Can I buy a lot for a new mobile home in San Jose, California? If so, is there a website or would I have to view in person? Kevin in Ireland

Asked by kevinglennon19, San Jose, CA Tue Nov 20, 2012

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Lawrence Gil…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sun Nov 25, 2012
Those are great and well-rounded answers below - posted by some of the most informative/reliable/educated/experienced agents that I see regularly posting to this site. The only item I see that wasn't addressed was ownership interest in a mobile home park. Because you didn't specify what type of lot, I will fill in this blank.

There are 2 parks near San Jose (in the cities of Campbell and Morgan Hill) where you can basically buy into the ownership of the mobile home park. You don't pay rent on the space that your new home will occupy, but you will have a low monthly HOA (Homeowner Association) payment. Both of these parks have an age restriction of 55 years old.

I work with a manufactured/modular home dealership in San Jose and can help you order a new home for whichever type of lot you are looking for.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Lawrence Gillen
Realtor/Manufactured Home Specialist
(408) 472-5582 Cell
Advantage Homes
DRE# 01193237
HCD# SP1177640
1 vote
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Tue Nov 20, 2012

Mitchell and Charles are good resources for you. I suggest you reach out to them to learn how you can achieve your goal. Because this is a specialized area and the zoning is limited for what you want, you will need a professional who can help you in this, not all agents/brokers are experienced in this area.

Have an amazing day!
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1 vote
Mitchell Pea…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Nov 20, 2012

Kevin, I assume you are going to place a mobile home made after July 01, 1976. I also assume you will place this home on a foundation to make it a permanent structure? Buying land for a home involves several considerations and requires specialized financing. Placing a modular home, which does not require specialized financing is another option. There are lots of styles of modular homes. It would be a very good idea to meet with me to go over all these options and introduce you to the planning and financing land purchase for the purpose of placing a home on it.

Word to the wise. If you are going to place a mobile home on the land, it should be a new home straight from the factory if you want any real re-sale value.

I have years of experience selling and buying mobile homes and land. I suggest you interview both Mr. Butterfield and me. Mr. Butterfield is also a very good real estate broker.

Mitchell Pearce
1 vote
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Wed Nov 21, 2012
Both Manufactured and Modular Factory Build Homes can be placed on a private parcels if there are no pre established CC&R's prohibiting it. You definitely need to purchase a new home that's never been installed anywhere before should you ever want to qualify for an FHA approved mortgage.

Should you purchase an existing home and move it to a new site you will not be able to seek an FHA guaranteed loan. Or if the home was built before June 15, 1976 (PRE HUD) you will have a difficult time getting any type of conventional long term financing let alone trying to find a private parcel or even a rent/lease manufactured home park/community.
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John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Wed Nov 21, 2012
Manufactured homes and modular homes are both completed in the factory in approximately one-third of the time it takes a stick built home to be completed. This eliminates the possibility of on-site construction related damage, bad weather, back-ordered materials, construction financing and unreliable contractors. There are other advantages to this construction method as the availability of skilled labor, materials and energy become scarce. Additionally factory construction allows the builder to reduce payroll through need for fewer employees, enables simultaneous activities where site built doesn't, shortens financial constraints on customers and builder due to reduced length of construction, reduces on-site losses due to vandalism and waste and generally adds flexibility and precision in design due to in-house AutoCAD engineering department.

While both types of housing are under the umbrella of "factory-built", the difference between manufactured and modular is akin to the difference between apples and oranges---same family but very different characteristics. One of the common mistakes for homeowners, realtors and lenders alike is to use the term "modular" to interchangeably describe manufactured homes, mobilehomes, and modular construction.

Manufactured homes are built in a factory on a permanent chassis to a preemptive code and all of the design and engineering criteria including wind, seismic, roof load, floor loads are built to a national standardized criteria. Under the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) code, manufactured home fabrication supersedes the requirements of the local building jurisdictions. Because the requirements for set-up can vary depending on whether a homeowner or borrower wants permanent or more temporary housing, manufactured housing is generally less expensive and the permit process can be less restrictive and time consuming. However, financing a manufactured home does have greater restrictions. For that reason, it is generally recommended you use a manufactured home lending specialist.

The Modular home is also constructed in the factory but it is built to the same building code used by conventional site builders so the code will vary depending to the local building jurisdictions. Because the home is always installed on a permanent foundation, the cost may be higher for the more substantive and permanent installation, but the pre-fabricated building offers distinct advantages from a financing standpoint. In essence, the pre-fabricated building is considered an equal to the site built home with regarding to financing. There are many other advantages. Because the construction takes place within a factory, it eliminates the possibility of damage from weather and allows the materials to be assembled in a climatically controlled environment. With the growing concern about mold, this possibility is eliminated during the construction process. Unlike manufactured homes with standardized design criteria, applications of size and style are unlimited as the units are totally customizable.---so possibilities range from cozy cottages to apartment buildings!

OnTheLevel is happy to direct you to competent companies to meet your manufactured and modular home needs for one home or an entire project, including the financing for your factory-built home.
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Elena Talis, Broker, Palo Alto, CA
Tue Nov 20, 2012
I am not aware of any specialized sites marketing lots for mobile homes. This is a relatively small segment of the local market. You will have to find a local professional to help you navigate the legal/financial/practical landscape.
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charles butt…, Agent, san jose, CA
Tue Nov 20, 2012
Thank you for your question Kevin:

Land that can be used for a mobile home in San Jose is rather scarce, but there is some. I can send you information, including pictures.

Please contact me at my cell phone: (408)509-6218 or send me an email at my email address:

Thank you,
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
American Realty
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Fax: (408)269-3597
Email Address:
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