Vacation Property Ownership 101

Do you love the outdoors, getting out of the city and taking vacations? Investing in a vacation home is a brilliant way to protect your savings, earn rental income and potentially create a vacation experience for your family and friends. Depending on where you choose to buy, your holiday vacation home can increase in value exponentially over even a short period of time, and if you plan to utilise the property for your own family vacations you can really end up turning a substantial profit.

While investing in a vacation home can be a fantastic opportunity, it is imperative that you treat this as the serious responsibility that it is and keep up on general upkeep, landlord duties and bill payments. The latter concern can actually be a big issue for first time vacation rental owners – it is surprising how easy it can be to forget about vital payments and bills when you are not residing at the address that needs attention. Bills and calls for attention can stack up, and with your vacation property at the back of your mind it is very easy to dismiss these concerns.

We here at Britain Outdoors have heard plenty of horror stories about eager investors (young and old) who purchased their first holiday rental property with all of the hopes in the world, only to fall behind on payments and quickly learn the hard way how much this can affect an individual’s credit rating. While buying the initial property was a breeze, a failing vacation property owner’s steadily mounting bad credit can mean that banks will deny new credit card, loan and mortgage requests. This can seriously affect all aspects of an individual’s life and negatively impact their standard of living.

Here is a brief list of a few things that you need to think of when you purchase your first vacation rental property:

  • Ensure all bills are addressed correctly – If at all possible, make sure that any bills that need your attention (i.e. utilities, water, gas and internet) are sent to your primary address. This way you are less likely to miss them.
  • Visit your property at least once per month – While this point seems like a breeze when you first buy your rental property, you will be surprised at how soon the novelty wears off. If you regularly rent your home out to holiday makers you may have a cleaner come in between bookings, and therefore see little need to visit the site yourself. This is a mistake – a visit each month ensures that you know exactly what is happening with your investment and helps you to catch any problems.
  • Maintain a good relationship with your cleaning service – Your cleaning service or estate agency is your eyes and ears on the ground – make sure you keep a good relationship with them so that you can stay on top of bills, letters and issues.
  • Check your credit regularly – In order to ensure that everything is in order with your credit rating you should check your credit rating once per year here: (at a minimum) so that you can address any potential issues that have arisen over the past twelve months.