Living the Park home Lifestyle
What is Park Home living and what are Park homes?
Starting with the lifestyle, Park Home living can afford distinct advantages over traditional bricks and mortar properties as you approach or have entered retirement, not least the opportunity to free up some of your equity.
Typically limited to residents over 50 years of age, Park estates tend to attract people with the same traditional values who although pursuing many different interests want a sense of security and safety in their community. The estates tend to be very well catered for and to offer the range of services you need today and with the provision to extend these as you get older. Many Parks are set in tranquil picturesque locations.
What is a Park Home?
These are specially designed bungalows which are built under the control of a factory environment then delivered to the park in two sections where they are joined together in just a few days.
There are a wide range of styles and layouts from single bedroom to four bedroom bungalows and they are supplied complete with all furnishings and fittings in a range of traditional and modern colour ways and designs.
Many Parks will provide garages and garden sheds to complement the bungalows
All of our homes are built to the build standard BS3632 which is monitored and regulated by the National caravan Council (NCC). Built of timber and steel the buildings offer modern standards of thermal efficiency and are easy to maintain. Backed by a 10 year Goldshield warranty scheme they offer the peace of mind you would expect with such an important purchase.
More than a quarter of a million people have chosen to live this lifestyle
Please refer to our product range to see models and interior design schemes available
Please use our Park finder to help identify the perfect Park for you or feel free to call or contact us.
A Guide to Buying a Park Home
Now you've decided that you would like to enjoy the benefits of park home living, you naturally want to get on with buying a park home and deciding where to live.
However, before setting off to visit parks and requesting brochures, take a few minutes to browse through this guide to choosing and buying a Park Home.
Choosing and finding a Residential Park
With around 1600 residential and retirement parks across the country, there's an amazing variety of facilities and locations to choose from. So think carefully about where you want to be and the amenities and family that you might want to have close to hand.
- You will first have to decide where you want to live - in or close to a town, in the country or maybe by the seaside?
- How close to your family and friends would you like to be?
- What shops and other facilities are available locally ? When buying a residential park home it's important to be sure that shops for day to day purchases, a doctor's surgery and a pharmacy are all easily accessible from the park, not to mention a bus stop, garage, library, bank and even a public house. Alternatively the Park may run a shuttle service
- Does a reputable company with a proven pedigree own the residential or retirement park? Is it a member of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA)/National Park Homes Council and able to offer the Gold Shield 10 Years warranty?
- Who can be resident on the park? The majority of residential and retirement parks are aimed at the over 50s who are retired or semi-retired. If it is a retirement park are visitors, including children and grandchildren, allowed to stay overnight?
- Can you bring your pets onto the residential park? When they pass on, will you be allowed to replace them?
Wessex regularly visit residential and retirement parks and can create a short list based on your required criteria.
Search for outstanding residential and retirement parks using our Park Finder listings.
Selecting your new Residential Home
Wessex residential park homes are available in a combination of over 70 sizes, styles and layouts. Before deciding on a specific design and buying a residential park home you should always consider the setting of the plot and how you are going to use your home.
Plots come in all shapes and sizes. Some are shallow with a wide frontage, most suitable for homes where the entrance is side-on, as in our Lighthouse, Orchard Cottage, Cranborne, Cranborne Colonial, Canford, Dorset, Dorset Harbour, Hardy and single format Ferndown models. Others will have a narrower frontage but be much deeper - ideal for models with an end or gable entrance, including our desirable Wessex and Melbury park homes or the Coach House single format model.
Every Wessex residential home is available in a range of sizes and floor-plan layouts. If you intend to have friends and family staying over regularly, you may prefer to consider a three-bedroom layout. Alternatively, many homes feature a study - ideal for a quiet read or catching up with your correspondence - and most of our park homes have luxurious en-suite bathrooms. Your new park home will come fully furnished with co-ordinated fabrics and soft furnishings, all ready for you to move in.
If your circumstances won't allow you to splash out on a brand new residential home, you could always consider buying one that has been previously owned. Wessex strongly advise you to seek the advice of a professional surveyor about the condition of any second hand retirement park homes in the UK before making a purchase.
Checking out the Territory
You'll be planning to spend many happy years in your new residential park home, so you'll want to be sure that the residential park and the surrounding area is exactly right for you. Make an appointment with the residential park operator and go and check it out for yourself.
• First appearances count. Do the residential or retirement park homes appear attractive and well maintained, with everything in good order? Walk around by yourself and speak to some residents. Ask them about how the park is run and their relationships with the park management.
• Make sure the site licence (issued by the local authority) is clearly displayed and that the park operator is meeting the conditions on it. In particular, check out those conditions relating to safety, fire precautions, spacing of plots and the provision of water and other services.
• You do not need to take legal advice when buying a residential park home but you should undertake a local council search. Does the park have permanent planning permission for residential use? The local council will also be able to tell you if there are any planned works like a new road that might affect the park.
• When you sit down with the residential park operator ask about ongoing charges like Council Tax and Site Fees. Park homes are generally classed in the lowest ‘A’ band but you will have site fees covering upkeep of shared areas, maintenance of roads, insurances and possibly water rates to allow for. You will also have to budget for costs of electricity and gas together with other services, such as water and sewage. Ask who the providers are and who will be invoicing you. If they are charged through the park operator establish if there are any surcharges levied for this.
Buying your Residential Park Home
Understanding the residential park home buying process and budgeting for its purchase and siting is crucial. Get the right information and be aware of all the costs involved.
- A new publication covering the law relating to buying and living in a park home in a fair and equal manner is to be available shortly from the Department for Communities and Local Government. It incorporates recent legislation and recognises that both home and park owner share a common aim: a well-run Park Home Estate where the benefits of park home living can be enjoyed and the purchase of a park home is secure for the future. Until this publication is available, you can obtain a Park Homes Fact Sheet (April 2009) by visiting the Government's website at www.communities.gov.uk or by telephoning their Park Home Officer on 0303 444000 - he will be happy to help you.
- Are you buying a park home outright or will you need to arrange finance? If you are unable to fund the purchase of your home completely, specialist finance companies can offer loans specifically for the purchase of residential or retirement park homes in the UK. Click here for further details
Although we will help you to select and specify your park home, you will actually be buying a park home from the Park Operator, not directly from us. The turn-key price of your home can be substantially more than the manufacturer's ex works price. The actual cost will be dependent on the quality and geographical location of the park, the size and location of the plot and the costs of transportation and installation on site.
The legalities of acquiring your residential park home are not complex and you do not need to employ a solicitor to handle the formalities, unless you want to.
- Once you have chosen the home and the plot you will have to sign a written agreement with the park operator, which will come into force when the purchase is completed. This written agreement is a legal 'contract' between the purchaser and the park operator under the terms of the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (amended 1 October 2006) and defines the rights and obligations of both the site owners and the resident. It contains both implied (standard) and express terms. Implied terms specify the resident's fundamental rights including security of tenure and the right to sell on to a third party. They must always be written into the agreement and cannot be amended or removed by the park operator. Express terms are agreed between the park operator and the resident and may cover such items as the duty of the resident to keep their home in good repair and a similar duty on the operator to maintain the roads in good condition.
- The park operator has an obligation in law to provide you with a copy of the written agreement. You should always see and carefully check through this document before you commit to the purchase.
- Be aware that in the event of you selling the home and assigning the agreement the Park Operator will be entitled to a commission of up to 10% of the selling price.