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Guide to buying a new park home

Park homes today are set in some of the most attractive parts of the UK. They are fast becoming popular alternatives to buying a bungalow for retired or semi-retired people.

Park homes are a long way from the conventional basic caravan holiday home e.g. certain standards such as BS6332 have to apply. They also have a ten year Gold Shield warranty scheme, operated by the National Caravan Council. This service is free on new park homes, thus giving the purchaser peace of mind should any structural work be needed.

There are a few types of park home: the single unit which is usually 10ft or 12ft wide, while the twin units offer 10ft or 11ft widths per section, so giving an overall width of 22ft. While they come fully furnished in a variety of styles and exterior finishes, the customer can usually decide how it’s finished off. Most customers even take a visit to the factory and put in some of their own ideas and layout choices. With prices of £40,000 plus, manufacturers will build to budget and can produce units as small as a one bedroom model.

All domestic appliances should be fitted, along with a full central heating system, double glazing and quality soft furnishings. In many instances, a verandah or decking is fitted onto the home, as long as it’s not a permanent fixture (the home still has to be movable). Some parks will have a specially designated show home to enable you to see how it would be like to live on the park.

Once you have found the park home and agreed on the requirements, check to see the park has a valid licence and that it’s for all–year living. Don’t forget when you buy a park home you own the home, but the park operator owns the land it’s on and therefore you pay a rent to contribute to the upkeep of the park.

Finding a park may see you wanting to get out into the countryside, a place where many parks are situated. Most are placed not too far from a village or town but if you don’t run a car, or have had to give it up, you’ll need to check just how you can get about. Is the local public transport reliable and does it run at regular times near the park?

Find out if the rules of the park allows pets and if so, does that mean only dogs or cats? Your plot may have room for a car to park at the side, but if you want to place a garage (a pre-fabricated unit) you may not be allowed, so ask the park owner first.

Most of the parks are small communities in which residents look out for each other. The parks are usually on privately-owned secure estates, thereby cutting down the risk of mainstream burglary you may find in a typical suburban street. When you choose your park it’s always a good idea to talk to some of the residents as you look around, to find out about security and whether any burglaries have taken place.

Having chosen your park and home, it’s all about getting you acquainted with the location, its residents and road systems. A park home is just like a house in that all the services will need to be connected. Like any building, the unit will at times need maintenance but today’s park homes are built to be durable for all weather conditions.

Follow the simple rules, do your homework before committing and you should have many happy years in a home that’s comfortable and pleasing to own.

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