The Secrets of Investing in the Right Holiday Home

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Although many people still consider owning a second home in a prime holiday spot, those who rush into the deal may live to regret the decision. As with any property purchase, research is key and anyone who wants to invest in this sector of the market needs to take off their rose tinted sunglasses and weigh up all the pros and cons before buying a property of this nature.

Location is everything in the world of property and the same applies in the second-home market. In the case of seaside property it is not only the view that counts. Buying a property far from home comes with its own set of challenges. If, for example, the property is going to be let out on a short-term basis when not in use by the family, the services of a good estate agent should be utilised. This will serve two purposes: ensuring that the property is not only rented out on a fairly regular basis, and that any maintenance that needs to be carried out can be overseen by the agent concerned.

Location also plays a role when it comes to deciding how often buyers plan to use the property. If the property in question is situated hundreds of kilometres away, popping down for the odd weekend may become far more hassle than it is worth. Apart from the obvious costs involved, the time that it takes to reach the holiday home can put people off and can lead to the property being underutilised.

Maintaining a seaside property is, generally speaking, far more expensive than upcountry homes. The sea air can cause havoc and seaside homes need to be painted on a more regular basis. Due to the sub-tropical climates and high humidity levels that many of our coastal areas enjoy, gardens need to be attended to more often, woodwork rots, burglar bars rust and the property needs to be regularly checked to ensure that the home remains in tip-top shape.

Security is an issue, regardless of where the property is situated. In addition to security gates and burglar bars, it is often wise to employ the services of a local security company who can conduct regular patrols around the property. It would be wise to remember that homes that stand empty for large parts of the year can often become targets for criminals; it is therefore not a good idea to fill the home with expensive appliances.

There are without doubt a number of very good reasons to consider owning your own holiday home. The property will always be available, regardless of the season, owing your own home is always better than renting, asset, you know what you are getting and cannot be fooled by manipulated pictures in a glossy brochure. Perhaps the biggest advantage is the cost.

Although not all coastal areas have been hard hit by the recession and consequent economic fallout, many small towns that comprise predominantly second homes have been adversely affected. Property prices in certain areas have dropped dramatically and given that the interest rate is the lowest that it has been for years, now may just be the right time to invest in that little piece of paradise.

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