Should You Buy a New or Pre-Owned Park Home?

Should You Buy a New or Used Park Home?

Posted by Justin Allitt in Buying a Park Home, Park Homes, March 15, 2016

Park homes are a wonderful idea if you’re keen to retire to somewhere peaceful and secure.  There are more gated communities and park home parks available now than ever before.  But what are the pros and cons of park homes?  There are many advantages of buying a park home , but are there any major disadvantages of buying a park home which is pre-owned?

As park homes have become more popular, there has been more information published online with regard to what to look for.  This, however, can mean that things can get a little overwhelming!

We’ve produced this short article to help guide you through the decision-making process.  Is a park home right for you?  Should you buy new, or should you buy second-hand?  Let’s take a look at what you can expect from the process.

Buying New or Used

There are plenty of differences between new and pre-owned homes.  While some people are happy to purchase a park home which has been well-loved and looked after, but there is an incredible allure that arrives with a brand new home!

New Park Homes

You may already prefer the idea of buying a new park home outright.  After all, it’s similar in a way to buying a brand new house over an older home. You know exactly what to expect, and it’s set up exactly for your needs. 

But there are advantages and disadvantages of park homes bought new or unspoilt.  Let’s take a look;

Goldsheild Cover

Most new park homes are covered by a Goldsheild warranty. This warranty
covers inherent defects in the structure of a new park home, for up to ten years. This is like the NHBC coverage for new homes and provides peace of mind for those buying a new home.

They are Low Maintenance

This is a big selling point for brand new park homes.  When you move into a park home, you’re likely to want to settle in and enjoy it as soon as possible.  You might not want to have to deal with various DIY or renovation issues!  Structural or renovation costs can ramp up over time, too.  Therefore, with everything set up ready for you, a new home is a fantastic option to take.

These homes are built completely from scratch.  They will, on the whole, be in a better condition than those homes you may find pre-owned, and what’s more, you probably won’t be expected to undertake much maintenance once you move in.

This does also mean it will likely stand the test of time for longer.  A pre-owned home has already been standing for some time.  A brand new home has been built and unveiled for you.  This means you will likely get years of enjoyment and use out of it without having to pay out for constant repair work.

Reculver Court, Herne Bay, Kent

They Can Cost More

However, let’s consider one of the major disadvantages of buying a park home new.  It will probably strike you early on that buying a new home costs a lot more than buying a pre-owned one.  However, it’s safe to say that you will likely get what you pay for.

Once again, it is comparable to buying a car or a property elsewhere that is completely new.  You are paying more for the convenience of it being unspoilt.  Many people are willing to pay a little extra, as it can mean you pay less down the line for maintenance and repairs.  It could be very cost-effective to invest in.

They are Better Insulated

This is a very good point to look for if you are set to use your park home during the colder months, moving from autumn into winter.

Older park homes, in general, are not as well-insulated as modern properties.  There is a simple reason for this, and it’s due to legislation.  Insulation standards post-2005 have been vastly improved upon.  At present, only around 5% of park homes are those built after 2005, though this number is obviously rising year after year.

Modern park homes are better-equipped to handle the cold and changes in weather.  You benefit from insulated walls, flooring and better roofing systems.  As they are completely new, too, you won’t have to worry about maintenance for a long time to come.  Once again, it’s another reason why some people pay more for new property.

A Matter of Style

Of all the pros and cons of park homes, we need to consider style and aesthetics.  On the plus side, new park homes are at the cutting edge of contemporary design.  They can even be built bespoke at your request, which of course means you could be moving into your perfect home for a little extra investment.

This means that you may be able to offer a little more influence over how your property looks while it is being built.  You may be able to choose furniture, layouts, colour schemes and more. 

However, some people may prefer pre-owned homes as they can make their own personal touches as they go.  Bespoke home design can cost more than simply decorating and refurbishing a property.  These are all points to bear in mind while budgeting for a park home to retire to!

Used Park Homes

Now, let’s consider pre-owned homes.  Yes, the allure of a new home may be strong, but there are actually plenty of good reasons why you may wish to move into a second-hand property.

They Cost Much Less – Up Front

This is a very big advantage to bear in mind.  If you are buying a park home on a budget, you will likely want to take a look at pre-owned properties before you start making offers.  New homes will cost much more for the reasons we’ve outlined above.

However, if a perfectly serviceable pre-owned property appeals to you, and you don’t mind doing a little bit of DIY every now and again, there’s no reason why you can’t choose a second hand home.  In fact, if you like the idea of getting out the toolbox or adding a lick of paint or two, a pre-owned home may be the ideal project for you.  It could be a challenge – but plenty of us like taking on DIY every now and again!

They May Cost More Long Term

Also, as mentioned, pre-owned homes may need more work.  That means paying for maintenance, repairs, replacement furnishings and even for insulation upgrades.  It may not come to much more, but spreading the cost over several years, you may be looking at similar pricing compared to new properties.

However, you may actually get more space for your money with a pre-owned park home.  For the same budget, you may get a much smaller home if you buy it new outright.

More Research Will Be Required

One of the disadvantages of buying a pre-owned park home is the fact that you’re probably going to have to be more cautious.  A pre-owned home may arrive with maintenance problems and other costly factors, as mentioned.

Therefore, it will serve you well to research how much you think you could be spending on general fixing-up.  Always prepare thoroughly before moving in, otherwise, you may be met with a few nasty surprises along the way.

Always ask plenty of questions.  You never truly know how well a park home has been looked-after until you take a closer look, and make enquiries with the relevant site owners.  You should be able to quickly determine whether or not a pre-owned home is worth pursuing.

Always Get A Survey Report

A general point you should consider is surveying.  Whether you buy new or pre-owned, a property survey will help you to understand exactly what you will be working with once you move in.  Sell My Group has a comprehensive directory of park industry services for you to choose from.  In particular, we recommend Subject II Survey Ltd.

Home surveyors will undertake thorough examinations of a property in question.  You will be granted a full report at the end of a survey, which will let you know of any recommendations for repair or maintenance you may need to pay attention to.  This, again, will help you budget in advance should you be buying a pre-owned property.

It is the responsibility of the home or site seller to pay for a survey if they carry it out within a year of the property being sold.  However, in many cases, having a property surveyed pre-sale is recommended.  There is, after all, only so much you can see with the naked eye.  An experienced property surveyor will be able to spot potential issues and make recommendations for remedies along the way.

The Choice is Yours

Now that we’ve considered the pros and cons of park homes, it is now down to you to decide which options suit your needs best.  Of course, no two properties are ever quite the same.  The way one pre-owned home has been left will differ greatly to the next.  However, research and caution are always advisable.

Buying a new park home may be more expensive up front, but you will be paying for an incredible amount of convenience.  You will be able to move in quickly and you can start enjoying your new home without having to worry about repairs and maintenance.

However, if budgeting is an issue, you may wish to look for a pre-owned home.  This route will require you to take on a bit more research, and may even cost you money in the long run for repairs and insulation, for example.  However, it could still be plenty of money saved.

You will also possibly get more space for your money with a pre-owned home.  If you are happy to take on some DIY and make a few adjustments, a pre-owned property could be ideal for you.  However, as mentioned, you will need to be fully prepared.

Choosing a park home is a very important decision.  You’re going to need to bear in mind your requirements, needs and comfort, as well as your budget.  By carefully considering your options, and by asking for help from park home and property experts, there’s no reason why you won’t be able to find your perfect new home.  Think about the time and money you have available, and how much of it you are willing to put into a park property!