Advice: Top reasons for buying a park home
There are many ways that park home estates are different from any other housing estate. First, the homes are all bungalow-style, so if you think that one-level living is a good idea for you, that’s arguably ‘tick number one’ in favour of park home living. No more stairs to climb – or clean! Secondly, park homes
are beautifully designed and furnished by interior design experts.
There’s something else you won’t see, initially, about a park home estate; almost all have a warm sense of community. That’s fostered by the age group and stage in life of residents. The great majority of park home developments are specifically for semi-retired or retired people. Age restrictions on purchase are commonly 50 or 55; a few are 45. That means that all of the residents immediately have a lot in common – and most have time to talk to neighbours and therefore make friends. On some estates, residents organise activities such as bingo nights, arts and crafts classes, supper evenings, lunch clubs, coffee mornings and themed party nights.
Park homes are almost all in the lowest Council Tax band (A). That’s straight away a considerable saving compared with the majority of houses. They cost less to heat than most bricks and mortar homes; that’s because the standard of insulation is very high – and also because you are only heating one storey. And the biggest advantage of all is the cost of the homes. They are generally a lot less than comparable bricks and mortar homes, that’s very much area-dependent, of course. Just as with any form of house, there are high-priced areas and more reasonably priced areas. That can be an enormous advantage if you are thinking of a move to a park home as a way of releasing some equity to give you a more comfortable lifestyle. If your brick-built house is in an area where house prices are high, and you buy a park home in a region where they are less high, you are going to be able to stash away a considerable sum of money.
Images: Above left: Warfield Park has its own community centre. Above right: Park homes are beautifully designed and furnished like this Omar Ikon
So how much?
The total cost of a park home is made up of several elements in addition to the cost of the home itself. There’s the transport to the park; that’s a big factor, as park homes have to be transported on two lorries! There’s the preparation of the foundation on the plot, and the siting of the home. And the park very clearly has to make a profit on the home. Nonetheless, park homes represent excellent value for money, especially when you consider that you are buying not just the home but all of the appliances, fixtures, fittings and furnishings inside it.
Most park home manufacturers offer buyers opportunity to have input into the interior look of their home. You can choose from ranges of different fabrics and furnishings from the standard. Or you can simply trust in the expertise of the manufacturing companies’ interior designers, who create stunning homes. It’s good to know, though, that you can inject your own taste and colour preferences, just as you would if you were choosing furnishings for any other home.
Images: Above left: You can design a garden to have minimal maintenance like this one at Tingdene Parks' Mount Pleasant in Cheshire. Above right: You can opt for artificial grass.
Gardening can be a joy – or a chore. And the joy that once was can turn into a chore, if your enthusiasm for gardening fades, or if you begin to find gardening arduous. If you want to move to a place with a small and ultra-manageable garden, park home estates answer that need. You can design your park home garden to need virtually no maintenance; an arrangement of pots and troughs can look splendid on pebbles and paths. Artificial grass is a possibility, too. Or, if you want to continue garden enthusiasm, curtailed to suit a small garden, there’s plenty of scope for mini vegetable patches and garden designs that make the most of small spaces.
But what about all the hassle of selling a bricks and mortar home, I hear you say. Yes, house selling is a pain; it can be fraught with anxiety and it can be dogged with disappointment if sales fall through and chains collapse or delay proceedings. What if, then, you could part-exchange your house? Part-exchange is widely available for new-build properties – and, in the park home arena, there are companies and parks well geared up to take care of part exchanges. Among them is Quickmove Properties. Many parks have their own schemes, often with 100% market valuation for your old home (that’s ascertained by getting valuations from two or more estate agents).
There are two elements that make park home developments very secure places in which to live. The first is very obvious. Many have gated entrances, often key fob controlled. The second is not obvious at all. That’s about people looking out for each other; a well-known and much-valued attribute to park home estates. It’s part of the sense of community that makes these estates such pleasing environments.