Gransnet forums


Static Caravan - buy or not?

(49 Posts)
Candy6 Tue 10-Mar-20 09:39:22

Hi ladies, hubby and I are in such a dilemma. We would both like a holiday home on the coast and getting a static caravan seems to be the cheaper option. Problem is, they are still very expensive and so are the yearly site fees. We have found the perfect one but as is usual with us, it’s more expensive due to its location. I really, really like the idea but on the other hand realise it’s a huge financial commitment. The money isn’t too much of a problem while hubby still works full time and although we have provision when he does retire, we’re just not sure if it’ll be more of a problem then. I think we’re probably overthinking it a bit as we’re the worst decision makers ever. I’ve also been suffering from anxiety/low mood for the past 18 months or so and the thought of having somewhere nice to go on the coast really excites me but then I question whether I’m currently in the right frame of mind to make this decision. I know it’s not a life or death situation and it’s only us that can make a decision and compared to what some are going through it’s very minor, but I would appreciate your thoughts/advice on this. Many thanks.

annep1 Tue 10-Mar-20 22:20:05

I agree with Smileless's comments although our fees plus insurance is just under £2k.
Wishing you many happy years in your lodge Smileless.

Candy6 Tue 10-Mar-20 22:22:07

Thank you all so much. A lot to think about! Xx

Smileless2012 Tue 10-Mar-20 22:39:29

Wishing the same for you annepl and you too Candy if you decide to go ahead.

NotSpaghetti Tue 10-Mar-20 22:58:55

I don't have one but I do know someone who has one on the East coast. He has used it mainly for weekends with his family but has been trying to sell it on for nearly two years now. He can't even take it off the site without paying for the site to move it. He says he "feels sick" when he thinks how much it has cost him over the last 7 years, the site fees alone are now horrendous.

He has had some happy times there so I'm not saying don't do it, but do be really thorough with your research, not just about purchasing it and the on-costs but about selling it afterwards and the rights of the site owner to vary the conditions.

bikergran Thu 12-Mar-20 08:55:35

Big tourer is a thought ...also you could buy a nice big awning to sit in it double the size of the caravan.

JuliaM Thu 12-Mar-20 09:29:20

The latest Tourers can be over 8ft wide and 22ft Long inside.
Some have separate bedrooms with fixed beds, can be used all year round due to having a decent Central heating system. They have flush toilets and a large shower smart enough to rival some modern domestic bathrooms. spacious Fridge Freezer, duel fuel hob for Gas or Electricity, and a domestic style oven and Grill., with a fitted Microwave as Standard.
Get onto a ‘Superpitch’ and you have a mains water hook up, Tv Point, waste water disposal drain, and sometimes a Wi-Fi connection as well. For anyone who dislikes the thought of towing to a new site should they tire of the area, a National Tow service is available, as are some superb facilities including full Leisure centres, hot tub hire, and entertainment on site. There are also quiet basic farm type sites if an ‘away from it all’ type of holiday is more your kind of thing, enjoying some stunning scenery and on one Norfolk site we once used, watching Barn owls hunting over the marshes, and lots of wildlife including Osprey and Otters, and various River boats enjoying the Norfolk broads. Pure freedom to Roam in a Home from Home.

gillybob Thu 12-Mar-20 09:37:23

We had a static caravan in Northumberland but had to sell it ( and the house) to save our small business during the financial crash . I cried buckets for the caravan but didn’t give two hoots about the house .

I would say that if you can afford the yearly fees ( and the other expenses such as insurances etc) then go for it .

Yes you’ll lose money if/when you sell, but a caravan is an investment in happiness not money . I can honestly say that being in our caravan were the happiest times in my life .

annep1 Thu 12-Mar-20 11:28:57

Gillybob what an awful time for you.

As I said before, and Gillybob says, its an investment in happiness. If finance matters ,JuliaM's post makes a lot of sense.

welshchrissy Thu 12-Mar-20 12:39:10

We bought a brand new static in 2016 and I would say it’s one of the best decisions we ever made. We s
Spend most of the summer there and a good part of the winter because the van has central heating and the site is open for 11 months of the year. Site fees about £3000 other costs about £500 . We let friends and family use it but do not rent it out. Site is about 2 hours from home and has a pool, clubhouse and restaurant. Love it and do not look on it as an investment but just part of making our retirement enjoyable

Candy6 Thu 12-Mar-20 12:41:37

Hi all thank you so much for all your replies. I thought I would let you all know that we decided not to go ahead with this one. It’s been a very difficult decision and it’s triggered my anxiety a bit but financial common sense ruled in the end. The actual van was coming out at £106,000 plus a yearly ground rent cost of £5,000. The van would have had to be renewed after 15 years so we figured that total cost (£181,000 - £12,000 a year) would buy us a lot of weeks & weekends away! The site fees would have gone up every year I think plus things like insurance/gas/electric. We weren’t sure actually how much use we would get out of it either or if we’d get bored going to the same place all the time. If we decided to sell we would lose money plus the site would take a commission on the sale. Just too much but I’m still gutted tbh. Thanks all again, your comments have been useful xx

Smileless2012 Thu 12-Mar-20 12:56:41

£106,000 for the static caravanshock good grief!!

Our brand new 2 bedroom lodge with a separate utility room with w/m and both bedrooms en suite, one with a bath was £58,000 last May. The price you've been quoted is astronomical, I'm not surprised you've decided against.

Would it be better looking around for a better deal?

Candy6 Thu 12-Mar-20 13:37:32

We’ve looked at loads tbh. Trouble is, we liked this site the best of all. Not a great deal on it, it’s location was the key. We’ll keep looking though.

Smileless2012 Thu 12-Mar-20 13:38:49

Hope you can find something Candy.

Candy6 Thu 12-Mar-20 15:13:16

Thank you. Yours sounds lovely. Wish we could find the same xx

annep1 Thu 12-Mar-20 16:07:33

Good grief indeed. No need to spend so much. Smileless's sounds lovely . Ours was £19k and a bargain, hardly used. Site fees £2k. I think Ireland is cheaper than England though. The same van I priced on an English site at nearer £30k.

Candy6 Thu 12-Mar-20 17:02:39

That sounds great too. Some of these sites have it made and impose so many terms and conditions that are essentially easy money making and the demand is such that you either put up with it or walk away as they always have someone else who will pay such extortionate fees.

Doodledog Thu 12-Mar-20 17:19:28

The site determines the cost of the caravan or lodge, not just the fees. It is really difficult to find an actual price for comparison nowadays, as a lot of the manufacturers are linked to the site owners, too.

Ours was about £75k, and is far from the top of the range model, but the site can charge a premium because of its location. We love it, though - it is a 2 bed lodge with a bath and shower, which is more than big enough for 2 of us. The main bedroom is spacious, and having a bath is a real luxury compared to caravans I knew as a child grin.

Something else to bear in mind is that lodges in particular come unfurnished, so as well as the price to buy it, you have to fork out for that, too. The upside, of course, is that you furnish them to your own taste, and could, potentially, take things with you if you sell it on.

Which leads to another consideration. If we ever did decide to let ours go, we would have vast amounts of things to re-home, from duvets and plates to bookcases and things like a coffee table and sideboard, plus all the kitchen equipment we have acquired over the years - a microwave, magimix, slow cooker etc. They are great to have when you are there for a while, but we don't need two of each at home, and there is no saying that a buyer would want that sort of thing.

NotSpaghetti Thu 12-Mar-20 18:14:05

Candy6 - just had an idea- can you discover a couple of owners at the site you love and see if they let theirs out on a private basis?
Goid luck!

Candy6 Fri 13-Mar-20 00:00:02

A lodge is far superior to a caravan so it must be lovely- and confirms to me that ours was definitely overpriced. A google search confirmed that the van was actually worth £50,000, plus £12,500 for decking (which was compulsory) so the rest of the cost was for the pitch, which you did not own and would have to be renewed after the 15 years. Just too much money.

Candy6 Fri 13-Mar-20 00:02:41

Sorry the above was meant for you Doodledog.
NotSpaghetti- I don’t think the site allows rentals but I’ll check that out. Thanks xx

gillybob Fri 13-Mar-20 05:13:27

The site we had charged a one off siting fee of about 5k depending on the plot you had. The yearly fees went up every year and were almost 4K when we left the site in 2011. When we left we were only allowed to sell the caravan back to the site owner (not allowed to sell privately) and we will never know how much he sold it for compared with how much he gave us for our caravan .

annep1 Fri 13-Mar-20 10:29:50

Our site fees are roughly £1800. We can sell the caravan privately but have to give the site owners £3k. Unfair, but the only downside. Everything is strictly monitored and site is beautifully maintained. Family can stay. Renting not allowed which I think is good. You just need to find the right site.

Candy6 Fri 13-Mar-20 22:54:13

Thank you both xx