Advice for first time park home buyers

If you’ve made the decision to purchase a park home, especially if you’ve never owned one before, it can be difficult to know where to start. Whether you’re looking for a park home as a personal residence or commercial investment, here’s some advice from the Coast team.

The first step is to choose an area of the country you want to focus on. Many people like to select areas near the coast or woodland, to offer them fresh air and peace and quiet away from their working life.

Once you’ve selected a region, visit a few sites within the area. This will not only give you a feel for the region, it will allow you to compare facilities, presentation and atmosphere.

If possible, meet the site owner at each location; getting to know them will give you vital information about the site and how its run. It is also useful to chat to any residents you encounter during your visit, as they will advise you on the positives and negatives of the site.

There are a few standard questions you should ask when you visit each site. Firstly, find out whether the site is a member of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association. If they are it means the site will adhere to its Guidelines of Good Practice, which includes extending the assurances of the Park Homes Charter to prospective buyers.

Once you’ve found a park home that you’re happy with, make sure you ask to see a copy of the seller’s agreement, which contains information about the site, home owner and pitch. You do not have to use a solicitor for the purchase, but Coast recommends asking a legal expert to check the agreement and query any clauses they are unsure of.

Many of the protocols surrounding bricks and mortar housing do not apply to park homes, such as carrying out a survey. However if the static home you’re planning to purchase is slightly older, it could be beneficial to have a survey carried out.

In terms of finance, there are several options open to you. Buyers that are downsizing from bricks and mortar properties might be able to purchase the park home outright, but those of you who need assistance can apply for loans from specialist park home financial providers. Selected sites also offer their own financial support programmes.

When budgeting, don’t forget that you will be eligible to pay a pitch fee in addition to purchasing the park home itself, payable to the site owner, and park homes are still eligible for council tax – although the majority of properties are in the lowest banding. Utility payments are exactly the same as bricks and mortar housing, although you will probably find that bills are significantly reduced when living in a park home.

Finally, when you’ve completed your purchase and are ready to move in, make sure your new park home is protected by taking out a dedicated insurance policy, covering both your home and its contents are covered.

Coast is a specialist park home insurance firm, with over 17 years’ experience providing comprehensive cover to park home owners in the UK. To find out more about our policy and receive a free of charge quotation, give our sales team a call on 0800 614 849.