There are many articles on the subject of choosing a park home development. During our working years, often work is what helps decide one’s settled location, but with the prospect of retiring, it’s an element that can be quickly discounted. This leaves prospective buyers in an empowering but unusual position. Outside influences that have previously helped make the decision of whereabouts we live decrease as we approach retirement.
With any home move there will always be compromises that have to be made in order to find a satisfactory choice. For some regrettably, the emotional ties of where they presently live will be too much for them to consider something more radical. Emotional ties are undoubtedly restrictive because as one expands their radius (both physically and philosophically), more and more options become available. As the options increase, it offers food for thought as to what should be your ultimate priorities when choosing a park home development.
Without writing a book, it would be impossible for me to mention all factors to recognize and consider with an eventual move but I will raise some key aspects that are sensible to consider in choosing a park home location.
Rural vs Urban
I regularly hear prospective buyers drift off to a dreamland utopia of what exactly they want from their park home location. Fantastic scenery/landscapes, lakes, waterfalls… and perhaps the odd unicorn. The problem with dreams is that they tend not to consider the practicalities of everyday life; the bottle of milk and statin prescription on a Monday morning seem to go awash.
Great Britain is blessed with some stunning landscapes and I certainly would not want to dismiss its allure, but as anyone that has watched Bear Gryll’s The Island on Channel 4 will know, those wonderful images and the practicalities of daily life regularly contradict each other. Having shopping facilities, a Post Office, Medical Centre and Pharmacy within easy reach are important and increasingly so as we get older. An awkward but unavoidable truth to face is that as one gets older, mobility can become more limiting. Having key services close by should not be underestimated and nor should regular and reliable public transport services which people become more dependent on as they get older.
Where in the Country?
Personal influences will have the biggest input here. It is worth knowing however that the scale of affordability is significant depending on where you decide to buy throughout the country. Much is the same as bricks and mortar. Park homes tend to be pricier in the South East and popular coastline destinations such as Cornwall. The further North you go, the more you tend to find that prices gradually decrease. If circumstances allow you to live wherever, then this is a key weapon in your armory for getting the home that you really want.
How well Managed is the park?
Once you are down to the nitty gritty of researching particular parks, I would urge you to investigate extensively how well managed the park developments are. So what exactly should you look out for?
An obvious and natural start to this list is to consider the people who manage and run the development. I’d encourage prospective buyers to reach out to the most senior people of the Company, so that you can make a personal judgement on whether you can trust and like the individuals who will inevitably be playing a long term role in your park home life; they are ultimately the people that will be taking care of the development and dealing with any issues that may arise during your many years living there.
Of course, an impression of whether you like or trust an individual can offer some guidance to making a good decision but we’ve all experienced situations where this is not 100% reliable. Other informed and experienced people can aid in helping you make an accurate judgement.
When you visit a park home development, you may be surprised to begin with at how hospitable and friendly residents are. You should really take advantage of this and get their opinions of what it is like living on the development. You can expect residents’ years of experience to be impartial, accurate and reliable. Don’t be shy to knock on their door and ask for the feedback about living at the development.
When prospective buyers come to see Parklands, I always like to encourage them to speak with residents. I have no idea what is actually said between them but I am informed that it’s very good things. I like to think that the type of management that actively encourages visitors to speak with residents, is indicative of the way that they manage the park i.e. that it’s accountable.
Finally, ensure that the development is legally sound. When it comes to the actual event of purchasing a park home, ensure that you see a copy of the park home license which will stipulate its conditions – and importantly, whether it is for residential or second home use. If you have intentions for a park home to be your main residents do not be misled or believe that second home status will suffice. There are long term potential risks with such a decision.
When purchasing a residential park home, make sure that you’re given paperwork that includes the Written Statement under the Mobile Homes Act. This is important and legally binding paperwork that defines your rights and the park development’s owner. Park rules should also not be underestimated. Since new legislation has been implemented, park rules have become more categorical and important, so a comprehensive list of rules should offer confidence in any purchase decision. Within park rules, it should include criteria for pets. Some developments forbid any pets. At Parklands we allow residents to have two pets; two dogs or two cats, or one of each.
There’s certainly a lot to consider when moving to a park home – as there is with any move. In this case, there are a new set of circumstances and a less familiar concept than most are used to compared with bricks and mortar homes, but the eventual goal of finding a park home development that you are happy with will be worth the time and effort of finding.
In summary, be open minded at the initial stages, and then be very thorough when you narrow your search and choices down to particular park home developments. Carry philosophy and you are three-quarters of the way to finding your perfect park home.