In the wake of the pandemic, working from home has left many people feeling like their house is becoming an office. The hectic summer holidays and everyday pressures of city life see many UK homeowners ready to fulfill their dream of owning a holiday home. Here at Fine & Country, we’ve come up with the most important factors to bear in mind before you walk off into the sunset:
The research stage covers your foundations, as you’ll probably have an endless list of things to keep in mind. How will you set your budget? Are there any local amenities? How much will it cost to travel there and back? Thorough research online is advised but you should also consider visiting the property and surrounding location before putting an offer in, or at least request a virtual tour if you are unable to travel.
The way you finance your holiday home purchase depends on whether you’re buying for personal use or to generate an income. If you’re buying the property as a second home solely for your own use, you can get a standard residential mortgage. If you plan to let out the property, you will need a specialist furnished holiday let mortgage.
During the first stages of house hunting, location is arguably the most important choice – do you want a villa overlooking the sea? Or perhaps a townhouse in the city centre? Once you’ve established exactly what you’re looking for, you can start comparing properties. Your ideal location depends on you and your family’s needs. For example, if you don’t like the idea of leaving any beloved furry friends behind, a cottage in the countryside is the perfect getaway for dog owners.
There will be many periods where you’re away from your holiday home, therefore it’s important to invest in some security measures. Make sure all security locks and alarms are installed and consider investing in security cameras for added safety. It’s also a good idea to build up a close relationship with your neighbours so that you can ask them to keep an eye on things when you’re away and vice versa.
Just like any other major purchase, insurance is essential. Due to the likelihood of being left vacant for long periods of time, your holiday home is subject to a few more risks than your main home, which is why regular home insurance may not offer sufficient coverage. Whether your holiday home is in the UK or abroad, specialist insurance is a must if you’re letting out the property.
Before commencing the search for your dream holiday home, take into consideration every factor of your current lifestyle and how your holiday home will need to accommodate them. Think about which features you really need – if you’re only going to be there a couple of times a year, you may not need state-of-the-art finishes and facilities. But if you’re a more frequent vacationer, you’ll probably want to make some upgrades for all your creature comforts.
Research and understand the local market
Each area will have its own property market and climate for you to research. Unfortunately, there may be some limitations for high-demand holiday locations. If you are looking for a holiday home in the UK, areas such as St Ives in Cornwall have placed bans on second homes due to housing becoming unaffordable for local people. It is wise to seek out areas less densely populated to allow yourself more choice and less competition.
An advantage of buying a holiday home is that you can tailor your holiday budget for the coming years. Once you have made the purchase, that’s your holidays and breaks sorted for many years. There are a variety of holiday homes on the market to meet your needs, so have a think about your budget first. You may need to consider Wi-Fi and broadband packages, insurance, and energy bills within the scope of your budget.
Decorating a home-away-from-home is not for the faint-hearted, particularly if you’re planning on buying abroad. Unless you’re already familiar with the surrounding area, it can be tasking to find furniture and facilities for moving hefty items to your property. It’s a good idea to keep your holiday home minimal – especially if you’re planning on letting it out. But if you’re likely to stay for lengthy periods of time, you should decorate little by little as you find your feet within the local area.
Ease of access
Accessibility is key, depending on how often you would like to make use of your holiday home and your long-term goals for the property. You may be searching for a regular weekend getaway or a more distant place to stay for longer periods, either way, it is good to ensure you have a decent amount of access to your home, and travel is never out of the realms of possibility. Accessibility becomes increasingly important if the home needs renovation or immediate attention.
To discover your dream holiday home in the UK or abroad, contact Fine & Country today to start your search.