6 tips for buying a mobile home in France
PUBLISHED: 14:06 05 February 2016 | UPDATED: 13:07 09 February 2016
Before you start viewing mobile homes in France to buy you will need to decide what type of park and where you want to buy. Here are 6 questions to answer before you buy a mobile home
Buying a mobile home in France is a popular alternative to a bricks and mortar property. They are a lot cheaper than a property; you don’t need to pay notaire or agent fees or some property taxes; mobile homes aren’t subject to French inheritance laws and they are often located in a holiday park with shared facilities and other holidaymakers to socialise with. If you are planning to buy a mobile home in France here are 6 things to think about first:
1. Where in France do I want to buy my mobile home?
Before you get too caught up in buying your mobile home, think about where in France you would like to buy. Take into consideration things like the weather, regional culture, access from the UK and local amenities. Narrow your search down to a region in France, then to parks and finally to what pitch you’d like to set up home in. Bear in mind that the closer south and to the sea you get, the more popular, and therefore expensive, the parks become. Go further inland and the rates get cheaper, pitches larger and the parks are quieter.
2. What type of mobile home park am I looking for?
Is your mobile home going to be your primary place of residence or a holiday home? This will dictate whether you are looking for a mobile home on a holiday park or a residential park. Most parks in France have holiday park status and you can’t live on-site full time so these aren’t suitable for anyone planning to live in their mobile home full time. Some holiday park sites have year-round access for owners when they are closed to tourists. You can live permanently on Parc Résidentiel de Loisirs (PRLs) (residential parks), but these parks are harder to find than holiday parks. These residential parks will often offer pitches for rental as well as freehold sales.
3. What facilities do I want from your park?
The biggest advantage of buying a mobile home is that you also get the facilities and community that come with the park, so it is worth thinking about what facilities you want. Some mobile home parks have swimming pools, bars, restaurants, entertainment, activities, lakes and beaches and are great for families as there is plenty to keep children occupied and there are always other young children for them to play with. Other mobile home parks have none of these facilities and attract older people who are looking for an outdoor lifestyle.
4. Do I want a new or second-hand mobile home?
This will most likely be dictated by your budget. The main benefit of buying a new mobile home is that your can choose your model and specifications although it is generally more expensive that a second-hand mobile home. It will be harder to find pre-owned mobile homes that suit your needs and it’s worth remembering that many sites won’t let you bring a second-hand mobile home onto their park unless it was bought by them, or will charge you an entry fee. The price of a second-hand mobile home is all dependent on where you buy it from. It’s all about location.
5. What maintenance costs will I have to pay?
These will vary from park to park – you can expect to pay from €2,000 for a 2- to 3-star park up to €6,000 for a 5-star coastal park in the south of France. Some service charges will include some or all services, such as water and electricity while some will be metered to your pitch. On a number of residential parks, you may also have to contribute to the upkeep of the communal grounds.
6. What tax will I have to pay?
The French taxes you will have to pay on your mobile home depend on the mobile home and the way you use it. If you are using your mobile as a holiday home, then the only tax you may have to pay is taxe de séjour (tourist tax) which is a local tax applicable to each person per night who stays on a park or in a hotel in France. Depending on whether you use your mobile home as a primary residence or a holiday home, you may have to pay local taxes similar to the council tax that is collected in the UK (taxe foncière and taxe d’habitation). These vary across France so ask the park operators or a solicitor for more information on taxes.
Kelvin Bremner works for Eurobase Mobile Homes