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Buying a mobile home

PUBLISHED: 12:22 07 June 2013 | UPDATED: 12:22 07 June 2013

A mobile home in France © Michel Angot/Atout France

A mobile home in France © Michel Angot/Atout France

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10 reasons why buying a leisure home could be the ideal option

1. BUDGET FRIENDLY

If your budget for a French holiday home is limited, a leisure home could be the answer. Even brand new with all mod cons, they can be bought from around €20,000, while quality secondhand homes often come up for sale at around €10,000. From basic models to luxurious lodge-like residences, they come in all shapes and sizes. And what’s more you’ll be saving money on holiday accommodation too.

2. STEPPING STONE

If you’re unsure about committing to an investment in bricks and mortar, a mobile home can be a good way to test the lifestyle first. Many people start out with a mobile home and then progress to a property purchase, while others are more than happy to stick with their park home.

3. GREAT LOCATIONS

Mobile homes are usually on holiday parks, so it follows that they will be situated in scenic locations, perhaps by the beach, a lake or river, or close to popular tourist towns and attractions. They are also often located in a peaceful environment, but close to shops, markets, restaurants – and within easy distance of ports or airports.

4. NO FEES, NO TAXES

As you’re only buying a mobile home, not a ‘fixed’ abode, and not the land, there will be no fees involved, either from a notaire, the obligatory legal professional involved with all property or land sales in France, nor from an agent. Together these fees, which also include taxes, can easily add up to 10% or more of a property’s price, so not paying them represents a significant saving.

Likewise, as a leisure home is not a property as such, there are no local property taxes to pay, such as taxe d’habitation or taxe foncière, although you may have to pay ground rent and/or service charges.

5. NO CURRENCY RISK

If you buy through a UK-based company, you can pay for your mobile home in sterling, meaning you don’t have to worry about exchange rates – or language difficulties!

6. SHARED FACILITIES

If your mobile home is sited on a holiday park, you’ll be able to take full advantage of on-site facilities, which may include swimming pools, tennis courts, restaurant/bar etc. You’ll also be part of a friendly ‘holiday’ community, perfect for those who are a little nervous about integrating into a French community. Holiday parks are particularly ideal for families – parents can relax while the kids play safely with new-found friends of all nationalities.

7. MAINTENANCE-FREE

While there may be the odd job to do to keep your leisure home spick and span, on the whole they are virtually maintenance-free, leaving you free to enjoy your holiday time in France. You don’t have to worry about the garden either as communal areas will be taken care of. What’s more, with no decorating or renovation to worry about, you can start using it as soon as it’s yours.

8. LOCK UP AND LEAVE

A leisure home is perhaps the most convenient choice of holiday home. You can literally lock it up and leave, resting secure in the knowledge that your maison mobile is safe, as there are usually on-site staff to keep an eye on it, and perhaps even CCTV.

9. FURNITURE INCLUDED

You don’t need to worry about the expense and hassle of buying furniture either, as leisure homes are usually supplied fully fitted and furnished. There’s often a choice of furniture packages, meaning you can have a say in the décor of your holiday home.

10. AVOID FRENCH INHERITANCE LAW

As a moveable asset, your mobile home won’t be subject to French laws and tax systems, but rather to those of the country where you live or are domiciled (provided it conserves its means of mobility and is used on a temporary basis). This can be particularly attractive to those with complicated family set-ups who want to avoid France’s forced heirship rules (by which you have to leave a portion of your property to your offspring) or high inheritance taxes between non-blood family members (for example stepchildren).

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