Five Things To Consider When Buying A Park Home

5 Things To Consider When Buying A Residential Park Home

Posted by Justin Allitt in Buying a Park Home, Park Homes, May 16, 2016

Residential park home ownership can be just like buying a normal home.  Much like a bricks and mortar property, it is likely to be one of the biggest purchases of your life!  Therefore, you’re certainly not going to want to rush into anything.  There’s also likely to be plenty of questions you want to ask!

At Sell My Group, we understand that there are lots of important things you need to look for.  Buying a residential park home means finding your perfect park AND your perfect property.  However, there are also a few things which apply to buying any kind of property!

If it’s your first time buying a park home, don’t worry.  The process doesn’t have to be difficult!  Below, we take a look at five key things you need to keep in mind when buying a residential park home.

1.     Park Ownership Agreements with a Residential Park Home

When you buy a park home, you enter into an agreement.  This is where things really differ between everyday properties and park properties.  When you first choose a park home, you need to sign a document that legally binds you and a park owner.

A park owner is one who will normally own the land you purchase on.  Therefore, they will always need full planning permission, and a site license.  UK laws require them to obtain permissions from their local authority.  It’s rare any park owners will try to shirk the law!  It is just not worth trying.

What you need to consider, however, is who owns what.  Most of the time, you’ll just buy a residential park home, and not the land it’s on.  It’s important to look into this side of things when you start discussing a sale, as it can change specific rules and what you pay for.

You should also keep in mind that not all parks have residential licences.  Some have holiday licences, which means you can’t live there all year round.  Residential parks, meanwhile, you can live on for as long as you pay park fees.

Do always check your agreement carefully.  Make sure you ask for help from a solicitor, too.  Agreements can get confusing!  All park owners should offer agreements that are easy to understand, and which support your needs. 

If you breach an agreement, you could be in serious trouble with your park owner, and/or your local authority.  Always read terms carefully, and make sure to abide by them.  You should always ask for a copy of the site’s licence, which a park owner can give you for free.

2.     How Much Will A Residential Park Home Cost?

When buying a residential park home, there are many costs to consider.  However, don’t let this put you off!  Park homes are still, on the whole, much cheaper to invest in and run than standard properties.

However, there are still a few fees and costs you’ll need to keep an eye on.  You will, of course, need to buy your park home outright.  That is, unless you can buy it on finance.

However, extra costs can include pitch fees.  These fees are payable each year, and your park owner will request them to pay towards upkeep of the park and any allowable upgrades.  By law, your park owner should let you know when and why these fees are liable to increase.  If your park home is going to be your main residence, you may also have to pay council tax.  However, this may vary from case to case.  It’s likely you’ll be on the lowest council tax band, in any case.

Do also keep in mind that you’ll normally need to pay for energy you use.  This is likely to be an obvious point!  However, energy and TV licensing costs are generally payable by you, not through your pitch fees.  It’s very rare this will not be the case.  However, always read your agreements carefully.

3.     Consider Help From a Solicitor

One thing you should always do before buying a residential park home is ask for legal representation.  Don’t panic!  Park owners must present you with agreements that are fair and legal.  However, you might want or need the extra support.

Hiring a solicitor isn’t crucial.  However, it is a good idea.  If it’s your first time buying a park home, there may be portions of your agreement that you’re unsure of.  Even if you’re already a park homeowner elsewhere, all agreements are slightly different.

What’s more, park homes are specialist purchases.  Therefore, a solicitor will help you analyse your specific documents.  It’s a good way to make sure you are completely confident and happy with a purchase.

It also means that any problems you foresee, if any, receive support at the start of the process.  Park owners have no right to refuse you access to a solicitor if you want to speak to one during the purchase of a property.

We understand that many people will have their own solicitors to speak to.  However, if you would lik

4.     Would You Like a Survey?

There is some confusion over whether or not you need to survey a park home or not.  However, we think it is always a good idea.  A park home surveyor will make sure that everything is above board.  A chartered surveyor will look at your prospective home in full detail.  They will potential problem areas in second hand homes, for example.

Surveyors leave nothing to chance.  They will look inside, outside and even under park properties.  A full survey will ensure that you know exactly what you are moving into.  A surveyor will also let you know how much you can expect to pay and do through a park home in years to come.  It’s a fantastic method of preparation.

A survey will also give you plenty of confidence in a sale.  Just as you might ask for a home survey if you buy a bricks and mortar property, a park home survey will give you the full lowdown on what to expect.  Park owners should give you full details on what to expect upfront.  However, if you are buying from a second hand owner, you may want a little more backup.

Speaking of second hand owners, they may have already run a survey.  If they have done so in the 12 months leading up to your sale, they must let you know in writing, or when they sell their property to you.

5.     Check the Rules Carefully

As well as checking your agreement carefully, you should always read your site or park’s rules.  These are rules you agree to live by during your home ownership!  Therefore, before you buy, be sure to read them thoroughly.

Park rules exist not just to support park owners.  They exist to help homeowners live a stable, quiet life.  They protect the neighbourhood you are moving into!  Specific rules you should look for, for example, include age restrictions.  Many residential parks are exclusive to people approaching retirement.  This means that they may not accept applicants or buyers over the age of 50. 

What’s more, some residential parks won’t accept pets as a rule.  Many are very friendly towards cats or dogs.  Others, however, for noise and maintenance reasons, will not allow any animals on-site.

You should also look at rules carefully, so you know where you stand on certain issues.  For example, what is the process you need to take if you ever have a problem?  What should you do if you have a complaint?  Everything you need to know about your park home experience should be obvious and on view through your agreement and your site rules.

Always make sure to check the rules before you buy or move, particularly as you might get a nasty shock if you don’t!

Are You Ready to Buy?

This list is really just the beginning.  All parks and properties are different!  However, providing you have a solicitor on side, and make sure to ask plenty of questions, there is no reason why you can’t make a residential park home work to your advantage.

Park home living is more desirable now than ever before.  There are tons of great reasons to invest!  Buying a park home means you get to move to one of the UK’s most spectacular, picturesque locations.  You can get closer to nature, to local heritage, and to town amenities.

Your own reasons for buying a park home may differ to other people’s.  Thankfully, there are plenty of different residential park homes ready for you to buy up and down the UK.  With Sell My Group, starting your journey towards a park home lifestyle has never been simpler.

Take a look through our huge catalogue of UK residential parks and find a community that’s close to you.  Alternatively, why not call our team at Sell My Group on 03333 445014 for specific help and advice? You can read more on residential park homes here.