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Buying a new or second-hand mobile home

This content applies to England & Wales

Issues to consider when buying a new or a second-hand mobile home.

Mobile Homes Act 1983 protection

Before buying a mobile home, it is important to check whether the property is protected under the Act:

  • the home must be a caravan
  • the site on which the caravan is parked must have planning permission for year round residential occupation in order to qualify for protection.

New mobile homes

When buying a new mobile home, it is necessary to consider the full costs. In addition to the cost of the home, purchasers will have to pay a siting fee to the park owner and cover the cost of transportation from the factory to the park. In addition to this, it may be necessary to pay for a concrete base on which to site the home, and for connection to mains services. The costs will vary from site to site.

Second hand mobile homes

Second-hand homes that are already sited are much cheaper to buy than new homes. When buying a second hand home, it will be necessary to check carefully for any defects and it is usually a good idea to employ a specialist surveyor to do this. Purchasers should also check with the site owner or other residents that there have been no problems with the home. Before the sale can go ahead, the park owner must be consulted.

Mortgages for mobile homes

Most building societies and banks will not provide mortgages to finance the purchase of a mobile home

However there are specialist lenders which can be contacted to arrange a mortgage for a mobile home. Some finance companies specialise in loans for park homes. The park home owner may be able to help with information about this.

Legal costs

It is not always necessary to employ a solicitor or licensed conveyancer when buying a mobile home.

However,  it may be advisable for a prospective buyer to take advice when:

  • it is not certain that the Mobile Homes Act 1983 applies
  • the meaning of the written agreement is not clear

The cost of professional help is likely to be approximately 0.5 per cent of the purchase price.

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