Park home costs: The cost of buying and moving to a park home
If you’re considering buying a park home, then it's important that you work out a budget before you make any commitments. In this guide, we'll talk about the cost of moving to and running a park home, so you can get a rough idea of what you can afford, and whether it's going to be a feasible option for you. We'll discuss all of the different fees and costs that you'll need to consider, both before and after you move, including:
- Upfront costs of buying a park home
- Park home prices
- Plot deposit
- Solicitor’s fees
- Moving costs
- Ongoing costs of living in a park home
- Pitch fees
- Council tax
As with any major financial decision, you should have all the facts and a good idea of the costs and fees involved, so you won’t run into any unexpected fees further down the line. So, keep reading to learn everything you'll need to know about park home costs.
Upfront costs of buying a park home
In this section, we'll discuss the upfront costs you will need to pay before you can move in to your new park home.
Park home prices
The most substantial cost you'll need to consider is the purchase price of the park home itself. As with a traditional home, the amount you'll need to fund the purchase will vary depending on the location, size, and style of the home that you choose.
New park homes can cost anywhere from £70,000 to £400,000. Park homes don’t hold onto their value in the same way as traditional properties, so pre-owned homes are often much cheaper, starting from as little as £50,000, according to Quickmove Properties. The price you will need to pay is entirely dependent on what you buy, and where: for instance, a park home in a highly sought-after area like the Cotswolds or Lake District will cost far more than one in a less in-demand area.
Plot deposit or reservation fee
If you’re buying a newly built park home, then you'll need to put down a deposit or reservation fee to secure the plot on which your park home will stand when fully built. This will vary from site to site, and some owners will require a flat rate, while others may charge a percentage of the overall park home purchase price: this is usually 10%. Depending on the terms of your agreement with the site owner, this deposit may go towards your eventual pitch fees, but it’s more likely to be a non-refundable one-off fee, so be sure to check the terms carefully before you agree to hand over any money.
If you are buying a pre-owned park home, then this fee will not apply, as you'll buy directly from the current owner. That means that the plot on which the park home stands is already secure. However, if you plan to move a preowned park home to a new site, then the site owner can still charge the reservation fee, because you will need to secure the plot.
It's not a legal requirement to get a homebuyers survey on your park home, but if you’re buying a preowned home, we would always recommend that you pay to have one carried out. A survey will reveal any structural issues that are likely to cause problems later on, so they can save you a lot of trouble and money in the long term. The average report costs anywhere between £250–450, although this will vary depending on which type of survey you get and the size of the park home in question.
There's no exchange of land or deeds when you buy a park home, so it’s not a legal necessity to instruct a solicitor. But, it's still a good idea to instruct a solicitor to help navigate the conveyancing process, particularly if you're buying a pre-owned home and will need to negotiate with the seller. You can expect the fees for this to be anywhere between £300–900, depending on which firm you use and how long the process takes (many solicitors will charge an hourly rate).
As with any house move, you'll need to set aside some money for removal vans and transport costs. The average removals fee in the UK is £600, according to My Big Move, but this is likely to be cheaper when you're downsizing. If there will be a delay between selling your old property and moving into your park home, then you may need to pay for alternative accommodation and somewhere to store your furniture, too.
Ongoing costs of living in a park home
When you buy a park home, you'll need to budget for more than just the cost of the initial purchase. There are a number of fees and costs that you'll need to pay after you've moved in, so you should ensure that you'll have the money to cover them. Here, we'll talk about all the ongoing costs that you'll need to budget for once you've settled into your new home.
Pitch fees and service charges
You will own the park home itself outright, but the plot of land it sits on will still be the property of the site owner, meaning you'll need to pay a monthly fee to cover the cost of living on (renting) their land. These pitch fees and service charges work in a similar way to ground rent charges and maintenance fees on traditional leasehold properties.
These fees cover the cost of running the estate, as well as upkeep of communal areas, roads, and any other amenities. Pitch fees vary from site to site, but you can expect to pay somewhere between £60–£200 per month, according to Quickmove Properties.
Bear in mind that, after the term specified in your Site Agreement is up, the site owner has the right to increase the pitch fees or ask you to move your park home, although you may be able to appeal the increase if you feel it is unreasonable. If you’re on a low income, then you may be eligible for housing benefit to cover the cost of these fees, so contact your local council authority to learn more.
In a park home, gas, electricity, water and other utilities are managed by the site owner. While this will make paying your bills much simpler, you should bear in mind that you'll no longer have the same control over which company supplies your utilities that you once did, as the site owner will decide which provider to use. But, as site owners can only charge you the market rate for gas and electricity, in accordance with the standards set by OFGEN, you needn't worry about these being excessively expensive. Your water supply will also be charged at the market rate, plus a small admin fee.
Your ongoing budget will need to include enough money to maintain and repair your new home. Even newly built park homes will require maintenance to keep them in good condition, and the Site Agreement that you sign will normally include a number of maintenance tasks that you’re obliged to carry out each year, like painting the exterior walls.
Our park home care schemes make it easier to budget for maintenance and repairs, as you'll pay the same rate each month. This way, you won’t need to worry about unexpected repairs costing you a fortune. It's also a great solution if you're unable to carry out repairs and maintenance yourself, or want to avoid the hassle of hiring a professional. If you’re worried about inherent defects causing expensive problems after the manufacturer’s warranty period expires, then you might want to consider our Warranty Scheme, which will cover you should an issue be found in the structure of your home.
Park Home residents need to pay Council Tax, which is always charged at band A — the most affordable rate. The exact price differs depending on your local council, and you can check it by entering your prospective postcode on the government website.
Once you've worked out how much the initial purchase price will be and how much money you'll need to cover living costs once you've settled in, you should have an idea of the sort of funds you'll need to downsize to a park home. As with any major decision, it’s sensible to consult a financial advisor, who will be able to help you decide whether you can afford it.