How to select the ideal location for your holiday home
A good starting point for deciding where to buy a holiday home in Britain is to ask yourself these questions:
Why am I buying a holiday home?
A major factor in choosing where to buy a holiday home is why you want it. There may well be several reasons, so listing them in order of importance will help focus your thinking. Frequent answers to this question are:
- Being able to spend time in a certain location where you can do a favourite activity such as surfing, mountaineering, going to the theatre or even just getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
- To provide income. Holiday homes can earn up to three times more than buy-to-let although the work and costs involved are greater too.
- As a capital investment. If this is important to you, you may want to gamble on up-and-coming areas where tourism is being developed as well as locations which have an enduring appeal.
What’s my budget?
Think about whether you want to buy in a popular area such as Devon or Cornwall where properties are more expensive but you could charge high rents, or somewhere cheaper like Blackpool where the beach is a big draw for families.
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Holiday home hotspots
Inevitably, different destinations appeal to different groups although many areas can accommodate a wide range of tastes from child-friendly activities to buzzing nightlife. According to Mumsnet, the top 10 UK family holiday destinations are:
- The Isle of Wight
- North Norfolk
- The Lake District.
While Northumberland’s No.1 position may be a surprise to many, with its combination of great beaches, fantastic walks, and loads of historical sites including Alnwick Castle which was a key location for the Harry Potter films, it’s got something for everyone!
Having been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2017, the Lake District is set to rise up the rankings as a holiday destination, and with the exchange rate being favourable to overseas visitors at the moment, demand for holiday lets is set to rise. For those who see their holiday home as a financial investment, the good news is that house prices in the area are generally immune from the effects of economic uncertainty. “Demand always outstrip supply,” according to one local estate agent, who adds, “We seem to be shielded from house prices falls around here.”
The Cotswolds is another popular holiday destination, particularly with ramblers, as are London, Edinburgh and Bath for those who enjoy galleries, museums and good dining when on holiday.
How to filter your shortlist
Once you’ve identified areas where you think you’d like to buy a holiday home, or even drawn up a shortlist of possible properties, make sure you’ve considered these points:
How accessible is it?
Good transportation and infrastructure can make or break a holiday home investment, whether it’s primarily for your own use or for letting out during the year.
- How far away from your main home is it? Greater distances may negatively impact your holiday home insurance with some providers, and a long ‘commute’ may limit the number of occasions on which you can enjoy your new bolthole.
- How easy is it to reach by car, train or even by air? Remember to factor in bottlenecks that can be caused by popular locations en route such as Stonehenge or Ambleside!
What are the local amenities like?
The local amenities available should be a central concern for any holiday home buyer. Whether you intend to use the property yourself or as furnished let, it is important to think about how far it is to the nearest local shops pubs and restaurants as well as local tourist attractions such as beaches, fun parks and outdoor activities.
No matter where you buy, or whether your holiday home is used solely by you and your family, or it's let out, you should always have suitable holiday home insurance in place.
Good value, no nonsense insurance. I use HomeProtect Home Insurance to provide cover for my holiday property. I have nothing but positive comment to make on the ease with which the cover was put in place and the annual renewal process. Thursday, 22 December 2016
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HomeProtect include many of the add ons as standard, making them a very comprehensive insurer. Being underwritten by AXA is also reassuring. Trustpilot, 29 August 2017
HomeProtect home insurance are highly rated in the Defaqto comparison system and offer additional services in the standard premium (legal expense cover etc.) that cost so much more with other companies, I have been with HomeProtect for three years now and have always checked on price comparison sites to get a better deal but never found one. Trustpilot, 31 January 2017
Very pleased to have transferred from previous company - much better premium rate, prompt service. Trustpilot, 29 July 2017