Top Five Tips to Buying a Holiday Home

publication date: Aug 20, 2009
 | 
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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While we seem to be in the middle of a monsoon season as opposed to a gorgeous heat wave, many people dream about buying a holiday home for lots of lovely long weekends and sunny breaks.

Is it worth investing in a holiday home in the sun? Can you make money from holiday homes or could you suffer the same fate as some who have bought on the Costa del Sol and are currently unable to sell?

Follow Kate’s Top Five Tips if you are considering buying a holiday home:-

Top Tip One
Don't buy on a whim while you are away! By all means look for property and check out what you can afford, but then come home and plan to re-visit local experts once you have worked out the finances. Compare the costs of buying (and selling) as well as on-going costs versus renting or staying in hotels.

Top Tip Two
Check the legal and tax implications. Some countries have a tax treaty with the UK, some have different inheritance rules. What is certain is that the way you buy, rent and own land will be different to the UK. For example, in most other countries when you make an offer, you go straight to exchange and hand over a deposit. If you plan to rent, you may need a licence. Always get advice from an English speaking, international solicitor as well as a local one.

Top Tip Three

Don't buy the property without a full survey and make sure you know what the downsides are of living near the sea or a river. If it’s a new build or you are buying off plan, don’t hand over any money until you are sure that the developer has permission to build and you have deeds proving you are the owner.

Top Tip Four
Who will look after and maintain the property when you are away? If using an agent, how do you know the property is being let? Have you neighbours that will be able to double check the letting agent is honest? What happens if there is a disaster? Can you get there quickly?

Top Tip Five
Don’t forget specialist insurance that covers you for as many eventualities such as hurricanes, flooding, fire and landslips. You will also need to insure the property if it is unoccupied for months.

Finally, don’t commit to buying unless you have a clear escape ‘plan of action’ just in case you need to sell quickly. We think that selling in the UK is slow, but abroad it can take two years to find a buyer!


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