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Top Tips For Buying a Holiday Home

Some people have always dreamed of buying a holiday home, or a country escape that you can enjoy with your family and friends, before daydreams may have been overtaken in recent years due to busy lifestyles, and an uncertain property market.  However, there is still demand and interest in the holiday home market, in particular, if you are considering a nest egg in a popular holiday resort, or even a property that will be solely for your own family use.


When considering buying any property, and even before you begin your search, you need to sit down and work out just why and what you are buying this second home for. Are you recently retired and looking for a home in which you can enjoy weekends and time away with your growing family? Perhaps you are looking to invest in a property that you can rent out during the holiday season and leave to pay for itself? Maybe you are keen to set up your own guesthouse business, but feel that your current home will not suit your latest business venture? Whatever your reasons, it is vital that you remain transparent and honest about your needs from day one. Once you have worked out what your property is going to be used for, then you can start to narrow your search and set geographical boundaries in relation to the distance of your property from your current home. Remember, that investing in any overseas location poses a different range of risks. In particular, if something goes wrong and you need to book a plane ticket or spend an entire day travelling to get there and rectify the situation. Put your own needs first, or try placing yourself in your guest’ shoes – if you do not like any properties that you view, then the chances are that they won’t either. Once you have established just why you are buying a holiday home, then you can start to begin your property hunt in earnest.


Can you afford a holiday property?

Before jumping head first into your latest property venture, you need to be incredibly honest with yourself and your family, and make sure that you can fully afford to take on the second property. Remember that if you are planning to take on a holiday home for the rentals market that you will also need to consider the low season or periods in the year when you may struggle to rent out your home. Make sure that you make the most of the high, summer season and be prepared to run your own marketing drive to ensure that your property remains rented out during the best months of the year. You should also remain realistic and consider what happens if you are unable to break even during your first year of vacation home ownership. Do you have enough money in the bank or savings to tide you over until better times? While you may dream of owning a vacation home, if your finances are less than watertight, you may want to consider putting your real estate venture on hold until you are fully certain of your decision.


Remember that just as with your main home, you need to incorporate property taxes, insurance and any other house running costs into your overall budget. Even when you are not at the property, or it is not rented out, you will still need to pay for utilities costs, such as the water, gas and electric bills, and any other additional expenses including landscaping or maintenance work. When you are taking time to draw up your budget and outgoings, be sure to include these costs in your main plan, or else you could find yourself in a financial situation that is difficult to get out of.


Choose your location wisely

Before going ahead and signing on your new vacation home, you will need to make sure that you do your research and choose your location wisely. If you are considering buying a property overseas or further away how often can you go and visit this property? Do you have someone in mind, such as a nearby family member, to assist with the overall maintenance and upkeep of your holiday home? It is even advisable that you spend time in the area first, to see just how it feels living in the region during the colder months or on a day-to-day basis. Make sure that you take time to get to know your new neighbours, even if you are planning on renting the property out, as they could prove a valuable ally if you ever encounter any issues while your vacation home is occupied. Plus, local residents will be able to best advise you if you need any work completed on your property – not to mention they will know the best restaurants and eateries in the area also. Before buying your holiday home make sure that you book in an assessment from a structural advisor or surveyor, as they will be able to quickly suss out any issues that could pose a future problem to the outside or inside of your new home. Companies such as Otto’s Exteriors offer a variety of roofing and window replacement services to meet your maintenance needs. Finally, once you have chosen your location, checked in with your new neighbours and made sure that the maintenance of your home is up to date, then you should also be sure to check the safety and security of your property. If your home is in an area that is prone to heavy summer storms or tornadoes, then you need to make sure that it is prepared – just in case. While if you worry that crime rates are slightly higher than average, then be sure to make sure to replace any old, rotten window and door frames, to keep your new vacation home safe from opportunists and criminals. Now you can relax, safe in the knowledge that your latest real estate acquisition is truly ready for anything.


Buying for business

If you have made up your mind that you intend to buy your holiday home as a new business venture, then you will need to approach the entire purchasing process with a slightly different mindset. While you may have very particular tastes, or like a set style, remember that you are not buying the property solely for your own use. Rather, you need to approach each viewing as a potential new business investment and be prepared to hold onto your cash until you find a home that ticks not one, but all of the boxes. If you are buying a property to rent out, then you will want to find a home that requires as little maintenance or overall changes as possible. Remember that aesthetic alterations such as painting or extending the property can be done over time, once you have broken even or regained the money from your initial investment. If buying for business, then be sure to consider factors such as proximity to the closest airport, the local stores or restaurants and the time it takes to reach them, and finally make sure that you also check what is available on the current vacation home market. You do not want to invest on a road if the property over the street is going to be your main competitor. Try to choose a holiday home that is slightly unique, without being too alternative, and remember that you want to do as little work on your purchase as possible during the first few months or years. Taking the time to make these considerations will make your job fair easier in the long run when it comes to management.


Buying for yourself

If you are buying a holiday home for yourself and your family, then you will want to consider just how far you are willing to travel and how frequently you will be able to visit your holiday home. Remember that it is no fun sitting in hours of jams on the highway and that if you have to travel more than three hours, then you are less likely to visit each and every weekend. Even if you love your property, you will be losing money on your initial investment unless you remain realistic.


Buying a vacation home can even be more stressful than investing in your first property; however, this does not need to be the case. Approach this project logically and write down why you want a holiday home. Work out just how much you have to spend and be sure to include any other hidden costs in your budget. Make sure that you get to know your new neighbours and choose your location wisely – be sure to factor in travel times also. Finally, buying a holiday home for yourself or as a business venture are two very different projects, so be sure not to mix the two up. Enjoy property hunting and take your time – you will soon find the perfect property for your needs.

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