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Got a question about downsizing? Simon Sleep, senior business development manager for Willerby Bespoke is here to answer your questions - £200 voucher to be won

(81 Posts)
CeriGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 20-Oct-21 11:07:30

Created for Willerby Bespoke


There’s a lot to consider when thinking about downsizing your home later on in life, from finance to community and lifestyle. If you have a question about downsizing or park home living, post it below and you could win a £200 voucher:

-Everyone who shares a question on the thread below by 3 November will be entered into a prize draw
-One lucky Gransnet user will win a £200 voucher for a store of their choice
-Simon Sleep will be back on 11 November to answer a selection of your questions

About Simon Sleep
Simon Sleep is the senior business development manager for Willerby Bespoke park homes and lodges. With over 20 years of experience within the industry, there's not much Simon doesn't know about park homes. Simon has dedicated his career to designing homes that make the customer's dreams a reality. He understands that park homes are more than just a home, they're a lifestyle!

Here’s what Willerby Bespoke have to say
“If you are looking for a more relaxed lifestyle, lived at a pace to suit you, in a community of like-minded people, then a park home could be the perfect answer. Here at Willerby Bespoke, we place you at the heart of your home creating a truly unique design that is tailored to suit you and your needs.”

Perhaps you’ve considered downsizing but you’re unsure if it’s the right decision for you? You may be interested in finding out how much equity you could release, or maybe you’d just like some more information on the processes involved in moving? Whatever your question on downsizing may be, post it below for Simon to answer.

Thanks and good luck!

Gransnet T+Cs apply

StephLP Thu 28-Oct-21 11:40:50

We are moving from Cheshire to Dorset to live near family and honestly a Park Home is probably all we can afford unless we want to move into a studio flat as prices are so expensive 'down south'. We have considered renting first to experience park home life. Do Willerby Bespoke rent out any park homes or are they all purchase only?

Maggiemaybe Thu 28-Oct-21 19:32:54

I confess I know virtually nothing about Park Homes, so I'll be interested in the answers to all the questions already posted. In particular, what exactly does it cost to purchase a Park Home, and how much does the maintenance contract add to this?

I probably have a bit of a rosy view of retirement villages, skewed by reading Richard Osman's novels, but I would like to know whether there are any communal facilities at the Parks, for the establishment of weekly murder clubs and so on. grin

Nana3 Sat 30-Oct-21 09:51:02

I'm afraid of leasehold, annual charges can rise by a lot I have heard, is this true of all leasehold including Park Homes?

Doodledog Sat 30-Oct-21 11:51:25

To what extent are the issues facing people on residential parks the same as those with lodges or caravans on holiday parks?

Is the residential park industry also unregulated, where rents can rise, and rules can change overnight? Can people be asked to leave because their homes are over certain age, and are there conditions to sale, which often means that owners have to sell to the site owners for a fraction of what they paid, or pay up to 20% of the sale price to the site on leaving?

Can rule changes can make people in breach of contract, so, for example, if they change so that pets are no longer allowed, owners might have to choose between their pet and their home?

Would you advise anyone buying one of your homes that what may be a lovely site with decent owners can change overnight if the site is sold on, and that this happens a lot (eg on the retirement of the original site owner)?

Tezhar Sat 30-Oct-21 13:09:58

Are your children or grandchildren allowed to come to stay whenever you would like them to? And are there any policies/rules around dogs or pets?

Tergly Sun 31-Oct-21 11:37:12

I would only be able to downsize to a local authority old people's bungalow but would then be paying rent out of house proceeds (not a lot as it is an ex local authority house). What is the current maximum that I could keep from a house sale?

Happiyogi Sun 31-Oct-21 15:38:21

Are park homes typically sited near the amenities a resident would need - healthcare, shops etc - or would a car be necessary?

fishnships Sun 31-Oct-21 19:44:32

Are there any guarantees that essential costs won't rise above the rate of inflation? I am concerned that there could be relatively large sudden increases which would eat into disposable income.

GeminiJen Mon 01-Nov-21 23:22:38

My view of park home living has been influenced by reading of where it's gone wrong: change of park management/ownership leading to requirements to replace older homes with new, increased charges and the like. Can you offer any reassurances that choosing this way of living is secure financially?

BettyBob Tue 02-Nov-21 16:12:33

Where are park home sites located? Are they in a town centres or further out? I don't have access to car so are they well linked up with public transport?

Damdee Tue 02-Nov-21 17:17:31

Like others have asked 'what exactly IS a park home?' it would've been better if this was explained thoroughly at the start of this discussion. It sounds worth exploring.....

Kamiso Tue 02-Nov-21 18:07:01

I did know a couple who had to vacate the property for two months every year. Not really sure why. Possibly doable in your sixties but not so good once you become more doddery. Is this an issue with your properties?

Dizzywizz Tue 02-Nov-21 20:13:07

Hi, can you live in the park home all year round? And can you keep pets in them? Thanks

poshpaws Tue 02-Nov-21 21:56:17

I've thought of downsizing, but will never part with my 4 small dogs and 5 cats. Would there be restrictions on pets in a park home or lodge? I've always just assumed no pets would be allowed.

Also, what about maintenance fees - what, if any, safeguards are in place to ensure that these don't have exorbitant rises each year?

Holidayenthusiast Wed 03-Nov-21 04:58:53

How does one start the process of downsizing? We have amassed so much stuff I just wouldn’t know how to filter it all down to a more manageable amount.

Allsorts Thu 04-Nov-21 07:12:01

Don’t trust leasehold, they can alter it when they choose. Also Park Management can change, resulting in different standards and maintenance costs, when you are downsizing, you are going to the lowest end of the market, if things go wrong where do you go, who will buy an older park home to release enough capital to do other than rent for tge remainder of your life. It all sounds precarious.

Granny23 Fri 05-Nov-21 15:13:52

I'm in the process of downsizing but did not consider a Park Home because A) there are none near our lovely village and B) the nearest one is in a lovely location but not on a bus route nor within walking distance of the nearest village/petrol station/shop. You would be trapped there if you could no longer afford and drive a car.

Hellsbelles Sun 07-Nov-21 09:46:51

If you had what could be classed as a ' loud hobby ' let's say woodworking. Could you have a small shed and a few tools to carry it out ?

Barmeyoldbat Sun 07-Nov-21 10:19:08

I looked at living in a park Home but to be honest the monthly maintenance fee and the fact that when it comes to selling a percentage of the sale price goes to the sire owners.. I looked at a few and found I would still be paying all my utilities, council tax. And a monthly maintenance fee of around £120 which is allowed to be increased yearly. Also two of the sites didn’t allow pets. Not for me

Jinty64 Sun 07-Nov-21 14:17:16

I will be downsizing in the next couple of years. I don’t believe there are any park homes in our area at the moment but I’m sure that will change in the future.

My questions:-
I have a dog. Do park homes accept them?
Are there restrictions on people staying (length of time/ages)?

CeriGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 09-Nov-21 16:30:34

Thanks to everyone who posted a question. The winner of the prize draw is @GeminiJen. Congratulations!

Simon will be online later this week to answer a selection of your questions.


SimonWillerbyBespoke Thu 11-Nov-21 16:26:33

Hi everyone,

Thanks for posting so many great questions on this thread. I'll be starting to answer them this afternoon. I hope that you find the responses helpful and informative!


SimonWillerbyBespoke Thu 11-Nov-21 16:27:44


I’m considering downsizing from my 4 bedroom house . I’ve no experience of selling a house as my previous home was a rental.

What are the advantages of park home living? Are there restrictions on who the house can be sold on to after I’m gone.

Hi @Grannynannywanny

Thanks for your questions. Park homes offer an affordable, low maintenance property solution, with low running costs and single-level living. They give you the opportunity to retreat to a beautiful, quieter location with like-minded, friendly communities of similar aged residents. Parks are safe and secure, many with gated entrances and park wardens on site for peace of mind. If you need help selling your existing property, many of the larger park operators have hassle free part exchange schemes, offering full market value for your home, with no estate agent or solicitor fees. Selling or passing down a park home follows the same process as selling a house

SimonWillerbyBespoke Thu 11-Nov-21 16:28:27


It is all very overwhelming to think about moving. Packing up, getting new carpets, curtains etc. Leaving what you know, a room for a family member to stay. Changing bank/.gas, elec .
I can`t face it and I am sure I am not the only one.
In the ideal world I would go on holiday for a few weeks, come back and its all done.

Hi @chris8888, I completely understand that downsizing can often be quite daunting. The majority of the park homes we build have two bedrooms allowing you enough space for a family member to come stay and support you while you get used to your new surroundings

SimonWillerbyBespoke Thu 11-Nov-21 17:00:48


A widower friend recently moved into a park home and it is so enjoyable to visit there, lovely atmosphere, friendly people, no litter and beautiful gardens smile.

Are there any restrictions in the resale of a parkhome - generally speaking or with Willerby? What about bequeathing a park home - is it straightforward?

Hi @Pythagoras You're absolutely right, park home communities are wonderful places to live.

When it comes to selling a park home, this is done in the same way as selling any other property, normally through an estate agent who will advise an asking price which in line with local property prices. The park owner can also make you an offer however you are not obliged to accept it. When selling your park home, the park owner can take a maximum of 10% commission on the final sale price. If you bequeath your park home, no commission is payable if the successor inheriting it chooses to live there. Be aware that they would need to meet the park occupancy requirements (for example, be over 50 years old and have a maximum of 1 pet) plus pay all upkeep costs including utility bills and ground rent.