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Static home buying tips

Static Home InsuranceAre you thinking about buying a static caravan as your holiday home? Here are some buying tips to help you along the way:

Budget

  • before making an investment likely to be as significant and relatively long term as the purchase of a static home, you need to have a clear idea of the budget available;
  • it might be easy or tempting to get carried away, but unless you have thought about how much you have to spend on the purchase now and the annual running costs in the future, your enthusiasm might end in tears;

Old or pre-loved?

  • one of the major impacts upon your budget, for example, is likely to be your decision whether to buy new or second hand;
  • fortunately, there is a thriving market in both types, so there is likely to be a choice that suits almost any pocket;
  • following close on the heels of that particular decision is whether you are aiming to buy first and look around for a suitable park on which to seek a pitch or to buy your static home already in situ;

What suits you

  • whether you are buying old or pre-loved, it is important to give careful thought to the use you are going to make of the second home;
  • not only is there a wide range of makes and models available, the sheer versatility of a static caravan opens up so many different possibilities – you might use it as somewhere to take your main holiday or just the occasional weekend break, you might want it close to the beach or tucked away in the countryside, somewhere to entertain friends and relations, or even to earn a little extra cash by letting it out to paying guests once in a while;
  • thinking about these possibilities might help you home in on the type, size and location of static caravan that best suits you;

Location

  • location is an important consideration, of course, and not least the distance your holiday retreat is situated from your own home;
  • if you are planning to be able to drop in for fairly regular breaks, then it needs to be only a reasonable drive away – rather than having to spend half a day or more on the road just to get there;
  • if you have summer lettings in mind, are paying guests likely to share your choice of location close to the beach, in the countryside or near to local, tourist attractions;
  • choice of caravan park is as important as geographical location – does it offer all the facilities and amenities likely to make any stay as enjoyable as possible;
  • so, check out your chosen park just as carefully and, even better, arrange to stay there by borrowing a friend’s or renting a holiday home there before making your final choice;

Choice of park

  • it is not only a question of facilities and amenities, but the overall terms and detailed conditions contained in the lease or licence agreement with the park owners that allows you to pitch your caravan on their land;
  • the agreement does not need to be in writing, but a written one obviously gives you more certainty and security;
  • this will set out the annual cost and duration of your licence and also detail conditions, restrictions and commissions that might be payable upon the sale of your holiday home;
  • an important condition, for instance, might be the maximum age your caravan may be in order for it to continue to be pitched in the park;

Running costs

  • the fee you pay to the park owners for your annual lease agreement is naturally one of your biggest running costs;
  • but you also need to consider the cost of maintaining the static home itself, the upkeep of the surrounding plot, and the cost of all-important insurance;

Public liability

  • one aspect of insurance not to be overlooked is the public liability you take on as the owner of a static home;
  • your need for adequate cover against claims from other park users, their visitors or members of the public who may be injured or have their property damaged because of your actions – or failure to act – is something almost certain to be covered in the licence agreement you have with the park.

If you are thinking about buying a static caravan, therefore, there is likely to be a lot to think about before taking the plunge.

Further reading: Guide to buying a static home.