What are park homes?

Park homes are detached, bungalow-style homes, also referred to as mobile homes or static caravans. They're usually installed permanently on sites that are owned privately or by a local authority. Park home sites are usually in rural and peaceful locations.

You usually buy the property, and rent the land from the site owner, so be aware of how this affects your rights. The government has published advice on park home owners' rights.

You may have to pay your share of utility costs to the site owner. For gas and electricity, they can only charge you what it cost them. For water, they can charge a 'reasonable' administrative fee on top. In some cases, utilities are supplied and billed directly from one of the national suppliers.

Advantages

  • The property itself can be cheaper than equivalent 'bricks and mortar' homes
  • Park homes are always single-storey and a manageable size
  • You can gift it to a spouse or family member without paying inheritance tax. See the government's factsheet on this for more information.
  • Some parks are exclusively for older people
  • Park home sites offer a great deal of security, as they are often gated and only allow access to residents and their guests
  • Some park homes are designed to assist with independent living.

Disadvantages

  • You can't get a mortgage on a park home, so you'll need the savings or equity to buy it outright
  • Ground rent (or 'pitch fee') and utility costs can change
  • Older park homes aren't always well insulated and energy bills can be high
  • You may not have the same level of access to state support, such as grants for home insulation, as you would in a traditional 'bricks and mortar' house
  • Parks are often further away from town centres, so consider whether this would affect your ability to access shops and services
  • If you decide to sell, you will only receive 90% of the sale price.

Make sure to research any sites you look at. In particular, you should look at their facilities, road access, maintenance and parking, and check if the location suits your needs. You should always seek legal advice when buying a property.

If you're considering moving into a park home, contact LEASE for more information. Shelter also has information about owning a park home.

Next steps

The National Association for Park Home Residents and the Independent Park Home Advisory Service are two organisations that provide information and advice about park homes.

Read our guide Choosing where to live for more information about different housing options.

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