the home’s title is clear, meaning there are no liens or judgments against it, and that the seller owns it outright. You’ll also need to put a promissory note and bill of sale in writing and have both parties sign.

Source: Casey Bond, U.S.News & World Report

Happy New Year! It is 2020!

The holidays enjoyed and are now behind us! It it is time to look forward to another new year and all the promise it will bring. California is enjoying an all-time low unemployment rate and an increase in minimum wage effective January 1, 2020. Southern California Cities and Counties are providing outstanding and extensive services to their residents of all ages.

As an example, most cities have senior centers along with a variety of affordable recreational services including all kinds of classes for pre-school children through seniors. The County of Orange has an extensive Community Investment Division that provides information for job seekers including young adults, seniors, and veterans.

Visit their site at http://www. occommunityservices.org. You can also access all Orange County cities from this site: http://www.ocgov.com/about/infooc/links/oc/occities. Other counties provide similar services.

The County of San Bernardino Department of Aging and Adult services has an extensive list of services that can be accessed at http://hss.sbcounty.gov/daas/. The County of Riverside’s website focuses on Senior, Family and Children services of all kinds. This information may be accessed at: http://dpss.co.riverside.ca.us/.

Another resource is the Rainbow Resource Directories that is a printed directory containing free and low-cost social services for several areas in Southern California. Additionally, the Rainbow Directory offers a California state-wide CD-Rom with more than 20,000 individual listings. To place an order, visit http://www.resourcedirectory.com or call (800) 440-4780.

It is beyond amazing the amount of government and private services are available! We are truly blessed to live in a region with so many resources and jobs!

Mobile Home Owners Are Smart They Enjoy Very Affordable Housing

The vast majority of manufactured home owners living in mobile home park communities in the Southern California region own their homes free and clear. They have either lived in the home long enough to have paid it off or they paid cash when they purchased the home. The only housing costs they have are the utilities, home maintenance, and the rent payment for the land and services provided by the mobile home park where they live.

A typical manufactured home has three bedrooms, two baths, small yard, and covered parking for two cars within a few steps of their home’s door. The mobile home park community where they reside provides amenities such as a clubhouse, pool, spa, and on-site management. Some parks have storage areas for recreational vehicles and other storage.

Living in a mobile home park is a very affordable single family detached dwelling lifestyle choice when compared to the average cost of renting a similar size of apartment with limited parking and privacy. However, it is important to remember that, like other rental housing living, mobile home owners as renters will also receive annual rent increases. Unique to mobile home park communities are long tern leases that spell out annual rent increases for many years to come, which provides mobile home owners the ability to plan for future expenses. n

Financial Assistance Programs

What state/local financial assistance is available to low-income mobilehome owners? Some programs that provide financial assistance to low-income or senior park residents include:

Mobilehome Rehabilitation: Loans or grants are available to low-income mobilehome owners through the Department of Housing and Community Development’s CalHome program to make specified repairs on their mobilehomes. Although not all jurisdictions participate, the funds are channeled through qualified local government housing or non-profit agencies. For more information, check with your city or county housing department, authority or commission.

Section 8 Housing Assistance: Rent subsidies may be available to eligible low-income residents who live in mobilehome parks. This program is funded by the federal government but administered by local housing agencies. Section 8 allocations are often full and many jurisdictions have waiting lists of a year or more. Not all mobilehome park owners accept Section 8 vouchers. For more information, check with your city or county housing department, authority or commission.

Mobilehome Park Rehabilitation and Resident Ownership Program (MPRROP): On a limited basis, this program makes shortand long-term low interest rate loans for the preservation of affordable mobilehome parks for ownership or control by resident organizations, nonprofit housing sponsors, or local public agencies. MPRROP also makes long-term loans to individuals to ensure continued affordability. For more information about the MPRROP process and requirements, go to www.hcd.ca.gov/ grants-funding/active-funding/mprrop. shtml n

Source: What Every Mobile Home Owner Should Know, published by the Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Home Communities

MHP Residents Rental Agreement Options

Renting a site in a mobile home park is far different than renting an apartment, condo or single- family home. The State of California has adopted many laws that specifically apply to mobile home park tenancies and not to other types of rentals. Because of the different rules that apply in mobile home parks, the rental agreements and leases are longer and more comprehensive than the short few pages of a “standard” rental agreement for renting an apartment, condo or single-family home.

When a mobile home buyer makes the decision to move into a rental mobile home park, the process is more involved than just purchasing the mobile home. In fact, as a prospective mobile home park tenant they need to complete transactions that do not apply to other forms of rental housing. The purchaser of a mobile home that is located in a mobile home park must first apply to the mobile home park for residency and be approved. The mobile home purchaser may not finalize the purchase of the mobile home without first receiving the approval from the park owner to move into the park and completing and signing all of the park documents. Once this is done the sale of the mobile home may be finalized.

Included in the “move-in” documents to be signed by the prospective mobile home park resident are various disclosure forms, the parks rules and regulations, pet agreements and the rental agreement. In mobile home parks, the State law requires a park owner to offer the tenants a 12-month lease. The prospective tenant, or current resident, is responsible for picking between a month- to-month rental agreement or a one-year agreement. Additionally, many parks offer a third choice of a long-term lease agreement, which is defined as being longer than 12-months.

Typical long-term agreements are five, ten or fifteen years, but some extend to 20 years or longer. These long-term lease agreements outline in detail what the rent increases will be and under what circumstances rents may be increased. As an example, if government imposes tax increases or fees on the mobile home park, the lease will outline how those increases will be passed through to the residents. Often the lease will address the change in rent upon resale and will also address how disputes will be resolved.

A long-term lease provides certainty to mobile home owners regarding future costs. However, at any time if a mobile home owner wishes to sell their mobile home and move, they simply provide notice to the park owner.

Long term lease agreements are indeed complex legal. It is similar to other legal documents signed by business owners to lease land or a building or office space. Additionally, all legal documents must be written in English.

In this case, the mobile home owner is leasing or renting a site for the mobile home they own. Along with the site comes the various amenities offered within the mobile home park community including various facilities, as well as management and maintenance.

When considering signing a lease document — regardless of the term — it is important to review it very carefully and to fully under- stand the legal document. Park owners encourage park residents and prospective residents, who are considering long term leases, to have their legal advisor review the lease contract.

HCD New Mobilehome Park Maintenance Inspection Webpage

In accordance with California Health and Safety Code, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) conducts Mobilehome Park Maintenance inspections to ensure compliance with health and safety laws. Inspections include the general areas, buildings, equipment, and utility systems of mobilehome parks, each individual lot, and the exterior portions of individual manufactured homes and mobilehomes in each park inspected.

A new Mobilehome Park Maintenance (MPM)

Inspections webpage consolidates inspection information for mobilehome park residents and operators in a single location. Detailed information to help park residents and operators such as booklets (also available in Spanish and Vietnamese) and a video to help park residents and owners prepare for the park maintenance inspections can be found on the website address below:

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/manufactured-mo- bile-home/mobile-home-parks/mobile- home-park-maintenance-inspections.shtml

New Legislation Requiring “Know Your Rights” Insurance Disclosures

Recent wildfires cause the California State Legislature to look closely at how they might help mobile home owners in such disasters. Newly adopted Senate Bill 508 will ensure mobile home owners receive critical insurance information.

The bill goes into effect January 1, 2020 and will require insurers to provide timely disclosures and information to mobile home owners regarding their residential property insurance policies and their rights associated with their policy.

However, the most important thing is that every mobile home owner has an insurance policy for the cost of replacing their mobile home should it be destroyed by fire, earthquake or other disaster. “Replacement Cost” is NOT the price you paid for your mobile home. It is what it will cost to replace it with a new mobile home of the same size. This is critical and very important.

SB 508 will equip mobile home owners with critical information before the insurer issues or renews their insurance policies and provide them with the same information as other homeowners when it comes to knowing their rights under California law. For more information on this legislation visit: http://bit.ly/30gSaWG