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Newbie Question Six: Rent Control and What Makes a Mobile Home, Mobile?

Mobile home parks: Rent control has made them affordable and Hollywood has made them the punch line to bad jokes. Like them or hate them– Santee is home to over ten of them.

When I was a little girl I would spend my summer days with my grandmother who lived in a little city called La Habra on the border between Orange and LA County.  Then, on especially hot summer days (not everyone from the OC lived near the ocean in a million dollar home) we would go visit her sister in LA County who lived in a mobile home with an air conditioning unit. 

I loved that mobile home. I loved the drive. I loved seeing the trees along the side walk. I loved pulling into the mobile home park and seeing the rows of homes. 

My great aunt Caroline would always have homemade lemonade ready for our arrival.  Then we would play cards next to the air conditioner. The buzzing noise seemed a little price to pay for the cool moments and great conversation.  As little kids are, I was so curious about what made a mobile home- well, mobile.  I remember always looking for the gas pedal and steering wheel in the kitchen, which was at the head of the home, since I figured a mobile home could be driven like a car.  I never did find one, but I always enjoyed trying to uncover the mystery and playing detective. 

These memories capture the essence of my first mobile home experience.  It was one of luxury and curiosity that makes little kids smile. 

These days folks have such a different take on the benefits and reasons to own a mobile home. It seems they are more often the butt of a bad joke or a ghetto in some television show. 

Yet, despite the world around us laughing and overlooking the positive aspects of owning a mobile home, the City of Santee seems to have kept the spirit and memories of my childhood alive with the importance and . 

Maybe it is because we have more than ten mobile home parks within our city limits, maybe it is because our city was built on down-to-earth principles, or maybe it is because everyone here has a great aunt, like me, that made mobile homes seem trendy. 

Regardless the reason, the reality is that as a newcomer to Santee you will quickly learn that our city is proud of its mobile home communities and takes great effort in keeping them affordable and attractive. Our city even has a “Manufactured Home Fair Practice Commission” where they seek residents to serve on the board.  (Which by the way has an open spot and they are currently looking for volunteers!)

Interesting enough as I sat down to write this post, I found a recent article on Sign on San Diego about a local mobile home community that is seeking to raise residents’ rent; something that hasn’t been done in a while due to rent control regulations within the City of Santee. It looks like this will be up for debate at a future . 

But politics aside; like it or not, mobile homes are one of the many pieces of fabric that make-up this great city.  New home development might be popping up around town, but in-town you will find many old-timers happy to have their piece of Santee carved out and mobile. 

I wonder if these newer mobile homes have gas pedals and steering wheels?  Still curious to find out what makes them mobile!   

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Earlene September 17, 2011 at 05:42 PM
We actually have 15 mobile home parks in Santee. One of them is a very exclusive park which has been rated the 2nd BEST park in the State of California.....NEW FRONTIER MOBILE HOME PARK, located at 9255 N. Magnolia Ave. This is a lovely gated senior park with acres of mature trees, beautiful greenbelts, 2 clubhouses, 2 swimming pools with jacuzzis, putting green, tennis courts, shuffleboards, horseshoe pits, rose garden, car wash, library and a host of other ammenities. The land was once a large dairy owned by John & Ruth Northcote. Before designing their spacious park, the Northcotes toured a lot of parks and did their homework, then set out to make a beautiful place for seniors to live. A great majority of homes are actually pre-fab houses with double garages (some have triple garages). Advantages are that seniors do not have lawns to mow, no taxes, and can live in a luxurious community where they enjoy wonderful social activites such as trips, BBQs, dances, crafts, potluck dinners, free concerts on the green, luaus, etc. as well as friends their own age. To answer your question, what makes them mobile is that many can actually be moved, but the cost to do so is prohibitive, approx. $10,000+ and can only be done by professionals. Gone are the days when these beautiful parks and homes were once referred to as a "trailer park," no sir!
El Henry September 18, 2011 at 07:10 PM
NO SIR, NO "trailer park" here! The New Frontier Mobile Home Park is a beautiful senior park in which I have plans on moving into when I hit that golden age! Earlene, then we can meet at the club house or library, and chat about Santee's history over a cup of tea, I'm already next door to you in the condos, I'm almost there LOL!!
Earlene September 18, 2011 at 07:24 PM
It's a deal but you, my dear, have at least another 25 yrs. before you become that "golden age."
Earlene September 19, 2011 at 02:17 AM
You're welcome Jeni. I failed to answer your question regarding rent control and the answer is yes, we have rent control in the City of Santee and that's not expected to change any time soon.

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