The past few years have seen an increase in the number of people choosing to trade in their busy brick and mortar family homes in favour of the relaxing lifestyle caravan parks offer. In fact, over a quarter of a million people in the UK live in a residential park. If you’re thinking of doing the same, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on buying a park home and everything you need to know about the accompanying residential park way of living.
What is a residential park?
A residential park is a purpose-built space dedicated to a community of people who have swapped their houses for residential mobile homes. Parks accommodate a number of mobile homes in a tight-knit community of people who enjoy a slower pace of life. They can be situated anywhere, meaning there’s likely to be a park close to or within the perimeters of your town or city.
The benefits of a residential park
Residential parks offer all the perks of living in a traditional house and community, but without all the cons. Here are a few of the biggest perks:
A smaller community - many residential parks only have a certain amount of space, so expansion is unlikely. This means you will be able to enjoy a quieter pace of life without having to introduce yourself or share the amenities with a never-ending influx of new people. This gives you the chance to get to know the other people on the park properly and creates a real close-knit community environment that everyone can enjoy
Convenient amenities – most residential parks host a variety of bars, shops and restaurants. Some even have supermarkets and access to leisure facilities such as fishing spots, a swimming pool and a golf course. Most parks are a stone's throw from towns or cities, so if there’s a service you require that isn’t available on the park, you don’t have to travel more than a couple of miles to access it
Staff on-hand – every residential park comes with a team of dedicated staff who are available to assist residents and maintain the ground of the park. Whether they work in the onsite facilities or are responsible for the park itself, there’s always someone in close proximity who can help you
Lower cost of living – for many people, selling up and moving to a mobile home allows them to live mortgage-free and with minimal expenses. The need for travelling is reduced because everything you need is close by, and maintenance of a mobile home is considerably less than that of a house which will also save you money
Off-street living – if you live in a terraced house with no driveway, finding a space and parallel parking into it is an unnecessary stress. Residential parks have no such issues. With a dedicated parking space, no busy roads and considerably fewer neighbours, street congestion isn’t something you will need to battle with when you move into a mobile home
A peaceful way of life – residential parks are surrounded by areas of natural beauty, offering up some of the most stunning views and the ability to immerse yourself in all nature has to offer. With amenities close by and a community of like-minded people all around, parks offer a much quieter and slower pace for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life. Being surrounded by nature does wonders for mental and physical wellbeing, so residential parks are perfect for people who are looking to enjoy a longer and more enjoyable life
Buying a park home
If you make the decision to purchase a park home, you should go into it with the same mentality as if you were buying a regular house; although there is one major difference between buying a brick and mortar home on a residential street and buying a mobile home. Some residential parks are only open to specific groups, such as older people looking for a quiet retirement home. This is why it’s essential to check your eligibility before diving in and purchasing a home.
In addition to potential age restrictions, you will need to check with the park if it has a license to allow residents to live on the park all year round. Some only allow residents to live there for a portion of the year, so if you intend on living in your mobile home throughout the whole year, you will need to confirm this is possible.
Like any other house, you may choose to buy a pre-existing park home or a brand new mobile home. Whichever you choose, residential mobile homes are akin to bungalows and so are typically fitted with all the necessary kitchen appliances and furniture. If you can’t find a home that exactly matched your needs, it’s possible to have one custom built. The type of home you choose will be reflected in the price, with the cost of park homes often rivalling that of bungalows and houses, although the running costs are lower.
Mobile homes can definitely allow you to live a life of luxury. Many of them come with the best appliances and highest spec furniture, in addition to soft furnishings such as carpets. With fully integrated bathrooms – some with freestanding baths – and en-suites commonplace, mobile homes can offer you benefits that would otherwise be expensive to incorporate into a brick house. Paired with the exclusive community and access to leisure facilities, residential mobile homes can improve your living standards considerably.
All modern park homes have to adhere to current British building standards. This means they must be suitable for permanent living, be extremely durable and be weatherproof, in addition to being fully insulated. Each home will be connected to a mains supply of gas, electricity and water, as well as having a designated land permitted for parking or potential amendments. If you have the required space, you can customise your home to include wrap-around decking or a garage, allowing you the freedom of personalising your mobile home in the same way you can a brick home.
Although called ‘mobile homes’, they are not so mobile. As mentioned, mobile homes are comparable to bungalows and so moving them is no mean feat. If you want to move your park home to a new location or pitch, you will need to hire a team of professionals and thoroughly plan out the process, all of which can be very costly and is something to bear in mind.
How long do park homes last?
If you’re thinking of buying a park home but are concerned about the longevity of the property, you needn’t worry. As a result of the strict manufacturing guidelines, park homes are built to last as long as traditional houses. Of course, the lifespan of any property depends on the level of care and attention to detail shown to it. Poor management could be detrimental to how long a home lasts, but this is true of brick and mortar homes, too. Generally speaking, if you buy a mobile home, it’s an investment for life.
Your wider family
Residential parks are extremely safe and secure, with some coming with plentiful CCTV and car registration cameras. This means your family and their children can safely visit with full peace of mind. Residential parks have something for everyone, including children. Parks and play areas are a common feature, as well as leisure facilities, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues placed onsite.
All our parks are situated in the countryside, so there is ample opportunity to get outside and explore the surrounding areas whilst making memories with your family. If you’re looking to head into town, you can either take a short walk, drive or use public transport. Each park is close to a town or city, so you don’t have to travel too far to get to where you need to be.
Making the move into a mobile home offers you a wealth of benefits and opportunities, but it’s not something that should be rushed into. Our team are always on hand to give you all the information you need to make an informed buying decision when it comes to moving onto one of our residential parks. If you have any questions about buying a mobile home, our residential parks, life on a park or the moving process, don’t hesitate to get in touch.