Before you consider buying a holiday home there are many factors you need to consider, especially the costs involved. All parks work differently so don’t be afraid of asking questions.
Ensure you have a clear, true picture of all the costs involved before considering buying a holiday home. We recommend that you speak to the site and home owners themselves or the estate agent with regards to the costs involved. These costs will vary from park to park and from area to area. Depending on the park itself, you may be able to recoup some of your costs by renting the holiday home when you are not using it.
Site Fees and Special Offers
Annual site fees tend to vary on the actual location of the holiday home on the site itself. Generally, the better the location of the holiday home the higher the site fees.
Parks often use their lowest site fees in their advertising so always ask for the site fee associated with the actual holiday home that you are interested in and never presume, as the range of site fees could differ by thousands depending on the location of the home on the site.
Beware of small print in special offers. An attractive offer such as ‘1st year free’ sounds great, but be aware that parks usually work in seasons and not in ‘years’, so if a park quotes a ‘1st year free offer’ that would only be until the end of the park’s season and not a full 12 months. Therefore, if you bought a holiday home in July – your site fees would only be covered until the end of that current season and not to the July of the next year. Park’s ends of seasons are generally towards the end of the year.
If a Park offers you a fixed rate for your site fees for a number of years, always ask them to confirm how long this rate is valid for and also check what percentage the site fees are expected to increase by after that term has ended. It is wise to budget for the years ahead, so you need to know when it may increase and by how much.
Check with the site when the payment due dates of the site fees are, as site fees are always billed annually and different sites have different payment due dates. Always ask if they offer a discount if you pay in full, and if they have an option for you to pay monthly via direct debit always check if there are any interest charges for this payment method.
Don’t expect a full refund if you decide to sell or move your holiday home partway through a season as if you have already paid that year’s site fees in full you will only receive a percentage of the fees you’ve already paid.
Make sure you ask if the site offers a referral scheme as you could receive a discount on future site fees if you introduce a new buyer to the site.
Most holiday homes aren’t forever, check with the site how long the lease is for the particular holiday home that you are interested in.
A Holiday Home is no different to any other property and there are still utilities to be paid.
Gas: Always find out how this is supplied, is it bottled or piped, ask when this is invoiced, how often you need to pay it, and of course what the current charges are. Always expect the cost to increase each year. If it’s bottled ask the cost of each tank, this is typically £55 - £70 but it all depends on the park itself. Be aware that parks may underestimate usage of gas – obviously charges will be dependent on how much gas you actually use.
Electricity: Ask about the average usage on site and when the payment is due. Take regular electric meter readings yourself if you can and when you receive your invoice double check that it tallies with your figures. There may be an annual charge for reading the meter, and this can vary between £50 - £100.
Water and Sewage Rates: As with gas and electricity always find out roughly how much you can expect to pay and when it is due. Water and sewage rates vary dramatically from park to park. Usually this will work out as a percentage of all the pitches on the park - the bill for the whole park is divided equally between all the pitches, therefore all owners pay the same regardless of their actual usage. This can range greatly from £350 - £1000 a year.
All Holiday Homes must be insured to remain on the site.
Check with the park about their regulations with regards to insurance as some parks include it in the sale. All parks are different and some will allow you to insure through an outside company, but others will insist your insurance is through the park itself. As with any insurance always check the small print of the policy carefully before you accept it and ensure the cover is adequate for you.
All holiday homes must have an annual gas safety certificate. The first one should be included in the sale price. After that, it's down to you and is usually around £70.
All holiday homes must have an electrical safety check every three years. Again, the first one should be included in the sale price. This is around £70 - £100.
If you intend to rent, always check with the site regarding PAT-testing, some will insist all electrical appliances in the holiday home are tested annually, some won’t.