Mobile Homes in Retirement
There are over 200,000 people who live all year-round in mobile homes within the UK and, for people looking to downsize in retirement, they can be a remarkably useful way of freeing up some cash as they can usually be bought from around £20,000 and upwards although you can pay far more than this depending on the size and scope of the home itself as some of them can be extremely lavish. As they are usually single-storey buildings, they can also be a very good option if you or your partner has mobility difficulties.
How Do I Go About Buying One?The British Holiday and Home Parks Association has its own website and this is a useful resource for people who are looking to buy a mobile home. If, however, you’re looking to buy one straight from the manufacturer, you’ll need to think about where you’re going to station it as most park homes do not tend to simply rent out pitches.
It’s also important to note that building societies and banks do not offer mortgages for the purchase of a mobile home and if you find a company who will offer you some kind of specialist loan, you’ll usually end up paying a far higher rate of interest than you would with a conventional mortgage.
However, this will not usually be an issue for retirees as it’s normally the case that they’re selling their previous home and downsizing which means that they’re able to buy the mobile home outright. You should also ensure that you get in a specialist surveyor in mobile homes before committing to buy. One plus point, however, is that you don’t need to pay stamp duty on a mobile home.
Renting Your PitchWith the vast majority of mobile homes situated on parks, some of which will be specifically restricted to retired people, e.g. retirement villages, you’ll not only need to buy the home itself but there will be additional rental costs for the land it is situated on. This can add on between around £70 to £120 per month.
You should also seriously consider consulting a solicitor regarding any legal contract you’ll have to sign as each park owner will have different rules and regulations although if you’re buying second-hand, you’ll simply take over the previous occupant’s agreement so, if that’s the case, it’s important you take a look at it.
Important ConsiderationsAlthough your rights will be predominantly governed by what’s contained in the park’s contract, there are certain other conditions attached to buying a mobile home on a park’s site that you should be aware of before committing to buy. For example, should you decide to sell it later on, you can’t just sell it to anybody unlike a private house.
The site owner must approve of the person you’re selling it to although they’d not usually be unreasonable over this. Approval will also be needed in terms of who you might be intending to leave it to in your will.
One of the most important aspects of living on a mobile home park which you may wish to consider is that it’s very much like living within a tiny community on its own. This may be perfect for you but remember that you’ll need to take your neighbours into consideration perhaps a little more carefully than if you were buying a conventional house on the street.
Even if you’ve bought your house outright, it’s still possible to be evicted from a park or site if you contravene the agreement you’ve entered into with the site owner. However, in retirement mobile home communities especially, such situations rarely arise and, for many retirees, mobile homes turn out to be far cheaper and more manageable than living in a conventional house whilst also allowing them to free up additional funds from the sale of their previous property to afford them a comfortable lifestyle throughout their retirement years.