Differences Between Park Homes, Static Caravans and Lodges?

Differences Between Park Homes, Static Caravans and Lodges


Posted by Justin Allitt in Comment, April 11, 2016

When approaching retirement, many people may want to downsize their properties.  This means that they will look for smaller homes that are more convenient to live in and to manage.  Some may even buy holiday homes, where they spend most of their time throughout the year!  However, many more people invest in static caravans, lodges or park homes at residential communities.

If you’re looking to move to a residential home soon, you may find all of this a bit confusing.  What are the differences between all of these types of property?  Is a park home the same as a lodge?  What makes a ‘static caravan’ so different from other homes?  It might seem a bit confounding at first, but the differences are actually fairly straightforward!

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the different types of residential home available to you at parks across the UK.  We understand that buying any kind of home can be a big decision!  Therefore, if you are already finding the process a bit blurry, it’s time to look into the facts.  You need to know which property types are likely to be best for you and your needs!

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the different types of park property you’ll find across the UK.  Will a luxury lodge appeal to you?  What about a convenient static caravan?  If you’re really not sure, we are always here to help.  However, this guide should offer you fantastic support to help you on your way.

What Is A Park Home?

A park home, also referred to as a mobile home, is built to the “Specification for Residential Park Homes”. You can read about the British Standard BS3632 here.

Structures which are built to standards such as these are formed using timber frames and are designed to be used all year round.

As park homes can be lived in throughout the year, a park home can be classed as a person’s main UK residence on a park or location that holds a residential license. These are issued by a local council.

Furthermore, a park that holds a registered residential park license offers protection to its its residents with security of tenure by the Mobile Homes Act, more of which you can read about by heading to gov.uk.

The specification of park homes and the fact that they are built to be used  year round (residential use) was traditionally the biggest difference between park homes, lodges and static caravans. Read about how park homes are made here.

What Is A Lodge?

This is where things can get a little tricky.  While park homes are permanent properties, the way you choose to use a lodge can really differ.  These are luxury properties which, again, benefit from the BS3632 standard.  They also benefit from timber builds.

However, the way you use a lodge will depend on the rules of the park you stay at.  Some will have full residential licences, while others will only offer holiday home purchases and lets.  Therefore, it’s important to really check this distinction before you make a move.  Lodges are very popular with holiday homeowners.  However, this means that they won’t be able to use such properties as their main, permanent residences.

Residential lodges do exist, and you can often stay in holiday lodges on a 12-month season.  However, legally, if a park doesn’t have a residential licence, you can’t treat a lodge as your permanent dwelling.  If you want to purchase a lodge, you should always check the licence!

You should always be careful if you are looking at lodges which offer 11-month residencies.  These parks have holiday licences, and this will mean you need to prove how you use your property.  You’ll need to prove that you have a permanent home elsewhere in the UK, otherwise, you will be breaking the law!

If you’d like to know more about buying a lodge, as well as staying in these luxury properties, Selly My Group has plenty of great guides to help you on your way.  You can buy lodges for holiday or residential purposes – but be careful you make the right choice!

What About Static Caravans?

This is where things really start to differ!  A static caravan is much different than caravans and mobile homes you’ll see attached to the backs of cars.  These properties build to sit in one position, on one plot.  Hence the name ‘static’!

These caravans build to a specification called EN1647.  This means that the build quality is different to what you’ll expect from park homes and lodges.  For example, static caravans may not offer as much insulation or as much protection.  However, there are many benefits to choosing this type of property.

Many people choose caravans for holiday use.  The lower build specification means that they are not ideal to live in permanently.  That’s why you will normally find many holiday parks offering static caravans as standard.  They are very cost-effective and easy to clean and maintain.  However, you should never use a static caravan as your main residence as, again, you will be breaking the law.

If you take a look through the holiday park listings available at Sell My Group, you will find that there are plenty of sites offering caravans as priority.  Golden Sands, in North Wales, is a really good example.  However, it’s worth remembering that these holiday sites will generally only open on a seasonal basis.  Static caravans, furthermore, do not receive cover from the Mobile Homes Act.  That’s all the more reason to stay in a caravan only for short periods!

Which Property is Best For You?

If you’re still finding things confusing, don’t worry!  Millions of people go through the same worries and concerns before picking their perfect park properties.  The crucial thing you will need to keep in mind when narrowing down your choices is, of course, to consider how you want to use your home. 

  • Park homes are fantastic if you want to move away on a permanent basis.  These properties offer year-long living and consistent comfort.  You’ll find most residential parks offer park homes as standard.  You can buy them outright, and when you sign a contract with a park owner, you’ll agree that it will become a permanent address.  Do remember, however, that you will just buy the property – not the land it sits on.  You will lease the land!
  • Static caravans are fantastic for short breaks.  They are ideal for warmer holidays due to insulation standards.  They require a little more care and maintenance than park homes.  However, if you do want to invest in a humble property close to the coast or countryside, a great little caravan should give you more than enough joy.  Just remember, you can’t move into a caravan permanently!  Again, you’ll sign a contract with a holiday park to agree this.
  • Lodges offer a brilliant midway point.  You can buy some lodges to live in, but many people choose to buy them as luxury holiday homes.  They offer higher building standards than caravans.  They are seen as the ‘premium’ option when it comes to holiday property, but many people feel the investment is more than worth it.  If you are going to go on holiday a lot, or if you want to really benefit from the ultimate in comfort, a lodge is a perfect choice.

Conclusion

Investing in any kind of park property can seem scary at first.  There are so many different things to consider!  However, the differences between property types are actually a lot simpler than they may seem at first.

If you want to invest in a holiday home, look at static caravans for short, occasional trips.  For longer holidays, consider buying a lodge.  If you want to live at a park permanently, you’ll need to buy a park home at a site with a residential licence.  That, crucially, is what you need to know!

The trickier part, of course, is finding your perfect park.  That’s because there is so much choice out there, from coast to coast!  At Sell My Group, you can search through hundreds of listings for wonderful park homes, caravans and lodges at some of the best parks the UK has to offer.  Now you know a little bit more about what to look for, why not have a quick search around and see how you get on?