Caravan And Lodge Buyers Guide

When it comes to buying anything, especially expensive items or potential investments it is important to do a bit of research about the product and why it might be suited for you. We’ve created this guide to help you figure out which potential holiday home option may be best suited for you and how Findhorn Sands can help, should you choose. At the end of this document is a comparison table for caravans and lodges.

WHERE TO START

Consider why buying a caravan or lodge is something that appeals to you. Think about writing a list of your wants and needs, how can a holiday home fit into them…

  • What is your holiday budget each year?
  • Who would be using the holiday home? Is it for family use, retirement, pets?
  • Do you have family or friends who live far away? Would having a holiday home close by make life easier when visiting?
  • Do you have a medical condition or something that prevents extended travel or trips away from home?
  • Do you want to stop going though airports and different time zones?
  • Is there a special place you don’t visit enough and would like to?
  • Are you prepared to own a caravan or lodge as well as your own home?
  • Do you have a way to get to and from your holiday home? Is public transport an option?
  • After the pandemic, is it safer to stay closer to home?

BUDGET

It is important to remember owning a lodge or caravan on a site will bring with it the annual costs as well as the purchase. Some sites allow caravans or lodges to be sub-letted which can help earn back some of your money, however due to our licence, we do not allow this onsite.

Work out the amount you have, to spend on buying a brand new/second-hand caravan or eco lodge.

Then understand if you will be able to afford the following costs:

  • Site fees– Differ from site to site and depend on location, facilities and services provided. Site fees may often rise each year to reflect inflation and business growth. The range of site fees could go from £1000-£5000. The lower end being a small, basic park with fees spent on general upkeep. The higher end offering leisure facilities, entertainment, food and drink establishments or being in a highly desirable location. Findhorn Sands sits in the middle, if you would like a more detailed quote, please get in touch.
  • Winter caravan storage– Most sites include this in their site fees, we do at Findhorn Sands. But it is important to check if the park you are interested in charges winter storage as this can be an unexpected cost.
  • Gas and Electricity– Some sites have meters or bottle for their gas and electricity and will charge much the same as you get charged at home. It entirely depends on how much you use throughout the year. If you think about it, it will most likely balance out as you will be paying less at your main residence while you spend time at your holiday home. Findhorn sands have electricity meters for all vans and lodges which are billed annually. Some caravans have bottles, but most have gas, read through a meter.
  • CP12 and winterisation– All caravans require annual gas safety checks. These are carried out by certified engineers at the end or beginning of the year. We like all our vans to be drained completely of water before the cold winter starts to prevent damage. Owners of vans with central heating are required to have sufficient anti-freeze.
  • Insurance– Just like your home and car, your holiday home needs to be insured. There are plenty of specialist insurers who can provide cover in case something goes wrong. You can get quotes by emailing the company. Many owners on site use insurers like Leisure days, Towergate, Frank Pickles, NFU mutual and Coast.
  • Wi-Fi– Findhorn sands provide Wi-Fi through local company Wi-Fi Scotland. There is a cost for installation and an annual cost. Some sites offer free Wi-Fi accessible to all. Check with the site if this is something you will want.
  • Other costs– Damage, maintenance and replacement of items inside or the home itself should be considered. Insurance can cover this if you claim, but it is a good idea to expect smaller costs to crop up for this occasionally.

LOCATION

Location

If you think buying a caravan or lodge is something feasible for you and your family, start to consider which site is best for you and what the area is like.

  • How are you going to get there?
  • How long will it take, and will you be able to travel for this long?
  • Where is the park? Will you feel happy about leaving your van there for long periods of time? Does the surrounding area have the shops, facilities or scenery you would like?
  • Is the park child or pet friendly?
  • Do you need disabled access?
  • Are you looking for peace and quiet or a lively atmosphere?

Most parks will be happy to talk on the phone about what they offer and can provide speedier and more accurate information than emailing and websites.

SAYING YES

When you finally come to buying your holiday home, make sure you have got all the answers and information you need before agreeing to buy anything. If a site doesn’t want to tell you something it may be a warning sign. If you get the chance to explore the site, try to get some time to see it alone and potentially meet a current owner. Ask them their opinion of the site. Observe the state of the site too… is it in a good condition?

 

 

 

 

 

THE CARAVAN OR LODGE ITSELF

There are a lot of different manufacturers who offer a range of models to cater for varying budgets and tastes. If you’ve worked out how much you have to spend, and where you think you might like to be, start to think about what you want from your caravan or lodge.

  • How many beds or rooms should there be?
  • How many bathrooms do you want? Bath or Shower, or both?
  • What kind of kitchen and appliances do you want or need?
  • What size is best for you-Do you need disability access or extra space?
  • Do you want central heating?
  • Do you want double glazing?
  • What kind of storage space will you require?
  • What furniture will be included/will you be putting in it?

It is unlikely every home you find will meet all your requirements, so prioritise the most important ones to make the process easier and then see what other features are included. Remember you can get decking and outdoor features later once you are on a site (like sheds, BBQ’s, benches).

THE PAPERWORK!

When the actual sale comes around expect to read some important documents. These could include terms and conditions, a license agreement, title transfer etc… It is so, so important you take your time to read through and understand everything you will be agreeing and buying into.

If you feel rushed to sign when the documents are given to you, ask to take them home and post with your signature, or read in your car to make sure you can take all in information in at your own pace and without pressure. Make sure everything is done lawfully and you feel comfortable. If there are any warning signs, hold off signing until you understand the situation. Don’t be afraid to question anything and ask as many questions as you like. It is the job of the person sorting the sale to help you out. After all you are the paying customer!

HANDING OVER THE KEYS

It will differ site to site and owner to owner, how, and when, the caravan will officially be yours. Make sure you establish this when you agree to buying the van, so you have the right expectations. Sometimes you may be shown around the van and shown how some things work, for example, how to turn the water on, how the gas fire is lit, which keys unlock which door etc… If you don’t get shown, don’t be scared to call or email to ask… even after you’ve had your van for a while! The site may keep a copy of your key to access the van in emergencies or to carry our work. Do not rely on them for a spare and make some copies for yourself, family or trusted friends.

 CARAVANECO LODGE

PRICE

 

The price of a caravan can vary from around £2000-£60,000. It all depends on what you needThe price of a lodge can vary from around £50,000-£250,000 depending on size & manufacturer
YEARLY EXPENSES

·         Site fees

·         Insurance

·         Electricity and or Gas

·         General maintenance

·         Travel (home to caravan)

·         Winterisation

·         CP12 checks

·         Site fees

·         Insurance

·         Electricity

·         General maintenance

·         Travel (home to lodge)

 

PROS

·         A home away from home

·         Can use as a base to explore further afield, regularly

·         Become part of the site community

·         Easily transportable- for selling, buying or transferring plots

·         Reduces flight costs and emissions

·         Ideal for people who can’t fly or travel too far

·         Have reliable accommodation closer to family or friends

·         Make use of Public transport as static homes don’t need to be towed

 

·         A home away from home

·         Can use as a base to explore further afield, regularly

·         Become part of the site community

·         Can be transported if needed

·         Reduces flight costs and emissions

·         Ideal for people who can’t fly or travel too far

·         Energy efficient

·         Environmentally friendly (both the build and use)

Cut energy costs

CONS

·         Cannot move the van alone

·         Older vans may not be as energy or heat efficient as newer models

·         Cannot be easily/quickly moved

·         High initial purchase price

FINDHORN SANDS PROS

 

·         Can visit whenever within 7-month season

·         Located right next to the beach

·         Situated in Findhorn, which has plenty to do for all ages in the village and Moray/Highland area

·         Children’s Play area

·         Defibrillator

·         Over 160 caravans contributing to a unique community atmosphere

·         Laundry facilities available

·         Can visit whenever within 11 months of the licenced year

·         Located right next to the beach

·         Situated in Findhorn, which has plenty to do for all ages in the village and Moray/Highland area

·         Children’s Play area

·         Defibrillator

·         12 lodges and counting, creating a small and welcoming section of the park dedicated to eco lodges

FINDHORN SANDS CONS

·         No Leisure facilities on site

·         No pub/bar on site

·         No touring caravans or tents

·         No Leisure facilities on site

·         No pub/bar on site

·         No touring caravans or tents