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94621 : Real Estate Advice

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  • Home Buying3
  • Home Selling1
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Activity 6
Sun Nov 27, 2016
Broadway_93 answered:
A mobile home is not really mobile. It is a manufactured house that is placed on a piece of land in a mobile park - they are all lined up next to each other. Each house actually sits on jacks about 2 feet above the ground. Once the house is in place, it stays there. The majority do not have a garage. You get a carport. Some people install a shed for storage. Some have a little yard or porch, others do not.

In most parks, you buy the home and then pay a monthly space rental. Some real estate ads mention the space rental, others do not. You own the home but not the land (usually). You also pay an annual property tax, although that is typically much less than a “real” house. Maintenance on a mobile home is about the same as a real house.

Some parks are really nice. They have rules about maintaining your exterior and your space so everything looks clean and neat. There are common areas that can be great - club house with activities, pool, nice landscaping, etc. Some parks do not have any amenities or are rundown.

You also have to apply and be approved to become a park resident.

Some parks are all-age, some are for seniors 55 and older. And there are a very few parks where you do own the land - they cost almost as much as a regular house.

Look at the age of the home: many are still from the 1960s or ‘70s. The newer homes are now very well insulated and as you walk across the floors, they don’t sound hollow. There are sometimes agents or companies that specialize in buying old clunker homes and replacing them with a brand new one.

There are pros and cons to owning a mobile home. It depends on you personally, your finances and goals, your market and location, and the desirability of the park itself. It can be a great option as one approaches retirement. It can sometimes be better to own a cheap mobile home for a few years rather than renting a “real” dwelling - at least you have something to sell afterwards. It can make a great weekend or second home.

We recently turned 55 and bought a brand new mobile home in a Class A senior park in Sonoma County, California. It cost us $157K for a double-wide and we pay $750/month space rental. We own it outright, so our entire housing costs are $10,000 per year. There is an extreme shortage of affordable housing in northern CA. Now we have an affordable way to live in beautiful wine country and afford retirement. By comparison, renting a small not-so-great house in our area starts at $2,500/month, buying would start at $500,000 with property taxes at $6,500/yr.

In CA, I’ve noticed that newer mobile homes built after 2000 sell immediately for very high over the asking price. People are selling their old condos for $1M and buying newer mobile homes for $200-300K. There are BMWs and Lexuses in many carports. But older mobile homes do not sell easily.

I think selling a mobile home is harder in most markets. It’s not on people’s radar. There is an old perception of “trailer trash”. There are park rules to follow. You live very close to your neighbors. You don’t have a garage or much of a yard. But under the right circumstances, it can make good financial sense for many people.
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Sat Oct 15, 2016
Danielle Sharkey asked:
I am homeless and have a 5 year old daughter...I work and go to school but don't want to move far away from Alameda County...how can I find a suitable home for rent in these areas?…
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Thu Jun 27, 2013
Claudia Muller answered:
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Mon Apr 22, 2013
Helen Kwong answered:
Hi Ansel,

First of all, I want to congratulate you for getting your offer accepted by the seller. Because any selling agent (agent that represents the buyer) these days work extra harder to get their buyers offers accepted. I am saying that because it is a seller's market now. Meaning there are a lot of buyers and not enough properties on the market for sale.

Anyways, your situation is quite simple, if your agent is experienced and are aware of this situation, he/she should have you sign a standard real estate form called the - Extension of Time and send it to the listing agent and seller to request for more time. That should be done days ahead of the contingencies due date and should not wait until the due date to allow time for the seller to have the form sign and send it back to you and your agent. I have done this for my buyers many times in many transactions due to various reasons. My personal experiences is 99% of the time sellers are willing to sign the form, as long as they feel you (the buyer) are sincere about purchasing their property.

As for you being concern about the listing agent giving you the notice to perform. It is unlikely that will happen because it is the listing agent and the seller who are unable to help the appraiser gain access to the property. It is also not uncommon that the tenant are not cooperative. Things should still work out eventually as long as all parties have the same goal.

Hope my answer is helpful to you and that you can work things out and move on with your purchase.
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Fri Jun 25, 2010
Kamal Randhawa answered:
Hello Bruce,

While Trulia is great for getting your questions answered, it's not the most reliable site for statistics. You should work with a Realtor who has access to the MLS so they can get you accurate data. Most Realtors will do this free of cost.

Kamal Randhawa
Broker
510-932-1066
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Thu Nov 6, 2008
Pacita Dimacali answered:
Believe it or not, it sold for $42K, and it closed escrow on Oct. 28, 2008.

The lender foreclosed on this property for $279K in 2006. How much this property will appreciate is a matter of time and how the area develops. But at $42K, this appears to be a good deal for the buyer. How much can one spend building a house like this?

Good luck with your search and may you find a good deal, too!
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