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

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/

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

Energy-Efficient Mobile Homes

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:

  1. Install energy-efficient windows and doors
  2. Add insulation to the belly
  3. Make general repairs (caulking, ducts, etc.)
  4. Add insulation to your walls
  5. Install insulated skirting
  6. Install a belly wrap
  7. 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.

Resource:  https://energy.gov/energysaver/energy-efficient-manufactured-homes

Rain Weather Means Roof and Gutter Repairs!

detail_1104_cnx_coolroofIt 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:

  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

Thank you to Foremost Insurance website for this valuable information. Be sure to click on the link below to read the detailed information.

Resource: http://www.foremost.com/mygreathome/mobile-home-repair/exterior/coating-your-roof.asp

Image Credit: http://www.askgeorgeparks.com/orange-county-roof-tips/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/detail_1104_cnx_coolroof.jpg

The Mobile Home Park Lifestyle, Not Right for everyone but it could be right for You!

Living in a Mobile Home park is a lifestyle choice made by thousands of Californian’s. In an industry that was once viewed as lesser, this type of housing and these communities are starting to make a name for themselves as the best value for high quality, well-planned and secure living.

The mobile home, or manufactured home, itself is starting to boast high quality items that were once only featured in site built homes. Many of them with custom cabinetry and granite counter tops. These homes can have all the amenities a site built home has to offer and they cost 20-35% less.

Communities often offer more than most site built HOA’s , with many boasting security that patrols the grounds 24-7, some are even gated requiring a code or clicker to enter the community. This helps to provide a level of safety and protection that might not be offered in a site built community. Many of them also feature clubhouses, swimming pools, play grounds and tennis courts.

If all of this sounds great there are still a few things you must consider before making this choice. The space your home sits on may not be very large, if you have a dream of having a bunch of animals a mobile home community might not be right for you, but if the idea of little to no yard work appeals to you a mobile home community might be right up your ally.

Remember, mobile homes and manufactured housing communities are not for everyone but they could be perfect for you! It is your life and your choice and manufactured housing communities have a lot to offer.

Mobile Home Values and Sales Prices

At least two firms publish information on mobile home values – Kelly Blue Book and the NADA Guide. Like other personal property (cars, airplanes, boats, etc.) the value of a mobile home depreciates as it ages. Values are provided in these evaluation guides for mobile homes/manufactured homes located on a sales lot as well as those located in a rental mobile home community. Obviously, the value of a manufactured home located on free land is driven by the value of the land rather than the structure sitting on the land.

Regarding mobile homes in rental communities, there is an added “value” attributed to a manufactured home being sold “in place” in a mobile home community. Although the value of the land is not part of the value or sales price of a mobile home, there is a value attributed to the fact the home is located in a park and the assumption that a buyer will pay a premium for the ability to purchase the home and have it remain in the park. In other words, there is value attributed to the “leasehold” interest assumed by the buyer of a mobile home in a rental community. It is not uncommon for purchasers of mobile homes to pay many thousands of dollars for an old mobile home that literally has no value simply because of the location of the home in a desirable community.

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. 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. By of an example – a typical mobile home buyer may have a monthly housing budget of $1,200. 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 $500 a month rent and the other charges $1,000. 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 is selling 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 older 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.

The Advantages of Manufactured Housing

Manufactured housing communities have a lot to offer.

Is it true that they are cost-effective? Yes. Depending on where you live the cost per square foot for a new manufactured home is 10- 30% LESS that a comparable site built home.

These homes are inspected every step of the way, from the first wall that is assembled in the factory to the placement of the home within the residents chosen park. They have all the amenities availed that site built homes have, including granite counter tops, crystal chandeliers and even bay windows.

Another advantage is the owner’s ability to place the home wherever they choose. It may be in a park in the mountains or just miles from the beach. The location that is chosen for the home does not affect the cost of the home itself, although rent for the space the home sits on will differ from park to park.  If in a few years you decide to move from the desert to the ocean you can take your home with you!

Manufactured homes and their communities are a wonderful choice when looking for housing.