The first total solar eclipse in the 21st century to pass over the United States is going to occur this year! It isn’t too late to plan a getaway trip so you can experience this marvelous event. The total eclipse will happen on Monday, August 21, where several states will experience darkness for a few minutes. The path of totality will begin in Oregon and move its way down diagonally through the United States, through parts of South Carolina.
People on Earth have witnessed eclipses for centuries, but they were not always enjoyed and appreciated. Many ancient civilizations believed that a solar eclipse was a sign that something terrible might happen. There were civilizations that firmly believed that the sun was being attacked or threatened, so they performed special rituals until they saw the sun was “restored.”
It wasn’t until around 500 B.C. when scientists were able to predict the solar eclipses. And scientists today are able to predict not just which cities will see the total eclipse, but at what time and the exact duration of the total eclipse.
Make sure to visit the 2017 Eclipse website linked below to see which cities in the United States will be in the path of totality.
If you are a mobile home owner or you live in a mobile home park, you probably already know the possibility of park closure or park conversion. But are you familiar with the details of your rights in those scenarios? The following are some important facts you need to know — an excerpt from the pamphlet What Every Mobile Home Owner Should Know, published by the Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Home Communities.
What are my rights if the park is closed for conversion to another use?
Normally, a permit from the city or county planning agency or approval of a zoning change will be required to convert a mobilehome park to another use. If no local permits are required to convert the park to another land use, the management must give you a minimum 12-month written termination notice. Where permits are required, the park management must give homeowners at least a 15-day written notice that management will be appearing before the local agency to obtain a permit for the park’s change of use. The local agency must require the park to submit a report on the impact that the park’s conversion will have on the ability of residents to find alternative places to relocate, and the local agency, at its discretion, may require the park to pay the reasonable costs of residents’ relocation as a condition of obtaining the permits. Once all permits have been obtained, the management must give homeowners a six-month written termination notice. The park management must also give prospective homeowners a written notice of any planned park conversion before they move in.
Resource: What Every Mobile Home Owner Should Know, published by the Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Home Communities
What was formerly known and still is referenced on the California Housing and Community Development Site as the Mobilehome Ombudsman, is now called the Mobilehome Assistant Center.
The Mobilehome Assistant Center is a great resource to use when you have questions regarding mobilehome ownership, compensation for a fraudulent mobilehome sale, unlawful practices by dealers or salesperson, installation and inspection on manufactured homes, and so much more. They also have forms you can download, such as request for assistance on manufactured home sales and mobilehome park assistance.
Be sure to visit the link below to see all of the resources and forms they have.
Mobilehome Assistance Center: http://www.hcd.ca.gov/manufactured-mobile-home/mobile-home-ombudsman/index.shtml
If you don’t know the answer to this question, it is time to review your Park’s Rules and Regulations! In almost every mobile home park, the rules are very specific that it is the mobile home owner’s responsibility to maintain the site (lot) upon which your mobile home sits. The mobile home owner rents the site, but is the one who takes care of the landscaping, porch, and carport. Most parks restrict the storage of appliances or other items outside of the mobile home and also require that the landscaping on the site be properly planted and maintained. Some parks restrict the types and number of potted plants, as an example.
Section 798.12 of the Mobilehome Residency Law states, “‘Tenancy’ is the right of a homeowner to use of a site within a mobilehome park on which to locate, maintain, and occupy a mobilehome, site improvements, and accessory structures for human habitation, including the use of the services and facilities of the park.”
Furthermore, section 798.15 (g) of the Mobilehome Residency Law states that the rental agreement should also contain the following:
A provision stating that management may charge a reasonable fee for services relating to the maintenance of the land and premises upon which a mobilehome is situated in the event the homeowner fails to maintain the land or premises in accordance with the rules and regulations of the park after written notification to the homeowner and the failure of the homeowner to comply within 14 days. The written notice shall state the specific condition to be corrected and an estimate of the charges to be imposed by management if the services are performed by management or its tenancy.
If you have a question about what your park rules require, be sure to take time to sit down and review the rules with your park manager.
Reference: The 2017 Mobile Home Residency Law, http://mobilehomes.senate.ca.gov/publications
As a resident in any type of home, wouldn’t it be great to reduce the cost of utility bills in the long-run? Manufactured homes produced in recent years are able to be designed in a way that allows them to be energy-efficient, much like a traditional home. If you already live in a manufactured home, you can make modifications to it so that you can improve its energy efficiency. The following are several changes you can make to your manufactured home to prevent heat loss, provided by the US Department of Energy:
- Install energy-efficient windows and doors
- Add insulation to the belly
- Make general repairs (caulking, ducts, etc.)
- Add insulation to your walls
- Install insulated skirting
- Install a belly wrap
- Add insulation to your roof or install a roof cap.
The US Department of Energy reported that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted experiments by making these modifications on pre-1976 manufactured homes, and found that there was a 31% reduction in heating fuel usage.
There are many more modifications you can make on your mobile home so that it can be energy efficient. Be sure to visit their website to read the full and detailed information, and also discuss your ideas with your park manager before starting a project.
…That local hospitals provide free educational programs? The topics covered in these programs include maternity, parenthood, cancer support, personal wellness and health, and many more. Most of these classes require registration beforehand by phone or via their website, and they also offer classes that are more than informational, thus require you to pay a fee upon registering. And depending on the hospital, there are even programs that are offered in Spanish.
If you are interested in attending a free program, make sure to call your local hospital or visit their website to see what type of classes are offered. Below are links to a few hospitals in the MHET area.
San Bernardino County:
It is important to make sure your roof and rain gutters are in good repair before rainy season arrives! 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:
- Check the weather
- Inspect the roof
- Clean the roof
- Make repairs
- Rinse and check for puddling
- Coat seams
- Coat the roof
Thank you to Foremost Insurance website for this valuable information. Be sure to click on the link below to read the detailed information.
Image Credit: http://www.askgeorgeparks.com/orange-county-roof-tips/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/detail_1104_cnx_coolroof.jpg
Better Ways to Spend Your Lunch and Dinner Money
Do you know how much money you spend on eating out every year? Let’s say that you eat out twice a week for lunch, and each meal is about $10. You would be spending about $1,000 a year on buying lunch. What if you also ate out for dinner twice a week, and each meal was about $15? You would be spending about $1,500 a year for buying dinner, and would be spending a total of $2,500 on eating out annually. And, those $3 cups of coffee each day?! Let’s say just three times a week, which adds another $468 a year for a total of $2,968! And the numbers would definitely be a lot higher if you are paying for your significant other or your family members or if you choose more expensive restaurants every once in a while.
There are many benefits of making lunch and dinner yourself, and one of the most obvious reasons is that you would be saving a lot of money in the long-run. If you are able to cut back on eating out, there are a few different ways you can spend that money so that it benefits you.
- Start an emergency fund — Having an emergency fund can help you in many situations. You can use it when you or your loved ones have health problems, when there is a natural disaster, or when you are faced with car repairs, as a few examples. Having an emergency fund can put your mind at ease when you face unexpected situations.
- Pay your bills — Millions of Americans have outstanding bills or debt to pay. Think about your loans, credit card bills, mortgage, hospital bills, or utility bills. Although the money you save from eating in may not be enough to pay off all your bills and debt, it does help to pay a little bit more every month.
- Put it in your retirement fund — If you have not retired yet, you should be contributing some money in your retirement fund. You can put a few dollars more into your account each month and watch it grow.
- Invest it – There are many ways to invest your money. A child’s education is one alternative investment. Perhaps the money you save from eating out can go towards paying for your child or your grandchild’s education, such as tutoring or summer school.
- Save for a Special Vacation — Perhaps you are doing well on having funds or paying bills. Another option is to save for an extra special vacation.
- Save for Next Holiday Gift Giving – Make next holiday a little easier on the budget by saving now.
Have you ever considered selling, or even moving a mobile home? The following are some important facts you need to know.
What rights do I have to sell my mobile home in the park?
Despite the “mobile” connotation, once installed in a park most mobile homes are not moved but are resold in the place of the park. Mobile homes can be expensive to move, but sometimes that alternative is a consideration if the rent in the new location is significantly lower than the current location or you are moving your home to a lot you own. The use of a private parcel for relocation of a mobile home from a park is subject to local laws.
The resale of a mobile home in the park involves management’s approval. The Civil Code regulates home sales as follows:
- The park management can require notice that you are selling your home in the park but they cannot require you to sell it to them unless you have signed a legal document that states differently.
- The park management cannot charge you or your agent a fee as a condition of the sale of your mobile home in the park unless you give them written authorization to perform a service in the sale.
- The park management cannot require the selling owner or owner’s heir to use the management or a dealer or broker approved by the management as an agent in the sale, and the management cannot show or list the home for sale without first obtaining your written authorization.
- The park management cannot require you to remove your mobile home from the park upon sale to another party, unless the home:
- Does not meet minimum health, safety and construction codes standards; or
- Is in significantly run-down condition and disrepair, as reasonably determined by the management; or
- Is not a mobile home or manufactured home (i.e. smaller than 8 x 40 feet in size).
- The homeowner has the right to put up a ‘for sale’ sign in the window or side of the home, or the yard facing the street on A or H type frame if it does not extend into the street. The sign face cannot exceed 24 x 36 inches in size and may include the name, address and phone numbers of the owner or agent. Information tubes for leaflets about the home for sale may be attached to the sign or the home.
- The park management has the right to approve the buyer of your home if it remains in the park. The management must inform you and the buyer in writing within 15 business days whether they accept or reject your buyer for residency. The management may only reject the buyer for two reasons:
- Buyer’s inability to pay the rent and charges of the park – usually based on an income-to-rent ratio and the buyer’s credit history; or
- Buyer’s inability to comply with the park’s rules and regulations – usually based on past rental history or conduct in other mobile home parks or apartments.
- Mobile home owners and their sales agents must provide their buyers with a mobile home resale or transfer disclosure statement (TDs) on used mobile homes that lists the home’s features, defects, and code violations, if any. The park management must also provide buyers of homes in the park with a park disclosure check-off form indicating any problems with specified park facilities before they sign a rental agreement to move into the park.
- Every mobile home sold or resold on or after January 1, 2009 must have a smoke alarm installed in every sleeping room.
Resource: What Every Mobile Home Owner Should Know, published by the Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Home Communities.
As a mobile home owner, are you familiar with the rules and regulations that you need to comply? The following are some important facts you need to know, taken from the pamphlet What Every Mobile Home Owner Should Know, published by the Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Home Communities.
Eviction – As a homeowner, can I be evicted from the park?
Yes. The park management may evict you if:
- You have received notice by a government agency that you are violating a local ordinance or state law and have not complied with the law within a reasonable period of time.
- Your conduct in the park constitutes a substantial annoyance to other residents or homeowners.
- You don’t pay the rent, utilities or reasonable charges within five days of the due date. IF you are late in paying the rent, you will be notified that you have three days to pay or vacate the tenancy. Full payment within three days puts you back in good standing, unless you are late in paying the rent, utilities, or reasonable charges three times within a 12-month period.
- You are convicted of specified crimes, such as prostitution or drug offenses, committed in the park.
- You don’t comply with ‘reasonable’ park rules and regulations (management must attach them to your rental agreement when you move into the park). The management must give you a written notice that a rule has been violated, after which you have seven days to adhere to the rule before the management can issue you a termination notice. If you have violated a rule three or more times within a 12-month period, the management may issue you a termination notice without waiting seven days for you to correct the rule violation.
- Your mobilehome park is condemned or is closed for conversion to another use.
Unlike most apartment tenancies, however, the park management must give homeowners a 60-day notice of termination and can evict you only for these specified (just cause) reasons. Upon a termination notice, the park not only may terminate your tenancy but also require you to remove your home from the park by the end of the 60-day period. During this 60-day period, you also have the right to try to resell your home in place in the park.
In the termination notice, the management must specify why you are being evicted and include such facts as the date, place and circumstances concerning the reasons for the termination. If you stay in the park beyond the time allowed in the notice, the park management must file an action in court to evict you, known as an ‘unlawful detainer.’ In order to preserve your right to defend yourself in an unlawful detainer action, you must follow certain procedural requirements, including the filing of specified documents within a short time frame, usually five days. Most defendants in unlawful detainer actions are best advised to obtain legal representation so they can properly comply with these requirements. If you lose, the court may order your eviction carried out by a peace officer in a matter of weeks and you will probably lose your home if you cannot sell it or move it from the park. If you are actually evicted, the park management will file a warehouseman’s lien on the home, or through an abandonment proceeding, conduct an auction, and eventually gain title to it.
Resource: What Every Mobile Home Owner Should Know, published by the Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Home Communities