Park home living: The most frequently asked questions

David Brock is the Managing Director at park home warranty provider, Goldshield. Here, he answers some of the most commonly asked questions about retiring to a park home.

What are the benefits of living in a park home?

For one, they tend to be much more affordable than standard homes, so they can be great for unlocking equity to use in retirement. This also means you can live in a desirable location for a much lower cost. 

Plus, the heightened security measures in these parks mean they provide a safe environment and atmosphere that may not have been present in other neighbourhoods. Many park sites take precautionary measures like adding gates, using a fob system and requiring visitors to sign in and out.

 

How do I choose the right park home for me?

With both new and pre-owned park homes available, it’s relatively straightforward to find the perfect one for you. You might even be able to design your own alongside the manufacturer to ensure it is completely unique and suited to your individual tastes.

Don’t be put off by buying a pre-owned park home as not only are they bound to be cheaper than new ones — providing great value for money — but updating them has never been easier. As you own the property outright as soon as you make the payment, you’re free to decorate it as you wish, making it an appealing option for people who can’t find a new park home they like the look of.

 

What are the ongoing costs for park homes?

When you purchase your park home, you own the entire property outright, but not the land your park home sits on: instead, a pitch fee is paid to the park owner as rent for living on their land.

As with any other type of home, council tax and utilities are all requirements to pay and are calculated in line with the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets standards, which means you can't be overcharged. However, unlike with other types of homes, you pay the bills to the park owner, not the respective companies. With water, park owners are allowed to add a small administrative fee.

 

Are there any rules on park sites?

This can vary for each park and will be at the land owner’s discretion. It isn’t rare for there to be a ban against pets and there can be adult-only sites, so it’s worth checking if you have grandchildren who may need to stay for prolonged periods of time. As you don’t own the land, it’s a given that you won’t be able to make any external changes to it, at least without consulting the park owner beforehand. Always ask for a copy of any park rules and ensure you’re okay with them before committing to a specific park.

 

What is park home community like?

Most people who downsize to a park home are in retirement, so parks are usually very quiet and peaceful. These sites usually have a strong sense of community spirit, but you’ll still be granted a lot of privacy and the option to get as involved as you want. As the park will probably be full of like-minded people, you can rest assured you’ll be able to live in a tranquil environment, free of disruption.

 

Although moving to a park home can be a big step, it can save you heaps of money as well as giving you the opportunity to spend time meeting a lot of new like-minded people.