The demand for static caravan holiday homes is on the rise in the UK and, if you are thinking about investing in one for your future holidays, now is the perfect time to buy. Staycations are this year’s big holiday trend and, with the pandemic set to curb our international travel plans for the foreseeable future, it makes sense to invest in a holiday home closer to home.
Buying a static caravan is much like buying a family home when it comes to planning, with pricing, location, size, accessibility, age, and ongoing maintenance costs being the most important things to consider.
In this comprehensive guide to buying a static caravan holiday home in the UK, we’ll provide you with a checklist to help you compile a detailed plan for what could be the best lifestyle investment you are ever likely to make.
Location, Location, Location
The next step in buying a static caravan is choosing the perfect holiday park for your second home. There are hundreds of them dotted across the UK, with options ranging from luxurious beachside escapes on the Cornish coastline to remote woodland retreats in the Scottish highlands.
The location you choose will have a huge impact on how you use your holiday home, and so it is not something to consider lightly. You could spend your weekends and summers there for 20 years or more, so ask yourself the following questions when making a holiday park shortlist:
• Is it easily accessible from home?
• Can you drive there in 1 – 3 hours (or within a timeframe acceptable to you)?
• Will you be visiting friends and family in the area, that is a key reason to visit for many owners?
• Is there an abundance of activities you are passionate about and places of interest to keep you coming back?
• Is it accessible via public transport (this may be important if you intend to rent it out)?
• Does it have the onsite facilities that you are looking for?
• Does it have caravans within your price range?
• Is it a family-friendly park or a quiet rural retreat?
• Does it have beach access?
• Is it pet-friendly?
• Does it have reliable internet access (essential for home working)?
Everyone’s checklist will be different, but by answering the above questions, you’ll be able to focus your search on holiday parks that meet your needs and save time by avoiding those that do not.
Determine Your Budget
Before you start shopping for your dream holiday home, you need to set a realistic budget. The cost to buy a static caravan in the UK varies depending on how big it is, how old it is, the make and model. The value will also depend on the holiday parks location and its popularity as well as the location of the pitch on the park and the length of the pitch licence agreement detailing how long the caravan can be sited on the park.
You can buy a used caravan for as little as £10,000, although averages range from £25,000 to £50,000. Brand-new luxury lodges offer double the space and high specification, however in prime locations they can cost £500,000 and more, so there is something to suit everyone.
Here are some budgeting questions for your detailed plan:
• What is the maximum I can afford to invest (to purchase or deposit contribution)?
• How much can I afford to spend on finance payments, annual site fees, utilities, and insurance?
•How much can I earn from renting out my caravan to assist with running costs?
Set your budget and complete your research online before arranging site visits to avoid disappointment, and bear in mind that rental income will only cover a percentage of your annual fees.
New Or Second Hand?
Do you see yourself buying a new or second-hand static caravan? Budget will play a role in your overall decision, but if you have the funds to buy a new caravan, should you still consider buying a second-hand one? The answer to that is ‘yes’.
While there are many benefits of buying a new static caravan, such as extended warranties, lower maintenance costs, longer life and modern furnishings, a second-hand one will hold its resale value better suffering less depreciation. They may also come with expenses upgrades such as a decking that were optioned by the first buyer from new. It will also give you more holiday home for your money and the option to upgrade at a later stage whilst getting a feel for ownership.
Used static caravans may also be available to move into immediately compared to a new unit that may have to be ordered from the manufacture creating a delay.
So, it is worth weighing up your options and adding the following questions to your caravan purchase plan:
• Am I willing to compromise on size and specification to have a new caravan?
• Should I buy a used (bigger) static caravan and spend the difference on upgrades?
• Is it worth buying a new caravan when it will instantly lose resale value (like a car)?
• Will a used caravan make my preferred holiday park more affordable?
Your answers to the above questions will help you decide if you should look at brand-new models or browse the many second-hand caravans available. It is worth remembering that holiday homeowners are obliged to keep their static caravans in good condition, and you could get the size, quality and location you are looking for at a discounted price by going down the used caravan route.
Armed with your detailed location & caravan purchase plan, you’ll bypass the many mistakes that first-time buyers make and stay one step ahead of the pandemic-fuelled competition. A UK holiday home may transform the way you work and spend your free time for good, and the timing to buy has never been better!