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  • Writer's pictureMegan Kilmer

Buying a Mobile (or Manufactured) Home in MONTEREY County

There are many things to consider when purchasing a mobile or manufactured home in Monterey County, this guide will help you decide if it is the right choice for you, and if so, the best way to go about it. For information on Mobile/Manufactured homes in Santa Cruz County click here.

Front door of monterey mobile home with yuccas
Monterey Mobile Home

This guide is here to help you navigate through the process and make an informed decision. Mobile and manufactured homes offer an affordable and exciting housing option, especially in Monterey County, where you can find parks near the stunning coastline. Imagine having your own beach house!? Plus, they can be a smart investment for those seeking a second home, a place to build equity, or a comfortable retirement haven. But hold on, not all parks are created equal, and there are some important things to consider. So, let's dive in and discover the key factors to help you find the perfect mobile or manufactured home in Monterey County!

Before we start, let's clarify something. What is the difference between a "mobile" home and a "manufactured" home? Manufactured homes and mobile homes are both regulated by the Housing and Urban Development division of the federal government ("HUD"). According to HUD, a factory-built home made before June 15, 1976 is a mobile home and one built after June 15, 1976 is a manufactured home. In Monterey County, we have a lot of both, and for the purposes of this article I will mainly use the terms interchangeably.

Now, let's explore the important factors to consider when buying a mobile or manufactured home in Monterey County:

1. Park ownership:

There are three main types of park ownership, all of which present different positives and negatives. The three types are: Park-owned, Resident-owned, and Co-op.

  • "Resident-owned" parks are the cream of the crop, and they're highly sought after. They may come with a higher price tag, but they're easier to get loans for. Just remember, along with the perks come property taxes and HOA dues.

  • "Co-op" parks involve a collaborative ownership model among park residents. They can be a tight-knit community, but be prepared for a significant buy-in fee and potential loan challenges.

  • "Park-owned" parks are often budget-friendly options. Instead of worrying about HOA fees, you'll pay space rent. If the park falls under rent control (more on that later!), it can be a fantastic choice. Just keep in mind the slight risk of the park being sold to a developer. Regulations are in place to protect residents, but it's good to be aware.

2. Mobile Home Space Rent Control in Monterey (Applies to Park-owned Parks only): Monterey County has different rent control regulations depending on the jurisdiction. Here's the scoop:

  • Some jurisdictions in Monterey, including unincorporated Monterey County regions and Salinas, DO have rent control for space rent in mobile home parks. This keeps space rent prices within a reasonable range, typically between $300 and $500 per month. Rent increases are limited to once per year and are based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. Plus, rent can't be increased when you sell your home. How awesome is that?

  • However, specific cities like Monterey or Carmel may not have mandated rent control for mobile home parks. That means you'll need to exercise a little more caution when purchasing in these areas, as reselling may be a bit trickier. But don't worry, some parks within these cities may have individual rent-control agreements, so it's worth exploring. Let's find your perfect spot!

Beware - CA law allows mobile home owners the option of signing a month-to-month, annual, or long-term lease agreement with Park ownership. If you sign a long-term lease (over 12 months), you may lose rent control protections, which can also make it more difficult to sell your home in the future.

3. Park Rules and Restrictions:No matter the ownership type, each park in Monterey County has its own unique set of restrictions. Before you make a decision, be sure to ask the park management about these important factors:

  • Rental or subletting permissions: Are you dreaming of turning your mobile home into a sweet rental property? If so, make sure the park allows renting or subletting. Just remember, rental rates aren't subject to rent control regulations, so you can set the price.

  • Age restrictions: If you're looking for a vibrant community or a peaceful haven for older individuals, some parks cater specifically to residents aged 55 and older. They can be amazing places to call home.

  • Pet policies: We know your furry friends are important. Check if the park has any pet restrictions to ensure your four-legged family members are welcome.

  • Park approval criteria: Each park has its own requirements for approving home ownership, such as income and credit score considerations. It's always good to know what they're looking for.

4. Loanability: Let's talk about financing your dream home. While mobile and manufactured homes in Monterey County are generally very affordable compared to condos or townhomes, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Factor in HOA fees or space rent when considering your overall expenses.

  • Mobile home loans often require a higher downpayment than conventional loans, so plan accordingly.

  • Loan terms for mobile homes are typically shorter, ranging from 15 to 20 years instead of the standard 30-year term. But hey, that means you'll own your dream home even sooner!

  • Interest rates for mobile home loans can be higher than conventional loans. Don't worry, though—there are multiple lenders out there. It's a good idea to explore your options and find the best terms.

  • Remember, loan availability and requirements may vary based on the age and type of your mobile or manufactured home. Consult different lenders to find the one that suits your needs. I can provide a list of mobile home lenders for any type of park - just reach out for more info at 831.888.7530.

If you're considering buying or selling a mobile or manufactured home in Monterey County, my team is here to help! Reach out to today, and let's start turning your housing dreams into a reality!

Megan Kilmer

DRE 02085192

Realtor + Problem Solver

Cell 831.888.7530


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