Posts Tagged ‘san rafael’

Manufactured Homes are the New Condos in Marin

July 14th, 2014 Comments off

With single-family home and condo prices rising in the San Francisco Bay area, along with rents, Marin real estate agent Laura Watts calls manufactured homes (MH) “the new condos,”according to For the first six months of this year compared to 2013 the median price of a manufactured home has risen 44 percent, to $135,000. Laura Cobb jumped at the opportunity to buy one for $200,000 overlooking a lagoon in San Rafael. The reasons for the increase, MHProNews has learned from Blaine Morris, the head of the Marin Association of Realtors, are firstly, prices were unnaturally low due to the 14-year litigation over rent control between Equity LifeStyle Properties and the city of San Rafael that lent uncertainty to MH values.

Secondly, the overall rise in prices in the Bay Area have been on a tear as housing began recovering, and with fewer and fewer affordable housing options, MH began rising also. Ms. Cobb’s home is in 396-homesite Contempo Marin, a community so big that sales there comprise 42 percent of all homes in Marin, says Watts. The highest price a home sold for there this year $310,000. ##

(Photo credit: Alan Dep/–Contempo Marin MHC in San Rafael, Calif.)

U. S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Equity LifeStyle Properties Appeal

January 15th, 2014 Comments off

Capping a 14-year legal battle between the city of San Rafael, California and Contempo Marin manufactured housing community (MHC), the United States Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that favored the city’s rent control ordinance. A U. S. district court ruled in favor of the Contempo, owned by Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS) in 2009, saying rent control constituted a “taking” of private property. The 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that ruling in April of last year, and ELS subsequently asked the Supreme Court to review that decision. Mayor Gary Phillips is relieved the Supreme Court has effectively ended more court time dealing with this issue. “We anticipated that would be their ruling and we’re quite pleased it has come to a conclusion,” Phillips said.

Meanwhile, ELS spokeswoman Jennifer Ludovice, noting rent control does not make the housing more affordable, said, “The ordinance forces new residents to pay more up front to get into the community than they would have to pay without the ordinance. Our customers are overwhelmingly satisfied with the quality and pricing of the communities and lifestyle we provide without the need for rent control.”

While the ordinance was enacted in 1989, in 1993 and 1999 it was revised to limit the owner to increases no more than 75 percent of the change in housing prices per the Consumer Index for the 396 home site community. It also allowed new tenants moving in the same site rental as the previous resident, MHProNews understands, leading to a lawsuit by ELS against San Rafael in 2000, alleging the company was losing 81 percent of the value of the community by disallowing rent increases. That triggered a series of lawsuits that went back and forth over 14 years. As reports, ELS has suggested it may close the community, perhaps converting it to another use.

(Image credit: Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc.)