The Perils Of Buying A Holiday Home

by : Andrew Gibson

Buying a holiday home at the time seemed like a good idea; Lots of sun, good food, cheap flights and best of all no Christmas with the mother-in-law. We spent several months on the internet researching the market and narrowing down which part of the world we wanted our dream holiday home in. Pretty quickly all of the family agreed that it had to be Florida but not a typical rental home that we usually stayed in.

Two weeks later, we had booked flights to Florida and we decided to make the holiday home search a holiday as well. We were armed with a list of houses and communities that we wanted to look at, in and around the Orlando area. Orlando was the preferred choice due to it having good weather all year round, a large international airport and all of the Theme Parks.

The Theme Parks were essential as they would always provide visitor numbers to Orlando and in theory keep up the price of the properties. The kids thought that they were essential for the rides!

We based ourselves south of Orlando in a rental home in a small gated community. It was maybe a little too far out but our enthusiasm for the task ahead quickly solved that problem. Armed with our dream wish list and the list of communities that we had already selected from the internet, we began our holiday home search.

The first problem that we encountered was that all of the homes that we were looking at looked and felt the same. It was soon obvious that there were plenty of houses to choose from but they were all 'much of a much' feeling. We soon realized that a standard house with swimming pool would be great for a few weeks but that after a while the kids would get bored and then the moaning and bickering would start. We then altered our priorities and put a holiday home in a community lived in by Americans as our top priority.

The boys are keen golfers and they wanted a house on a golf course. My youngest daughter wanted plenty of swimming pools and slides and my wife wanted good restaurants. I wanted peace and quiet both from a surrounding point of view and also a non feuding family point of view!

We were then quickly able to eliminate most of the properties from our wish list and were left with only more place to look it. The place in question was called Reunion. It was thirty minutes away from Orlando International Airport, a few minutes away form Disney and all the other theme parks and just off the I4. So far so good, as it ticked all of the first lot of boxes.

When we drove into the site we had to enter through a manned gate house with a beautiful landscaped area around it with amazing flowers. Yet another box ticked as this would provide security for the children and give us peace of mind that the property would be safe when we were back in the U.K.

We soon discovered that the community had two golf courses and that a third one was nearing completion. This totally swung it for the boys who were immediately hooked. Mike, the sales guy, then took us up to the Water Park that was nearing completion. That was my daughter hooked and when he said that they would soon be opening a riding stables she was totally adamant that this was the place for her.

My wife loved the Club House and the beautiful swimming pool at Seven Eagles. It was now Mike's turn to convince me and he did not let me down. The first house that Mike showed us we all fell in love with. It had five bedrooms, balcony and its own swimming pool. Forty five minutes later I had filled in all of the paper work and left a deposit.

We then returned to the U.K and transferred the funds over completing on the house in a matter of weeks. Job done. Everybody happy. It went like clockwork and the best advice that I can give to anybody considering buying a holiday home abroad is to do all of your research before you go there and do not compromise.