What are the advantages of park home living.
Park homes tend to be cheaper than brick-built properties of similar size.
Modern park homes are virtually maintenance-free.
Park homes are supplied fully furnished, fitted and equipped.
Most park home gardens are fairly small and manageable.
Peace and quiet.
As they are detached, single-storey residences, park home occupants enjoy a quiet and independent lifestyle.
The park is an enclosed community where strangers are recognised and may be challenged. Vandalism and break-ins are rare and some parks have their own surveillance and security systems. The park owner or manager are usually on hand to deal with any problems that may arise.
Residents are usually of similar ages and circumstances and friendships are quickly established. Some parks have their own social clubs.
What is a park home.
It is a single-storey residential property of timber-frame construction, built in a factory and delivered to a park of the resident’s choice and sited on a plot. In law, a park home is classed as ‘a caravan’ although it more closely resembles a bungalow.
Park homes are supplied fully furnished and decorated: floor covering and curtains or blinds in all rooms and papered, emulsion'ed or tiled walls; lounge suite, fireplace, storage units; dining table and chairs; fully fitted kitchen, usually with integrated appliances; fully fitted bathroom (some homes have an en suite shower or bathroom to the master bedroom); two (sometimes three) bedrooms with bed, wardrobes and storage units.
Unfurnished homes can be supplied if preferred.
What is a park.
It is a privately-owned estate (some small with as few as six homes and others much larger with several hundred). Homes are laid out on spacious plots and residents enjoy an independent lifestyle. Rent is paid to the park owner for the land on which the home is sited. Most homes are connected to all mains services – electricity, water, gas, telephone and sewerage. Not all parks, though, have mains gas connections, but these usually have access to a liquefied petroleum gas supply – either piped from a central source, or through individual tanks or cylinders in their gardens.
How big are the homes.
The maximum size that can be sited on a licensed park is about 65ft long and 23ft wide, with the overall height of the living accommodation being 10ft. Most homes are made up of two halves joined together, and these are known as twin units. Smaller homes which can be 10ft, 12ft or 14ft wide and built as one unit are also available.
Are park homes energy-efficient.
Park homes are very well-insulated and all manufacturers are constantly looking at materials and systems to ensure maximum eco-friendliness.
How long will they last.
There are currently park homes which were built in the 1960s still providing comfortable and secure living standards. Materials currently used in manufactured should have a far longer life. Most homes are now offered with a 10-year insurance-backed structural warranty.
Are they easy to look after.
Almost all park homes are on one level. Window and door frames are in uPVC which requires an occasional wipe-down. Some exteriors are finished in roughcast paint and this may need re-coating about every three years; others have uPVC or similar very low maintenance products on the outside.
How much do they cost.
Sited prices of new homes vary considerably in price depending on the park home, lodge and site.
Are there other costs.
Rent for the land on which the home is sited is payable to the site owner, usually monthly. This charge varies depending on the location, size of plot and facilities on the park.
Residents pay their own gas, electricity, water and sewerage charges.
Council tax is charged, too, with most homes falling within the two lowest bands.
Are there legal matters I should be aware of.
Park homes come under the Mobile Homes Act legislation. Residents enter into a ‘written agreement’ with the park owner which sets out the rights and obligations of residents and park owners. These guarantee security of tenure for life for residents, subject to certain conditions.
General Commonly Asked Questions.
Can I use my Park Home as a second home.
No. Your Park Home needs to be your primary residence.
Can I live in my Park Home all year round.
Only on a Park that is licensed for permanent residential use.
How long will my Park Home last.
All Park Homes are manufactured by members of the National Parks Homes Council and can be registered for a free Gold Shield Ten Year Warranty on registered parks.
Pitched roofs usually have a 30 year weather proof guarantee. With routine maintenance, as described in your manufacturer’s handbook, your Park Home will last many years beyond that.
How much does a Park Home cost and will it hold its value.
Prices vary according to the home’s size, quality of fittings and furnishings, type of park and where it is. Values move in line with the UK property market.
What are the outgoings.
A pitch fee is paid to the park in weekly, monthly or annual instalments. The pitch fee includes the park’s basic running costs. It varies depending on the size of your home, the park and where it is.
With good insulation and double glazing, energy costs can be lower than a conventional home.
You have to pay Council Tax, although Park Homes are usually in the lowest bands.
How do I know the pitch fee won’t rise unreasonably.
Your Agreement states the fee, which is reviewed every year to reflect the current inflation rate and, possibly, any additional charges to cover park improvements or agreed amenities. Disagreements over pitch fees may be taken to court or an arbitrator.
Why do Park Homes prices vary from park to park.
When you buy a Park Home you buy both your home and the right to place it on the park owner’s land. The value of this varies according to location and the local property market.
What does the park’s selling price include on a new home.
Skirting, steps, paths, connection fees to utility companies and landscaping are often included. It is important to agree details when you order.
Can I sell my home.
You can sell your home on the open market, but the buyer must be approved by the park owner, who may not withhold approval unreasonably.
A Park owner may be entitled to commission on the sale of homes on their park, as they own the land. Make sure you read ‘Housing Booklet – Mobile Homes – a Guide for Residents and Site Owners’ and the Park Homes Charter.
Can a Park Home be passed on in a will.
It can be passed to a member of the home owner’s family. If it is left to a non resident, they are entitled to sell the home. They can only occupy it with the park owner’s consent, which includes transferring the agreement to the new owner.
What happens if things go wrong.
Quality Award Parks have a complaints procedure. If this cannot resolve the problem you have recourse to the free services of the Housing Ombudsman Service.