Thinking of selling your home?

Before selling your home, be sure everything is in order regarding the registration of the home with the State of California, that taxes are all paid and current, and that you are aware of the proper disclosure forms that must be provided to the buyer of your home. These forms are outlined in California Civil Code Sections 1102 and require the seller of a manufactured home to disclose information including what items are included in the home, significant defects/malfunctions, hazardous materials in the home, and that any room additions comply with the appropriate code. The disclosure form is far more detailed, so be sure that you are thoroughly aware of this section of the California Civil code BEFORE you put your home up for sale. You will also want to advise the on-site manager/park owners that you are selling your home so that they can provide you with additional information or procedures that will need to be followed.

Safety Tips for the Summer Sun Lover

California is set for a hot summer, which will inevitably draw people from their homes and to the pool, beach or shady park. Make sure that you are fully protected because sun exposure can lead to burns, exhaustion, sun poisoning, and dehydration. Here are a few tips from WebMD on how to make sure your time in the California Sun is not something you will later regret.

  1. Wear a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30 and says “broad-spectrum” on the label, which means that it protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Put it on all over about 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply at least every 2 hours and after you’ve been sweating or in the water.
  2. Limit your sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and remember that water, snow, and sand can intensify the sun’s damaging rays.
  3. Wear sunglasses, a hat, and protective clothing.
  4. Check on your medications. Ask your doctor if anything you take might make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Management::Notice of Entry

Management entry notification, and allowable entry in mobile home parks is far different from apartments as a general rule. This is due to the fact that Mobile Homes and Mobile Home Parks are unique; the park resident owns their mobile home and rent the land the home sits on.Management must be careful to properly notify the resident (home owner) when a home or land entry is necessary.

*If you live in a park owned mobile home and are renting the entire home, the rules for entering your home are the same as those living in an apartment.

For the residents who are homeowners the MRL spells out exactly what management must do if they need to enter your home and your rights in refusing entry.

  • Ownership may enter the home with prior written consent of the resident.
  • Consent may be revoked by the resident IN WRITING at any time
  • Ownership/Management shall gain entry onto the land which the mobile home sits, with proper notice, for
    • Maintenance of utilities
    • Maintenance of Trees or Driveways
    • Or for general maintenance of the premises in accordance with the rules and regulations.
  • Ownership may enter the home WITH OUT prior written consent of the resident
    • In case of emergency
    • If the resident has abandoned the home

Rental Assistance for Low Income Mobile Home Owners in Orange County

RAPLogoIf you are struggling to pay your rent there is a program in Orange County that was set-up to assist you while you wait for a Section 8 housing voucher to become available. It is a privately funded program, sponsored by local Park Owners and administered by MHET. You must meet specific guidelines to qualify for the program. If you feel you may qualify or would like more information or to request an application packet please call the Mobile Home Rental Assistance Program (RAP) 949-380-3311.

How to prepare your home for an Earthquake and what to do after one occurs.

California has experienced quite a few earthquakes in the last few months and it is suspected that there are more to come. Most people have prepared plans with their families on what to do to protect themselves during an earthquake. You know to take cover away from all windows and large pieces of furniture but what should you do to prepare your home?

The first step is to make sure all large pieces of furniture and hot water heaters are secured to the walls. You also want to make sure that you do not have any heavy objects over your bed such as large framed pictures or mirrors, although these may look great the risk of them falling off the wall in a large quake are great. If the quake struck at night the risk of you getting crushed by these objects is even greater.

Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. Many times a large earthquake will disrupt gas connections. The carbon monoxide detector will warn you if there are unsafe levels in your home and you will have time to leave safely. You can also call the gas company and have them come out to do an inspection of your home to make sure that there are not any leaks and that all connections are still secure.

If the power is out try to use only battery-powered lanterns. If there is a gas leak lighting candles can ignite a fire. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Open all cabinets carefully, especially if there are heavy or potentially harmful martials inside. The earthquake might have shifted the objects around and they may fall on you so be cautious.

Who Really Lives in Mobile Homes? The Perception and Misconceptions of Mobile Home parks and their residents.

Mobile home parks and their residents are beginning to be featured more and more in today’s media. First came Welcome to Myrtle Manor, a reality TV show about a handful of quirky mobile home park residents in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Then, more recently, with the controversial statement made by Miss South Carolina in her intro to the Miss America Pageant, “I’m from the state where 20 percent of our homes are mobile, because that ‘s how we roll.” Some argue that statements like these and TV shows like Welcome to Myrtle Manor only serve to perpetuate the “trailer trash” stereotype. Others say it brings a lighthearted nature to mobile home living that has not been there in the past due to the stereotype of the poor and downtrodden mobile home owner.

So who really lives in mobile homes? According to a recent article written by Tom Geoghegan: Pamela Anderson, Minnie Driver, and Matthew McConaughey are all residents of the mobile home park Paradise Cove in Malibu, California. In this park the homes boast marble floors and sell for around $2.5 Million. The same article alluded to parks in Thermal, California where conditions are terrible and most homes are held together with spit and a prayer. Both of these parks are the exception and not the rule.

If it is neither the exorbitantly wealthy nor the unemployed and destitute that live in the majority of the over 8 million mobile homes (US Census, Manufactured Housing Institute) located in the United States, who really lives in mobile homes? According to the US Census 57% of mobile home owners distinguished as the “head of household” have full time employment and 23% of residents are retired. Young families just starting out and seniors tend to populate the majority of mobile home parks. This is in part due to the cost of the average mobile home, “70% of all new single family homes sold for under $125,000 are manufactured”(Manufactured Housing Institute). The affordability of a manufactured home versus a site built home attracts younger families just starting off. It also attracts many seniors wishing to retire. Many of them sell their site built homes for the ease of Mobile Home living; with little to no yard to maintain and many amenities, including clubhouses and pools, some event boast tennis courts, the value far exceeds the cost. Other than being the average American, the mobile home owner is really just someone who has the opportunity to enjoy, as the old adage goes, “More bang for your buck”.

Nutrition and Meals- Free for Low Income Seniors and those with Disabilities

Being hungry is a terrible feeling but one that many seniors live with due to budget constraints. The California Department on Aging offers programs to help low income seniors who are in need of meals.

According to their website, Congregate Nutrition Services provide meals in a group setting. Services also include nutrition and health promotion education, and opportunities for socialization. People eligible for Title III C-1 nutrition services are 60 years of age or older, individuals with a handicap or disability who meet specific criteria, spouses of eligible participants regardless of age, and volunteers who provide needed services during meal hours. Project facilities and operations conform to health and safety standards and provide safe, wholesome and nutritious meal services to older clients.

Home Delivered Meal Services are available to people, age 60 or older, who are home bound by reason of illness, incapacity, or disability, or who are otherwise isolated. Because home bound meal recipients are typically older and frailer, they are usually referred to the program by a hospital, a family member, or other referral service. Most home-delivered meal programs provide their clients with a hot meal five days a week delivered by staff or volunteer drivers. In addition, nutrition education is provided.

For more information on these programs call 1 (800) 510-2020.

Stay Safe this 4th of July

The Fourth of July is a huge celebration full of BBQ’s, fireworks, friends and family. It is easy to get caught up and to forget that a lot of things can go wrong.

Make sure you are drinking plenty of water. People tend to stay outside Barbequing or swimming. These activities can cause you to sweat and loose a lot of water. Keep bottles handy. Remember that soda and alcohol can cause dehydration. Water is your best option to keep from getting light headed, nauseous and possibly passing out due to dehydration.

Check with your city and your park to make sure it is legal to shoot off fireworks. If your city or park does not allow for at home fireworks check the local newspapers or go online to see if they have a firework show close to you. Click here for a list of shows in Orange County,  Here for San Bernardino County, and Here for Riverside County. These often boast pre-firework entertainment and all day fun at a low cost.

If your city allows at home fireworks know what safety precautions to take.  Always read all warning labels and follow instructions carefully, light fireworks in a large empty space cleared off all things that can catch on fire, have buckets of water ready, place used firework shells in water before discarding to ensure all sparks are put out. For more tips on firework safety click here.  Around 200 people per day are taken to the emergency room due to firework related injuries in the month of July, do not be one of these people.

Enjoy your 4th of July and Stay Safe!

Proper Maintenance and Preparedness can Prevent Fires in your Mobile Home.

Every year hundreds of mobile homes are destroyed by fires that might have otherwise been prevented. Proper maintenance of heating, cooking and electrical systems is the key to warding off those destructive flames. You must also make sure that your home is properly outfitted to warn you if a fire was to break out and that you have the tools to help prevent the fire from spreading.

  • Fire extinguishers. Keep one fire extinguisher in the kitchen and another near the furnace. Make sure they’re multi-purpose, dry-chemical extinguishers, suitable for class A, B and C fires. Teach all family members how to operate them. Small home fire extinguishers operate for only five to ten seconds, so be sure of your aim.
  • Smoke detectors. Mobile homes built since 1976 come equipped with smoke detectors. If your home doesn’t have smoke detectors, you need one high on the wall or ceiling adjacent to bedroom areas. Place another in the kitchen. Check your smoke detectors once a month by pressing the test button. Replace the battery in each smoke detector at least once a year. Never remove the battery except when replacing it. If your smoke detector is a photo unit, replace the bulbs every three years. Keep the grill of the detector free of dirt by dusting and vacuuming it regularly.

If your home’s smoke detectors are powered by electricity, add at least one detector that’s battery powered in case of power outages.

  • Be careful not to overload electrical circuits. Lights that flicker or dim indicate trouble that must be corrected. When replacing fuses, install only recommended fuses. Use fuses and breakers that are the proper size for the wire. A ground monitor is a valuable tool for locating any shorts or other problems in the electrical system. If you are inexperienced in working with electricity, don’t try to correct electrical problems yourself. Call a qualified electrician.
  • Don’t overextend an electrical outlet with extension cords. Replace frayed or broken electrical cords. Make sure all appliances are properly installed. Buy electrical appliances and equipment approved by a certified testing laboratory. Never run cords under rugs. Keep dust from accumulating on televisions, electrical equipment and appliances.

Note these additional tips

  • Store flammable liquids in approved containers outside the mobile home.
  • Never place combustible material under your mobile home – that includes bales of hay or straw.
  • Check for worn spots on any heat tape that covers water pipes.
  • Keep your yard tidy and free of debris.
  • Keep baking soda near your stove to extinguish grease fires.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Never use an extension cord on a permanent basis and avoid running them under rugs.
  • Never leave home with the clothes dryer running. Clean dryer vents frequently and clean lint screens after each load to keep the airway clear.
  • Make regular safety checks of your mobile home’s major systems. Check for cleanliness, proper functioning and loose connections.
  • Never block doors or windows with furniture or other large objects.
  • Supplemental heating units like electrical space heaters, fireplaces, kerosene heaters and wood stoves can be dangerous. Be sure each device is approved for use in a home. Turn them off before you leave or go to sleep.

Need help paying your utility bills? CARE/FERA might be the answer for you.

The California Alternate Rate for Energy (CARE) program offers a discount of at least 20% off your electric bill, for low-income qualified customers.  To enroll by mail Click Here and download the form.

If CARE is not right for you, and you are a family of three or more you might qualify for FERA, Family Electric Rate Assistance program. They function much the same way.

You must meet the monthly income requirements to qualify. See the chart below. You may also visit Southern California Edison’s website for more information.

Maximum Household Income
Effective From June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013

Number of Persons
in Household

Total Combined Annual Income

CARE

FERA

1

up to $22,340 Not Eligible

2

up to $30,260 Not Eligible

3

up to $38,180 $38,181 – $47,725

4

up to $46,100 $46,101 – $57,625

5

up to $54,020 $54,021 – $67,525

6

up to $61,940 $61,941 – $77,425

7

up to $69,860 $69,861 – $87,325

8

up to $77,780 $77,781 – $97,225

Each additional person

$7,920 $ 7,920 – $ 9,900