It would have to be set on a piece of land that you own, with a permanent FOUNDATION and connected to services.
If it is in a Mobile Home Park, it can be handled through a Realtor. If it is a NEW Mobile Home, it is sold by a salesman who is licensed like a Car Salesman.
The Mobile Home is then registered through the DMV, much like a car is.
You can probably find pamphlets at the DMV about buying a Mobile Home, or you can find them on-line at californiadmv.gov
Good luck and may God bless
If the park/community is well maintained and in the path of progress you can most often make some money on it. However, probably not as much as you could on a real estate investment. Personally I would never purchase in a co op or a corporation as you do not own the dirt anymore than you would in a rent/lease community. I've had personal experiences in this type of purchase and was not very successful with it.
That stated, however, if the MH is in a condo conversion, subdivision or Planned Unit Development (PUD) where you own the real estate it can and usually is a viable investment that will appreciate in time. But once again, if the home is a PRE HUD (built before June 15, 1976) you would never be able to get an FHA guaranteed forward or reverse mortgage and there are some issues with caustic and carcinogenic chemical issues.
Buying a mobile home is like buying a car. It depreciates, and the equity you build up is like a car - not much compared to what you paid. ONE EXCEPTION TO MY STATEMENT is that if you can buy a mobile home in a park wherein the owners of the mobile homes also own their spaces, then I would say that is an ok idea. Parks like this do exist, you just have to find them. Sometimes they sell the spaces to the people in the park like a co-op. Sometimes it is done on a "shares" basis, like buying stock in a company. But if you can't find something where you can own your own space, STAY AWAY.
Buy a condo. Buy a townhouse. Buy anything but a mobile home.
In 20 years what will you own? Just the mobile home. Which has decreased in value, like any house improvements. The land beneath is not yours. It is like buying a car with no wheels, and you will NOT make money. Nothing. Zilch. And old mobile homes, what are they worth? They aren't worth anything. They COST MONEY to get rid of at the end of their life. You can't even move old mobile homes, because they will fall apart.
That stated some PRE HUD MH's still remain under the DMV if they have never transferred to the HCD. However, they are growing increasingly rare and as I mentioned in my other comment I would strongly recommend not purchasing anything that's PRE HUD.
A lot depends on where the park/community is located. Is it in the path of progress? Is it well maintained? What is the monthomg rent/lease obligation? Another thing you really want to do is have the home inspected by an experienced MH inspector and not just any inspector as there are several nuances about MH's that you will not find in a site built home.
Fees are the monthly rent, some where between $600-$1000, depending on the complex. There are several complexes where there is an age requirement of 55+. There will be some fees for closing but they are minimal for an all-cash deal.
Property taxes are $0 if it is a true mobile home. If the mobile home has a foundation, there will be property taxes on the improved part only. Let's say $60K is the improved value. Taxes per year will be $60K times .0125% totals $750 per year. It can not go up more than 2% per year.
I hope this helps.
Let me know if I can help, now or in the future.
Alain Pinel Realtors