Post from the UK - Posted by British Gerald
Posted by British Gerald on May 22, 2003 at 16:39:42:
I stunbled across this discussion forum almost by accident, and I have been amazed by its vibrancy. I hope you will excuse this interjection from someone over the other side of the pond.
Over here in the UK, we have very few Park Homes, as they’re known, for full time occupancy, but we have many parks near to the sea as holiday homes. We ourselves have a 12 X 24 (short, I know, but this isn’t the USA!), on the eastern coast of ESSEX, near to London.
As we head inexorably towards (hopefully) an early retirement, we have been thinking about the purchase of a house in France, but the cost of a house near the sea is prohibitive (about US$ 200,000). Mobile homes are much cheaper (around US$30,000). Availability of information is limited, partly due to the slow uptake of the internet as a marketing medium in France, and partly due to a lack of awareness from the UK. There are many “caravan owners” in the UK, but most are from working-class socio-economic backgrounds, whose holidays abroad have tended to be “package holidays” to Spain and Greece, and, more recently, Florida.
The improvement in transport links between the UK and France (there are now some 10-12 different ferry crossings, the splendid Eurotunnel and availability of cheap flights between small provinicial airports in the two countries) means that travelling to France is simpler, cheaper, and quicker than between many UK cities.
We have had one scouting trip already, where we have investigated inland areas. We are now planning a second foray, visiting coastal areas of Northern France, and looking for parks using large scale local maps.
It occurs to me that this is a potentially unexplored, highly-viable marketing opportunity. My wife and I fairly well represent a generation of reasonable-earning home owners, whose children are now grown up, and who are looking for a semi-retirement lifestyle retreat, where the pace of life, although not sedentary, is still slower than that which we currently endure.
Does anybody in this dicussion group, or lurking on the extremities, have any knowledge, experience or understanding about the French mobil home (pronounced “moby 'ome”) market, regulations, fees, statutory requirements, etc.
Sorry for the long post!