Things to Consider Before Buying a Park Home
Park homes appeal to a lot of people. Dotted across the country in some of the most desirable locations, they offer those looking to downsize and perhaps move to a more rural environment an alternative to the usual ‘bricks and mortar’ route. It’s important, though, to understand that buying a park home can be very different to purchasing a normal property. To start with, you may not own the land the park home is built on, and depending on the licencing agreement with the park owner, you may not be able to live in the property all year round. So before you decide to buy a park home, here are a few other points you may want to consider.
Who can buy a park home?
Basically, almost anyone can buy a park home. Some sites may have age restrictions and would be more suitable for older people. However, many parks have no such restrictions, and with prices for pre-owned options in some parks starting from around £50,000, they represent an affordable residential or holiday home option for many people.
Can I live there all year round?
That will entirely depend on the park and its licencing agreements with park home owners. Most will allow residents to stay there all year round, others may have clauses that mean the property has to be vacant for a certain amount of time (usually one to two months per calendar year). It’s maybe essential to check this very important clause before you buy.
How to buy a park home
Of the three, a bespoke home from the manufacturer will probably cost you the most money, but it does allow you to design it to your exact specifications. If you’ve found a park that you like and they have vacant plots available, you may be able to order a bespoke park home from a list of approved manufacturers. Once you’ve picked out your plot, the site owner will introduce you to the manufacturer and you will then work with them to create your bespoke unit. Once everything is sorted out (including the number of rooms, colour schemes and even the furniture), the site owner confirms the price and then arranges everything for you, including transportation costs, pitching and connecting up to utilities.
If you want to spend a little less then you can still buy new park homes that are already in situ. Look around for sites that have new models available. These are ready to move straight into, and if your park home is on a site that allows sub-letting then you could be earning rental income very quickly.
Finally, there is the option of buying a pre-owned park home. Because they’re on managed sites, even pre-owned models are usually in good condition. Even if they’re a little dated inside, it can be just a simple matter of freshening the interior up with some new décor and you’re ready to go. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to a new park home, a pre-owned option is a great entry-level option and can generate a good level of revenue very quickly.
What other costs are there?
We’ve already mentioned the cost of the park home itself, which can range from as little as £50,000 up to hundreds of thousands of pounds for a bespoke, luxury park home in a highly desirable area. However, you’ll also need to consider other costs, including the site fees. Bear in mind too, that the land that the park home sits on will usually be leased, which will mean that at some point you’ll either have to pay to renew the lease, or the home may be moved or sold by the site owner if the lease lapses without renewal.
Site fees usually include the pitch fee for the land (an annual charge), as well as maintenance fees. Site fees will vary from site to site, so it could be essential to get a full breakdown of the costings before you commit to your purchase.
If you’ve bought bespoke direct from the manufacturer then there may be transportation fees to factor in. While the site owner may be able to arrange transportation and installation on your behalf, the costs may have to be met. They could either be included in the purchase price or will be charged separately so again, it may be worth asking before committing to the final purchase.
Just like any other home, park home insurance is something to consider. Whether you’re living in the property yourself or letting it out as a holiday park home, you may need to protect your asset. This could even be more important if your park home is overseas in popular holiday destinations such as France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece, as well as the UK.
At Intasure, we specialise in providing caravan insurance for park homes both here in the UK and abroad. From contents insurance to accidental damage and protection from flood or natural disasters, park home insurance may not be the biggest cost you’ll need to factor into your budget, but it could be worth considering.
Talk to Intasure today to find out more and to get simple, no-nonsense advice on all aspects of park home insurance cover. Call our UK team on 0345 111 0680 for a quote.
*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.