Make your move to a residential park, a happy one!
1. Location, Location, Location
Possibly the most important factor of all when you are considering moving to a residential park is the location, not only do you want to live in a lovely environment, but you will also want to make sure that it is right for you. Is it close enough to friends and family? What are the local attractions? How far away are the shops and other amenities you may need? Is there a local bus service?
All of these are questions you should ask the park manager when you visit, after all, you want to feel comfortable knowing the things that are most important to you are easily accessible from the park!
2. The Quality of the Park
You will be able to tell pretty quickly when visiting whether the park is of decent quality or not and somewhere you’d want to live. A few questions you should ask yourself are:
Are the communal areas well kept?
Is the park in good keeping and clean?
Do the current residents take good care of their homes?
If the park is looking run down, with plants overgrown, rubbish on the roads or generally looks unkempt, this is usually a pretty big red flag of how well the park is looked after and the overall quality of the park.
3. The Space
With space being a premium at most residential parks, if you find a park that has ample space between each home, not only will it feel a lot less cramped, but it will allow you that extra quality of life in your semi or full retirement. Parks that offer extra space may be a bit more expensive, however it really is a case of you get what you pay for – and when you are planning to live there permanently, why wouldn’t you want the best you can get?
If space isn’t an issue for you, you should at least make sure that the homes on the park are spaced out to the legal requirement.
4. The Manufacturer
These days, residential park home build quality is really second to none. If you compare what park homes were like 20 years ago to now, well, there is no comparison!
The word “caravan” is outdated and worlds apart from what is on offer now. As you will see when you view them, new residential homes are all built to residential standard with a beautiful finish, meaning you’d get everything you would when buying a park home, as you would with bricks and mortar. The only main difference being the exterior look.
Choosing the right manufacturer is incredibly important and you must do your research. Visit different manufacturers if you can rather than just relying on their websites, any manufacturer worth their salt will be more than happy to show you around their factory – and have a really good look at the homes on offer and how they’re made, as well as in depth chats with the sales advisors, but make sure you don’t just fall for the gift of the gab! Have a look online and find reviews (if available) for each manufacturer you are interested in. Your journey with the manufacturer doesn’t just stop when the home is delivered either, they are responsible for anything that isn’t quite right or needs to be fixed once the home is sited, so making sure their aftersales is up to scratch is also paramount.
At Otter Valley, we have over 50 years experience of running quality residential parks, so are proud to work with a specific list of trusted suppliers, that not only have an excellent build quality, but also have an excellent aftersales team, so if anything isn’t quite right with your home, (which hopefully it won’t be!) it is sorted as quickly and as smoothly as possible for you.
5. The Upkeep
As we get older, it gets a little harder to keep up with the maintenance of our homes. The joy of having a residential park home is that the maintenance is minimal. The park homes here at Otter Valley are finished with CanExel, a high density natural wood composite cladding, which blends harmoniously with the environment. This engineered wood cladding is highly stable, as well as highly resistant to moisture, meaning that the maintenance is extremely low.
As well as this, you will never have to worry about the environment around you being unsightly. Your ground rent covers maintenance of the park and communal areas, so this will always be kept looking beautiful for our residents! This should be the same for any park you visit and if it’s not, it’s time to look for somewhere else!
6. The Costings
Needless to say, one of the main questions you need to ask yourself before moving is of course, can I afford it?
Moving to a residential park is a great way to release capital and enjoy your semi or full retirement to the maximum, however you must work out all of the costs involved as you would moving to any new home, to ensure you can afford it all. Thankfully when purchasing a park home at Otter Valley Park, there are no hidden costs and what you see is what you get, so there is generally a lot less to fork out for!
When purchasing most park homes, there is no stamp duty or estate agents involved, you deal directly with the park director, which also eliminates a lot of stress, as well as fees! It is also completely your choice as to whether you wish to use a solicitor or not, so again, this can reduce costs for you. Some parks however do list their homes with local estate agents, so this is also something to consider.
Another plus of purchasing a new park home at Otter Valley is that all the furniture is included. This means you have the option of selling your current furniture and enjoying the profit from that, whilst having brand new furniture ready for you to use as soon as you move in. This of course also drastically lowers the stresses and strains of arranging to move all your furniture to a new home, which as we all know, can be a real hassle!
7. The Neighbours
A great way to gain insight on what it’s like to live on the park is to speak to the current residents.
Have a walk around and try and have a chat with them, they will have a first-hand account on their experience with buying a home and moving in – and what day to day life is like on the park.
Needless to say, if they are happy and can’t speak highly enough of the park, that’s a very good sign. However if they aren’t so forthcoming with the compliments, then you’ve got another red flag!
8. The Customer Service
Another good indicator on what your journey will be like actually purchasing the home through to moving onto the park, is how you find your initial customer service experience. If the staff are genuine, friendly and happy to answer however many questions you may have as well as helping as much as they can, you know you are most likely in good hands. If they aren’t particularly willing to be of help, take an unreasonably long time to get back to you or you generally aren’t comfortable with how they handle things, then you are probably better off looking elsewhere. Trust your intuition on this one!
9. Visit at Different Times of the Day
Another way to get a taste of life on a residential park is to visit at different times of the day. By doing this, you will see what day to day life can be like there. By visiting at night, you can check important factors like how noisy it is, or isn’t.
Ideally you will want somewhere that is peaceful both during the day and night, with respectful neighbours. At Otter Valley, all our residents are very like-minded in this sense, so you can truly relax and enjoy a quality lifestyle. Just ask them!
10. Imagine Yourself Living There
It may sound simple, but can you actually imagine yourself living there?
If you are viewing a home, take 5 minutes to yourself and try to envisage what it would be like to live on the park and in the home. If it feels right, you have your answer. If you are unsure, go home and have a think about it for a few days before you make any conclusions. Like buying any new home, it is a huge decision and if there is any element of doubt, then you should probably look elsewhere. You can always go back to that park and look again if you want to.
In reference to point 8, any decent residential park company will be with you every step of the way on your journey to purchasing a park home and be open, honest and genuine with you. After all, you will be living on the park, so it is in their best interest to have a great relationship with their residents too.
Start your journey with us!
We hope we’ve given you some useful pointers when it comes to buying a residential park home. If you would like to chat to us, don’t hesitate to get in touch and our team will be more than happy to answer any queries you may have. If you would like to visit the park, give our park manager, James Dodd a call on 07817 232453 and he will be glad to arrange a time that suits you!