Visiting your nearest park and holiday home show will give you the opportunity to look inside the various homes and lodges on the market. You can get a good idea of the layouts and models available and speak to some park owners about what’s involved in purchasing and siting your new park home. Just be aware that the price quoted on the manufacturer’s stand will be the ex-works price (the cost to the park owner) and will not reflect the total cost of the home to the prospective owner when sited on your chosen park.
The best way to find your perfect park home site, is to visit a few and take a walk around. The park owner should be happy for you to browse the park and speak to any residents about life on site.
If you’re looking for a park home to be your main residence, you need to make sure the park on which the home is sited has the appropriate licence. There are two types of licences for parks – holiday and residential. Although park homes may be sited on holiday parks, they are not permitted to be used as a main residence; therefore you would need to still have a permanent address away from the park. Only homes sited on full residential licensed parks allow you to use the home as your main residence.
You may decide to buy a park home already sited on a park home site. Before making any decisions it’s important to give the home a good check over as you would if you were buying a car. Take a good look round the outside and the interior for the general condition of the home.
Even if the home is new, it may be that it has been stood empty for a year or two, so make sure you check underneath the home. If the home has a brick skirting, there should be an access hatch. Under the structure you should be checking for any signs of damp or damage (caused by subsidence) to the concrete base that the home is situated on. You should also check that there are ventilation bricks around the skirting to ensure air can circulate and that the home is supported by a sufficient number of supports (or ‘jacks’).
If you’re unsure as to the age of the park home, you can find out by locating the identification plate on the outside of the home. This plate will contain the model and the serial number of the home. It’s then a case of either telephoning the manufacturer or contacting the National Park Homes Council (NPHC), who should be able to tell you when the home was manufactured.
With buying any new home, it can seem like a bit of a minefield, but it needn’t be. If you seek advice from the various organisations and governing bodies (such as the National Park Homes Council (NPHC) before signing over any money, and make sure you know what your rights and obligations are, everything should run smoothly.