Holiday homes – not as fun as they appear
Right now, 5.4 million of us are considering buying abroad. Spain and the Balearics islands are the top dream destination, followed by France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, the Caribbean, Florida and turkey. Personally, I fancy a little pied-a-terre in Portugal.
Sounds lovely doesn’t it? A place to escape to. But be warned. Holiday homes are the biggest waste of money ever.
Did you know that the average holiday home owner visits their holiday home just twice a year? 2/3 of holiday home buyers expected to visit their dream second home far more when they purchased – but between family commitments, lack of cash and work schedules those homes in the sun stay forlorn and forgotten.
So even though I probably wouldn’t be going to my imaginary house of fun in Portugal that often, I’d still be paying for it. Aside from the purchase price, which at the moment wouldn’t be a great buy as the pound is down 20% against the euro; there are local property taxes, legal fees and mortgage admin charges.
After these hefty initial fees, factor in furnishings, maintenance, repairs, insurance, utility bills, taxes and possibly a cleaner or monthly service charge.
Despite all of this, I still dream of my place the sun. I just need to answer these questions for myself;
Do I really want to go to the same place on holiday, year in, year out? Will I have the time?
Can I afford all the costs mentioned above?
Have I visited enough to know the location of the property – how far is it to the nearest town?
Do I know a decent lawyer to handle the transaction?
Of course, if you plan to retire and spend 6 months of the year at your holiday home it makes more sense. Otherwise, think twice. The reality of a second sun drenched home may not be as beautiful as it appears.