Are you thinking about buying a holiday home? There are certainly plenty of perks – a change of scene and a place to escape the stresses and strains of everyday life, to name just two. But there are several challenges too, and such a significant commitment requires a careful decision-making process.
Recent data shows that 2.4 million households report having at least one additional property in England. Recently, there has been a significant rise in the number of Brits seeking to own a UK holiday home – a trend partly influenced by the travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the added complications of the country’s exit from the European Union.
There are also plenty of those who want to purchase a second home overseas, and if done right, it can represent a solid investment – not to mention a safe haven to retreat to when the UK weather starts to turn. But no matter where you’re looking to buy, there are some key questions you need to ask yourself first.
Can you afford it?
It sounds simple, but that’s because it is the most important question. Consider whether you have funds available to purchase a new property, decorate and upkeep it all year round, even when you are not residing there. Would you be able to pay upfront, or will you need a mortgage? Affordability is about more than just the initial purchase price. Other factors to consider, such as insurance, tax, and maintenance, will all contribute to the overall costs, so it might be prudent to speak to a financial planning expert to make sure you’re in a position to buy.
At home or abroad?
Whether you are looking to buy at home or abroad depends on what you’re planning to use it for. If your dream is to spend extended stays in the sun by a pool or at the beach, the UK simply doesn’t offer the climate to guarantee that. On the other hand, if you’re a city dweller and want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the urban jungle, a place in the UK countryside or by the coast might be perfect.
What’s in the surrounding area?
Although you might yearn for a remote setting, you need to ensure you’re not entirely cut off from civilisation. As long as you’re not too far from the essentials, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, you’ll not go far wrong, but it’s essential to research the location rather than buy based purely on the home itself.
Will you rent it out?
Holiday homes can offer an additional source of income, but you need to ask yourself if you’re happy for others to use it. If you are, you may decide you only wish to rent it out to trusted friends and family members. Alternatively, you could advertise it online to expand your potential audience. The important thing is that you’re comfortable with your decision – it is your home, after all!