Where to buy a second home or holiday home

It is many people’s dream to own that second home; to wake up to the sound of seagulls in the morning or even the sound of silence in the countryside away from the pressures of everyday life. And the dream has become a reality for many of us with over 250,000 second home owners in the UK according to the Department of Community and Local Government, plus many more choosing to high spec lodge on parks.

For many individuals, buying and owning holiday home is a weekend escape; the chance to unwind and forget about the pressures of the working week. For others, it is a gift to themselves bought on retirement to while away the long summer evenings in a peaceful surrounding.

Let’s look at some of the considerations when choosing where to buy the perfect home:

Usage:

Think about how the second home will be used. Is it an all-year round weekend escape or a summer retreat to be occupied for a weeks at a time? How much time will you realistically spend there? Will you allow friends or close family to use it? For example if the property is only to be used for a few days at a time, the required amount of storage will be less than used at home. Is it large enough to accommodate members of your family?

Distance from home:

Following on from usage, how far away from the permanent address? If travelling to the holiday home takes a long time, say a 5 hour + drive, will that deter usage?

Far from the maddening crowd:

Sounds ideal? The escape to a tranquil part of the country undisturbed by the pace of modern day life. That is until the summer when the picture-postcard seaside village is swamped with holidaymakers jamming the narrow country roads, stripping the local shop of supplies and causing queues in the local pub. On the flip-side in the winter months may see many local amenities close for months at a time.

But don’t let this act as a deterrent. Gain local knowledge from the estate agents to learn how the locality changes throughout the year.

Childhood memories:

For many, the chance to own and stay in a seaside town where you, as a child, enjoyed summer holidays is a strong draw. But spend some time in the area and get to know the area again through the eyes of an adult to make sure those memories still hold the same appeal.

The rental potential:

For many second home owners, letting a property for holiday lets will pay for the mortgage and running costs. If this is the case, consider the following:

  1. Is the area a popular tourist area? Check out how well other holiday lets do in the area.
  2. Does the property have sea or countryside views and parking? These are two popular selling points.
  3. Are there amenities such as shops and restaurants in the area and attractions for holidaymakers to visit.

Andrew Easton is the Website Manager for www.holidayhomeinformation.co.uk, the complete guide to buying and running a second home holiday let.