What to consider before you buy
Follow these steps before you decide to buy a manufactured home in a residential park:
- Think about where you want to live and what you want from your accommodation.
- Talk to your family and friends and do your research.
- Decide on your budget. Speak to your accountant about what you can afford now and into the future.
- Shop around, talk to existing residents and compare the costs and facilities. Make sure you know the entry, ongoing and leaving costs.
- Understand your rights and responsibilities as a homeowner. Get all the paperwork from the residential park.
- Appoint a solicitor who specialises in residential parks. Call the Queensland Law Society on 1300 367 757 or visit qls.com.au.
- Don’t feel rushed into a decision. Take the time you need and go through the contract with your solicitor.
- Sign the contract. You have a short cooling-off period if you change your mind.
- all retirement living options, such as residential parks, retirement villages or a unit or flat, to decide what best suits your needs
- if the residential park offers the facilities you need, such as transport, emergency call access, recreation and social facilities
- the type of park you would prefer to live in:
- if a communal living scheme is right for you
- what rent and other fees you will need to pay to the park owner
- how and when the rent can increase
- how electricity, water and gas are to be charged
- how and when your site agreement could be terminated. It is important to know that park owners are allowed to terminate site agreements in certain circumstances
- how long the park owner intends to use the land for residential purposes
- what the value of the manufactured home is on its own
- the options available to you if you choose or need to move your structure, as there may be limited sites available in another suitable park if you need to leave the park
- the reputation of the park and the operator – are current residents happy?
Park owners must give you detailed information about the residential park you decide to live in. This information will be provided in a Home owners' information document.
The time you spend reading and understanding this document will help you decide on whether living in a residential park is right for you, your choice of manufactured home and the residential park you decide to live in.
To compare residential parks, make sure you have a good look at what is available at the residential park you are looking at and whether the park will be right for you. Consider the:
- facilities offered at the residential park—these could include:
- gardens including lawn mowing
- park bus for excursions and/or shopping trips
- dining facilities
- emergency call access facilities
- after hours security patrol
- age limitations
- security gates
- recreational/social facilities:
- recreation room
- tennis court
- bowling green
- swimming pool
- how disputes are handled between residential park owners/managers and home owners
- if there is extra information park owners may provide to help you decide, such as:
- map of local area with position of residential park
- map that shows where the manufactured home will be in the park
- details of public and private transport options
- what shopping and medical services might be near by
- other special conditions to the residential park.
Park owners will provide the above details about their park in the Home owners’ information document given to help you make your decision about whether to live in their park.