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If you are considering buying a holiday home you need to be sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Are you buying a holiday home for rental income, capital growth or is it a lifestyle investment?
Purchasing a holiday home could be one of the biggest purchases you will make, and mistakes can turn the dream into a nightmare. Here are our top tips around making a calculated investment and securing your perfect bolthole….
What you need to know...
After a raft of tax and regulation changes affecting landlords in the last few years, you might discount a buy-to-let investment. The good news is that despite these changes, rewards for landlords looking at buying a holiday let can still be high, with added tax advantages compared to other investments.
However, in order to qualify for the furnished holiday letting tax benefits your holiday property must be available for letting to the public for at least 210 days a year and must be let for at least 105 days a year. Is this achievable?
Always get a couple of home insurance quotes before you purchase a property to ensure cover is available. This could flag up potential issues with suitable cover and premiums, such as if the property is in a flood-risk area. The Environment Agency website is another useful resource that we suggest you refer to.
If you dream of enjoying a healthy return on your investment from the offset, then this is probably unrealistic. You may just break even in the first couple of years. There are significant expenses involved in setting up and running a holiday home all year round. You’ll need to factor in mortgage repayments, property management, cleaning, maintenance and breakages, taxes, insurance, electricity and water bills, travelling expenses (if you are not nearby).
Don’t let your heart rule your head. Before proceeding with the purchase, obtain an independent valuation and property survey to identify potential problems e.g. subsidence, damp, flooding and seek expert legal advice. Any findings could well give you the opportunity to negotiate on the price.
Can you legally rent the place? If it’s a flat/apartment then running a holiday let may not be allowed within the leasehold.
Consult the local planning authority to investigate any planned developments in your area? A new motorway, housing estate or train line could have a detrimental effect. On the other hand, a golf course or cycle trail could add to its appeal.
Do your sums – would a holiday let provide higher rental yields than a buy-to-let property? Make sure that buy-to-let is the investment you want. Your money might be able to perform better elsewhere
If it’s about the financials, then invest for high rental yield to maximise your income over potential capital gains. Do the numbers all add up?
Location, location, location. Fully booked properties are usually located in the best locations with great amenities close by. A ‘bargain property’ isn’t a good investment if it’s not in a popular location.
The proximity to amenities is essential for your holidaymakers. Are there shops within walking distance, restaurants, pubs, golf courses, supermarkets, country walks, tourist attractions etc, close by?
If you are buying your holiday let purely to maximise rental yield, don’t be influenced by your own choice of location. Just because you like a remote hideaway miles from anyone with no internet connection, doesn’t mean that it will appeal to your guests.
If the property is an established holiday let and the vendor is adding a premium for the rentals, ask the current owner for evidence of previous rental income. Don’t overpay for the established business if the figures don’t stack up.
Review search sites such as (rightmove/zoopla) to research sold prices for similar properties. Establish if the house has been reduced and how long it’s been on the market, use this information to negotiate. You can also set an alert on Rightmove and it will email you each time a vendor lists a property in an area that interests you.
Holidaymakers enjoy some outdoor living space where they can relax and enjoy breakfast or an early evening drink. Ensure you’re buying a property that offers this.
Why are you buying a holiday home? – is it for rental income, capital growth, lifestyle investment to enjoy holidays with family and friends or a mixture of all three? ask yourself if you’ll feel comfortable with other people staying there if you also intend using it?
Who will look after the property when you aren’t there? Is there a local workforce who can clean, do changeovers, tend to the garden? If you are investing from a distance or don’t want to deal with the stress of taking care of bookings, guest and management, you will need a Letting Agency that can support you. Holiday at Home are able to offer a wide variety of management options to meet the needs of most owners.
As much as you like to stay in your property yourself, bear in mind the peak periods are when you make the most money so school holidays and summer will be off limits, unless you are prepared to forgo maximising rental income.
If you are looking to make millions, then letting out your holiday home is probably NOT the best place to invest.
Like all investments there are risks when purchasing property, but there also opportunities. The key is do your research and treat a holiday let as you would any investment – don’t let your heart rule your head.
A holiday home means you have your own bolt hole which you can visit as and when you wish whilst also letting it out can contribute to the running expenses.
Regardless of your motives for buying, it’s a ‘lifestyle investment’ so bear that in mind.
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Making the decision to let your holiday home can be daunting but rest assured we’re close by with guidance, ideas, and suggestions along the way ensuring you’ll always remain on track.
Holiday at Home is the booking agent for a unique collection of luxury holiday properties. If you are considering becoming a new holiday home owner or need any assistance, then please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team.