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Buying a Mobile Home in California

Finding affordable housing in California is not impossible. Despite what you have been told, there is a large selection of reasonably priced, energy-efficient homes on the market. These available residences consist of both manufactured and mobile homes with contemporary features/amenities. If this is your first time considering a mobile or manufactured house, then get ready to throw aside all your previously conceived notions of mobile housing. Today’s manufactured homes are truly a sight to behold and offer all the comforts of an affordable luxury house.

That said, purchasing a mobile home in California is going to take a little time and research. Due to the sheer size of available manufactured/mobile residences, you definitely have your work cut out for you. Of course, there is no need to panic. There are a variety of things you can do to narrow down your options and find the mobile home that meets your needs as well as budget. Thus, to better assist you in your new mobile or manufactured home search, here is a breakdown of the overall process and several tips to get you started.

Buying a Mobile Home in California

Currently, in the lush state of California, you will find 3,000+ mobile residences for sale now, starting at $50,000. Spread out across counties and cities, your very first step will be determining the best locale for you and your family. Once you settle on a location, your search will definitely become less daunting.  Here, mobile homes are popular options for beach lovers, students, retirees, and even young professionals waiting to make it big. Thus, California is a fantastic spot to purchase a mobile residence, especially in a mobile home park. The reality is that land tends to be a little pricey in this state; therefore, you should seriously consider the alternative in the interest of your budget. The good news is there are 1,400+ manufactured/mobile home communities with homes for sale and open homesites.

Search

Finding your dream mobile residence in California is a lot like any other state. You need to narrow down those options, first and foremost. One relatively easy way to start looking for manufactured/mobile homes is to go check out the California Manufactured Housing Institute site. For instance, in popular cities like Anaheim, there are over 60 mobile/manufactured homes for sale on the market. Consequently, picking a city or even a county will help take some of the pressure off. Once you have decided on a location, you pretty much know the drill here—single, double, or triple wide? New or used?  Obviously, these are important decisions to make. But there are a few more options these days to consider as well. For instance, if you are leaning towards a manufactured residence, then you have several styles to choose from.

At the moment, there are over 20 top manufactured home types like the loft-style home, an oversized Casita, Sunset Bay homes, and more. Therefore, if you are looking at say Anaheim and want to be close to any of the 10+ beaches in the area, you just might want to consider looking at the various styles of mobile homes that are available. For instance, a loft-style manufactured home with seamless indoor/outdoor living may be just the ticket. Ultimately, no matter which style or size you choose, you need to be able to afford your new mobile/manufactured residence. Thus, once you have found your potential forever home, you need to sit down and figure out your finances.

Purchase

Obviously, you have some options to choose from, and you may even have a few thousand dollars saved up. But one caveat of buying a mobile home is that available financing options are somewhat limited. In general, lenders are a little gun-shy when it comes to financing mobile/manufactured homes, or at least they have been in the past. Since there has been an increasing trend toward small houses or mobile home living, many lenders are now open to financing this particular kind of housing. With that said, the amount of lender financing you are able to secure may not be enough. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you buy a mobile residence in a community, if at all possible. As briefly mentioned, most dealers or manufactured home communities offer in-house financing, so this is a great option to explore here.

Note, whether or not you are purchasing a mobile home or a mobile home with land in California matters, just as it does anywhere else. Consequently, you may need a realtor or real estate agent to assist you in your purchase. In regard to lender financing, mortgage lenders often have rules/stipulations that are dependent on your mobile or manufactured home’s size, age, and type of installation (affixed to property or mobile). If you are looking for a mobile home land package, then you should definitely reach out to a reputable real estate agent that has experience selling and buying mobile/manufactured homes.

Closing

Closing on a mobile or manufactured home involves double-checking the title (title/lien search), obtaining a bill of sale and promissory note, etc. Typically, it is a general rule of thumb to have a 30-day closing period so that you, the potential owner, have enough time to inspect the premises. Taking the time to do your research and having a thorough site inspection will ensure you are getting the most for your money.

Along those same lines, the state of California Housing and Community Development Department does oversee the sale of manufactured or mobile residence in the state (together with city and county ordinances). Thus, it is important that your potential home meet city, county, and state regulations before you close on it. Note, California has a set maximum occupancy for mobile homes, so make sure you will be able to comply with the 2-person per bedroom, plus 1 rule. Similarly, if you are buying a mobile/manufactured residence in a mobile home community, you should review the park’s rules and regulations before closing. This is especially helpful if you have family pets.

Other Related Paperwork

Lastly, you will need to make sure that you have all the related paperwork or required documentation at the time of closing. This generally includes proof of homeowners insurance, title insurance, and so on. California also requires you to register your manufactured home, so do not forget. Moreover, it is highly recommended that you register your home in person, at least initially. Thus, this will involve going to the Department of Housing and Community Development offices with the title and your license. Finally, if your mobile or manufactured home is affixed to a permanent foundation, you will be subject to property taxes as well.

Final Note

Purchasing a mobile/manufactured home in California is a smart move that you will instantly reap the benefits from. As you may already know, owning a mobile residence or manufactured home generally means less maintenance, more flexibility, more reasonable utility bills, and a reduction in your carbon footprint. Consequently, the tough decision here is not whether you should purchase a manufactured home, but rather which one should you choose. Yet, with so many options, most of which are high quality homes with amazing contemporary features, it may seem impossible. But, at the end of the day, only you can decide what size, type, and style is right for you and your family. That said, with proper guidance and a better understanding of the entire mobile home buying process, you can rest easy knowing that you got the most bang for your buck.

 
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