Buying & Renting a Holiday Home in the Sun

By: Darren Cronian

For anyone considering buying a holiday home, to rent, these six pieces of advice will be invaluable.

Location
Choosing a good location is vital,not only because you want a location which is popular with holidaymakers, but also one which is not overly competitive. Destinations like Florida and Spain have, over the years, become highly competitive with thousands of holiday villas available for rent. It is important that you look for facilities close to the home - restaurants, bars or shops, particularly since holidaymakers will be catering for themselves.

Type of accommodation
Think about your target customers. If you are targeting families, then buy a two or three bedroom holiday villa, near popular family attractions. If it is couples or small groups you are hoping to attract then look at buying a two bedroom apartment near shops, bars and restaurants, beaches, and golf courses. For smaller groups, or groups of adults “space" will be less of an issue.

Buying a one bedroom apartment will restrict you to couples, or two adults only. Huge five bedroom houses may sound good, but for short haul destinations like Spain, a three bedroom holiday home will suit most holidaymakers, and large houses may put people off renting your home.

Property Management
Employ a management company or be prepared for hard work.

Managing a holiday home involves home repairs, passing keys to holidaymakers, changing linen when the holidaymaker departs, garden up-keep, plus dealing with emergencies such as visitors locked out. Bear in mind that most property management companies charge commission for getting holidaymakers to book your home, instead take the responsibility of promoting your holiday home on yourself.

Property features
Keep the property up to date. DVD’s and CD players are no longer luxuries. Competitiveness is a big issue for owners nowadays.. no matter where your holiday home is located, be it Portugal or Cyprus, you have to offer something a little unique from other owners, perhaps discounted tours, free car hire. These extras may cost you in the short term, but over the year it may raise the percentage of bookings that your bring in.

Insurance & Fire certificates
More importantly, fire regulations mean that extinguishers and flame-resistant furniture are a must. Contact local town halls to research if you need any fire certification or complete any legal procedures, before renting out your holiday home. You must get the right insurance cover and property management companies often insist on public liability insurance of ?1m plus, costing between ?200 and ?500 a year.

Finances
Don’t listen to anyone who says they can guarantee you 52 weeks of bookings for your holiday home. Before you buy a holiday home you must look at how many weeks bookings you require to make ends meet. This is especially important if you want to make a profit from your initial investment. Keep your accounts and finances in order. Much of your costs will be spent on management fees, holiday home insurance, property repairsBusiness Management Articles, decoration and essential travel to and from the house - some of these can be set against tax and offset against non-property tax bills.

Holidays
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