Saw’s Betsy Russell’s 2 Million Dollar Manufactured Home a bargain, but TMZ/media don’t get it!

betsy-russellWhen Saw movie series star Betsy Russell listed her stunning, custom manufactured home overlooking Malibu beach recently, it drew national attention. Yet TMZ and much of the mainstream media are both dazzled and dazed. They fawn, but also “really don’t get it” about the amazing value and lifestyle this home provides Russell and other savvy owners like her.

ManufacturedHomeLivingNews will showcase photos of actress Russell’s place as this week’s featured home. We will provide facts and figures from the MLS and Redfin sites, plus professional insights as an enjoyable ‘teachable moment’ for millions, including the media.

A few may want a million-dollar manufactured home, yet far more want a basic from-the-$30s single-section home, while others want a residential-style manufactured home from the $60s and up. But millions of manufactured home owners – including others who own million-dollar-plus homes like actress Russell’s – understand that manufactured homes provide more for less, resulting in a better lifestyle.

ManufacturedHomeLivingNews spotlights her home that’s one buck shy of $2 million dollars as a true bargain, while sharing answers to common questions the mainstream media and others missed in this fascinating news story.

TMZ wrote: “It’s like no mobile home we’ve ever seen … 2,400 square feet, 4 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, marble counter tops, stainless steel appliances, outdoor fire pit and a patio overlooking the ocean.”

First, TMZ and others, this ISN’T a “mobile home,” its a manufactured home and YES, there is a difference! Part of the difference is ironically showcased in all the media hype. Russell’s ocean-view home demonstrates just how amazing today’s factory-built homes are. Russell’s pad is a permanent home engineered to stringent federal standards. It looks and lives the same as other houses would that cost far more if built any other way. There is nothing ‘mobile’ about it, dramatically unlike the mobile homes of the 1950s and 60s.

In fact, insurance and university studies prove today’s manufactured homes are safer and more energy efficient than conventional construction. They have less waste in building, so they are ‘greener’ by design. Actress Russell is savvy and environmentally conscious, as are other manufactured home owners.

TMZ wrote: “This might be the fanciest trailer park in the world…“


Any house should be respected as someone’s home and should not be disrespected by calling it a ‘trailer’ or calling where they live a ‘trailer park.’ Some blacks might call other blacks the “N” word, and some who live in a manufactured home might use the “T” word, but thoughtful people should not use the N word or the T word.

LAist picked up on TMZ’s theme, writing: “Trailer Park Barbie: $2 Million Malibu Mobile Dream Home” adding “On top of the nearly $2 million price tag, the HOA fees will run the new owner a whopping $3,565 a month. That’s another $42,780 a year.”


Let’s stop and consider why the LAist may think they are funny, but are dead wrong, and so are others who don’t get the value possible in a land lease community. The option may be very reasonable, as you will see below!

In most jurisdictions, when you own a manufactured home in a land lease community, you pay little or no real estate tax, and often little or no personal property tax. By comparison, property taxes on a 2 million dollar house in Malibu would run about $22,000+ a year. Then, there is the tax you’d have to pay on the value of the property if you owned it. So if the land under the home was likewise worth a couple of million, you’d be paying more in taxes to own both home and land than you do in HOA fees (site fees, ‘lot rent’) when you lease a site for a home like Russell’s.

But wait! This house might have cost the actress another ½ a million dollars more. Russell lives in an gated, exclusive community and enjoys the fabulous clubhouse, fitness or social options plus other features that the media are gushing about that comes with the star’s home leased site.

So Russell is saving on housing costs all around, and is living a great, gated, exclusive lifestyle as a bonus. Seriously, it’s a bargain.

That same “it’s a bargain” applies on a different scale to millions of manufactured home owners from coast to coast, who may not live in as pricey a home or land lease manufactured home community (“park”) but they are living life larger for less money than others opt to do.

Real estate site Redfin and the “Realtor to the Stars” Madison Hildebrand, get it much better than most of the media did. Here is what they wrote:

Best whitewater ocean views in Malibu under $2 million! Custom built, architectural home with designer finishes in the Pointe Dume Club…Enjoy Malibu beach living from this designer masterpiece with granite and marble countertops, heated limestone floors, stainless steel appliances, and Fleetwood double pained sliding doors.

Enjoy the views over Zuma Beach and the Pacific from large entertainers patio, perfect for entertaining which flows from indoor to outdoor, and offers beautiful sunsets in a quiet, and private setting.

Live in Luxury and safety in this guard-gated community. Clubhouse amenities include pool/spa, sauna, card room, billiards room and large meeting room. There is also a tennis court and basketball sports court and a dog walking area. A short distance to the back gate and Zuma Beach can be your playground!”

Sadly, the listing uses the words “most luxurious mobile home park in the world!” when it should say something like, “the most luxurious land lease manufactured home community in the world!”

There are places in Hawaii, Baltimore, Chicago, FL and elsewhere in the U.S. that conventional houses are built on leased land. Land lease is used often in commercial real estate too, and is far better understood in Europe than the U.S..

Just as some people lease a car instead of buy it, because at times that makes sense, so too you can lease your land – thus saving the cost of the land – and buy your home, which you own. This allows you MORE HOME for your money, but you still get the benefits that a location offers the home owner.

Saw star Betsy Russell’s manufactured home and land lease community clearly offers lots of elite, exclusive benefits.

For those who aren’t familiar with this exclusive area in Malibu, a ten year old manufactured home sold recently there for 1.1 million dollars. The location of Russell’s home, along with her free-flowing interior-to-exterior entertainer design, could well account for the difference in price between her glamor home and the fabulous design of the other custom 1.1 million dollar manufactured home.

Here is a video of yet another ‘million dollar’ manufactured home, in the same development.

Manufactured homes can range in size from 400 square feet to thousands of square feet, can be set over a basement and can be multi-stories, as other featured homes on demonstrates.

The secret is that any manufactured home has to be built to meet or exceed all federal standards and these supersede local building standards. These modern homes are greener, stronger and safer by design.

So whether you buy a modest manufactured home or a manufactured mansion like Betsy Russell’s, and regardless of where you chose to site your home on land you buy or land you lease, you will have a quality, appealing home that rivals conventional construction, and routinely gives you more home for less money.

Got two million and want a spectacular view of the Pacific and Zuma Beach? Russell’s custom home may well be the smart choice for you. By the numbers, the description of the listing follows below. ##


Listing Details

29500 Heathercliff Rd #189
Malibu, CA 90265


Rooms/Areas:Master Bedroom, LivingRoom, Office, Walk-In Closet

Eating Areas:

Breakfast Counter / Bar


Dishwasher, Dryer, Garbage Disposal, Refrigerator, Washer Built-Ins, Range





Total Baths:4

Full Bathrooms:4


Total Bedrooms:3

Additional Information

Shared Amenities:Barbecue, Assoc Maintains Landscape, Card Room, Common RV Parking, Controlled Access, Gated Community Guard

Pool Description:

Community Pool, Heated

Playing Courts:



Deck/Patio:Patio Open


Parking Type: Carport Attached, Parking for Guests


County:Los Angeles

Development Name:

Malibu (C33)

Driving Directions:


School Information


Elementary School:


Middle School:


High School:



Assoc. Name:


Heating & Cooling

Cooling Type:Air Conditioning

Heating Type:Central Furnace

Lot Features

Property View: Mountain View, Ocean View, White Water View

Financial Considerations


Association Fee: $3,565 monthly.





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