There are three ways to purchase a park home.
1. Purchasing a home already sited on the park.
2. Purchasing a bespoke home, designed and built to your own specification.
3. Purchasing a previously occupied home from the outgoing resident.
Meet the park owner or manager to discuss your purchase and ask them for a copy of their Written Statement under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 and also a copy of their Park Rules. Park owners are now legally obliged to offer you a copy of the Written Statement and a copy of the Park Rules at least 28 days prior to the sale, to allow you time to consult with a solicitor should you wish to. This legislation doesn't yet cover a private vendor and so the onus will be on you to request one if you are purchasing privately.
Purchasing a park home already sited on the park.
If you are purchasing a home already sited on the park and you are a cash buyer, or have exchanged contracts on the sale of your existing home, you will probably be asked at this stage to sign an order form and provide a full 10% non-refundable deposit. This is quite normal, but DO NOT SIGN until you are sure in your mind, that you are happy:
(a) with the Written Statement under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 and
(b) you have an itemised list of what the price of your home includes, such as: shed, garage, insurance, fencing etc.
DO NOT SIGN OR GIVE a large non-refundable deposit, if you have not yet exchanged contracts or completed the sale of your previous home.
At this point the park owner/manager may also ask you to sign a letter to say that you have read the copy of the Written Statement and the Park Rules and that you have understood their contents. If you are moving into your home within the 28 day period that you should have had these documents available to you, you may also be asked to sign a disclaimer to waive your right of the 28 days.
If it is possible to arrange a completion date with the park owner/manager, this should be done now and written on your order form.
Purchasing a bespoke home, designed and built to your own specification
Liaising with the park owner/manager is of the utmost importance to ensure a trouble free move. You may be asked for a non-refundable plot reservation deposit. This is usual within the 'bricks and mortar' industry as well. ONLY LEAVE WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD TO LOSE. Unfortunately, house sales do fall down and if this happens to you, or you don't find a buyer, you may lose your deposit dependent upon the terms offered to you by the park owner/manager.
Very often customers will have already been to a manufacturer’s display centre and worked out their own specification with the sales staff there. The Park Owner will need to have an estimate of costs, together with the specification to enable him/her to work out the retail price on site and this can be arranged with the manufacturer. Always check with the Park Owner that he will accept the make of home of your choice on to his park. Once a price has been agreed and you are in a position to place your order, the previous care applies until completion and you move in to begin your new life in a park home.
Purchasing a previously occupied home from the outgoing resident
We strongly advise you to employ the use of a surveyor. You will in almost every case, be required to give a deposit and the Park Owner may offer to hold this deposit on behalf of yourself and the vendor and in fact, complete the transaction through his help as well. You are not obliged to pay for the home this way, but it does offer you the comfort that the Park Owner/Manager will make sure that all outstanding accounts are paid, such as finance & the assignment commission. He will also make all the arrangements for the balance of the monies owing to the vendor are transferred along a possible chain.
You will be required to meet with the park owner/manager prior to completion, as he needs to give his consent to the sale, which must not be unreasonably withheld. This is also a time when you can confirm that all the information, with regards to rent, services etc that the outgoing resident has given you, are correct.