Caravan and Holiday Home Buying FAQ

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Caravan and Holiday Home Buying FAQ

Below you will find our most frequently asked questions and answers on Buying a Caravan holiday home:We went to a holiday caravan exhibition and have decided on the caravan we want to buy what’s the next step?Firstly we would always recommend that you find your ideal holiday home park first, to find out how big the bases are to ensure you don’t buy a holiday home that is too big to fit on your ideal park!Once you have found your ideal holiday home park and ideal base you know how big your caravan should be and whether or not to buy a forward facing caravan or sideways facing caravan to take advantage of the best views.Some holiday home parks, like ourselves, have a range of quality, fully valet second hand holiday homes for sale on site, ranging from low cost “starter” caravans for customers who are new to the industry (ideal for those who wish to try caravan holidaying at a lower financial risk) to prestigious newer models for those who have had a holiday home before and looking to upgrade at a fraction of the cost. Buying a holiday home onsite also gives you a saving of around £3000 as there are not the transport and set costs involved with buying from a trader.Once I’ve bought my caravan, what other charges do I have to pay? The main cost is the annual pitch fee, which is paid to the park owner for the use of their land. Rents vary accordingly to length of license and the facilities on the park. Small “peace and quiet parks with eight month seasons may charge around £1,500 per annum. Those with a whole host of entertainment and sporting facilities, with longer licenses, and /or near to the sea can charge up to £4,500. Be careful here as some park’s have different fee’s for different bases or areas of the park.Depending on the caravan, caravan insurance will cost in the region of £300. Each pitch has a electricity meter which is calculated annually and gas bottles cost around £30.I hope to be able to sub-let my caravan to close family and friends. Do I need permission from the Park owner?Not all parks allow sub letting. Some are for owner-occupier only. Why? Because of the interests of paying caravan residents. Unfortunately, historically a minourity of the people who hire a holiday home on a weekly basis tend to disturb the peace and tranquility of the park and disregard the wishes of paying neighbours. Not fair on the majority of good people who rent but like most instances the minority have ruined it and most parks won’t risk upsetting their long standing paying customers for you to sublet your caravan for a week. Safety and security are a camps main priority and they like to know who is on site or ask that you inform your family friends to sign in at the office so they know who they are!

What sort of Facilities do Holiday home parks have?Facilities range from park to park, these can include a swimming pool, tennis courts, golf course, gymnasium, restaurant, to name but a few. Some, have children’s play areas and organised children’s entertainment through the holidays and social clubs for evening entertainment too. So spending time at a holiday home park can be like a “all inclusive holiday”While most mid wales parks have a range of facilities, what amazes most caravanners is this country’s beautiful countryside, it’s heritage and diverse wildlife. Even the “small family run” parks have great evening entertainment where they provide the social clubhouse and the caravanners organise the entertainment, which has the benefit of keeping the entertainment appropriate to those that wish to enjoy it without strict schedules outlining what entertainment is planned for weeks to come.We are very active and enjoy our outdoor sports. Where can we store our bicycles, surf boards and wet suits?Some manufacturers incorporate storage areas (like the Willaby Westmoreland with storage area at the back which is accessed from the outside) These are lockable so your equipment is safely stored and ready for your visits. Alternatively many caravaners purchase stand alone storage units or sheds to store cumbersome equipment securely out of the way.We love the West Country/Coast and would like to have our holiday home there, but it is a four hour drive from home. Should we look for a Holiday home park nearer?If you are looking to visit your caravan most weekends then a journey up to two hours is ideal. If you are planning to use your time at the caravan for peace and relaxation then a eight hour drive there and back with kids/pets/relatives in the back will probably negate any benefits you derive from it.Far better to be closer, so you can drive down on a Friday and return home early Monday morning. The majority of people who have a caravan on a Mid Wales inland park use it as a base for their day excursions as they can travel down to the park Friday night and then set off Saturday morning to the beaches of Barmouth, Tal y Bont, Aberystwyth etc. which are all only 40 minutes to an hour away, without having to drive three hours there and back in one go!A Mid Wales inland park also gives you the advantage of being able to choose to go to the coast when the weather is sunny, without being stuck there with the strong winds and rain when it’s not! All the while enjoying the savings on the premiums a coastal holiday home park would cost in relation to an inland parkWe were dismayed to discover some parks are only open for 7 months of the year, although we were allowed to visit the caravan at other times, we cannot stay overnight. Are there any Holiday home Parks with longer opening seasons?Each Caravan park is issued with a license from its local authority, stipulating the opening period. In the past, eight month seasons (usually from March – October) have been the most common.Increasingly, though, longer licenses have been issued with some parks even having up to a 12 month license. Remember though, unless you have a Chalet you cannot live permanently on a holiday caravan park, even if it is a 12 month license; you must have a permanent address somewhere else.One thing to remember is that Britain does have lovely summers, but we do have cold winters, and holiday homes are what they say on the tin, fantastic to have in the summer only! So while a 12 month site may sound better value, you may be paying a higher premium to find yourself not wanting to stay in it during the colder months at the start and end of the year. Chalets are much more prepared for the winter months and are what caravan park “residents” (people who have the caravan park as their permanent place of residence) stay in.I’m not sure if we can afford a brand new caravan. What are the snags with buying a previously-occupied one?Most parks have a range of previously occupied caravans for sale, usually in immaculate condition that are only bought from previous customers that have been on the park and decided to upgrade/keep up with the Jone’s (When buying make sure you ask where the park got the caravan from, where was the caravan before it was on the site, the reasons the previous clients sold it and if the park knows the full maintenance history jt to make sure!) They are then valeted and electricity and gas checked.

While the snags are a caravan park obviously does not have the range available as a caravan distributor you do save around £3000 on the transport and set costs associated with buying a new caravan! most even come with decking included in the price! If you can live without the most up to date gadgetry then a second hand caravan can be just right for you.We’ve found our ideal park which has an empty base for a new caravan. However the park does not have any show homes and the owner has suggested we look at various manufacturers ranges. What’s the best way of doing this?The easyist way is to look around a caravan distributor, like Salop leisure, who’s Shrewsbury outlet has some 60 caravans from numerous distributors available for you to inspect first hand. It is always a good idea to get hold of as many brochures as possible so that you can get a good idea of what features are unique to each manufacturer and what to expect for your money. Each manufacturer produces new ranges each year so make sure that your literature is up to date!Caravans are clad in Aluminum, uPVC and wood-like finishes, which is the best?Aluminum clad caravans are the most common and the least expensive. The exterior is easy to maintain as just a regular wash down or annual paint or polish will keep them in tip top condition. UPVC and other finishes are pretty much maintenance free with some boosting better levels of insulation.A lot of the holiday homes we have seen have decking fitted. How do we acquire one of these? Some second hand caravans already have decking fitted which is included in the purchase price. For holiday homes without or for caravaners wishing to buy a new holiday home, most parks work with a local supplier and can advise and arrange to have your decking fitted to your specification and taste.

Jack Sheehan Fir View Tan y Ffridd Static Holiday Home Park Llangyniew, Nr Welshpool, Powys, Wales web: fir-view.co.uk web: fir-view.co.uk/caravan_buyers_guide.html