The financial benefits of investing in this specialist sector
are increasing as people realise the long term rewards that are
possible. There is currently a strong demand for holiday homes to
let in the UK, particularly in popular towns, coastal shores and
attractive, quintessentially English villages. It needs to be a
place that pulls in the tourists throughout the year, not just over
the Christmas period or in summer months, and can provide good
amenities and activities.
If you are buying a second home you want to use at weekends and
for holidays it should be accessible from your main residence.
Anything over a 3-hour drive will make travelling a chore rather
than a pleasure.
Robin Thomas from Strutt & Parker's Exeter
office advises: "As you won't be living there permanently, it
is important that you buy somewhere that is either in good order or
that you can put in good order fairly easily. The idea of a second
home is to enjoy it and that it does not become a burden to you, so
the less time fixing up a garden or carrying out general
maintenance work the better."
When visiting a holiday home, you probably won't want to spend
all the time in the kitchen preparing meals. The idea is to relax
so you will want to be somewhere near a local inn or pub that
serves good food; checking local restaurants and amenities before
you buy will help you decide if the area is to your liking.
"A garden is very handy to sit out in and relax or for children
to play in, but ensure it is easy to maintain" adds Thomas. "Don't have extensive areas of
lawn to mow or flower beds that need weeding and watering. Good
ground cover and plenty of colourful shrubs with some decking,
terracing and trees will probably fit the bill."
People use second homes for an array of different reasons so it
is important to establish why you want to purchase it. If you have
a particular interest in walking you may wish to buy a property
with a good network of local footpaths or easy access to a national
park or a coastline. For those who enjoy shopping and eating out,
easy access to a good town or city such as Exeter
would be essential.
Thomas concludes: "Security can also be an
issue for holiday homes, so make sure that the property can be well
secured as there will be long periods when it is unoccupied. Ask a
neighbour to keep a key so they can check the house, which will
help give you piece of mind and don't forget to inform your
insurers that it is primarily used as a second home".