Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a park home?
A park home is a luxurious, low-maintenance property that is built in a designated factory to exacting specifications and designed to the same standards as a bricks and mortar property (guaranteed to last at least 60 years). Every aspect of a park home can be customised and tailored to your specific budget and requirements – your specifications are carefully adhered to during the production process to ensure every element of your dream home is built to perfection.
Once completed, a park home is then carefully transported to the necessary Serenity Parks site and is statically sited at a pre-agreed plot.
Q: How do park homes differ from conventional houses?
Visually, park homes look very similar to traditionally-built bungalows with pitched roofs and attractive aesthetics, but park homes are built in a different way. Instead of being built on-site, park homes are built off-site and carefully transported to their end destination once completed. This in no way affects their quality – Serenity Parks’ selection of park homes are offered full furnished, with modern interiors offering generously sized living areas, separate kitchens with integrated appliances, built-in storage, spacious bedrooms and a fully-fitted bathroom. In addition, central heating and double glazing are installed as standard, as well as carpeting throughout. Serenity Parks partner with reputable and quality manufacturers whose homes meet the British Standard BS3632.
Q: What’s the difference between a residential park home and a caravan holiday home?
Although the two types of park look very similar, there are important distinctions between a residential park home and a holiday park home. Residential park homes are designed and built specifically for permanent occupation and adhere to the residential British Standard (B3632), whilst caravan holiday homes are usually constructed to different standards to reflect their temporary occupancy. In addition, permanent residential licenses under the Mobile Homes Act are not given to holiday parks, even if they are open 12 months of the year. Serenity Parks are fully licensed for residential occupancy, but if you want to ensure you are protected by the law you can check the park’s Site License issued by the site’s Local Authority to be sure there are no restrictions on the site’s usage (for example, “for holiday use only”).
Q: What happens once a park home is sited?
Once a park home has been built and transported to its final destination, it is then professionally sited on a concrete base, supported and levelled by steel jacks for ultimate stability and security. The property is then connected to water, electricity and gas supplies as with a traditional home, at which point all internal appliances can be commissioned.
Q: Do you have homes ready to buy or can I design my own?
Both! At Serenity Parks, we offer homes to suit every budget and inclination – whether you want a home that’s ready to move into straight away or a home that’s been personalised to your requirements, there’s a park home for you.
For those wishing to buy an existing park home, each of our Serenity Parks sites has a vast selection of pre-built and pre-sited homes available for you to explore. Working alongside our experienced representatives and area managers, we work with you to choose a property that best suits your needs and talk through the next steps of purchasing your perfect park home.
If you’re more interested in customising your own home, this is also made quick and easy with Serenity Parks – we aim to give you as much involvement as possible, so that you can put your unique stamp on your new home. We provide the staple furniture like kitchen appliances, sofas and dining tables, allowing you to work closely with our expert home manufacturers to ensure your exacting specifications are met and exceeded at every opportunity.
You can be as involved as you like, from determining the size and layout of your perfect home to designing the specifics from the inside out.
Q: What is included in the purchase price?
When you buy a Serenity Parks home, you’re getting exceptional value for money – not only is the whole purchase price significantly lower than a traditional bricks and mortar home, you also get all built-in furniture as standard (which includes sofas, dining tables, curtains, cushions and even bed linen) to make your move as quick, easy and seamless as possible.
Q: Are you a Licenced Resident Park?
Yes, Serenity Parks holds full residential licenses for all their parks, allowing residents to reside on the park all year round. We are also a member of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA), which assures current and potential residents that we are a fully compliant park operator.
Q: What are my rights as a park home owner?
Once you have purchased your new park home, you are the official homeowner. You have full control of your home – you are in control of the space in which you live (as per the Mobile Homes Act 1983 Written Statement), which means you can make as many internal changes in your park home as you wish.
However, the pitch (the concrete base and plot of land on which the park home is sited) is still owned by Serenity Parks, so if you’re looking to make any substantial external changes to your home, you must seek the permission of your Park Manager prior to making any changes.
Q: Is there an age restriction to living on the park?
There is generally an age restriction to live on a Serenity Parks site, but every park is different and subject to their own rules and regulations. To find out the age restriction on your chosen Serenity Parks site, please check the park particulars (found on the Park Development page) or ask a member of the Serenity Parks team on-site.
Q: Am I able to still work, or do I have to be retired?
No, you don’t have to be retired to live on a Serenity Parks site – we have a mixture of both employed and retired residents living in our park homes.
Q: Am I allowed pets on the park?
As with the age restrictions, each Serenity Parks site has its own park rules which all residents must adhere to, which includes whether pets are allowed on the site. These are displayed on the notice board of the park, can be found in the park particulars (park development page), or can be explained fully by a member of the Serenity Parks team.
Q: Am I allowed to have children/grandchildren on the park?
Yes, children and grandchildren are actively encouraged to visit and stay with you on the park, but anyone under the minimum age specified in the site rules is not allowed to live on the park.
Q: Does the law extend protection to homeowners of park homes?
Thanks to the Mobile Homes Act, the law has been adapted to specifically protect the rights of homeowners living on residential parks. This law gives park home owners security of tenure, as well as the right to sell their home on the park at any time. There are also important rules about inheritance and controls on the way the pitch fee is reviewed, but if you would like any further details on this the Serenity Parks team will be able to answer any questions you have.
Q: Do park homes always lose their value?
The value of a park home will fluctuate in the same way that residential property changes. The age of the house, the size, general state of the home and location, contribute to the overall price. Most of the value of a park home is linked to the value of the land it is situated on, so if the land value continues to go up, the value of the park home should not fall. Because park homes are becoming more popular, the demand is every increasing. As long as park home sites are still in demand, the value will remain consistent and remain in line with the value of regular housing. This means that park homes do not lose their value, unless the property market is in decline, park home prices reflect the property market.
Q: Is there any stamp duty to pay on a park home?
No, one of the many benefits of park home living is that, unlike a conventional home, you do not need to pay any Stamp Duty when purchasing a park home.
Q: How much is the council tax?
All Serenity Parks homes fall under the cheapest Council Tax bracket (Band A), but additional discounts may apply with the council depending on your individual circumstances. If you have any questions about your Council Tax payments, refer to the park particulars or ask a member of staff for the current annual rate.
Q: How do the purchase costs compare with conventional housing?
Purchase costs usually compare favourably, which, as with a standard home, vary according to factors like costs and specifications of the chosen home, as well as the current market conditions.
Serenity Parks offers a huge selection of park homes to suite every taste and budget. Please speak with a member of the Serenity Parks team for an updated pricing structure.
Q: How do the running costs compare with conventional housing?
Even though you don’t need to budget for things like Stamp Duty when purchasing a park home, you do need to budget for things like pitch fees to cover maintenance in and around the park.
You will also need to make the usual provisions for utilities like Council Tax, gas, water and electricity which tend to compare favourably to those while living in bricks and mortar home. Serenity Parks are not allowed to add any extra charges to a resident’s utility bill.
Q: How efficient are park homes?
Another selling point for park home living is that they are incredibly energy-efficient. New park homes are made with greater U-Values, which are the basis for measuring the effectiveness of building materials as an insulator.
Q: What is a pitch fee and what does it include?
The pitch fee covers the following:
– General landscaping to all communal areas (currently carried out monthly during the winter and every two weeks over summer)
– Street lighting
– General maintenance to communal areas of the park (for example entrance gate maintenance, pot hole repairs, etc)
– Foul drainage
– Site signage
– General health and safety repairs to communal areas
– Site insurances (not inclusive of individual home insurance, which is the responsibility of individual residents)
– Site Electrical Safety Certification (not individual home certification)
– Site Fire Safety Certification (not individual home certification)
– Fire extinguisher testing (only applicable to site-provided communal extinguishers, not any that may be contained within individual homes)
– BH&HPA Membership (which assures the site is fully compliant, operated in line with current legislation and audited on a yearly basis)
– Office overheads, including on-site staff, the maintenance of the Serenity Parks residents’ helpline, and other general administration costs
The pitch fee varies from site to site, so please see a member of staff or the park particulars for details of the pitch fee payable at your site.
Q: Can I resell my park home?
As with a traditional home, should you feel the need to move on from Serenity Parks, you’re free to sell your home at any time. We will be on hand during this time to guide you through this process, and help you achieve a quick, speedy sale.
Q: Is the pitch fee likely to increase?
A review of the pitch fee takes place on a yearly basis. If there is a need to apply an increase to the pitch fee to cover any increase in costs in running the park, a pitch fee review form is carried out under the Mobile Homes Act and will usually increase no more than in line with RPI. As a general guide, last year this was no more than between £1.50 and £3 per month.
Q: How do I secure buying a home?
If you wish to purchase a park home from Serenity Parks, we offer two routes:
A cash purchase, or assisted sale.
– A Cash Purchase – this would involve meeting with a member of the Serenity Parks team at your chosen park to sign all necessary documentation, along with paying a small deposit to secure your chosen home. When you are ready to move, the remaining balance is paid, and the keys are all yours!
– Assisted Sale – if you have not yet sold your home, Serenity Parks offers an Assisted Sale scheme for future residents. This involves a bespoke consultation with the Serenity Parks team in which all documentation is signed, at which time a small deposit is payable to secure your chosen home. We will then look after the sale of your existing home, and upon completion of the sale of your existing home the balance of your park home is paid to ourselves, and any surplus is paid directly to you. You will then be free to move into the home as soon as you so wish to without the hassle of waiting until your home is sold.
Q: Do I need a solicitor in the purchase of the home?
A solicitor is not required in the purchase of a park home, unlike a traditional bricks and mortar property.
Q: Is there a residents association?
At present there is an active Residents’ Association on our Chester’s Croft park. This group is run voluntarily by our residents, and some organise social events and activities for people living on the site, as well as providing a collective voice on issues affecting the park. The Residents’ Association is a great way of meeting like-minded neighbours, however please note that these associations are not a service provided by Serenity Parks and, as with any external service, could stop at any point without prior warning.
Q: Am I allowed to make amendments to my home?
Am I allowed to make amendments to my home such as putting up a fence? As a resident, you must ask the park owner in writing for written confirmation before making any amendments to the exterior of your home or surrounding area. However, we make it our policy not to unreasonably refuse any request that complies with the site license conditions issued by the Local Authority or Mobile Home Act (to ensure all fire and health and safety regulations are met on the park). That said, you are free to amend the interior of your home as you wish, but we would recommend that when replacing a kitchen or bathroom suite that you use a contractor who is familiar with park homes.
Q: Do you offer rental?
No, all our park homes are for purchase only.
Q: Am I allowed to rent out my home?
No, the Mobile Home Act states that your park home must be your main residence in the UK, and you are not allowed to rent out your home.