It’s easy to see the attraction of buying a second home overseas. It gives you a place to enjoy summer in the sunshine, bask in a better work-life balance and invest your hard-earned cash. With a host of low-cost airlines to choose from and more routes on offer than ever before, giving into temptation is now a financially attractive option, too.
There’s a reason why the television show A Place in the Sun
has been on our screens for nearly 20 years. Whatever your reasons for wanting to buy a holiday home, you want to find a place and a property that’s right for you.
Deciding on where to buy a holiday home depends on what you want from your time spent there. If you want a holiday home with a buzz, then you’ll want a property in a city. If you want sun, sea and sand, then you’ll be looking for a second home near the coast. Or perhaps you’re on a quest for a simpler way of life – if so, a holiday home in a remote, picturesque village might be more your scene.
Buying a property in Europe
Europe has long been a popular spot for Brits to buy a holiday home. For the time being at least, British citizens are able to buy a home in any member state and live in it year-round if they wish.
Some people say that uncertainty around the impact of Brexit has prompted some to buy overseas sooner rather than later. Whatever the outcome of the UK’s departure from the EU, it is likely that the process of buying a holiday home in Europe will change to some extent.
However, the opportunity to purchase property across the continent is still there. Portugal
and Ireland, in particular, are both enjoying a surge in their property markets at present.
In France, Brits still make up the majority of non-resident buyers – data from the Notaries de France
puts the figure at 33%. However, that percentage has fallen from 2005, when 44% of non-resident buyers were Brits.
In Spain, the situation looks brighter. Last year’s sales of property to Brits had increased to 10,000 in 2017.
Where is the best place to buy property?
When determining the best location for your future holiday home, there are a number of questions you need to ask. For example, where is the best value property in Europe? Or where should I buy overseas for the most sun?
Research by travel money company FairFX, cited by Which?
, rates the best countries worldwide to buy a holiday home based on affordability (a combination of property prices and cost of living).
Bulgaria came out as the most budget-friendly option in terms of property prices and cost of living. The flight time from London to Bulgaria is just three hours and prices start at just £35 – making it an appealing option.
A bit further afield, Brazil was ranked the second-cheapest location to buy an overseas property. The cost of a two-bed apartment in the country was slightly more expensive compared with Bulgaria, but the cost of living was much cheaper. Of course, Brazil is much further away and the cost of flights will put lots of people off.
Hungary, Ireland and Poland were all earmarked by the study as affordable European options for Brits looking to invest in a holiday home.
|Country ||Average two-bed apartment price ||Approx. living costs |
|Bulgaria ||£92,093 ||£18,442 |
|Brazil ||£96,571 ||£16,863 |
|Hungary ||£156,337 ||£18,553 |
|Ireland ||£174,110 ||£25,525 |
|Poland ||£207,341 ||£17,866 |
At the other end of the scale (and perhaps unsurprisingly) Monaco was ranked the most expensive place to buy property abroad, with an average two-bed apartment costing a whopping £7.3 million. However, more of a surprise is that popular European countries such as Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal were all ranked as providing the least value for money.
Things to consider before buying a holiday home
If you dream of owning your own holiday home, there are a few things to consider before you take the plunge.
Here are some tips to help you decide what to buy, where to buy it and how to protect it with quality holiday home insurance
1 Take your time
This is a big decision so don’t rush into it. Decide what you want to use it for (i.e. is it for friends and family only or will you want to let it out to others?). You can then work out the best location(s) that meet your criteria.
2 Set yourself a budget
Know how much you have to spend and stick to that amount. As well as the price of the property, you’ll need to factor in taxes, maintenance costs, flights and the cost of insuring your holiday home
3 Get specialist advice
When seeking mortgage and legal advice for your holiday home, always deal with an English-speaking advisor, not just whoever is recommended by the estate agent. Make sure the insurance you take out on your holiday home
is specialist as well. It will give you added peace of mind for the times you are not there.
4 Learn the language
Even if you’re only planning to spend part of the year living in your holiday home, it’s good to know the basics of the local language. It will help you settle in faster and will help when it comes to the maintenance of your second home.
At Insurance Choice, we can give you specialist holiday home insurance
that suits your requirements. Because it’s your second home you are not there every day so you want a policy that takes that into account.
Whether you opt for a standard holiday home insurance policy
or add accidental damage, public liability (if renting it out), or legal cover, our holiday home insurance will give you peace of mind when you are home or away. Get in touch with the team and get a quote today.