Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Friday, January 15, 2010

Foreclosures in Mobile Homes Park in Huntington Beach

Aerial View, mobile homes park in Newland st, Huntington Beach.

View from Newland towards Pacific Coast Highway

View from PCH to the South

View from PCH to Main St.

I went to the Mobile Homes Park in Newland St (Huntington by the Sea) yesterday. It was by chance, I did not have my camera, but I could save these pictures from Google Earth.
I used to go to this park in 2005-2006, a couple of seniors friends lived there in a very nice house. They decided to move and rent a senior's apartment in downtown HB, beautiful, with a great infrastructure. I never asked them why they moved, losing their house to rent a small apartment, but I knew it was related to the price they paid on the land.
This park now, in front of the beach, is full of houses for sale. Desperate sales. It was shocking to see the signs one next to the other, I've never seen something like this in my life. The homeowner I met yesterday, explained to me that the managers are charging $1600 for the rent of each lot, because "it is close to the beach", price that is increased every year, dispite of the economy. Per the pictures, you'll see this is not the best part of the beach, it is next to an industrial area but it is also close to downtown Huntington Beach.
Mr. X... explained to me that when the owners wanted to sell (suppose a 3 bedrooms model), the real price on the market was $20000. If you enter in the manager's web page, you'll see there is no possibility to find a house, average 1600 sq ft for 20000$. Try to search, a mobile home has an average of 100000$, for which you'll pay a loan, PLUS the land, let's say this $1600. Theoretically, a person in this situation should be living in a better house, better location. The quantity of offers drop the sell price even more. And needless to say, live next to forecloresures, your house will lose market value. It's like a domino's effect.
Homeowners then leave, and houses are left to the banks. But the banks do not need them. I was not told the details, but homeowers are compelled to keep their houses.
Another rumour, investors would be interested in this last "vacant" lot in Downtown area. And they could be pushing the homeowners, it will take years, but who cares if the Zoning Code is changing? (!!!) Maybe expropiation payments would be saved, if it is the City the one interested. Mr X.... said, "At last the City said we could stay". Hmmmmmmmm.
I don't know if this bad situation is specific for this mobile park, but I'll find out about others in different areas.
Foreclosures for mobile homes are not standard cases, as usually the house is bought with a private loan. A conventional lending method would provide more protection because the laws of foreclosure requires the notice and the person has more time to resolve the default before  removing the house.

Mobile Home transportation. From

Mobile home transportation. By Illustrator Sigtuna Sweden. From
This is the incredible story  I’ve read at
“In 2002 a lender repossessed an Alabama manufactured home with the owner still inside. Barbara Smith had purchased the home from a dealer in 2001. A year later the park where she rented a space for the home notified her that she was behind on her rent. The notice also said that the park had given permission for the seller’s representative to repossess the home. Although Smith filed bankruptcy and agreed to catch up on the loan and lot rent, the lender’s representative proceeded with the repossession. Smith told the judge in Alabama, “I continued… to get my belongings out of the home and, while I was trying to get just clothes and whatever of value that I could get, the guy that actually drove the home came to the door and he said ‘get out of the home, get out of the home now. We have orders to pull it now.’ I came to the front door, the steps were missing. The home was actually moving. I jumped out of a moving home.”
¨Unlike conventional or site built homes, most manufactured homes can be hauled off like a car or a couch if the consumer falls behind on payments. For homes where the land and home are financed together under a real estate mortgage, the lender must follow a formal foreclosure process to retake the home…….. A lender can sue for a deficiency, which is the difference in the amount owed on the loan and the amount the lender receives for the sale of the home………..if a creditor repossesses a home and then sells it for less than the amount owed on the loan, consumers not only lose their homes but may end up with significant debt enforced by a judgment as a legacy of the purchase”.
What happens if a foreclosured house is not sold again? See this paragraph from San Francisco Gate, The Green Line: “Many foreclosed homes are simply demolished because it's cheaper than salvaging them, but it results in a lot of pristine wood—sometimes from intact, old growth forests—being dumped into landfills.

Nor are the houses the only things being trashed. When homes aren't destroyed, they must be made ready for resale. In many cases, would-be homeowners can't afford moving vans or haven't paid off major electronics purchases, so they leave everything behind. Cleanup crews fill entire dumpsters and cart items off. Electronics are extraordinarily toxic as they break down”. (Posted by Cameron Scott)


  1. This must be terrible for many families. I travelled to Argentina a few months ago and I thought the situation there was the same. Fortunately, the real estate market is going really well there and people either rent apartments in buenos aires  or buy them with very good loans and mortages from banks of the region. There are not many mobile homes, that seems to be a tradition of the Nordic countries. You should see it for yourself, there is no crisis around the preperty market!

  2. " Carla' I was about to erase your comment as it looks like a spam, but after all, you didn't leave a link. I know the situation in Argentina very well, and as you can imagine, I have many colleague friends in the construction business, I can tell you there are no loans to buy the houses or apartments, no possibility for transactions in dollars, and the apartments you see in Puerto Madero are just for a few ones. The prices of properties are highly inflated I can't believe a house in a middle class neighborhood has the same price as a nice house in Southern CA. Yes, there is crisis in the property market and I had the experience myself. Regards,

  3. And yes, there are no mobile homes, nobody would like it, it's a matter of culture, in Argentina we prefer masonry.



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