Investing in a summer house can be the perfect way to have your own home away from home. Your second home could be situated in one of your favourite holiday spots away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life, so you can retreat there, into your own self-made paradise. Your holiday home could even turn into a business venture for you if you choose your property wisely enough.
Before you sign on the dotted line, here are four important questions to ask yourself to make sure you're making the right choice.
1. Do I want a summer home, or a place for weekend escapes?
The length for which you intend to use your holiday home will inevitably have an impact on the property you pick. If you prefer short weekend sojourns, for example, you'll want to pick an apartment somewhere easy to reach. Whether you take a short haul flight or you drive a couple of hours, you won't want to be travelling six hours or more at the start and end of your relaxing weekend. If you plan to live in your summer home day-in, day-out for a month or so at a time, you'll probably value cosy features over quick convenience. You might eat out every night on a week-long holiday, but if you're living in your second home for a month, cooking for yourself and eating in will be more likely on the agenda. Spacious cooking and dining areas are much higher on your criteria list for this type of property. You'll also be willing to travel further afield, opening up your options.
2. Will I let it out?
One of the major benefits of having a summer home is the potential to rent it out when you aren't there. Holiday lets can be managed remotely and the income can be surprisingly lucrative once you've set everything up. If you're thinking of investing in a second home to let out, this might impact the location and type of property you consider. Proximity to airports, restaurants and attractions will appeal to holidaymakers, for example. It's time to balance your needs with theirs.
3. Is it a sound investment?
Even beyond the extra income you stand to gain from letting your holiday home out, a vacation home can be a sound investment. If an increase in value is important to you, be on the lookout for emerging markets or project properties. In many parts of the world, property prices are tied closely to the health of the tourism trade. Pick out an up-and-coming holiday destination and you could well see the value of your holiday home soar.
4. Is it low-maintenance?
A second home should be a source of joy, not frustration. That's why it pays to invest in a summer home which is relatively low-maintenance, and to make sure that you have someone on hand to help maintain it for you. If your property is in a different country, it's better if you don't need to constantly travel backwards and forwards to check in on your investment.
Engel & Völkers have decades of experience helping people find dream properties and summer homes all over the world. Browse through the Engel & Völkers website for more expert advice on searching for and getting the most out of a second home.