It’s official: holiday homes are making a comeback. They went from being popular in the ‘80s to sniffed at for being a terribly middle class status symbol when the recession hit, and now, finally, they are back: affordable, luxurious, a welcome escape in the age of austerity. Now, people are looking closer to home for a change of scenery that allows them to escape their immediate surroundings, but know that they’re in easy reach of the commitments that bind them if the need arises (which, as we know in today’s fast-paced society, it often does). Holiday homes in Scotland, then, seem like the perfect compromise. Far enough away to be gloriously immersive – the wild beauty of the Highlands and the quaint charm of the traditional cities is hard to resist – but also just a train ride away from the rest of the UK.
Picking a holiday home, in Scotland or anywhere, can be a frustrating and confusing process. Before you sign your name on the dotted line, you’ll want to consider a few things:
It may seem obvious, but where you’ll want your holiday home to be is a very important first consideration. For a remote getaway, you might want to consider a cosy cottage on one of the Hebridean islands. A romantic holiday home in or near the glens of Angus or the lochs of Inverness might be your idea of perfect. For a family holiday home, particularly a young family, it might be a better idea to stick closer to the main cities (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen etc.). Look just outside of the main Scottish attractions for better sized rooms and additional amenities. You’ll be out of the cost bracket of the city, and you might find you get much more for your money. There are lots of property developments now springing up in areas like Perthshire and Argyllshire, offering property ‘villages’ for those who want a holiday home that’s still part of a community.
Self-catering, part of a development (with access to amenities), luxury, caravan, chalet? If you’re unsure about the property and what you get for your money, get in touch with the company or the proprietor. They should be happy to help. If you’re looking into a development, you should be able to request a brochure with floor plans and pricing information.
Buying to let:
The most obvious option when buying a holiday home is buy to let. This means that in the time you don’t spend at the house, you rent it out to. This may sound attractive for the extra revenue, but you will need to do some serious number crunching to work out whether the return is worth it. If you do choose this option, it might be worth hiring a letting agent and consulting a financial adviser in the first instance.
Alternative buying options:
There are alternatives to buying to rent. Seasonal renting is one such option, where you enter into a deal that allows you to rent out a property within a rental period, for the term of a contract. Then, of course, there are purchase options. If you are not looking to rent the property, obtaining finance and organising a second mortgage should be straightforward and will work much as it did for your first house. Whatever you do, look at your finances, get what you want, and above all, enjoy!