We are well and truly in the midst of the summer season as proven by the current chaos at airports throughout the UK.
Once you actually manage to get away and start to relax, assuming you’re having a good time, it is very normal to think ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have a holiday home here?’ Hold that thought. It could well be very nice to buy a holiday retreat in Europe or the Caribbean but take it from me, the summer months are not the best time to look.
Bear in mind, many properties are rented out to holiday goers thus severely restricting access to many of the properties, which means you will not get the full picture of what is available in the market.
At Unique Living, we like to give our clients access to 100% of the market, both readily advertised properties and discreet options too. However, it is impossible to guarantee this from June through to August.
To prove the point, many local estate agents use this time to go away on their holidays which further complicates the issue of arranging viewings.
Similarly, many lawyers’ and notaries’ offices are closed. Don’t get me wrong. In fact, most of the locals like to get out, as we come in!
We have plenty of satisfied clients who have decided to buy during a summer holiday and subsequently found their perfect villa or apartment but that was off the back of viewings carried out maybe in September or October, either for a second time or once they have taken our advice and seen the entire market.
Use your summer holiday to get a feel for the area, but recognise that you should return at different times to experience the contrasting seasons. If you are looking to rent, this will be the month you will get the highest return on your investment.
A bustling town in peak summer is very different ‘off season’ and something to consider, can you even get direct flights offseason. You may well enjoy the peace and quiet but you don’t want to feel isolated.
Consider how accessible the destination is and what the transport links are like. You ideally want to be less than an hour’s drive from the airport to warrant any weekend trips or spontaneous visits.
Get a feel for the local community. It’s a great opportunity to mix with people who are not just ex-pats so consider whether you would learn the language so you could really engage with your fellow neighbours.
Also, bear in mind, it’s not just the cost of the property you need to take into account, but everyday living expenses too, such as utility bills, insurance and general maintenance.
You may well come across new developments whilst abroad and be encouraged to look at a show home during your stay. You should however be impervious to the ‘hard sell’ and absolutely not sign anything or put a deposit down until you have returned home and had an opportunity to think things through, reflect and seek independent advice, ask the question: How practical is this investment for your family at this time in your life?
Depending on where you find yourself this summer, we have some great new listings to review.
There is for example this attractive, modern villa for sale in an exclusive residential area in the hills of Florence. Just 15 minutes drive to the centre of Florence, and slightly longer to the airport, this is a great spot if you are Europe based and looking for a short-haul getaway. If you prefer a sea view, what about this gorgeous, Provençal style villa in Grasse on the French Riviera for sale with a 2,300 sq.m plot complete with an independent studio and various other outbuildings.
Alternatively, there is this striking and contemporary villa in Barcelona to buy, just 20 minutes from the centre of town. Offering a basement with a leisure area, a gym, sauna and billiard room, the space is equally suited to relaxing alone or in a company.
The point is, it’s great to get caught up in the dream but at some point, you need to take a reality check, there is no rush to fulfilling your lifestyle ambitions, take your time and consider your options.
Two weeks on holiday is very different to being tied down to one property if the area isn’t for you in the long term.
As ever, my team and I are always here to discuss your thoughts and point out any pros and cons.
That said, I’m off on my hols this week to explore a new market while trying to find time for some rest and relaxation. Maybe this will be the place for me, somewhere to make a home from home?
Have a great summer wherever you spend it.