Our experience of buying

a second home/holiday home

holiday home

Independent Building Surveyors

If you are in the process of purchasing a property whether it is a new home or a second home/holiday home we can provide help and advice with regard to independent valuations, building surveys, structural surveys, home buyers reports, property surveys, engineers reports, structural reports, specific defects report or any other property matters.

Unlike many surveyors we like to meet you at the property during the survey and we are more than happy to talk to you about our property reports. Please free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat with one of our surveyors.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

A home from home

When our children were age one and two we decided that the days of long haul flights were behind us for awhile and thought that a holiday home in the UK would be a compromise that enabled us to get away to a home from home.

Initially we purchased a static caravan on a small private holiday park in a picturesque village in Norfolk, which was a stone's throw to the beach and had views of the nearby beach huts. We had three enjoyable summers in the static caravan travelling the two hour distance on Friday evenings to have a weekend away as well as long weekends and a week or two in the summer.

Our reasons for buying a second home / holiday home

The static caravan season runs from March to October. Each year our site rental seemed to increase considerably above the rate of inflation until it finally got to the stage where we realised that we could actually buy a small property for almost the same amount of monthly payout of the caravan. In addition we would have the benefit of having the property for the whole year and of course we thought bricks and mortar would be a good long term investment.

Other articles that may be of interest

We have written several surveying articles which may also help if you are looking to purchase a property:

Why are our surveys better than the competition's?
Homebuyers Report or Structural Survey?
Mortgage surveyors won't do a building survey, or should that be can't do a building survey?
Winter snow and ice and how it causes problems in your house / home

Local Estate Agents

We visited some local estate agents explaining our requirements, which was for a minimum of two bedrooms with parking and close to the beach. We viewed a three bedroom terrace but it was not quite a walk to the beach so it was dismissed and we also viewed a basement apartment, which was literally a two minute walk to the beach but was a leasehold property, which required the lease to be extended which became too expensive.

We were then sent details of a semi-detached bungalow with good proportions including two good sized bedrooms, a kitchen/diner and sitting room as well as a private garden, which was not overlooked and a driveway, which could accommodate up to four cars.

Location, Location, Location

The property was less than five minutes walk from the beach, near a pub, which has fantastic food as well as all the local amenities of shops, takeaways, etc.

What value?

As we had no chain and were classed as a first time buyer we managed to negotiate a substantial reduction in the price. The property was in a poor condition with a new bathroom and kitchen required and the owners were not prepared to carry out any of the work and just wanted a quick sale.

Selling a static caravan

Selling the static caravan was a minefield and an eye opener to say the least. In the small print we soon discovered that we were unable to sell the caravan to anyone other than the caravan site owners, which meant that they had a monopoly on the price and offered us a meagre twenty per cent of the original purchase price that we had paid three years earlier. We tried to negotiate but there was absolutely no movement and therefore we decided to cut our losses and accept their offer.

Always have a survey

As the bungalow had been empty for awhile it was vital that we had a survey carried out to ensure that the property was in a good condition. The property was in poor decorative order but the surveyor advised that the structural condition of the property was fine with no major problems, which gave us peace of mind to proceed with the purchase.

Did the property purchase go smoothly?

Compared to selling a caravan the purchase of the property went very smoothly. It was a death estate property owned by three of the relatives, which slowed down the final signing stage as the relatives lived in various parts of the country but we were not in a rush to complete or move in so in this instance it didn't really matter.

Letting a holiday home

In our case we have only allowed friends and family to use the property and have not let it as holiday accommodation however there are obviously implications to letting the property such as landlord legislation and tax implications. In addition as we are not local to the property we would have to instruct an agent to manage on our behalf.


Finally, when buying a second home/holiday home be aware that many insurance companies do not offer policies on second home/holiday homes. When you do find an insurance company that will insure the property the policy is non standard with a number of significant variations over your typical home insurance such as in our case the heating has to be left on at a certain temperature over the winter months or else the insurance claim is void. It is important to shop around for the policy as the companies that do offer the policies vary greatly in price and conditions.

Ironically the insurance for this property is approximately fifty percent cheaper than insuring a static caravan!

Independent Surveyors

If you are interested in having a structural building survey why not call us for a friendly chat on free phone 0800 298 5424. If you are a landlord please contact us as we would be delighted to help you with Schedules of Condition or Structural surveys.

We would also be glad to email you several examples of our tailor made reports, Schedules of Condition, Structural Surveys and Property Reports. We also find that Specific Defect Reports can be used where there is one problem or issue that needs resolving between the landlord and tenant. As you can see from this article we use lots of sketches and photos in our reports as the feedback we have from our clients is that the sketches and photos help them understand the reports.

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The content of the website is for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision. Why not free phone 0800 298 5424

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