The Park Home Lifestyle…
For thousands of people, security, peace of mind and a friendly living environment with like-minded people are just some of the benefits of park home living.
Moving to a residential park can mean swapping urban life for a peaceful place in the countryside and becoming part of a neighbourly community. Choosing to downsize to a park home, can also release capital in your bricks-and-mortar, to fund your retirement, making it the best as it can be.
Nowadays, there is a fantastic choice of park home styles and designs, built to full residential specification – and they can also be supplied fully furnished – so that’s another expense taken care of!
About the Homes
Our parks can accommodate quality residential homes varying in size from 40’ x 20’ to 56’ x 20’ and include parking, a private garden and storage shed with purchase. New homes can also include contemporary furniture, and spacious decking!
Previously owned homes are usually sold privately through the current owners and will be listed with local estate agents. All park homes are offered at a fully inclusive price with an occupation agreement in accordance with the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (as amended) and residents at our parks must be aged 50+..
In appearance, there is virtually no difference. Many park homes look like attractively designed and traditionally built bungalows with a pitched roof. The only real difference is the method of construction. New residential park homes are usually fully furnished, and their modern interiors provide good sized living areas and a separate kitchen, often supplied with integrated appliances, built-in cupboards and wardrobes, two or three bedrooms, and a fitted bathroom or en-suite. Central heating and double glazing are usually installed as standard, and so is carpeting throughout.
It’s not so much ‘how’ as ‘where’ which makes the main difference. Park homes are constructed to a British Standard under carefully controlled workshop conditions before being transported to the park; crafted from a timber frame and mounted on a robust steel frame. There are a tough and durable weatherproof exterior and a textured finish. Here they are sited and connected to mains services such as electricity, drainage and sometimes mains gas. We have a specific list of trusted manufacturers that we have a long-standing relationship with and highly recommend due to their outstanding build quality and customer care.
Many residential parks are real communities where no-one need to feel isolated. Individual privacy is, of course, respected as it would be anywhere. However, many homeowners enjoy being drawn into the park activities, committees, clubs and other social opportunities that develop as a result of initiatives by homeowners themselves. Other members of the family living elsewhere also have peace of mind from the knowledge that many parks are akin to semi-sheltered environments, often with a resident owner or manager to provide additional security. The law has developed over the years to provide a legal framework that includes Mobile Home Acts specifically protecting the rights of homeowners on residential parks. The law gives homeowners security of tenure – that is probably its single most important safeguard – and rights to sell their home in the park. There are also important rules about inheritance and controls on the way the pitch fee is reviewed.
Yes, most definitely. There are important differences between a residential park home, which is designed and built for permanent living to a specific residential British Standard (BS3632) and a caravan holiday home, which is usually constructed to different standards to reflect its holiday occupancy.
Again, yes, most definitely. You should not buy a home on a park licensed for holiday use if you intend to live in it permanently. The protection offered by the Mobile Home Acts applies to licensed residential parks – and is not available on holiday parks (even if they are open for 12 months of the year). To ensure that you would be protected by the law, before making any commitment to buy, you should check the park’s Site Licence which is issued by the Local Authority to be sure that there are no restrictions (such as for ‘holiday use only’).
Buying A Park Home
We are happy to provide you with various information about owning your own home at one of our parks. Most information can be found here on our website or we would be happy to have a chat with you! We truly value our customers and make it our aim to ensure that we are with you every step of the way during the buying process, so you are completely satisfied with your new home.
We would like to thank you for your interest in Oak Tree Parks and we hope to hear from you soon!
Purchase costs usually compare very favourably, and of course vary according to the home chosen, and the market where it is situated – in other words, precisely the same factors, which influence the price of a conventional house. There is great choice to be found within the £50,000 – £100,000 price range. However, prices can rise to over £250,000 in the more highly priced areas such as the South of England.
When it comes to purchasing a park home if you aren’t wanting to buy out right, loans are available to those buying a park home, and the major lenders are the larger independent finance houses. Their charges tend to be more competitive than personal bank loans.
You will need to make the usual provision for the payment of council tax, gas, water and electricity bills. You should establish what these are likely to be before you buy. For example, many park homes are rated in ‘Band A’ for council tax purposes (the lowest band). You should ask the seller, whether it is the park or a homeowner, for details of the costs.
With park homes, you purchase the home and rent the plot upon which it is sited. Therefore, there is a charge – usually called a pitch fee – to be paid for the use of the land and services provided. Pitch fees are usually paid monthly, generally by standing order or direct debit from your bank account and may be in the range £120 – £200 per month. The actual amount is influenced by the location of the park and/or the amenities provided.
It is also important to note that if you eventually sell your home there is a maximum 10% commission is payable to the park by your buyer when you sell your home. This payment, made later by your buyer when you sell, allows the initial purchase price and pitch fee to be set lower than would otherwise be the case.
Otter Valley is a private park, so you can relax knowing you and your home are safe and secure. There are no roads, and traffic is minimal, allowing for a quiet and peaceful living environment for you.
The indefinite security of tenure is provided in accordance with the Mobile Homes Acts. Further details and sample documents are available on request. Full written details including a Written Statement (occupation agreement) will be provided to you before you commit to buying a new park home.
Paperwork and documents you’ll need to know about when it comes to purchasing a residential park home.
The Written Statement is the agreement between the homeowner and the park and sets out the rights and responsibilities of each party – the law stipulates many of the terms of this agreement. For example, the Written Statement will explain the rules for the annual review of pitch fees. These are laid down by the law with a special tribunal service available in England and Wales should there ever be a dispute. A park owner is required by law to give you a copy of the Written Statement 28 days before you are committed to purchase. You can agree to shorten this period if you want to proceed more quickly, but the time allows you to review the terms and understand what owning a home and living on the park will mean. If you are buying privately from a homeowner, the law also requires them to provide you with a copy of the Written Statement 28 days before you commit to your purchase – though again you can agree to shorten this period. Whoever you are purchasing from, you should ensure that you receive and understand the Written Statement before your purchase. There is a legal framework for the form and some content of the Written Statement, and this provides the basis for the model documentation, offered by the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, that is used by most park owners. This document varies according to the park’s location in England, Scotland or Wales.
Please follow the links below to see the relevant model written statements.
The model written statement for England can be found here.
The model Written Statement for Wales can be found here.
The model written statement for Scotland can be found here.
Many purchasers are attracted to park life because of the park rules restricting the age of people living in the park. A sense of community and security is provided by living in a park where everyone is, for example, 50+. You should ensure that you receive a copy of any park rules and are happy to abide by them when you buy your park home. As well as age, park rules will often lay down requirements for things like pets and parking.
A home survey, particularly for an older home or if you have any concerns with regard to a home’s condition, can give reassurance before proceeding with the purchase. For newer homes, you should ask the seller about any warranties which apply.
You should take the opportunity to visit different parks in your chosen area; the owner or manager will be delighted to show you around, answer any questions about the park and perhaps arrange for an informal chat with others who live on the park.
Just like any other homeowner, the owners of park homes have the right in law to sell their homes on the open market. As a park home is sold with the requirement to abide by the terms of the Written Statement and the park rules, the law places requirements on homeowners to provide essential information to their buyer when they sell. In England and Wales, the law sets out a procedure to be followed with special forms that must be used. Given homeowners’ legal responsibilities to their buyer, it is recommended to use professional advisers who are conversant in park home law to assist with the sale. The requirements include providing the buyer with a copy of the Written Statement and park rules (and in England and Wales, details of any other charges relating to the home as well as any valid warranty or any survey conducted within the last 12 months).
Procedure – England and Wales The law is designed to ensure a buyer receives all the information they need before they purchase and the information the park needs is provided at the appropriate stage. The law requires the use of special forms detailing the necessary information.
The seller gives the Buyer’s Information Form (Schedule 1) to the purchaser 28 days before they are committed to the purchase, unless a shorter period has been agreed in writing, and needs to be accompanied by essential documentation such as a copy of the Written Statement and any park rules. The Notice of Proposed Sale (Schedule 2)is for homeowners already resident in the park on 26 May 2013 to provide information to the park about their sale. This Notice tells the park the name of the buyer and, if there are relevant park rules in place, provides information relating to the age of the buyer and their household, any pets or vehicles to be parked.
The Assignment Form (Schedule 4) is completed between the homeowner and their buyer and transfers the rights and responsibilities contained in the Written Statement to the buyer. The buyer then pays 90% of the sale price to the seller. The seller must include details of their forwarding address on the form. The Notice of Assignment (Schedule 5) is completed by the buyer once they have purchased the home and is sent to the park informing them of the change of ownership. The Notice of Assignment seeks the details of the park owner’s bank account, into which the new owner pays the commission (maximum of 10% of the purchase price) within 7 days of receiving the bank details.