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With Brexit looming and property investors less likely to dip into foreign markets, many are kick-starting their 2019 property searches closer to home. A UK holiday home can make a lot of sense; whether you are looking for a long term investment, somewhere to earn an income from holiday lettings or if profits are not as high on your financial planning agenda, it can be a place to be a family again and a sanctuary for your family’s leisure time. Check out this guide to help with some of the questions you may have about a UK holiday home…

 

Why a UK Holiday Home?

There are a lot of wonderful beaches in the world. Of course, to get to many of them means you need passports, currency exchanges, the worry of Brexit admin costs and forms to fill in to travel abroad. Plus, on top of that, you have to put up with the pressure of airports with 2AM alarm clocks. With your own holiday home in the UK, you get to spend more time chilling with your children and grandchildren and you get the chance to make money from holiday lettings when you’re not using it.

What types of holiday homes are there?

Caravans

Caravans are modular so this means they are prefabricated and fully constructed in a factory and transported to a holiday park where they are sited and connected (gas, electric, water etc). Caravans are usually sold on an annual license. This means that if you purchase a caravan you will own the caravan itself but your agreement between you as the owner and the park operator is agreed on an annual basis. Caravans range considerably in price. A used more basic model that maybe single glazed with basic heating could be around £10,000+ up to £50,000+ for a brand new top of the range model with double glazed windows and contemporary heating systems with radiators. Pricing policies vary from park to park.

Lodges

Lodges are generally timber in construction either made on site but are more often than not like caravan holiday homes which are manufactured in a factory, the only differences is they are made in two sections. Lodges are normally built to a higher specification than caravans. Lodges in the UK vary in price dramatically from £85,000+ up to as much as £250,000+.
Some lodges are sold on an annual license, however Tingdene sell this type of holiday home generally on a long lease (125 years as an example). A lease is different to an annual license; a lease is very similar to buying a flat or apartment as they are also sold on a lease. A lease is a legal document which generally represents a better financial investment and also more protection to the ‘Tenant’ of the lease. The ‘Landlord’ (park operator) and ‘Tenant’ ( leaseholder/holiday lodge owner) are protected and governed by property law - The Landlord & Tenant Act. Whilst a lease is a legal document, it is not necessarily something to be scared by as a buyer.
When purchasing a leasehold property, it is common for buyers to instruct a solicitor to act for them. A solicitor will also register the property with HMLR (Lands Registry) .

Chalets

Chalets are also very common. These were built mainly in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s as a popular holiday home of choice in the post war era and decades that followed the UK tourism boom. Chalets vary considerably however their construction usually is a flat roofed 2 bedroom property made out of brick and or timber materials. Chalets vary in price from around £10,000 - £40,000+ depending on the property condition, park and location.

Brick built villas, cottages & bungalows

This section covers some of the other holiday home types on offer. Brick-built properties may offer a more substantial construction which helps with the UK Winters! Whether you are looking for a traditional bungalow holiday home or something more modern there should be something on the market that suits your needs. Not an obvious thought but brick built cottages, villas and bungalows may well have loft and storage space available due to a pitched roof construction. This is handy when you are letting your holiday home as this means you can easily store your personal items away whilst your holiday home is ‘working hard’ earning you some money and a return on your investment.

Image: A  new 2 bedroom holiday home on the North Norfolk Coast  sold on a 99 year lease with 12 month holiday use.

Image: A new 2 bedroom holiday home on the North Norfolk Coast sold on a 99 year lease with 12 month holiday use.

Deckings

Many of us like the idea of relaxing outside, having a space to read your favourite book, a place to eat, drink and socialise in the sun maybe? A decking on your holiday home is a great addition! Deckings may not be allowed at all parks or on all holiday homes but is definitely worth asking this question. Other good questions to ask and to consider is how much would it cost? What type of decking would you be allowed, timber, UPVC, glass etc. Also park operators generally have approved contractors to whom they work with. so it maybe unlikely you would be able to construct it yourself. It is also common place to submit some basic plans in writing in order to get a decking approved.

How long is the holiday home season?

A parks site license will vary how long it can be used for holiday home owners use. Some parks may have a season of say 10 months or so, some may have a 12 month holiday use occupancy. However holiday parks are for holiday use only not residential. This means you cannot live at a holiday park or use it as your main or sole residence. It is a second home only.

Image:  Caravan holiday home at Broadlands Park & Marina  overlooking the Broads National Park.

Image: Caravan holiday home at Broadlands Park & Marina overlooking the Broads National Park.

Earning an income from holiday lettings

Some parks may offer you the option and opportunity to let your holiday home and earn an income. Subletting your holiday home is a great way to offset any annual costs such as site fees and ground rent etc. Some owners may choose to let their holiday home privately which means a more active role in their investment of a holiday home. This may involve marketing, key handling, checking guests in and out, laundry, linen services etc. Tingdene offer a managed letting scheme service for those looking for a passive approach to earning an income.It is important you understand all the charges. To find out more about how Tingdene can help you earn an income click the link below!

Annual costs

It is important that you fully understand how much the associated annual costs of owning a holiday home are. These will be found on your license agreement or lease. Remember when you have a holiday home on a holiday park this means that you will not own the land that your holiday home is sited on constructed on. It is also important to understand when these bills are due, are they due at once or are some able to paid over monthly instalments.

Typical example of annual costs of a holiday home:

  • Ground Rent or site fees ( this will be the main bill per annum)

  • Service Charge or maintenance charges (these will relate to the upkeep and maintenance of the holiday park)

  • Utilities - electric,gas,water

  • Council Tax (find out if this is applicable also if it is what band is the holiday home classed/rated as)

You can find the annual running costs of each of our properties for sale listings or by downloading our park’s holiday homes price lists.

Due diligence

Investing in a UK holiday home is obviously a big decision and will no doubt want to make sure you are investing in a credible company and holiday park operator. Do your research! Who owns the park? How long have they been operating? How are they funded? What are their customers and owners saying? What credible reviews are there online? A great and simple way to find out more is to have a chat with some of the existing owners! They may have been at the park for several years already and will have gone through the same buying process as you!