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Things to consider before purchasing a park home

Over 250,000 people live in park homes across the U.K, and they are becoming an increasingly popular housing option, particularly for those looking to downsize.

There are more than 1,700 park home sites across the country, many of them located in beautiful surroundings in prime areas.

Park homes are a unique form of home ownership as the owner owns the property, but not the ground it is located on.

The park site owner must have planning permission and a site licence from the local authority and, in order to live on the site permanently, it must be licensed accordingly, and not licensed as a holiday site which is only allowed to be occupied for 11 months of the year. Sites where you can live year round are known as 'protected sites'

There are a number of benefits to living in a park home

1. They are significantly cheaper than bricks n’ mortar properties

Following our research, it appears that Park homes typically start from £70,000, but there are a wide variety of price points, the upper limit typically being around £400K, depending on location and amenities.

There is usually a price point to suit most peoples’ budgets.

These prices allow many retired people to sell the family home and downsize to a park home, buying it outright and leaving them with cash in hand to fund their lifestyle.

Demand is so high that the vast majority of parks impose a minimum age of 50 years for buyers as a way to create a community of similar people. This also gives the added appeal that there are not noisy children running about during normal weeks.

2. There is very little maintenance on park homes

Park Homes, by law, have to be constructed to certain high standards. This helps keeps costs down and also assists those who do not want to be involved with maintaining a property.

3. There is a great sense of community

Many park home owners describe their park as having the same community as a small village. Owners look out of one another and meet socially. Some parks have community facilities such as a club house, cafe, or small shop.

Many residential parks also have committees, clubs and activities such as community events and day trips that are inclusive to all owners.

4. Safety and security

Parks generally have security features such as barriers on the entrance and key fobs to gain access. In some parks, visitors have to sign in and out. In many cases, the park site owner may live on site, or there will be a manager living within the community.

This creates a very safe and secure environment for residents.

5. Modern and comfortable

As mentioned, Park homes are built to high standards and often have eco-friendly features as well, giving them low running costs.

6. The costs of buying and selling are much less than a bricks n’ mortar property

There are various costs involved when it comes to buying or selling a park home, however all of these costs are much less than any that would be associated with buying a traditional home.

Although there will be estate agent fees to pay, park homes are generally not subject to stamp duty. Park homes can also be purchased without needing a solicitor, although when buying a pre-owned home, this is recommended.

7. Peaceful and tranquil

Park homes tend to be located in beautiful and peaceful areas, many along the coast. Without busy roads running through them, they provide a relaxing environment where residents can enjoy their gardens. There may also be landscaped areas and other amenities such as a tennis court that residents can enjoy and most park homes allow the keeping of a pet.

Park Home considerations

If you have decided that park life is for you, the most important thing to do is to find a park that is licensed for permanent occupation i.e. not a holiday park, unless it suits you to have restricted occupancy conditions.

The park owner should display this licence in the park office, or somewhere conspicuous like a noticeboard. The local authority will also have a copy of the licence, which can be accessed by the public.

Bear in mind that some parks offer both residential and holiday homes, so it's vital that you check the licence and pitch agreement for each specific plot you're considering. You should be able to learn everything you need to know by speaking to the owner of each park you visit.

The second most important thing is to find out about the costs associated with living on the site.

The park home site you choose to live on will come with its own specific fees, so it's important that you get clear details of these for any park you are considering.

Remember, park home owners do not actually own the land that the unit sits on, so you will be renting from the park site owner, and this will incur what is known as a “pitch fee”. These typically range from between £100 to £300 per month, although the fees could be higher depending on the value of your property.

These fees will be used to take care of the upkeep and maintenance of the park facilities and communal areas.

These can be changed once a year, and you must be given 28 days notice in writing if this is happening.

These fees are due on either a weekly, monthly or annual basis.

As with any other home, you will also have to pay for utilities including gas, water, and electricity and these can be supplied to you at cost by the park site owner, although they can add a small administration charge.

Council tax is also payable, but park homes tend to be banded either A or B, the lowest banding, meaning that the council tax is less than most bricks n’ mortar property.

The park may have a number of rules that you have to abide by to live there, so you would be advised to obtain a copy of these to understand what you are committing to.

Park home owners vary in how they look after the park and treat residents. Therefore we recommend that you take a walk around any park you are considering buying in and speak to other local residents to find out what it is like to live there.

Park homes owners rights are protected by the Mobile Homes Act 2013, so it would be prudent to familiarise yourself with this legislation.

Due to the popularity of park homes, waiting lists are long and people may need to be able to act quickly in order to secure one. This is where our part-exchange service can assist.

Sell your property quickly and free up your capital to buy a park home

Open Property Group are a professional house buying company and we buy all types of property throughout England. You can sell your property to free up the capital to purchase a park home of any ilk.

Our cash offer will allow you to become a chain free buyer and proceed with certainty for your dream home.

You contact us for an instant, no obligation cash offer for your property. Our house buying process is simple and straightforward.

Benefits of our cash house buying service:

  • Become a chain free buyer
  • Hassle free
  • Deal directly with the buyer and no middle men
  • No viewings
  • Certainty and move when you wish
  • Negotiate a better price on your park home
  • Free up your capital
  • No fees
  • You won't pay agents commission

Contact us today for a certain cash offer

For further information, there are a number of resources for park home owners:

IPHAS
www.iphas.co.uk/

The Independent Park Home Advisory Service (IPHAS) is a voluntary organisation offering advice and information to anyone contemplating Mobile/Park Home living or is already living on a residential MobileHome Park in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

NAPHR: National Association of Park Home Residents UK
https://www.naphr.co.uk/

National Association of Park Home Residents, NAPHR for short, are a voluntary organisation giving advice to park home owners and representing their views to government and other official bodies.

Park Home Owners Club
www.parkhomeownersclub.co.uk

The only club specifically designed for park home residents and those considering the park home lifestyle.

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