Bricks and mortar versus park home?

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MagicWriter2015
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Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby MagicWriter2015 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:22 pm

Hi, not sure if I have posted on here before but here goes and apologies to anyone who has seen a similar post from me, but trying to gather as much information, good and bad, re what could be one of the most important decisions of our lives.
We are a semi retired couple thinking of moving to Spain in the very near future (early next year, hopefully). Neither of us is of pensionable age, but my hubby has an RAF pension which we hope we could live on until we become OAP's. We are aware that we would need to take out private health care initially, especially as I have a few 'minor' health problems that I do have to take regular medication for. I am hoping that the healthier lifestyle and weather will help at least two of these problems, namely asthma ( have already read that some folk have felt an improvement in their conditon) and Fibromyalgia (which the warmer weather should help). We also have an older dog, which we will be bringing after consulting with our vet re all the lumps and bumps which keep popping up/out of him. If they turn out to be anything serious we would just put our plans on hold for a while (they keep telling us they are just fatty lumps at the moment), his health is as important as ours!
Now the real dilemma. Do we sell our house then rent somewhere indefinitely in Spain. I have seen quite a few properties in the €250-400 price range but not sure how easy it is to find somewhere that will take dogs. We don't want to over stretch ourselves financially to start with. Or, do we look for somewhere to buy? Have again seen some lower priced properties that we could afford to buy outright or how easy/hard would it be to get a smallish mortgage at our age? Or, do we move onto a residential park home where we could buy outright if we sold our house back home? Pluses for park home are ready made community to give us support in the early days or if, God forbid, something happened to one of us, the other would not be left totally alone in a strange country, can still venture out into the local community, social activities which will help with meeting new people. Minuses are the continuing ground rents, which are not cheap. Pluses for b & m are, no continuing ground rent if buying and being more immersed in the local culture. Minuses, no one to help guide you through all the seemingly horrendous legalities in Spain, having to go out and find new friends as soon as we get there.
If anyone has experience of renting or living on a residential park home I would love to hear about your experiences. Is private renting (b & m) quite secure and are landlords generally decent people? Thanks in advance and look forward to your replies. Have started my own 'Moving to Spain' information book and am adding any advice, good and bad to it with information on the different areas and towns so when the time comes, we shall hopefully be fully prepared.

Manchesteral
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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby Manchesteral » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:25 am

I'm not at all sure about this but I have a feeling there is a huge, legal question mark regarding park homes or, if, I understand you correctly, static caravans, I would check it out very thoroughly before I went in that direction, remember that caravans deteriorate much faster than proper houses, so eventually you would need to replace it with a newer one which is an added expense later in life when you perhaps may not be able to afford it.
If you are prepared to live in a small provincial town away from the big world and with possibly less amenaties and infrastructure you can stil buy a two up two down for less than forty grand (a fixer upper) that may be another option.
My best advice and by far the most prudent in these difficult times would be to rent unfurnished long term and put your own furniture in, this way you will be spared most of the legal pain, you'd just need an N I E and a bank account, let your U K home out long term and you'll e ok, I think !

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gerryh
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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby gerryh » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:33 pm

There is a big difference in construction and longevity between a park home and a static caravan.
I have had experience of both.
Park homes, on a properly licensed site, are legal here in Spain.
When we first moved to Spain we lived in one for 4 months.
The pitch fees are high, usually around 3000€ a year.
Many sites have active social in their on site club house/ bar/ restaurant.
We bought it as a temporary measure until we found our bricks and mortar, or in our case stones and mud/ lime mortar, permanent home where we now live.
Personally I think that long term lets are a waste of money.
If we had rented it would have cost us about 66,000 € by now. Even with the property crash I don't think our house has dropped that much in value.
Cheers
Gerry
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katy
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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby katy » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:14 pm

There is a residential park home in Cabopino Marbella and there are usually some dysfunctional people living there. For the site rental you could rent a modest apartment.

MagicWriter2015
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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby MagicWriter2015 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:30 pm

What on earth are dysfunctional people?

katy
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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby katy » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:53 pm

A polite name for low life , druggies, drunks, weirdos. I was using my Guardian speak :mrgreen: you may get a different definition if you google it.

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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby Manchesteral » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:03 pm

Katy, I never had you down as a Guardian reader, no offence intended

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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby Manchesteral » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:08 pm

So actually for the price of the site fees, you could rent a proper house anyway, depending on wjere you live and your requirements !
I have a nuMber of small rental properties (well three actually) in the U K, I will try to sell them as soon as possible as I will need to cash in soon.
What

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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby Manchesteral » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:16 pm

Sorry I accidentally posted before I was finished, what I meant to say was, I, (and please understand that this is my own view, and not a criticism of others) don't understand why so many people are obsessed with "owning" property !
When I was young property was for nothing and if you we're fast and savvy enough, you made your bones then, nowadays with the spiralling costs of everything, not least mortgage borrowing rates I really don't see the economic value in BUYING a new property unless you can get a really good deal and pay for it without a loan.
The reason for my view is that I know of a young couple who bought in La Cala, 11 years ago and now owe more than they did when they started, that is not good economic sense, that's why I would advocate renting as opposed to buying, in Spain I mean !

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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby infoseeker » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:22 pm

People buy because they will then have an asset, something to fall back on if necessary, if money is needed.
Unfortunately, those who bought in Spain a few years ago now often have something of a millstone
Having said that, I wouldnt rent long term

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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby MagicWriter2015 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:03 pm

Renting in the UK is way too expensive unless you have a local authority house, but have to say, the rents over there seem a lot more reasonable. It would be nice not to be tied to one area for too ever I must admit, which renting would enable, think I must have a bit of gypsy in me, have never settled in the same house for more than about 6 years. How did you find living on a park home GerryH? You seem to be the only person with actual experience of doing that. The ones we were considering were for 50+ age group and purely residential. The sensible part of me says buy, the flippant side of me says move onto a residential site and have some fun before you are too old to, then the inbetweener says rent for a few months here and there until you get fed up or find my dream area. I know that I just don't want to do nothing and regret it when I am well past it :thumbdown:

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gerryh
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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby gerryh » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:20 pm

MagicWriter2015 wrote: How did you find living on a park home GerryH? You seem to be the only person with actual experience of doing that.

It was OK as a stop gap, a lot of people had been on the site a long time and enjoyed it.
Personally we wanted somewhere with space around it and not just a few metres away from the neighbours.
Cheers
Gerry
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MagicWriter2015
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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby MagicWriter2015 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:25 pm

Thanks Gerry, something else to think about, having some space, did not consider that side of it.

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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby Pamela1 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:48 pm

Based on the fact that you have never settled in the same house for more than 6yrs i think the inbetweener side of you is your answer.

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costakid
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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby costakid » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:50 pm

We had friends who sold up and lived for six months on the site at Cabopino. Everything you do to your home has to go through the site owner who gets a drink from it. She is like little Hitler.
Also a lot of people spend there days looking into the bottom of a glass. Our friends were glad to get away.

MagicWriter2015
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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby MagicWriter2015 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:15 pm

Wow, thanks for that informationCostakid, would definitely steer well clear from there as although we both enjoy a small tipple now and again, it is usually in the company of family or friends just enjoying each other's company I.e. Not just drinking for the sake of drinking. And you have probably answered my question Pamela, I do seem to suffer from wonderlust, even within the same towns I have lived in. Wherever I lay my hat is my song I think, but I keep thinking and trying, to find my forever home as I am now approaching my 60's. Although I do love the home I am in now at the moment, it is the weather I struggle with now (we are in the North East of Scotland where I am originally from), but even on some beautiful sunny days, there is still that cold, cold wind. So if we went down the rental road as is seeming more attractive, would you recommend furnished or unfurnished? As the one thing I do have a bit of an attachment to (strange I know), is my furniture lol. For the first time in my life I do have some beautiful pieces which I know I would get peanuts for if I tried to sell, plus whoever buys them might just go on to trash them. How sad am I sounding??? Are removal firms reasonable within Spain, if for instance we rented for a couple of years in one area then went to move on to somewhere different? My poor hubby is going to turn green if he reads this, he has spent all his life moving about due to being in the forces and am sure would love to finally settle down in the one place (silly man for marrying me!) this forum is definitely turning out the best for information so far. Thanks guys and if you can think of any more constructive reasons for or against coming over then please share as it is certainly beginning to help me focus on what could be the best way forward for us as we don't want to just sell up a perfectly good home, rush over there and it all go wrong, although we realise whatever we do is going to have a certain element of risk, doing the research first should at least help cut those risks down. Lorraine xx

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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby Pamela1 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:21 pm

Hi Lorraine, I do not know your financial circumstances but if you can possibly hold onto the home which you seem to really like then if it does all go wrong ( which I hope it doesn't) you will still have it to come back to.
If you do wish to take your furniture with you then that is not too difficult to arrange, there are many people who have posted on here about removal companies they have used and i'm sure some would help with recommendations.
I used a company who have a base both in the Uk and Spain and i'm glad to say that everything turned up on time and nothing was damaged.
Whatever you decide to do I wish you all the best. :wave:

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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby Spartacus » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:35 am

Whichever option you go for I would definitely advocate renting first. That will let you find and get a feel for the area you like, it will also let you trial the letting of your own home be it through an agency or if possible family (less fees and more trustworthy). Your stepping onto the same conveyor belt we did about a year ago now (also Scots ex forces). We are currently renting whilst looking for a villa. The advice I got to rent was the best advice given as I've learned a lot which has influenced and changes my search criteria. Best of luck and I concur with your point about this being the best source of information. Put in the key words and search and there is almost always helpful previous posts.

MagicWriter2015
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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby MagicWriter2015 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:55 pm

Hi Sparticus, how are you finding it now you are out there? Is it living up to expectations? Whereabouts have you settled for now and if it is not too cheeky to ask, are you living on your forces pension or have you had to find work as well? Bet you are a lot warmer than we are over here, although we are getting plenty of sunshine, but there is still that under lying cold wind!

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Re: Bricks and mortar versus park home?

Postby Wicksey » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:35 pm

I know renting is dead money but if you like to move around a lot then buying a house and then attempting to sell it again in a few years could be difficult and expensive. The cost of buying and selling here can be quite high and as it's unlikely that you will make a profit it could be an expensive exercise.

If you are talking about putting all the money from your UK sale and possibly having to borrow on top I would personally steer clear of that unless you are 100% sure that you want to live here permanently long term.

I have so many friends that have returned back to the UK for various reasons. There's also a few that wish they could afford to have a small place here and one in the UK to split their time between both countries but cannot as all their money is tied up in there house here which will not sell. I would certainly rent to start with before you even sell up in the UK. Rent out your house there to give you extra income and to pay for renting here.


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