The idea of a holiday home is attractive to many people. In fact, in the most recent Census, more than 1.5 million people in England and Wales said they had a second address ‘outside of the local authority of their primary residence’ that they used for 30 or more days a year.
For a great many people too, the ideal holiday home would be a ‘place in the sun’ – a guaranteed getaway for when life in Blighty gets too grim or stressful. If your holiday home is to be abroad, however, then there are a number of factors to consider if you are to get this right.
Consider these six points to ensure you pick up the perfect property for your needs…
Understand what you’re signing
Don’t pay out for anything – or put your signature to anything - to do with the property unless you are completely certain about what you are buying or agreeing to. In order to do that, make sure all documents you receive are properly translated by a professional.
Think properly about the location
Any property purchase is an investment in its location as well as in the building itself. Find a great home – have a look at the likes of propertylistings.ft.com for inspiration – but then delve into the location. Think about what’s around it, where are the nearest shops and facilities, and what is the reputation of the neighbourhood. All of these factors impact upon the value of a property – and of your enjoyment of it.
Don’t get caught out by the exchange rate
The value of an overseas property can fluctuate wildly based on the value of the pound in relation to the native currency. While you can’t control the markets you can protect against this by ‘locking in’ at a particular rate so that you can factor in exactly what the cost will be.
Tax can be taxing
Language and currency may be different but the tax rules can also differ. Just as with translation, call upon a native tax expert to run you through exactly what taxes you are likely to have to pay before you begin, and make sure you understand how this differs from a UK purchase.
Just for you?
What’s your plan for your holiday home? If it’s only a getaway for you and your family then you’ll know what to look for in a property. If, however, you want to make some rental income from the property when you’re not there, factor this into your search. Consider how many bedrooms you might need and what sort of facilities are offered by similar holiday homes nearby. Make sure you think about features that can maximise your income.
If it’s not built, be careful
Some people choose to buy properties that are yet to be built. This ‘off plan’ purchasing isn’t necessarily off limits but does require an extra degree of caution since you won’t have a physical building to walk around and explore. In this instance, check out the credentials of the company you are dealing with and ask for examples of other completed projects that they have delivered.