A guide to buying a holiday home abroad

JP Donnelly, founder, www.5starvillasales.com

 Buying a holiday home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make; make it right and you will have a long term investment for you and your family to enjoy for years to come. However, the process of buying a vacation home can be overwhelming, negotiating potential language barriers, dealing with the legal aspects, even finding the right home in the first place. As experts in luxury villa sales, here are our tips to help you on your way.


  1. A home, a rental or a bit of both

 I acquired my first holiday home aged 24 when I bought three apartments in Alanya and for me it was always an investment rather than a home and I feel this distinction is important. If you’re looking for a property as an investment your criteria would be different to a second home. The key to a good investment property is often timing; buying at the right price in the right conditions. And if your motivation is purely for a holiday home, then look at factors like flying time and flight availability from local airports to make even long weekends at your home in the sun feasible. But the reason that most people buy a vacation home is to be able to use it as a base for family holidays for a number of weeks, renting it out the rest of the time. The main issue to consider here is the demand year round, alongside issues like maintenance and durability of fixtures and fittings and facilities- a private south facing pool is something almost all renters will ask for!



  1. Location, location, location.

Emotion undoubtedly drove the purchase of my first holiday home. Alanya in Turkey was an area that I knew and loved and it is extremely likely that when it comes to buying your holiday home, you too will be drawn to locations that perhaps you have holidayed in in the past. But don’t let emotion completely drive the purchase. When thinking about location, consider your main reason for buying. For pure investment then locations like New Zealand and Florida are good bets; Florida came fifth in an investment review of American property hotspots in 2015. Again, timing is everything here; look at prices over the years and only buy when the conditions are right.

For a pure holiday home, look at European destinations like Spain, Cyprus and Turkey to maximise your time out there, and if you do consider further afield bear in mind that this will usually mean less holidays but of longer duration- your schedule and lifestyle will often make this decision for you. For a holiday home that you also rent out, the demand for short term rental is key with Florida having one of the best rental markets. 5 Star Villa Sales has 4 to 9 bedroomed vacation homes at the exclusive Champion’s Gate gated community, offering strong rental potential and yield. Expect to pay around £341, 993 ($512,990) for a 3812 ft², 8 bedroom, 5 bathroom, 2 garage ‘Maui’ home. The rental income on a property like this can cover ongoing costs, including mortgage, management and maintenance fees whilst allowing owners to enjoy 3-4 weeks in the property each year. At current rates the 8 bedroom Maui will rent at £2629 for 7 nights.


  1. Look after the legal aspects

 Before you set out on a trip to research properties, it is always best to work out the figures and if you require a mortgage, then look to obtain a decision in principle beforehand. This puts you in a stronger negotiating position. I have come across many, many people who have purchased their holiday home without the assistance of a lawyer, but in my opinion, their assistance can be invaluable- especially if you are a cash purchaser. A lawyer will look at aspects such as outstanding debts (like maintenance fees for example) that are owing on a property so that you don’t get lumbered with them post purchase, and ensure that any taxes due are paid. An English speaking lawyer can also assist with overcoming any language barriers. Research potential lawyers beforehand and find out if they specialise in property law, you may even be able to speak to previous clients.


5 Star Villa Holidays offers holiday homes for sale in Florida, Turkey, Spain and Cyprus at www.5starvillasales.com or on 0151 494 9145, and rental properties with sister company www.5starvillaholiday.com