How do park homes and bungalows differ?

Anyone looking to downsize from the family home as retirement approaches has traditionally favoured a bungalow as their logical next purchase, but park homes have become more popular, and emerged as an alternative well worth considering.

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However, there are some key differences between purchasing a bungalow and a park home, so if you are still deciding which option may suit you best it’s worth considering these to help you make a wise and realistic decision.

The size

While bungalows are available in all sizes from one to several bedrooms, park homes are restricted to being a maximum 20m long, 6.8 m wide and 3.05 m high, inside.

The costs

Park homes are purpose built and designed for people to live in all year round. Consequently they are not rented out to strangers; instead, the residents form a community with opportunities to socialise. The homes themselves are high-spec and equipped with all the essentials, including central heating and double glazing – with the option of carpets and all furniture supplied too – https://www.theguardian.com/money/blog/2011/sep/16/retirement-house-sell-residential-park-home.

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Although they are not cheap, most park homes for sale in Gloucestershire cost less to buy than a standard build bungalow, but the running costs could be higher for the park home – unless the changeover puts you into a lower council tax bracket. Specialists www.parkhomelife.com/park_orchardtwigworth.aspx in this area can offer more insight on this topic.

Typical costs when living in a park home

• Pitch fee (rent costs for the land your home is sitting on). This varies depending on what services are available in the park, and are usually paid monthly.
• Council tax.
• Utilities such as gas, electric, water, Internet. The first three are generally paid directly to the owner of the site who is entitled to charge a small admin fee.
• Insurances as usual.

The construction

Standard bungalows are built on site, using typical materials like brick, while park homes are constructed off site, and made from a strong steel frame covered with timber, then finished with weatherproofing materials.

The restrictions

While anyone with the funds can buy a bungalow, many park homes have restrictions, such as a minimum age to buy, limited number of overnight visitors, and restricted access for children; which generally means a child may be able to stay a day or to but not stay long term.

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