Holiday cottages as a property investment option

Property investment is not quite the safe option it was at the turn of the century. Property values have become moribund. Instead investors are looking at different ways of making a competitive return on their investment. If managed well, holiday homes and cottages can offer more attractive returns than conventional rental properties.

Follow the rules to guarantee returns

Investing in holiday properties represents a very different kind of property investment than purchasing buy-to-let flats or houses. Income is irregular, maintenance costs can be high and there may be substantial periods when your property does not generate any income. Follow a few guidelines, though, and the returns can be lucrative.

  • Choose a desirable location. This does not have to be a seaside resort. Holiday lets in places like Bath, Edinburgh, the Lake District or Northumberland attract holiday-makers all year round.
  • Adjust your rental charges by season, ensuring you can cover mortgage payments. Initially you will have to booking pay agents' fees which can range from 15% to 30%. Subsequently you may be able to rely on word-of-mouth and repeat bookings.
  • Pitch your property at a sensible market. There is little point going for ultra-trendy minimalist decor and state-of-the-art interior design in a country cottage, or offering family rates in a city centre apartment.
  • Advertising in the right places is key. Do a little research to find the most effective websites and print media. Even if you use agents, you really need to set up your own website for your property in order to attract customers, anticipate enquiries and deal with direct bookings.

The hands-on approach

Holiday letting is a form of property investment that rewards hard work. An attention to detail and a constant willingness to maintain and update a property will be rewarded with regular bookings and a steady income. If business is slow, don't be afraid to rethink your target market and revamp the property accordingly.

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