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a holiday home

(69 Posts)
chattykathy Sun 05-Feb-17 21:51:16

I've always fancied having a small flat by the sea as a holiday home that I and DH could go to once we retire along with our family using it as well. When we retire in about two and a half years we will have the finances to do it but DH tends to be rather cautious. Do any of you Gransnetters have one? - do you use it as much as you thought you would or is it a waste of money?

Lynker Sun 05-Feb-17 22:06:57

We have a holiday home abroad and we try to spend about 3 months of the winter there, usually for about 6 weeks at a time. We rent it out in the summer, when it is too hot/crowded for us and the income from the rentals pays for our flights and the various fees payable locally. It has worked well for us.

J52 Sun 05-Feb-17 22:08:22

We have a house by the sea. It was great to get away when we were working. For us it is still a retreat and is big enough for the whole family to visit. It is a long drive, but we consider it worthwhile and we normall stay for at least a couple of weeks at a time. Probably a 50:50 split.
We enjoy doing the garden etc. But I can understand why someone would like a work free house/flat.
I would say choose your town carefully and not go too rural. You may need doctors etc while you are there. It also helps to get to know people in the local environment. We have joined several groups that help us to have a sense of belonging.
I would definitely go for it! Just talk through what your needs and expectations are. Also go for a short break to your chosen area in all four seasons.

M0nica Sun 05-Feb-17 22:24:43

We have a holiday house in France. We have had it nearly 30 years an in all we spend about 2 months a year there. We never go for more than about 10 days at a time but visit about 10 times a year.

We offer it at a 'cover costs' rate to friends and family and that means the house is in use for at least an extra month each year.

Norah Mon 06-Feb-17 02:35:14

We have a house to use or let in the NW. We use it about 3 months a year and have always enjoyed the get away of it all.

kittylester Mon 06-Feb-17 06:48:21

We have had a holiday home twice. Both were only about an hour or so away from home on the basis that it made them more accessible. We rarely used either of them and eventually put them with holiday letting agents but got really fed up with the responsibility.

I suspect that it depends what else you have going on in the rest of your life. With 5 children and, now, the grandchildren plus our various voluntary commitments mean we barely get chance to go on holiday never mind spend time in a holiday home.

Badenkate Mon 06-Feb-17 08:39:13

Always thought it's very tying. Those people we know who have them seem to spend a lot of time there, but we like to go to different places while we still can

M0nica Mon 06-Feb-17 09:30:04

We got our home at a time when we both had very busy jobs and it enabled us to get away once every 5 or 6 weeks and have three or four days peace and quiet together where no one could reach us. About 4 years later DH's employer issued him with a laptop and mobile phone and bang went the peace and quiet.

Having bought the house so long ago with a legacy, it has never been mortgaged and running costs are low so now we are retired it hasn't stopped us travelling elsewhere. We were in Spain in October and have just returned from Switzerland. We also use it as our base for exploring much further France.

Judthepud2 Mon 06-Feb-17 09:53:52

We bought a little holiday home 10 years ago when we were still working. It is in the Mourne mountains and a beautiful quiet location. It has central heating, a shower room, a bathroom and 3 bedrooms - all on a neat scale. Also a wood burner in the living area. Essential in the bleak winter weather. When working, we used it as a frequent bolt hole, a great place for winding down. However, the acquisition of grandchildren and now a disabled dog has rather put barriers in our way! So it isn't used as much as we would like.

It tends to be one of us goes down on their own to get a bit of much needed space.

However, our family still likes to use the cottage from time to time.

Advantages: always available, own place so we have control of it, lovely location, easy to travel to.

Disadvantages: not used enough because of time constraints, maintenance, in our case the weather can be poor.

Depends what you want, I think, and how much time you have to use it.


J52 Mon 06-Feb-17 10:07:41

Whether a holiday house is tying or not depends where it is. Ours is in easy reach of two International airports. So as long as we have our passports with us we can hop off anywhere.

Soniah Mon 06-Feb-17 10:30:34

Fine if you want to keep returning to the same place, we have friends who spend the winter in their place in Tenerife and are as involved with the community there as they are at home which suits them, it may be more difficult/expensive/take longer to travel abroad after Brexit, who knows? I prefer not to have to worry about another house and to travel more widely but do whatever suits you

Angela1961 Mon 06-Feb-17 10:30:43

I think in theory - great , but in reality I'd worry about it. The reason why is my friend lives a few doors away from a house that is one and Ive seen the potential problems. I live in Cumbria which obviously is a honeypot to lots of people due to the Lake District. The family who own the house ( a terrace, two up/down ) live a good few hundred miles away. They've had the heating fail so the pipes froze then burst causing a flood,bringing down ceilings etc - their friends found this when they came up a few days before Christmas and then basically tried to help to sort out the mess all over Christmas with no heating nowhere else to stay and not wanting to abandon it in that state for the owners having to rush up to sort. Also with a garden, who's going to tend to it regularly ? Being an old house the mice move into it as it mainly very quiet, droppings are not what potential renters want to find.

Lilyflower Mon 06-Feb-17 10:34:22

We bought a small house by the sea 14 years ago just before the prices doubled and when the DH had a redunnacy payment and a small inheritance and when we could cover the extra mortgage with my full time teaching job.

We have never regretted it and think it's the best thing we ever did. We spent the school holidays there with our two teenage children and now one of them goes regualry herself with her boyfriend.

We calculated the running costs per year as approximately what a holiday for four abroad costs. A few grand. The drawback is that you don't see somewhere new every time you go on holiday but we did not mind that a bit as we love Devon. Also the weather can be a bit dire though in England there are 'indoor amusements' unlike elsewhere.

On the plus side familiarity with an area means you are on holiday from the first second of being there. The accommodation is top notch, as is the food, there's no passport control or flight delays and, for us, it's three hours only door to door.

Running costs aside, the holidays are reallly, really cheap and you can up-and-go whenever you like.

We firted with hiring the cottage out to cover costs but never did it. Our ultimate luxury was to have the bolthole to ourselves.

I'd say that if you can afford it go for it. I notive that this is the advice of about 95% of other posters on this thread so that has got to be worth something. Horse's mouth!

wilygran Mon 06-Feb-17 10:34:44

Don't buy in Spain whatever you do! As others have advised - pick a place you can get to easily and close to facilities you will need especially as you get older. Also, if abroad, with a legal system you understand. Spain is bad news. In an increasing number of areas it is illegal to rent out private property to tourists as holiday lets and the fines are huge (€20000 - €30000 in Balearics) so you can't use rental income to offset costs. That being said we have had 14 years of 4-6 months in the sun every year, and with luck we will almost break even. It really depends on your priorities. It's lovely having your own home in nice surroundings, but letting out can be a bind and if you don't know the area well there can be hidden problems. I'd try to rent first at different times of year to see how the place/lifestyle suits you. Good luck!

kooklafan Mon 06-Feb-17 10:39:11

My humble opinion is that holiday homes of whatever kind can become quite the opposite to what they were intended. What was planned and purchased to be a home from home, a comfortable retreat often becomes a bind and a responsibility because when you do go there you spend most of the time cleaning and carrying out maintenance or paying someone else to do so.

Worlass Mon 06-Feb-17 10:41:37

Bought a flat at the seaside after being widowed. Thought it would be a 'bolt hole' for self and also available for family to use. Due to change in circumstances, and sudden health issues, rarely able to visit and family always busy doing other things. Unfortunately, upkeep still required and recent fairly major expenditure on heating etc.
Can't face the hassle of either renting or selling at the moment, but will have to get around to giving it some thought as soon as I'm able to do so. My kids' inheritance is being slowly depleted and there's a decent flat doing nothing, which could be somebody's pride and joy. sad

hulahoop Mon 06-Feb-17 10:49:57

Aren't the government trying to stop second homes especially in areas where young local people can't get on property ladder because of lack of housing and prices going up . I better get tin hat on because I must admit I don't always feel it's fair when a lot of second homes are empty a lot of the year .i saw this in places likein sea houses and some areas of Wales to name but a few (it's my opinion) sorry if it offends anyone .

grandMattie Mon 06-Feb-17 11:01:35

I'm glad that you have all enjoyed [on the whole] your holiday homes.
When I was younger, I would have given my right arm to have one in France, to take the children away each holiday.
Now? I'm afraid that I believe that one home is plenty for anyone. In Wales, Devon and Cornwall, second homes have priced the locals out. The same has happened in pretty villages around the country, not least the one we live in now, in East Kent.
So I have very mixed feelings about it. confused

GillT57 Mon 06-Feb-17 11:19:05

We are considering buying one in either Spain or France, for us and friends and family to use. I would not rent it out as to do so would mean the loss of personal touches such as books, larder, gin bottle etc. I think if you are doing it for yourself and have the money, go for it, if you are hoping to cover costs or make a profit through renting it out, things could be more tricky.

Millbrook Mon 06-Feb-17 11:19:13

I can absolutely see the attraction of having a holiday home. But I do think we will have to, at some point, acknowledge that those who can afford to have 2 houses will have to pay a lot of extra tax for the privilege. A generation that has benefited enormously from full employment,good pensions, housing profits, free university etc can't keep on denying their good fortune, and refuse to accept that there needs to be some redistribution of wealth. And no, that doesn't mean giving it all to your own kids and grandkids, lovely though that is!

Nelliemoser Mon 06-Feb-17 11:21:45

Ah! the holiday/second home debate. People lucky enough to have spare money buying up rural properties as holiday/second homes in areas of natural beauty. The money brought into into these places by "outsiders" does nothing to really help the local economy. These people have enough spare money to buy and renovate these properties which the locals cannot afford to do.
This pushes up house prices way beyond what the local residents can afford. The locals who work in the rural economies are generally poorly paid and local public transport is poor.

These rural workers do the sort of jobs which help keep the landscape looking nice and rural for the enjoyment of the richer people in these second/holiday homes. There is often very little well paid employment opportunities in these areas which are often very isolated transport wise.
I consider this is very unfair on these rural workers .

This information is about the Whitby area but many more part of the country suffer from this. I wish the authorities would take some radical action to stop this second/holiday home situation. In areas like Whitby it is seriously damaging the local communities.

Holiday/second homes in Whitby and the surrounding areas of the North York Moors National Park (the Northern Area of Scarborough Borough Council) now represent over 20% of the domestic housing stock. This is having a severe impact on the availability and affordability of housing to meet the current and future housing needs of local residents.

Four out of five of the net additional dwellings created in the Northern Area between 2001 and 2011 have no full time resident. This significant and continuing loss of potential homes to meet local housing needs has not been taken into account in the
Strategic Housing Market Assessment, which underpins the Draft Local Plan 2014/2030
As my post suggests I find this grossly unfair.

Jinty44 Mon 06-Feb-17 11:25:03

I totally agree hulahoop. Second homes lying empty most of the year while local people cannot afford a first home is wrong. Many of these destinations have a shortage of accommodation overall (e.g. can't build new homes in a National Park) and the low/seasonal wages in these areas means they cannot compete when the few houses come up to buy. And rents are scandalously high these days. Plus the knock-on effects of fewer permanent families means fewer school pupils, small schools close; fewer customers for the local shops means they can't keep going either. Having a second home is not just a financial decision, it is also a moral one.

J52 Mon 06-Feb-17 11:29:47

To slightly address the criticisms, we bought our HH at above the average price for the area, thus not depriving anyone from getting on the housing ladder, we only use local builders etc. only shop in the local shops, have joined societies etc. that benefit the local environment and charities, we also pay Council Tax.

annsixty Mon 06-Feb-17 11:30:21

Things won't change while the people who can afford second homes are in power. Sorry to bring politics into the discussion but that is the fact

Worlass Mon 06-Feb-17 11:31:15

I don't actually own two homes. When my DH was alive, we helped our DD buy a house after the break up of her marriage and so I have a small interest in that. I am, at present, living there with her, which has worked out well thus far. I am, however, aware that things could change and it would not be feasible for the arrangement to continue. At which point decisions must be made re the flat.