Buying a holiday home: What should I ask a dealer?29 April 2019
If you’re a first-time buyer or you’re moving parks for the first time, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed.
To put your mind at ease, we would recommend paying a visit to the holiday park(s) you’re considering or a dealership a and taking along a list of questions that you want to ask.
To help you get the most out of your visit, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the most important questions to ask before buying a static caravan.
If you want to take these questions along with you when you visit a park or dealership, you’ll find a handy version that can be downloaded or printed at the end of this blog.
Are there any site fees and what do they cover?
Almost every park will have site or pitch fees. The fees go towards financing the maintenance of the park, upkeep of facilities and park staff wages and vary depending on the location.
Can I pay my site fees in instalments?
Most parks offer monthly payment plans, so it’s worth asking.
How often do site fees increase?
Site fees can occasionally increase due to things like inflation and park investment.
Are there any additional charges?
Wherever you choose to pitch your new holiday home there will always be annual running costs. These will include insurance, local authority rates, and safety tests. All our approved parks will be able to advise you on additional charges.
Your Holiday Home
What holiday home models do you supply?
Holiday parks usually offer a range of models to suit different tastes and budgets. If you know your basic requirements, why not try our Find My Ideal Home tool. Automatically filtering out any properties that don’t match your criteria, the tool can help give you an idea of the type, size and quality of holiday home you can afford.
How much would I have to spend?
Holiday home prices will vary from park to park. All our approved holiday parks will offer a range of homes to suit all budgets and will be able to provide an up to date price list.
How can I pay for my new home? Do you offer finance options?
Some parks will offer a variety of payment plans while other parks will expect payment upfront. Even if you have twenty to sixty thousand pounds in the bank, finance options can be an attractive way to pay for your holiday home.
Can I place a deposit on a static caravan and what’s the minimum deposit amount?
Some parks will offer a deposit service while others will expect the full payment. You’re likely to need a deposit of about 25% to reserve a holiday home. This will vary depending on the holiday park.
Do your holiday homes come with a warranty?
A warranty gives you peace of mind. If you own a Willerby holiday home, we recommend you activate your warranty by visiting: www.willerby.com/warrantyregistration
Under what circumstances would a warranty be invalid?
The holiday home warranty will be in addition to your statutory and other legal rights. Make sure you inquire about the circumstances in which your holiday home warranty would become invalid.
Is there a leasehold or freehold on my pitch?
In most cases, when you buy a holiday home, you claim full ownership of your holiday home. You should not have a leasehold or freehold on your property, but you should always double check.
What is the tenure in the license agreement and how long does it last?
When you buy a holiday home, the license agreement should have a clearly defined start and end date.
What happens when my holiday home gets to the end of its life?
Tenures can last anywhere between 5 to 20 years. Make sure you inquire about what happens to your holiday home when the tenure ends.
How often can I stay in my static?
You should be welcome to use the holiday home and park facilities throughout the open season.
When will I have to upgrade my holiday home?
Some static caravan parks have specific rules that your holiday home must be upgraded at set times throughout your tenure.
Can I choose the location of my pitch?
Some parks will allow you to choose the pitch and location of your holiday home while others will require you to pay a fee or they will designate the location for you. Please note that prime park locations will sell for higher site fees.
Can I have decking on my holiday home?
Decking can add additional outdoor space to your plot and many parks allow you to have decking depending on your pitch size. If you think you might want decking, make sure you tell the park before deciding on a specific plot.
What happens if I decide to sell my holiday home?
Read your licence agreement carefully. Many agreements will have limits that dictate when and how you can sell your holiday home.
What charges am I liable for when I sell my holiday home?
Again, read your licence agreement carefully. You could be expected to pay a 10% or 15% charge when you sell your holiday home.
Can I part exchange towards the cost of a new holiday home?
Part exchange is a great way to upgrade your holiday home. Some parks will guarantee part exchange as part of buying a new holiday home, while other parks will only offer part exchange on selected holiday homes.
Maintenance and Bills
Who is responsible for maintenance?
You will be responsible for the maintenance of your holiday home. Some parks may provide maintenance service at an extra charge.
How much is gas, water and electricity and how/who do I pay?
Static caravans are typically on meters and the price charged will depend on the park you are on. The park or site owner will have an agreement with a supplier for electricity so prices will vary based on the deal they have. Parks are not however allowed to profit from re-selling energy. You usually supply your own gas through purchasing in bottles and some parks will assist with ordering these.
Do I need to pay for siting and connection of the holiday home and how do I arrange it?
Some parks offer siting and connection as part of your license agreement. However, some parks may charge an extra fee for this service.
Do I have to pay for insurance?
All static caravan owners should have insurance on their property.
Do I need to contribute towards the business rates of the holiday park?
Instead of paying council tax, it’s likely that you will need to pay a fee contributing to the business rates of the holiday park.
- What are the general park rules and do they differ for holiday homeowners?
Opening times. Noise regulations. Entry and exit registration. These are just a few examples of park rules that you should be aware of before buying a property.
What facilities are available in the park? Are there shops nearby? Are there any entertainment facilities or activities close by? Is there internet access on the site?
Find out about any plans to invest in park facilities over the coming months and years.
Is there a charge to use the facilities such as a swimming pool or tumble dryers?
Holiday parks will have different rules depending on the variety of services and facilities on offer.
Cars and Parking
- Where can I park my car and how many spaces do I get?
All parks should have designated parking for each holiday home or lodge. If you have a holiday home that sleeps more than four people, you may need more than one parking space. Check that you can access extra parking spaces as and when required.
The Off Season
Who looks after the caravan or lodge when the park is closed and what security is in place?
All holiday parks need to have an offseason to maintain their holiday park license. Find out who will look after the maintenance and security of the holiday home during the winter months.
How long does the season last?
Some parks will have a short six-week break over Christmas, while other parks will have a break of up to 3 months. Please note that even though the park may still be open to guests during the winter months, the park facilities may not.
Friends and Family
Can my friends and family visit me?
All parks should allow homeowners to invite friends and family to their property. However, some parks will request that each additional guest (and car) is registered when entering the park. It sounds pretty obvious, but check that children and grandchildren are accepted on the site.
Can I bring my pet dog?
Most parks will have specific rules for bringing dogs and other pets on to the park. These will include things like keeping dogs on a lead at all times, ensuring cats are kept inside the property at night and not allowing dogs to excessively bark at night. Breaking these rules can invalidate your license agreement.
Am I able to rent out my holiday home and do you have any specific park rules for letting out my holiday home?
Most parks are happy for you to rent out your holiday home or lodge. However, parks will reserve the right to terminate this privilege at any time.
What costs are involved in letting out my holiday home?
Parks will be able to give you guidance on how much it costs to rent out a property and the general revenue you can expect in return.
What do I need to consider if I want to let out my holiday home?
Parks will also be able to give you insight into the long list of things you need to consider when renting out your holiday home. These will include the maintenance and cleaning of your property after a rental period.
Do you offer a letting scheme?
Some parks will also include a letting scheme as part of your site fee. Parks will generally take a 10% fee for renting out a holiday home.
You can download and print this handy list of questions to take to a park or dealer here
To find a suitable park operator, why not try our Find a Park tool. Helping you find the ideal pitch for your holiday home, our tool makes it easy to find a range of approved parks in your chosen location.
Alternatively, why not read our First Time Buyers Guide for your step by step guide to choosing your first holiday home.
If you’re interested in purchasing a Willerby holiday home or would like some further information about what to ask a holiday park, please contact a member of our team on 01482 717599