Mobilehome vs. Manufactured Home

Are you aware of the difference between a mobile home and a manufactured home? They sound interchangeable but they actually have two different definitions, according to the California Health and Safety Code. Read the two definitions below and see if you had the correct knowledge of the two:

HSC 18007: “Manufactured Home”

Means a structure, that was constructed on or after June 15, 1976, is transportable in one or more sections, is eight body feet or more in width, or 40 body feet or more in length in the traveling mode, or when erected on site, is 320 or more square feet, is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a single-family dwelling with or without a foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning , and electrical systems contained therein. Manufactured home includes any structure that meets all the requirements of this paragraph and with the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974.

HSC 18008: “Mobilehome”

Means a structure, that was constructed prior to June 15, 1976, is transportable in one or more sections, is eight body feet or more in width, or 40 body feet or more in length in the traveling mode, or when erected on site, is 320 or more square feet, is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a single-family dwelling with or without a foundation system when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein. Mobilehome includes any structure that meets all the requirements of this paragraph and complies with the state standard s for mobilehomes in effect at the time of construction.

Now that you are aware of the difference between the two terms, will you be able to identify the home you or your neighbors live in?

Resource: California Department of Housing and Community Development, and California Legislative Information

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=HSC&division=13.&title=&part=2.&chapter=1.&article=

Park Rules & Regulations

The following is an excerpt taken from the pamphlet, What Every Mobile Home Owner Should Know, published by the Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Home Communities.

Why do parks have rules and regulations?

Most mobilehome parks have rules that restrict or regulate resident conduct relating to such issues as pets, parking, noise, recreational or common facilities, or home and lot maintenance, among others. Rules may be short and simple, or lengthy and restrictive, depending on the type of management and size of the park.

How are parks rules and regulations enforced?

Park rules and regulations accompany the park rental agreement and are enforceable under the

MRL. The MRL provides that a park may change a rule or regulation by issuing a 6-month written notice to residents, or a 60-day written notice if the rules relate to park recreational facilities. Violations of rules are enforced by the park through termination of tenancy (see the following Eviction section), a court-ordered injunction, or with regard to lot maintenance by assessment of reasonable fees, but park rules have to be “reasonable” as interpreted by a court in the case of an injunction or termination of tenancy for a rule violation. The management must provide prospective park residents with a copy of the park rules and the MRL if they ask for them at the time of application for tenancy.

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

What’s in Your Wallet?

If you have a Medicare card in your wallet, you should think about making a copy of it and carrying that instead. Your Medicare account number is your Social Security number, so you are at risk of identity theft if it is found or taken by someone malicious. But of course, you need to carry your Medicare card because the ID serves as the proof of insurance. In order to protect your identity, you must make a photocopy of your Medicare card and black out or cut out the last four digits of the ID numbers. This way, if you need to use your Medicare card, you can give them the photo copy and provide them with the last four digits verbally (if able). According to AARP, the one or two additional letters or numbers after your SSN/ID is used to identify the type of beneficiary you are. But they have stated that it does not matter if you leave in or decide to remove those ending letters and numbers on your photocopy of the card.

If you have any credit cards, debit cards, licenses, etc., you should also think about making photocopies of them, and keeping those copies at home. It helps to write down the phone numbers you need to call in case you misplace the cards or if they are stolen. In addition, you should go through your wallet and see what you are carrying around every day. Chances are, you don’t need to be carrying all the cards in your wallet. It helps to have an organized wallet and an organized record of your photocopies, so that you know what to do if you misplace them or if they are stolen.

Resources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/hints-from-heloise-leave-home-without-this-card/2016/01/14/cd01e808-b576-11e5-a842-0feb51d1d124_story.html?utm_term=.b03f139c3e41

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/hints-from-heloise-copy-this-to-cut-down-theft/2016/02/12/a659a534-cb7d-11e5-88ff-e2d1b4289c2f_story.html?utm_term=.5b61b937a7f0

http://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/info-07-2012/medicare-card-identity-theft.html

Fee and Tax Waiver Program

Do you own your mobile home? Can you provide an official Certificate of Title from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)? If you have purchased your mobile home but you do not have the proper papers for ownership, you may not legally own your home.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has started a program, effective since January 1, 2017, for a fee and tax waiver for eligible manufactured home and mobile home owners, so that they can become the registered owner. You are eligible for this program if ALL of the following apply to you:

  1. Your home was registered in California in the past
  2. You have not registered your home with the California Department of Housing and Community Development
  3. You are not participating in HCD’s Fee and Tax Waiver Program

If you have questions about the program, call (800) 952-8356, or email 587questions@hcd.ca.gov.

More information on this program can be found at the following link:

Resource: http://www.hcd.ca.gov/manufactured-mobile-home/registration-titling/587.shtml

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.

There are more pointers and suggestions that Paula Spencer Scott notes on her article. Make sure to visit the link below to read her full article on sleeping.

Resources: https://parade.com/555676/paulaspencer/sleep-youre-doing-it-wrong/

Mobile Home Fire Prevention

According to a study done by AARP and Foremost Insurance Group, the leading cause of mobile home fires is insufficient maintenance of the home and its mechanical system. For example, your clothes dryer needs to be cleaned for lint after every use and the attached lint vent needs to be cleaned about twice a year. You can accidentally start a fire in your dryer if you don’t property clean and maintain appliances as instructed in the manual. This applies to other appliances and heating systems that you own, such as space heaters, woodstoves, water heaters, fireplaces, and furnaces, to name a few.

There are other careless accidents that cause many fires in mobile homes.  It is important for everyone to be prepared for these types of situations. Regardless of the type of mobile home you reside in, do you have an exit plan? Do you have a smoke detector installed with sufficient battery to alert you? Do you have family, friends, or caretakers that you can call to assist you in the time of need? These are only a few questions you need to ask yourself so that you can be prepared in case of emergencies. Most people live thinking such disaster could never happen to them, but it never hurts to take some time to think about being prepared.

Make sure to read the full article by AARP and Foremost Insurance Group on Fire Prevention.

Resource: https://www.aarpforemost.com/mobile-home-safety-fire-prevention.asp

Also, visit the links below for additional information about fire safety and disaster preparedness.

http://www.gardusinc.com/safety-tips.html

http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/safety-in-the-home/escape-planning/fire-safety-in-manufactured-homes

http://emergencyplanguide.org/neighborhood-organization/survive-a-disaster-in-a-mobile-home/

Total Eclipse in 2017!

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.

http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/path_through_the_US.htm

http://www.windows2universe.org/sun/atmosphere/eclipse_history.html

Possibility of Park Closure or Conversion

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

Mobilehome Assistance Center

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

Who is Responsible for Maintaining Your Mobile Home Site?

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