If you are looking to buy a UK holiday let (our own research* shows that 10% of Brits have a second home), what do you need to know in order to maximise your own enjoyment and rental income from it?
There are a number of considerations that may help steer you in the right direction to:
- decide the type of property you are looking for
- buy a holiday home to suit your own needs as well as bring in a healthy income
Here we look at some of the key points in choosing the type of property and where to buy.
Will you be using it for weekend / short breaks?
Firstly, will you be using the holiday home purely as an investment vehicle, to let? Or, will you also be using it yourself for holidays and weekends away? If the latter, then you may want to look for a location that isn’t too far from home.
For example, if you live in Kent and buy a holiday home in Cornwall, a six-hour drive there and then back for a weekend break may not be the best use of your time.
Is it easy to get to?
Is your holiday let easily accessible by road or train? Even those most rural of places should ideally be close to good transport links. If a family is staying at your holiday home for a break, and are coming by public transport, for example, they won’t want to mess about getting a train, then several buses or a taxi to your holiday let – especially with tired children and lots of luggage.
Is there easy parking for those guests who drive to your holiday home? A designated parking spot, such as on a drive, will be more attractive than if you say: “Oh, you can park along the road somewhere”.
Don’t forget, if your proposed let is on a street where there is residents parking only, you will need to make arrangements to arrange permits for your guests.
Who will your holiday let be aimed at? Couples, families, and / or those with pets? Deciding who your ideal guests will be will then put you in their mind set as to what they may want.
For example, if your property will be aimed at families (and / or those with pets), you need to make sure that it is child friendly. If it has a pool, can it be gated off? If it is on a busy road, is the garden secure so that any children / dogs cannot run out in to the road?
For dog lovers, are there lots of places near to the property where they can walk their dog? As well as a hose in the back garden to give a muddy dog a good wash off?
Do you want to make the property accessible for people in a wheelchair? Then you will ideally need a ground floor property with ramps and adapted doorways etc.
Are there any pubs or restaurants nearby? While one of the benefits of a holiday let is having the ability to cook if you want to, it is still nice to have the option to pop out for a meal if you wish, without a long drive.
A property set in a rural location with the nearest pub or restaurant a 20 minute drive away may not attract as many guests as one where a pub is mile walk down the road.
Location, location, location
Your ‘target market’ for guests will primarily be decided by not only the size of the property, but where it is located.
For example, if you are considering buying a bijou flat in Poole overlooking the harbour, then this is a cosmopolitan, busy area, with lots of nightlife. While this is great for people without families, it may not be ideal for a mum and dad trying to get young children to sleep.
Of course, you can still consider buying in Poole, but may be a little way away from the hustle and bustle.
Similarly, if your holiday let is in a family friendly area with lots of children’s activities going on, this may not appeal to childless couples.
Is there much to do?
Think about your property and what there is to do in the area. Are there beaches or country walks nearby? Or, places of interest such as castles, stately homes or theme parks and such like?
No matter how wonderful and cosy your property is, there will be times when your guests will want to explore the area and if there is nothing nearby, it may put people off renting your holiday home.
Do your research
Do your research as to popular areas to buy a holiday let. A recent article cited areas such as North Bovey in the Dartmoor National Park, Biggleswade in Berkshire and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire as potentially ideal up and coming places to buy. This is due to better transport links out of London and other new attractions in the area springing up. While these are ‘newer’ destinations for holiday lets, this may mean you can snap up a bargain.
Our own research shows that for people with established holiday homes, the South East of Britain (Brighton in particular) is a popular place, followed by the South West and Wales.
We also found that 20% of those planning to buy a UK holiday let would buy in the Lake District.
Before you buy your holiday home, note that there may be restrictions on what the property is used for. Some councils may have stipulations and occupancy clauses for holiday lets.
*Independent research carried out on behalf of Enhanced Wealth December 2014