My wife, Mary, and I could not keep up with the rising rate of the cost of living in our home town of San Jose, California. We decided to sell our home and move to Sacramento County. After some searching, we chose a Manufactured/Mobile Home Community In Rancho Cordova, the Mobil Country Club (MCC).1The formal spelling of Mobil is without the letter “e”, as you can see in the photo of the sign. Sacramento County offered us a chance to get our budget under control. It was difficult to leave behind a community we loved, to head out into the unknown. We had no previous experience with living in a Manufactured Home or Sacramento County. In many ways, even after living here six months, we are still learning the ropes.
Mary’s vision is extremely limited.2As a result of being hit with Optic Neuritis about twenty years ago, Mary is now classified as legally blind. One of the first things we considered when we visited each area of Sacramento County was its walkability and its connections to public transportation. In San Jose, we lived one short block from some of the best transit options in the City. Mary became an expert using the transit system to attend meetings, visit friends, and go shopping. We need the sidewalks to be in good condition so Mary can navigate them easily and safely. Since the area of San Jose we lived in did not have nearby Parks and/or Community Centers, we wanted to include them in our search. It would give Mary an opportunity to join group activities and socialize.
The Adventure Begins
In six short months, we have realized that living in the City of Rancho Cordova and moving into this Manufactured Home Community was right for us. Several benefits told us right away that we had hit the jackpot:
- The light rail system is a fifteen-minute walk down a bike trail behind the MCC.
- A bus stop is right outside the MCC entrance.
- Ninety percent of the stores we need can be found within a five-mile radius.
- There are many stores and places to eat within walking distance of MCC.
- Most importantly, the MCC community members were warm and welcoming.
We continue to have very strong feelings for the City of San Jose and our friends there. Mary maintains her strong social network with the friends she made at the Santa Clara blind Center via phone calls, texting, and email. She still has to work on how much she misses her former routine gatherings and exploration trips.
We enjoy our lives and our home in the MCC Community. We continue to discover more aspects of our new life that make us feel thankful. Mary’s mile-long list of places and things she wants to check out continues to grow.
When we lived in San Jose, I had to drive our dog Carmel to a local park every day for her daily walk. Now we explore the awesome American River Parkway. I found beautiful walking and biking paths just two miles from MCC. Carmel and I have been walking those trails almost every day for the past six months. While I watch the river and look out for wildlife, Carmel enjoys rustling around in the underbrush. I don’t remember ever having access to a more pleasant walking environment on a daily basis.
I’ve learned that the arrival of summer temperatures mark the beginning of the rattlesnake season, and high summer temperatures can make the sandy paths and asphalt trails too hot for Carmel’s feet. It is fortunate that when either or both of these happen, we can head to one of the several nearby City parks. We also find walking Carmel on the Community streets or to neighborhood stores is a relaxing way to spend the evening after things cool down.
MCC’s Operation Management
Whether a conversation is about rental homes, apartment complexes, or a Manufactured/Mobile Home Communities, the Community Manager’s professionalism, personality, availability, timely responses, compassion, and fair enforcement of the rules and regulations are crucial qualities that ensure Residents feel listened to, welcomed, safe, and accepted. The Manager, Leslie, and her staff work hard to meet those goals.
The Community’s common areas are clean and orderly. Also, the grounds and landscaping are well maintained and manicured. It is impressive what a small, self-driven, overworked, heavily-scheduled team can accomplish.
Leslie has an open-door policy, and there is usually someone in the office to field questions. It is easy to talk to everyone who works in the Community.
All Residents are welcomed to an always-decorated Clubhouse that follows a main theme for over several months at a time. Leslie takes it upon herself to host a no-charge Continental Breakfast each month, in addition to themed lunch and dinner get-togethers that celebrate many of the holidays. The meals are inexpensive, and the food is excellent. Leslie, her team, and a group of Resident Volunteers take care of everything needed, and there is live music for listening or dancing.
Home Owners Association
In a very short time, Mary and I developed an appreciation for the quality of life that was evident in MCC, and I knew I wanted to become involved. We ended up on an Ad-Hoc committee to reactivate the Home Owners Association (HOA). I was elected the President of the organization soon after. The organization has a solid Board of Directors (Board), and I know holding this Office will keep me busy and happy. We are already working on some issues and projects that need to be addressed. For example:
- We are looking into forming a Community Emergency Response Team to help our disabled residents safely respond to an order to evacuate their homes in the event of an emergency.
- A subcommittee of the HOA is already involved in Rancho Cordova’s Neighborhood Watch group to learn about some of the safety and security concerns the Residents have raised.
- Many members have joined and are supporting other groups and associations that are actively working on major concerns, such as, The Annual Rent Increases. For example, Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners’ League (GSMOL) and the Sacramento Area Coalition of Mobilehomeowner Associations (SAC).
The HOA Board and Resident volunteers work hard. They are dedicated, experienced, intelligent and compassionate. I am confident our relationships will grow stronger as the Board diligently continues working with the Residents.
The Keyword is “Community”
What makes living in this park feel so good is its sense of Community, which is obvious when Residents see each other;
- Greeting while passing,
- Showing compassion toward others who feel pain or sadness,
- Walking each other’s dogs,
- Taking a meal to a frail or sick neighbor, and
- Pulling their neighbor’s garbage containers out to the curb and returning them.
Mary and I believe that the appearance of MCC, as a whole, has a lot to do with setting the tone of the Community, and the way Residents feel about where they live. Leslie’s team and the groundskeepers all play a role to ensure the Community’s identity is solid. There are plants, bushes, and other landscaping right outside the front gate welcoming all who enter.
It is the strong sense of community that sets the MCC apart from other Manufactured Home Communities I have visited. It is this sense of community that led a local Sheriff to tell a group of us that he would choose the MCC if he considered moving to a manufactured home community.
Mary and I made the right decision. We really have ‘hit the jackpot’.