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How to buy a mobile home in California?

Due to the rising cost of homeownership in California, it’s not surprising that many residents are now opting for mobile homes or manufactured homes rather than traditional stick-built houses. Check out Rancho Grande, which is an all-age community in Atwater, to learn more about this affordable housing option. 


Some mobile homes even cost less than half than site-built houses of similar size and construction materials. Their affordability primarily stems from the fact that they are built on assembly lines.


At the same time, their quality has drastically improved due to strict housing regulations that require manufacturers to produce safe and well-built homes. 


How much is the average price of mobile homes?

In California, the average starting cost of a 1,800-square-foot manufactured home is $162,000, including land and site improvements, compared to the average home sales price of around $655,000.


It’s important to note that the exact price of mobile homes depends on multiple factors, including their size, construction materials, design and location. Nevertheless, there is one thing for sure: Today’s manufactured homes are well-built and aesthetically pleasing, a far outcry from 60 years ago.


Tips on buying a manufactured home in California

While you can buy manufactured homes from factories or independent dealers, in many cases, the easiest route is to look for a community that has models already available for you to buy.


Nowadays, many mobile home residents live in a community that offers shared amenities like swimming pools, gardens, walking trails, playgrounds, dog parks, libraries, etc. 


If living in a mobile home community sounds appealing to you, continue reading below to learn more about the buying process. 


1. Search Online

You can search for mobile home listings from different websites. A good way to start your home-buying journey is to visit Storz Management Company, which operates stunning manufactured home and RV communities throughout California, Oregon and Nevada. 


You may also check out Rancho Grande, which is an all-age home community by Storz known for its excellent amenities and quaint location–i.e., tucked away in a quiet spot that gives the neighborhood a rural ambiance despite having quick access to the highway for easy commuting. 


2. Visit the mobile home community 

Before you buy a home from a manufactured home community, you need to familiarize yourself with the neighborhood and decide whether it meets your needs. Also, consider if they offer amenities such as a swimming pool, walking trails, gardens or anything you think is an excellent addition. 


3. Know the community’s responsibilities and the rules for residents 

One of the benefits of living in a mobile home community is the presence of neighborhood rules that aim to keep the place clean and pristine. Examples include cleaning up your yard, storing garbage bins neatly against the side of the house, etc. 


If you have pets, make sure that you check whether they are allowed or come with a “pet fee.” Also, note that some manufactured home communities offer dog parks, which are a nice amenity for residents who want their furry friends to stay active. 


4. Consider your financing options

While it’s possible to buy a mobile home with hard cash, the vast majority of people purchase theirs using some type of loan


If you own or plan to buy the land where your mobile home will be set up, you may consider popular home loan options such as the following: 

  • Conventional loans. They generally require a 5% down payment and a credit score of at least 620. 
  • VA loans. These zero-dollar mortgage options are issued by private lenders but guaranteed or partially backed by the Department of Veterans. Eligible borrowers can use this financing option to purchase their primary residence or refinance an existing mortgage. 
  • FHA loans. They only require a 3.5% down payment and a credit score of at least 500; however, having a not-so-stellar credit score (between 500 and 579) means you need at least 10% for the DP. 
  • USDA loans. Your home must be located in an area with a population of 35,000 or less, and your credit score is at least 640 to be eligible for this financing option available to those with low and moderate incomes.


On the other hand, your financing option is limited to a chattel property loan if your home is not classified as real estate (i.e., you don’t own the land where it sits). However, it comes with some caveats, such as:

  • Higher rates
  • Shorter repayment periods
  • The lender owns the movable property (in this case, your mobile ) until the balance is paid in full. 


5. Start the paperwork 

Learn about the documents that are involved in mobile home sales. Here are some of them: 

Sales contract. It stipulates the terms of your transaction, such as the amount to be paid, the parties involved, the home’s condition, etc. 

Mobile home bill of sale. It outlines the buyer and seller’s rights; you must also present this document to your lender. 

Certificate of title. This proves your ownership and is required by local authorities and lenders. 

Home occupancy. Some states require this document to prove that your home is fit for occupation. 


Final word 

Embracing the cost-effective lifestyle of mobile homeownership in California is becoming increasingly popular due to the escalating housing costs.


Mobile homes now offer high-quality construction and delightful aesthetics at nearly half the price of traditional homes, with an average starting cost of $162,000 for a 1,800-square-foot manufactured home.


Consider these simple steps to kickstart your journey into affordable homeownership:

  1. Begin your search online. Websites like Storz Management Company provide a wealth of information about various mobile home communities.
  2. Pay a visit to your preferred communities. Take the time to explore the amenities and environment to ensure they fit your needs.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the community rules and responsibilities. Keep in mind considerations such as pet fees if you own pets.
  4. Research your financing options. Whether you plan to buy the land or just the mobile home, various loans are available to you, from conventional loans to FHA loans and more.
  5. Get ready for the paperwork. You’ll need to handle various documents, including a sales contract, mobile home bill of sale, and certificate of title.


Remember, choosing a mobile home isn’t just about finding affordable housing but also about embracing a community lifestyle that combines convenience, comfort, and shared amenities.


Don’t let the housing market intimidate you. Take a step towards financial freedom with the smart, economical choice of mobile homes today!


Seeking a mix of rural charm and modern convenience? Discover Rancho Grande, an all-age mobile home community in Atwater, CA, offering nearby amenities, in-park activities, and easy access to essentials.

Does the idea of calling Rancho Grande your home appeal to you? Don’t hesitate to send us a message today to find out more!

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Related articles:

    1. FAQs About Mobile Homes
    2. Things to Know Before Buying a Mobile Home in California
    3. Mobile Home Loans in California: What are my Options?

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