If you’ve ever hankered after owning a holiday home in the sun, you’re not alone. With so many programmes about owning a property abroad, it’s not surprising that we get wistful about not being able to afford our own place in the sun.
However, before you get too down on yourself about it, just consider some of the downsides to having your very own place in the sun. For a start you really have to know that you want to have the commitment of buying a holiday home as it will make it hard to justify going to other places for vacations. Although you might think you have found paradise and you’d like a piece of it, imagine for a moment the realities.
As well as having to find the money to buy the place, you’ll also have to consider running costs. Land tax, council tax and utility bills all have to be met. And if you think you can cover the running costs by letting it out, think carefully before going ahead. Although quick calculations will tell you what you could earn from your holiday home, you have to be realistic about the number of weeks you’ll actually manage to let out per year, and the logistics of how you manage the letting process.
You’ll either need a local contact who is willing to do the changeovers and welcome each set of guests, or employ an agency to do it for you. Both these options will involve a fee, and there can be a fair amount of hassle in letting your holiday home to strangers.
Think about whereabouts you should buy and consider all the details, including distances to airports. If possible, buy close enough to an airport so that you have a maximum of an hour’s drive to the property from the airport. Similarly, it’s important to find out which UK airport you can fly from. For example, the fact that there’s an East Midlands to Alicante route is all well and good, provided that you can get to both of those easily.
The key is not to rush into a house buying decision. You won’t want to go through the bureaucracy and red tape twice so you should be happy with your choice. Also, remember that not all property markets move as fast as the one in the UK. You may not be able to sell your holiday home quickly, or easily, in another country. In other words, you may be stuck with the property for a very long time, so make sure you really want it on a long-term basis.
Owning a holiday home that you return to year after year can be magical, but it can also become a burden. Decide if it’s really for you or whether you’d rather rent someone else’s holiday home instead!