What is the lifespan of a park home?

Across the UK, there are many beautiful locations where you can purchase a park home, and live in it as your permanent residence.

While more robust than a static caravan, park homes, unlike most bricks and mortar properties, are not built to last for centuries. Despite this, park homes typically have a lifespan of between 40 to 70 years, though this depends on a number of factors.

How long does a park home last?

Residential park homes

How long a park home lasts varies.

Factors such as build quality, location, climate, and how well an owner maintains their park home will determine how long the lifespan of a property can be extended.

For example, a park home based in an exposed coastal location in the UK is likely to be more susceptible to the adverse effects of saltwater spray, higher humidity, and severe weather conditions than one based inland. The salty sea air can accelerate the rusting of metal parts of the park home’s exterior, so the longevity of a unit based in a seaside location may be shorter.

But with the right maintenance, some park homes can last even longer than 70 years, as regular inspections and addressing any issues promptly can help to extend the lifespan of a park home significantly.

Find out how to maintain your park home

New park homes often come with a guarantee which will cover anything that needs to be repaired or replaced for up to 2 years from the date it was manufactured. Once the manufacturer’s guarantee has expired, park home owners may want to consider purchasing an extended warranty. This usually covers up to 10 years from the manufacturing date.

It’s worth noting that despite being pre-fabricated, new residential park homes must comply with specific building standards and regulations (British Standard BS 3632). And although they may eventually need replacing completely, park homes have the added benefit of being easier and cheaper to upgrade and maintain than a traditional residential property.

Owners should also take out a park home insurance policy to protect against loss or damage.

How often do you have to replace a park home?

New park homes may never need to be replaced.

Many park homeowners choose to purchase pre-owned units as the upfront cost is less. However, while the initial outlay may be cheaper, by the time repairs and refurbishment are factored in over several years, it may have been cheaper to purchase a brand new model which is unlikely to ever need replacing during the owner’s lifetime.

To find out how old a park home is, the serial number will provide details of the manufacturer and model number which will denote the year in which it was built.

When buying a pre-owned park home, it’s important to research not only the age of the unit, but also to check for any problems that may limit its lifespan. This is especially important when buying a park home that was manufactured before the update to the residential park home specifications in 2016. A survey may be beneficial before buying a second-hand park home.

If a park home is based in a non-residential park, there may be site rules that state units have to be replaced with a newer model after a set period, usually within 10 or 20 years.

Residential park home owners have stronger rights as they are situated on what is known as a protected site, which are licensed by local councils. Owners are protected by the Mobile Homes Act 2013, but even residential park home sites may have their own rules.

There are also mixed use sites, which means the park has a licence for both holiday and residential use and will therefore have different conditions.

With this in mind, before deciding whether to purchase a park home, prospective buyers should check site licences and conditions. Otherwise, a park home that is built to last for 70 years could need to be completely replaced if the site owner has specified an age limit on the properties situated on the park in their terms and conditions.

Do park homes deteriorate in value?

Park homes generally have a lower purchase price compared to traditional homes, but they may depreciate more in value over time.

However, it’s worth noting that the depreciation can vary depending on factors such as location, age, and condition of the park home, as well as changes in the housing market.

The fact that park homes are situated on private land can impact their resale value. This is because park homes are neither freehold nor leasehold properties. In simple terms, as the owner of a park home, you own the building and have a right to occupy the space, but don’t own the land that it sits on. The land is owned by the park owner.

As the land belongs to the site owner, a site agreement is put in place between the site owner and the park home owner for a specified period. When it expires, the park home owner needs to renew the agreement to continue to live on the site. However, this may change if the site owner decides to sell up, again, depending on the type of site the park home is situated on.

When selling a park home, owners may have to pay their site owner a commission of up to 10% of the sale price. This means that if the park home owner has invested in upgrading or renovating their property, they may not see a return once the commission has been paid to the site owner.

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