Published on October 5th, 2018 | by neil


What to Look for in a Second Home



Looking for a second home can be exciting and if handled well, it can also be fun!

There are inevitably a few things to keep in mind with second homes.  Some of the approaches and things to be considered are discussed below. You may also wish to consider using the services of a property finder who will provide help, guidance and generally do all the leg work in finding your second home.

Why are you purchasing?

This may seem self-evident but at times second home-buyers can become slightly confused by their possibly conflicting imperatives.

If you are buying a second home with the intention of using it regularly as your secondary place of residence, your selection criteria may be one thing.  On the other hand, if you are intending using it for just a few weeks each year as a holiday home, letting it out for the rest of the year, your selection criteria might be very different.

At the outset, it is therefore important to be clear exactly what your expectations are of the property you are purchasing in the sense of how you plan to use it going forward.

Escaping from the city

Significant numbers of second home buyers want to escape from the pressures of city life at weekends and during the holidays.

That though might have a significant impact on where you look.

Broadly speaking, the further you go from the big city, the more local life will be genuinely rural and tranquil.  Property prices might also typically decline, on average, with each mile you travel away from town.

On the other hand, that logic has its limitations.  Particularly at weekends, you might not relish the thought of spending several hours each Friday night and then Sunday evening, travelling to and from your distant weekend escape property.

Remember too that if you plan to let the property at times, demand may be lower in rural areas that are away from the centres of employment.

A balance is inevitably required.

Holiday properties

Second homes are extremely popular and particularly so in acknowledged beauty spots or tourist areas.

It’s important though to think through what you plan to do with your property outside of the holiday period.  If you are not intending to let it, you may need to make arrangements to have it periodically inspected and maintained. You might also need specialist unoccupied property insurance for second homes.

It’s also worth remembering that popular existing tourist destinations may be very busy during the peak holiday season and during bank holiday weekends.

Restoration properties

The big advantage with this category of property in terms of a second home is that typically they may be attractively priced in recognition of the work required.

Unless you are planning to pay for tradespeople to do the work for you, keep in mind that if you are not living there permanently, there may be a tendency for jobs to simply remain “unfinished” for extended periods.

Taxation issues

Unfortunately, space does not permit a discussion of all the financial issues associated with second property ownership.

Suffice it to say that they exist and it would be prudent to take advice in advance.

Researching local sentiment

In the majority of the United Kingdom, this is not a significant issue. Nevertheless, in some parts of the country, there is a documented history of both local community and political objections to second homes with absentee owners where such results in properties standing empty for most of the year.

If that is your intention in terms of how you plan to use your property, it will be a good idea to get advice on the subject from a locally-qualified expert.


Having a second home away from it all is a dream for many people.

It’s one that, with a little assistance, can be easily realised.

Do your research in advance and if necessary get expert advice and assistance on your journey.

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