The Buyers Guide to Pre-Owned Holiday Homes in Britain

Whether you choose to call them caravans, chalets or holiday homes, getaway properties by the coast make an attractive investment for anyone who wants instant access to sea and sun-filled breaks on Britain’s shores at any time of year.

However, anyone who is considering buying a holiday home should be prepared to investigate their options thoroughly just as they would with any major purchase. Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself and the seller before making a commitment to become a holiday home owner.

Why buy second-hand?

A holiday home is an investment and if you’ve never owned one before, it’s wise to take your first steps onto the holiday home property ladder by buying second-hand. This gives you the opportunity to see how much use you will make of it, how you will manage the costs of maintaining it and whether it has any potential to be sub-let to other holidaymakers.

Where should I buy one from?

Don’t assume that buying a second-hand holiday home means buying privately. It’s prudent to buy from an official dealer or caravan holiday park because you’ll receive a warranty which will protect your investment. This means that for a limited period you’ll have the opportunity to test your purchase and if you do discover any problems, receive advice and support to cover the cost of any repairs or replacements.

Is it watertight?

This is one of the most important maintenance points to investigate. Leaks and damp which go unchecked can cause structural and cosmetic damage, particularly when condensation and mould accumulate in a holiday home that is left vacant for long periods of time.  Make sure you inspect any window and door seals, and any guttering or fascias for signs of wear and damage.

What are the payment options?

This is another benefit of buying from a reputable dealer. Many can offer you a payment plan at very reasonable rates, particularly those which include locating your holiday home on a resort as part of a package. This allows you to enjoy the facilities of a holiday park, the security and maintenance the site offers your caravan and the opportunity to sub-let it to other holidaymakers to offset the cost of your purchase.

What model should I go for?

There are two things to consider here. First of all, you’re most likely to be buying a holiday home for your own enjoyment, so think carefully about how often you intend to use it and with how many other people. Consider how much space you need and how practical the features are, such as pull-out beds. Secondly, if you think you may want to sell it in the future, you should consider how appealing it will be to other buyers.

When is the best time to buy?

This really depends on your personal circumstances. Holiday homes are available for purchase all year round, but if you want to capitalise on your investment, it’s wise to buy at the beginning of the year when you could benefit from seasonal discounts on purchase prices. Perhaps more importantly, buying early in the year means you are ready for the holiday season and able to get maximum use out of it, either by spending time in it yourself, or by sub-letting it to other holidaymakers.

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