This Is Everything You Should Know Before Buying a Park Model Home

buying a park model home

If you have been looking at park model homes as an affordable housing option, you’ll want to know everything there is to know about them before you make a decision. There’s a lot of information about them online, but none that allows you to zoom in and out in order to form a full perspective of where park model homes stand literally and figuratively.

For those people who don’t like being tied down while still enjoying the benefits of conventional homes, park model RVs offer the perfect compromise. Even for those who buy these little “homes” as an investment, it can make a lot of sense given their rising popularity. But first, here is the practical scoop on park model homes.

If you’re just getting in on the conversation, we have already covered what park model homes are in detail elsewhere on our blog. They have become highly popular in the recent past not just because of their affordability, but because of the kind of lifestyle they represent.

park model home interior
Interior view of a modern park model home

Park Model Homes: Value Proposition

From a financial point of view, park model homes are the perfect investment. They are turnkey solutions to affordable living and usually come fully furnished and fitted with air conditioning, plumbing, lighting, and entertainment. Given their comparably low sticker prices and lower recurrent expenses, they are perfect for retired seniors and couples just starting life.

As far as holding their value, park model homes are excellent investments. They are built to last 30-50 years or more with minimal maintenance, and their rising popularity means that their rental and resale value is still very high. 

There are some other costs that you probably won’t hear about park model homes, but for the most part these should not be a problem. 

  • Property taxes, which can be about $300 a year if you own the RV
  • Depending on where you park, parking/camping costs work out to about $5-$8 a night
  • Utilities are metered as with a conventional house and will have to be negotiated with the different companies 

Whether you’re planning to buy a park model home to live in, rent out, or use for part of the year, the only real considerations to ensure it retains its value is to avoid any home with metal siding like conventional RVs, those parked in unattractive communities, and any that require considerable repairs or customization. 

The Legal Side of Park Model Homes

Legally, park model homes are more like RVs built to the standards of manufactured homes. They are subject to electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and other residential building codes and safety regulations, but they can also be moved from place to place. 

Some legal considerations associated with park model homes include:

1. Parking

Currently, the best place to park your park model RV is in an RV park or campground. You can also park it on private property owned or rented by you, provided that you check in with local zoning regulations to ensure that you can park there. 

In practice, many urban communities still frown upon manufactured homes such as park models, so it’s best to stick to the current communities around park models and RVs. Plus, that’s the best place to get that sense of community and free lifestyle you’re probably looking for.

2. HUD Approval

Park model RVs are designed for part-time, recreational use. Thus, they are not regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This also means that you cannot legally live in a park model home full-time, and most RV parks also have rules against this.

3. Moving Park Model Homes

One of the most convenient things about park model homes is that you can move them at will if you’re ready to relocate. It does involve a bit more work compared to conventional RVs, and here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Check out local state laws about moving park model homes
  • During the actual move, you will need to get oversize load licensing for the highways
  • You need to get clearance from the park management before moving. This clearance shows that all parking fees and local taxes are paid prior to moving
  • For permanent moves, e.g, selling your park home RV, most parks reserve the first right of purchase
  • Park model homes are very heavy, so they require powerful vehicles to move
  • Some homes lack holding tanks as RVs usually do, so you need to prepare it for moving and disconnect the home from the utilities. 

For professional assistance with the moving process, visit our mobile home movers page to find a suitable company that can help.

What Else You Should Know About Buying a Park Model Home

When it comes to the actual buying process of a park model home, things are also a bit different. The first thing you need to know is that park model RVs are not financed like conventional housing. 

That means you can’t take out a mortgage on a park model RV precisely because it is considered a recreational vehicle. However, there are many lenders offering attractive financing options through personal loans or property loans. 

For the most part, buying a park model home is an affordable investment. They range in price from $30,000 to over $80,000 depending on the size, custom options present, location, and year of manufacture. 

Some of the features that tend to drive up the price of a park model home include upgraded kitchen appliances, bathrooms, air conditioning, and more. Most manufacturers offer a wide range of options to choose from if you’re willing to do some exploration. 

Explore Park Model Homes 

Park model homes offer the ultimate versatility between a proper homestead lifestyle and one on the road. As recreational vehicles, they give you the opportunity to take convenience and comfort with you wherever you go, whether that’s a new state or up in the mountains for the summer.

If you’re looking to buy or rent a park model home, the best thing you can do is explore a wide range of options that are available to you. At MHVillage, we bring the largest selection of mobile and manufactured homes across the US. Visit our models section and start your search by state to view what we currently have.