- aging hippieParticipant@aging-hippieJoin Date: 2013Post Count: 2
My husband and I have just spent the last 6 months traveling around Australia in a motorhome. This was for two reasons.The first being to see this wonderful country and the second was to get a good feel for the caravan park industry. We are now ready to purchase our own park and would value input from people who have experience in this field ie. recommendations for brokers, accountants etc as well as things we should be on the lookout for. There seems to be plenty of information available with regards to purchasing motels but very little on caravan parks. We would value all thoughts and comments. CheersColin RiceParticipant@fmsJoin Date: 2011Post Count: 338
Many banks consider caravan parks as "unacceptable security" . The few banks that will consider it would require a deposit of 50% of the value and would be limited to certain locations as well. It would also be considered a commercial deal.FreckleBlocked@freckleJoin Date: 2012Post Count: 1,680
I would look at leasing or managing before buying. Many a dream is shattered when fantasy meets reality.CatalystParticipant@catalystJoin Date: 2008Post Count: 1,404
As Freckle said do your DD. We looked at this many years ago. We were going to go halves with friends. LOTS of work and you are tied down daily.
Not my idea of retirement.Scott No MatesParticipant@scott-no-matesJoin Date: 2005Post Count: 3,856
From what I have gleamed from my contact with caravan parks:
aging hippieParticipant@aging-hippieJoin Date: 2013Post Count: 2
- Land is often a mix of freehold & leasehold (a portion may belong to council/railways/utilties etc)
- It is a 24/365 job, not even 24/7 – there isn't a ready pool of locum managers available
- Carry out lots of research – business brokers, specialist valuers, solicitor, accountant, council, town planner, insurance broker etc
- Often located in best/worst locations (great position but subject to floods, environmental zone etc)
- If you pick the right site, it may have development potential in the distant future.
- Need to know the metrics for the industry, how many permanent sites/overnighters/camp sites etc, occupancy rate etc
Thanks everyone your advice is gratefully received.
Scott is on the money.
Big land gobblers. Usual return of about 15% freehold. avoid anything with a shop, too much extra work. Parks with permanents cause headaches. If it's big enough for 2 couples there's a chance at alternating time off during quiet times. Many days on a whippersnipper and mower. Trade and or handyman skills so important, forever repairing something. Plenty of cash income. Relief managing is educational. We've managed 3 parks, that was enough.
thecrestvagirl2012Participant@vagirl2012Join Date: 2012Post Count: 47
Holiday parks seem to be the holy grail of semi-retirement but def pay attention to what the other posters have said in regards to how much hands-on work is involved.Walking to runParticipant@alisdair-horgenJoin Date: 2014Post Count: 68
I’m surprised nobody has mentioned this and judgemental as I may seem, i don’t care I lived in Dandenong for 5 years, I considee myself centre left but,
Consider socio economics. Holiday parks and caravan parks are not the same thing. There’s also a law somewhere I believe about not being allowed to refuse rights of accommodation. Have to confirm that and people work around it but technically it’s supposed to be fair and accessible for all. So when an intellectually disabled person arrives who probably has no real means to pay, how are you going to handle that? How will you handle it when a guy turns up drunk and is making trouble? Sure call the police, which far flung town are you going to be in? Can you handle yourself?
I guess the message is from most of us, it ain’t no dream. I used to think yeah I’ll be a fitness instructor I’ll be super fit and happy. It sucks being on the other side. Looks glamorous. Sucks. Being on holiday is different to working at a holiday place.
If you think about your audience, who is likely to stay in these places? You need your permanent residents and your visitors. Why not tone it down a bit, get a place and airbnb some rooms? Is that workable? I know that’s not what you asked but nobody is on here raving saying what a great idea. There must be a reason.
Maybe another business in a holiday town, a laundromat and restaurant with some rooms for accomodation. I’m not sure but my mum wanted to do what you’re planning and I really recommended against it.
When you travelled did you speak to the owners? Make some contacts? Get some honest feedback? Maybe you could email or write to them If you didn’t already ask telling them what you liked about thir park and ask them honestly saying you were inspired. They will most likely happily share honest advice.
Running a park requires knowledge of the law and exercising your authority from time to time. It’s easier without permanents to be polite. Fortunately it’s not like a nightclub where you need security staff that have to look like wrestlers. Police can handle those who become troublemakers, but with experience you recognise them and refuse them accommodation. It’s your right. Choose what you can handle and just don’t bite off more than you can chew. Better accommodation attracts better clientele, just like rental properties. Choose a run down cheap park and trouble will follow.
Otherwise, choose a nice motel or other business which attracts nice customers. I’ve run 3 parks and this is based on my personal experience.