A Second Home: The Dream and the Reality

Whether you’re seeking a second home to let as a holiday cottage or a smaller property where you can enjoy your retirement when the time arrives, Phil Spencer has some wise words for property investors.

From the attractions of the far south-west of England to the dramatic rural beauty of the Scottish highlands, there is one thing that all holiday homes have in common, according to our favourite property expert: ‘A holiday cottage by it’s very nature is an escape. I describe it as a tonic from London: it’s everything that London is not. It’s green, it’s private, it’s quiet,’ says Phil.

If you find yourself in the position to purchase a second home, the notion of buying a charming holiday cottage a little further afield can be enticing. Putting your money into a second property can also be a sound investment, providing you settle on an attractive location that has added value for it’s potential.

If you’re planning to let your cottage, there’s even more to consider when it comes to house hunting, according to Althea Hancock, an expert from holidaycottages.co.uk. After all, you’re searching for a property that appeals not only to yourself, but a broad selection of holidaymakers.
‘More often than not, customers are looking to get away to a property which offers a little more luxury than their own home. Hot tubs, swimming pools and open fires are among the features most in demand, and location, of course, plays an important part.’

If you already own a holiday home, there are plenty of ways to broaden the appeal of your property, according to Hancock.
‘Co-ordinating décor and furnishings and installing additional features such as hot tubs can help. We’ve found that hot tubs increase average revenue by 44 percent, swimming pools by 18 percent and open fires by 14 percent if combined with other desirable features,’ explains Hancock.

‘If you’re in the market for property to let as a holiday home, it’s worth remembering that a sea or water view can boost revenue by 24 percent,’ Hancock adds.

For Phil, property maintenance is also a key consideration.  ‘Is it costly to maintain and run? It’s all well and good being in a really beautiful, pretty cottage somewhere, but if it’s going to leak and get damp because you’re not there, then arguably, a boring 1960s bungalow in a beautiful spot could be a better option. I’m a fan of static caravans—I think they make great holiday homes.’

Love Your Location
We take a look at some of the UK’s most popular destinations for renting out a holiday home.

Thanks to its stunning scenery, lively cities and distinctive culture, Scotland is a favourite with holidaymakers—including Phil Spencer. ‘While for most people it involves quite a journey, it’s worth travelling the extra distance to enjoy the unparalleled scenery offered by the lochs and mountains,’ says Hancock, an expert from holidaycottages.co.uk.

Escape to the Country
Norfolk is becoming increasingly popular as a holiday destination, according to data gathered by holidaycottages.co.uk. ‘One of the great benefits of Norfolk is its relative proximity to London. The waterways, broads and attractive countryside make it great for a relaxing escape,’ says Hancock.

Beach Bliss
The south-west of the UK, and Devon and Cornwall in particular, holds an eternal place in the hearts of many British holiday-goers. Good transport and striking coastal scenery are just a couple of the advantages, according to Hancock. ‘The south-west is so accessible and provides a huge variety to cater for everyone, whether you’re looking for a short break surfing some of the best waves in the country, or a walking holiday exploring the famous south-west coastal path and beautiful countryside,’ she explains.

See also:
Property & Home’s UK Property Hotspots 2015
First Time Buyers


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