Common pitfalls to avoid when buying a holiday Lodge
Haven has been finding owners their ideal static lodge for 40 years, so we know what a dream it is to have your own bolthole on the beautiful UK coast – but we also know there are many things you need to consider along the way. Buying a lodge is an exciting experience, and being fully prepared will help you to avoid any potential pitfalls.
Our lodge experts will go through these with you in detail when you’re looking round our beautiful lodges, but here’s a summary of some of the common slip-ups that first-time buyers should avoid, so you can be totally prepared as you start your journey to ownership.
Thinking a static lodge is like a brick and mortar second home
For most of our owners, their lodge acts as a second home: a home that they love, care for, and feel perfectly comfortable in. But it’s important to be aware of the differences between a lodge and a traditional home. Lodges at Haven are built to the highest standards from a mix of steel, wood and vinyl insulated with glass wool, rather than brick built. They sit on an insulated wooden floor on a galvanised chassis, not directly on the floor, or with foundations.
You may find that the maintenance required on a lodge may be less on a static caravan, but you still need to undertake some upkeep to keep your lodge functioning properly, and we have on-site maintenance teams to hand to help undertake any repairs at a competitive price. We’ve seen lodges last a good 10 to 20 years. At Haven we have no limit on how long you can keep your lodge, and the initial licence period for the occupation of a pitch on the park is 12 years, but this can be extended. In effect, if you keep it in good shape, you could keep your lodge indefinitely.
We want to give you the freedom to enjoy your holiday home as you wish, but so that we can ensure all our owners and holidaymakers are looked after, each holiday park has park rules that must be followed for everyone’s benefit. These vary by park and may include rules around storage options and types of vehicles and watercraft permitted on park. We strongly recommend you give the park rules a good read before purchasing your lodge.
Choosing a park too far from home
This is the pitfall we see the most! We know it’s difficult to face reality when you’ve dreamt of walking down a particular beach every morning, but if you hate the journey home and need to make it regularly, it could tarnish your whole experience. It’s easy to see if you’ll like the commute to your home-from-home if you’ve made the journey a few times at different times of the year. Kevin Donaldson, our Lodge expert at Far Grange holiday park has this advice: “I recommend you stay in a lodge beforehand and visit a few parks, because when you’re making a large purchase like this you need to know you’ve made the right choice.”
So hire a lodge when you’re doing your park visits to get the full experience, and make sure you’re okay with the drive between your day-to-day home and your new lodge.
Valuing investment over lifestyle
Owners get many years of enjoyment and value from being an owner at Haven, but as we always say to our prospective owners, a static caravan is a lifestyle investment, not a financial investment.
Owning a lodge can offer you a luxury lifestyle, but first-time buyers may not realise you can’t get a mortgage on a static lodge. We do however offer competitive finance options, which we may be able to use to help you purchase your lodge, subject to status and conditions being met.
Overlooking additional costs
A common pitfall is forgetting about the additional costs to owning once you’ve purchased your lodge. At Haven the main costs are grouped under site fees and running costs, then there are additional costs like an additional TV licence (you can’t use your one from home), and annual costs to for maintenance to protect your lodge over the cold winter months.
Site fees relate to the pitch your lodge is on and it’s the cost to keep your lodge on the park for the year. These cover your share of the maintenance of the park grounds, security, and enable us to give owners their excusive perks. Running costs are costs associated with gas and electricity used, lodge insurance, water charges and non-domestic business rates.
But you always have the option to offset costs by letting friends or family hire your lodge, or we can hire your lodge out for you through our letting service.
Search for static caravans and lodges for sale at your chosen parks here