It’s no secret that I’ve been dying to buy a home in the Los Angeles area for years now. Literally, this journey started back in 2009 and here I am now in 2016….yikes! However, living in the most over-priced city in the nation, it makes sense that this has been one tedious, up and down journey. We had a brief moment in 2011 and 2012 where the market dipped down to “reasonable” prices, but we just weren’t financially ready to make the commitment. Now it’s 2016 and the market is just as hot as it was back in 2005! The California real estate market is like a roller coaster and you never know when it might go up or plunge down. I’m honestly tired of waiting for the plunge, so…
We’ve come up with an option that satisfies our craving for a house and doesn’t squeeze our pocket books too much: We’ve decided to buy a manufactured home in a “mobile home” community.
This isn’t just any mobile home community, mind you. We found a community that’s in a beautiful location. It’s not too far from my work and is conveniently located close to another city with restaurants and “things to do.” It’s also butted up against a mountain with hiking, walking, and horse trails. It’s very quiet with a mixture of older people and younger families. The community also has a rich history; it was once a ranch owned by the Stetson family (the hat maker.)
Another pro is that we are purchasing a brand new manufactured home. We get to pick out the style, floor plan, extras, etc. We also get to choose from an assortment of lots, which gives us a little flexibility in how close we are to the mountain. The majority of the community consists of newer mobile homes that look like mini-houses, some with garages.
Finally, the price point is in our ball park. The total cost of the home plus the lot rental is just about what we are currently paying in rent, if not a little less. I also factored in that the lot rental increases a small percent each year and is very reasonable.
Of course, there are some “cons” to purchasing a manufactured home. For instance, a manufactured home is not an investment. Instead, it’s a way to live in our own place, for less than purchasing a home. If the time came to sell it, at least we’d get a little bit of our money back, compared to renting forever where we’d never get any money back. Another drawback is the location of the community we’re choosing. This might sound crazy, but the park is “new” because it burned down in 2008. Okay, that probably sounds insane to even think of moving to this location. However, the park was there for 30 years before a brush fire burned it down. The people who stayed and rebuilt had enough insurance money to build beautiful, new homes. The key here is to obviously have excellent fire insurance coverage and an escape plan.
We’re planning on submitting all of our paperwork next weekend, so I’ll know by late next week (or there about’s) what we are approved for in terms of financing. It’s exciting times around here as I’ll finally be getting my little house in the valley!