Building a Holiday Home: The Essentials
By Lillian Connors, Senior Digital Marketing Strategist at Bizzmark
Owning a holiday home is a dream come true for many people. A cosy cottage on the edge of the wild frontier can be an ideal family gateway, while a large coastal house may lure groups of tourist with deep pockets. But things are more complicated than they may seem. Regardless of whether you are building from scratch or just sprucing up, there are many moving parts to grasp, including the costs, design, décor, features, taxes, etc.
Planning right off the bat
Whether you have a lake house, countryside retreat, or a second home in a city, some underlying principles apply.
Firstly, right from the outset, you have to decide whether you are making an investment to create a family home or a business (FHL – furnished holiday let). There is a way to kill two birds with one stone. For instance, you can stay in the home during summer and rent it in the off-season.
However, it still pays off to keep one chief goal in mind. Your choice has a slew of implications down the road. To be more precise, your design, décor, and other decisions vary depending on whether you want your home to generate income or quality time for your family.
In general, rental holiday homes are a prudent choice if the area surrounding it is popular with tourists and features bodies of water, hiking trails, and amenities for other outdoor adventures. Short of these elements, you could struggle to attract people and tap into profit.
When creating a home for letting, you usually have to invest more money. Moreover, you might not be able to reclaim your VAT on building materials. On the other hand, it's usually possible to reclaim capital allowances that encompass heating, lighting, furniture, and outfitting bathrooms and kitchens. Bear in mind also that selling a second home brings capital gains tax (CGT) into play.
In any event, it's highly advisable to form a budget and factor in various expenses such as agency fees, renovating, marketing, utility bills, cleaning, maintenance, etc. If you manage to hire expert project home builders, which is a sound course of action, you have every right to expect full transparency regarding not only labour and material costs, but also any additional expanses that might occur in the process, so you won't overlook a single detail.
In two minds
Furthermore, in case you are creating an FHL, you have to set your own preferences and taste aside. To attract customers, you are better off researching your target audience and figuring out a way to delight it. Most owners who are in it for the money opt for hard-duty, easy-to-maintain finishes, timeless design and décor solutions, light and soothing colours, and comfortable furniture.
Contrariwise, when designing your own holiday home, you are free to let your imagination and creativity run wild. They can form the backbone of your renovation and decorating projects. You have a chance to foster an environment that lets you take part in activities you usually can't pursue at your primary residence. You are your own boss.
The big picture
Note that a layout plays an important role. Some plans are more suited for couples while other fit families and crowds better. The key factor is the number of bathrooms/bedrooms, as well as the presence of spacious, sociable spaces, such as open-plan kitchens and living rooms.
Finally, when it comes to FHLs, you also have to think about luxuries that make or break a holiday experience. Consider features like flat-screen TVs, smart tech, under-floor heating, lightning-fast internet, spa-like bathrooms, ultra-modern kitchens, cutting-edge appliances, etc. They create that wow effect and prevent your property from sitting empty and amassing expenses.
Of course, provided that your budget allows it, you can integrate these into a home you plan to use yourself. In both cases, essential systems like heating, plumbing, and electricity installations must work like a charm. Thus, it would be wise to check them every now and then or call professionals to do it for you.
Success by design
Holiday homes are getting more and more popular, sprouting up across the globe, ever more beautiful and functional. They can fill the heart with joy or a bank account with some green. However, you have to step up if you want to make it happen.
Try not to confuse business with pleasure and end up losing both. Be crystal clear about your intentions and goals from the get-go. Have the space equipped and designed to make your goal a reality. Get away from the hustle and bustle or allow others to do it for a decent price.
Senior Digital Marketing Strategist