Buying holiday home

Fourteen

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26
Hope this is the right forum to ask this question.

My hubby & I are recently retired and have a substantial sum between us from lump sums plus savings. We are thinking seriously of buying a 2 bed apartment in a holiday complex in a place where we have holidayed with our family for many, many years.

The apartment is on offer at a very competitive price and in good condition, fully furnished.
My question is, to all the financial gurus on here, are we mad at our stage in life? We have the disposable income, the apartment would be well used by our children and grandchildren as well as ourselves plus there are other family members with property in the area.

We both love the area which is in a quiet and beautiful spot with direct access to and beautiful views over the sea. I don't think the apartment could lose any value given the low asking price (owner has to sell).
At the moment all our money is in equities and we feel a diversification would be better. We would be using less than one-third of our funds to buy the apartment and would not be renting it out.

Is this a daft idea for a couple in their sixties?

PS we own our home outright and have no debts.
 

Fourteen

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26
Yes the property is in Ireland, 80 miles from home. We usually stay in the local hotel or rent a house but would love not to be tied to particular weeks and to be able to come and go as we please.
 

Dermot

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1,053
Really the choice is yours. You apparently can afford it.
You will be liable for a Management Company Fee, Property Tax, Electricity, water charges and internal maintenance/replacement of white goods and furniture which I am sure you have checked out.
You will save on other types of accommodation and have more flexibility all things being equal.
I do not know much about apartments in holiday complex's but I would suspect that the value of the apartment in the future will be linked to the quality of the Management who run the complex.
You say that you are buying it at a very competitive price so downside may be low and you will use it a lot.
I hope you can manage to get priority for yourselves and that all the free loaders do not get vexed with you when they do not get their selected time on the rota for the apartment.:)
 

Grizzly

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816
Back in the early 90's we owned a holiday home in Ireland. We loved it at the time. Our children were teenagers and didn't. They wanted to stay in Dublin. It was costly to keep. We never rented it out. When we did the maths we reckoned it was costing us more to stay in our own holiday home than stay in a local hotel. We sold it and broke even. If we had waited for the Tiger we would have made a great profit. Fast forward 20 years +. Two of our grown up children would still not use it if we still had it. One would, because he has children. We would, but only in the summer months.
Our own tastes have also changed. It is great to be able to hop on a plane and visit different places. Stay in other people's apartments and not have the problem of ownership. Sometimes I would like to have my own place back again but I know it would be a waste of money and I would feel tied to the place.
We investigated purchasing abroad also but we are glad that we didn't now. At least in Ireland it was only a drive away for a quick escape.
Maybe it's my age but I am trying to get rid of "stuff" at the moment rather than adding to it. Then again you're set up is different to mine and it sounds as if it might work for you.
 

Fourteen

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26
Thank you all for the replies. Grizzly, your experience is very interesting.

We have no interest in foreign property ownership. Our adult children still join us for a weekend or two during our annual stay every year. They all love the area and would definitely make use of a holiday home (we haven't mentioned our interest to them as we'd be under serious pressure!).

I don't know if I'm looking at this through rose tinted glasses but I just love the idea of having my own place where all my own things are waiting and the ease of hopping in the car at the drop of a hat when the forecast is good and not being tied to booked weeks when it could be pouring rain. I know it costs to keep a place of your own that only gets used for 5/6 months of the year but I feel we would get great use out of it between us all.

The major reservation I have is that we should have done this years ago & we're now too old to get long term value from it given that we are now in our mid 60s but I feel if we kept it for 10 years we would, at worst, break even at that stage. The apartment is in walk-in condition and extremely competitively priced but are we mad to tie up a big chunk of our funds in what could be a big mistake?
 

cremeegg

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3,316
Stop over analysing.

Buy it. Enjoy it!

Come back here in a years time and tell us how wonderful it is.
 

monagt

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880
My advice is don't do it.
Funds tied up which you might need.
Go to hotels/apartments and then walk away with no hassles.
Accountant, Taxes (and there are a few), Maintenance, Will.
One may get ill or worse and then what?
Your children will share and use it but when grandchildren arrive it may end up in total war as they fight to get slots (happened to a colleague of mine)
Go on over Seniors Holidays, different places or a single place if you find somewhere you like.

Look at all options and do a cost benefit on it.
 

Leper

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1,193
You're both in your sixties. You would be daft to buy. Rent abroad for €550 per month for a 2 bedroom property in a southern Spanish resort. You have the option of spending months abroad and months in Ireland.
 

LS400

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544
Cremeege has it spot on, your over thinking this.
There is nothing like loading up the car and moving at your pace. Not having to check availability, staying an extra day/ week how ever long you like, and, as grand parents, your probably more financially relaxed with the grand kids than when you were young parents finding you way through life. Enjoy it, you've done your homework, and remember, you never see a tow bar on a hearse. Life is for living.
 

monagt

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You're both in your sixties. You would be daft to buy. Rent abroad for €550 per month for a 2 bedroom property in a southern Spanish resort. You have the option of spending months abroad and months in Ireland.
+1

Enjoy it, you've done your homework, and remember, you never see a tow bar on a hearse. Life is for living.
But less stress is even better! Simplify not complicate your life :)
 

Leper

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1,193
I don't know if you intend to buy a holiday home in Ireland or abroad. I did both. Here is the information nobody will offer (well perhaps with the exception of Purple?).

Holiday Home in Ireland:- We bought in an area that makes the Wild Atlantic Way look like the M50 on a Friday afternoon. The next parish across the water is Manhattan and our grandchildren swear they can smell the hotdogs being cooked in 57th Street, New York. The nearest shop is 3 miles distant, but the drive there and back is like an obstacle course. Think you've seen potholes? You haven't! Our nearest neighbour is a well known sportsman. He spent one weekend in his holiday home there in seven years. Ours is a cottage, his is a new bungalow. His has more growth now than the Amazon Jungle. Grass has to be cut, paint has to be renewed, driveway must be nuked for weeds. Sheep come in and welcome they are. Shout at them and the nearby sheep farmer will have a contract on you.

The local GAA club expect you to pay into their weekly local Lotto. You become a member of their club too. You must go to Mass in the church six miles distant every Sunday. Considering staying away is a no-no. The Parish Priest will welcome you to their parish and before you've got back into your car he hands you a little envelop already with a number on it.

If you turn up with Aldi purchased groceries in Dublin you will be informed that you should have bought the groceries in that aforementioned shop. If you don't you will be informed of the hardship suffered by the locals if that shop closes for the winter. For a quiet life you boycott Aldi.

You travel down to the local pub where you have no chance of ever being breathalysed when you leave. The locals know when the force "car" even leaves the town thirty miles away. Then after a few pints some local self styled gobshite informs you that because of the likes of you property has increased in price locally and his daughter cannot even get a mortgage.

When you've sucked in the guilt, you look at the locals in a different light. Oul' Stock who waves to you from that 1960's safety cageless tractor is really sizing you up. Oh! I forgot to mention rights of way. All of the locals have rights of way through your property. Lock your gate and pay the price.

But, you were once welcomed there as a tourist. Now, you're one of them. If you fall short they will help. If you are sick, they will check up on you. If your car strays into a ditch, they will pull you out. If somebody thinks you are about to be robbed, they will be the first on the scene to prevent the crime. Your grandchildren will be treated like royalty by other kids. Ensure your wife and daughters can talk openly about their stay in whatever maternity hospital.

I'll come to owning a holiday home abroad later. I'm preparing to launch another expedition on the next parish to Manhattan as I type . . . See you Monday!
 

LS400

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544
That's brilliant writing, and quite true in fact. A few of my pals have moved to the county and that's pretty much the way is seems...in some places more than others. But as the op in this case has been there many times, I think they know the lye of the land.
Looking forward to Monday's episode all the same.
 

Fourteen

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26
Some very sensible advice from everyone, many thanks.

Leper, that's an outstanding insight into being a temporary 'blow-in'. I think the next parish to the location I'm looking at is probably in isolated northern Newfoundland! Adding everything up we're beginning to think that continuing the annual rental trip is probably more advisable at our age although the lure of my own bolthole is still a very attractive idea.

Can't wait to read installment two of your holiday home ownership story.
 

losttheplot

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365
Would you consider a Motorhome? Not for everyone, but speaking to some who have them, they love them.
 

Grizzly

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Well I'm just back from a 5 day break in Madrid. Lots of good food. Visited Toledo and Segovia. The overall trip cost the two of us about €700. Flights. Hotel. Day Trips. Food etc. Short sleeved shirts even in the late evening. I have already had similar trips to Majorca and France earlier this year. Already planning the next one. While the arsehole of nowhere might be lovely to visit for a quiet relaxing break I for one crave the excitement of seeing lots of different cultures, etc
We have lots of family get togethers in our own home here in Dublin and we are happy to have our Irish holiday in July and August but after that it is searching for the next Ryanair or Aer Lingus bargain to somewhere. Often pot luck, suck it and see type of break. I haven't been disappointed yet.
 

Leper

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1,193
I'm just back from "Neglected Rural Ireland" and have just read the entire amount of posts here and apologies for thinking that a holiday home abroad might be an issue. Now, I know the proposed accommodation is an apartment in Ireland. I advised earlier that Fourteen would be daft to buy because he is in his sixties. I'm in my sixties too and sorry to say to Fourteen that he has missed the boat even if the property is a bargain offer.

Have a look at other posts on this section of the forum and you will see some of the pitfalls of buying abroad. I know people who have bought in Turkey and they now cannot cope with how they made the mistake. One of them bought five apartments in Turkey and it was GREED stupid!

Somebody came up with the idea of purchasing a dormobile. I have no experience here, but the two couples I know who bought one such vehicle each love the dormobile more than they love each other.

We used to own a mobile home some years ago and to be honest we got the greatest of value over summers in Ireland where the six of us swam every day whether sun, snow, hail, rain, wind or our mobile home neighbours from Limerick. A mobile home (they're very expensive) might be an option.
 

Fourteen

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26
Thanks again to everyone for their input.

Well, after much humming and hawing and a further 4 hour round trip to view the property again the decision has been made not to buy. We'll continue our annual rental trip in addition to a few annual trips abroad.

I have a few friends who have dormobiles and love them but I'm at the stage in life where I want comfort and being cramped in a small place without proper bathroom facilities doesn't appeal at all.

We did the whole campsite thing for many years when the kids were small both here in Ireland with our own touring caravan and then in France in mobile homes. Perfect for holidays with smallies but I don't think I would find sitting outside trying to read with dozens of screaming children running around very relaxing at this stage in life (have the grandkids at home for that!) so I think that knocks mobile homes on the head, although we did actually briefly consider one a while back.

Leper, I'd love to hear your experiences of owning a holiday home abroad so please give us chapter 2!
 

Leper

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1,193
Chapter 2:- No humour; just facts and the whole truth as against what many say is the truth. We bought a holiday apartment in southern Spain thirteen years ago. I was fifty with adult family. Mrs Lep and I decided we had enough of drudgery (i.e. another word for rearing children - don't forget at this stage that I promised to say the full truth). We looked at this stage in our lives as "Our Time" and property in Spain was relatively affordable. We thought we could take any hit and property was never going to decrease in value (famous last words!).

I make no apologies, we bought as an investment, to use for our holidays and for provision of a rental income. We were starting from scratch and learned lessons almost by the week. We did all the right things, employed a Gestor (solicitor) to act solely for us as against an Abogado (Conveyancing Officer) to allay fears of well publicised properties being raised to the ground. We knew Spanish workmanship was not great, but thought employing a surveyor would resolve any problems here. He didn't and in Spain you have no comeback. We had to get extensive repairs over the years which could have been prevented by the original builders. However, we got over that.

So you're watching Holiday Homes Abroad and A Place in the Sun etc. I am not saying that the people in these programmes were telling lies, but nearly everything said was far from the full truth e.g. (watching a re-run of programmes recently) I heard a real estate agent talking about a new high speed railway line from airports due to use a stop nearby. She pointed out that you can actually see the rails. You can see the rails but the only things rolling over them are the local fauna. These rails won't see a train for years to come. And another pointed out the new International Airport just up the road which is nearing completion. It was completed 12 months ago and hasn't seen a plane of any description and probably will never see one. Don't believe a word from any of these tv programmes.

You can pick up property on the Costas at good prices at the moment. Spain is not recovering anywhere near the rate of Ireland's. I would advise not to buy unless you can take an extensive hit down the line. You think by handing your property over to a real estate agent for rental purposes you are on the road to an easy income. They take commission, advertising fees, etc and your income will be down by at least 20%. So you think you have 80% for yourself. Take the utilities, electricity, water, refuse, property tax, complex fees etc from that and you might have something left. But, the real estate company contacts you and informs that the cistern must be replaced in the bathroom and a new bed and mattress are required immediately. You have no way of knowing whether these items need replacing but you take them at their word and the cycle restarts the following year.

We got rid of the real estate agent. We rent the apartment ourselves through word-of-mouth and over the years have built up repeat customers.

I have more to say, but I don't want to bore the pants off anybody, and I have to leave for work . . . so I will come back with Chapter 2 (b).
 

Broadcaster

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89
Chapter 2:- No humour; just facts and the whole truth as against what many say is the truth. We bought a holiday apartment in southern Spain thirteen years ago. I was fifty with adult family. Mrs Lep and I decided we had enough of drudgery (i.e. another word for rearing children - don't forget at this stage that I promised to say the full truth). We looked at this stage in our lives as "Our Time" and property in Spain was relatively affordable. We thought we could take any hit and property was never going to decrease in value (famous last words!).

I make no apologies, we bought as an investment, to use for our holidays and for provision of a rental income. We were starting from scratch and learned lessons almost by the week. We did all the right things, employed a Gestor (solicitor) to act solely for us as against an Abogado (Conveyancing Officer) to allay fears of well publicised properties being raised to the ground. We knew Spanish workmanship was not great, but thought employing a surveyor would resolve any problems here. He didn't and in Spain you have no comeback. We had to get extensive repairs over the years which could have been prevented by the original builders. However, we got over that.

So you're watching Holiday Homes Abroad and A Place in the Sun etc. I am not saying that the people in these programmes were telling lies, but nearly everything said was far from the full truth e.g. (watching a re-run of programmes recently) I heard a real estate agent talking about a new high speed railway line from airports due to use a stop nearby. She pointed out that you can actually see the rails. You can see the rails but the only things rolling over them are the local fauna. These rails won't see a train for years to come. And another pointed out the new International Airport just up the road which is nearing completion. It was completed 12 months ago and hasn't seen a plane of any description and probably will never see one. Don't believe a word from any of these tv programmes.

You can pick up property on the Costas at good prices at the moment. Spain is not recovering anywhere near the rate of Ireland's. I would advise not to buy unless you can take an extensive hit down the line. You think by handing your property over to a real estate agent for rental purposes you are on the road to an easy income. They take commission, advertising fees, etc and your income will be down by at least 20%. So you think you have 80% for yourself. Take the utilities, electricity, water, refuse, property tax, complex fees etc from that and you might have something left. But, the real estate company contacts you and informs that the cistern must be replaced in the bathroom and a new bed and mattress are required immediately. You have no way of knowing whether these items need replacing but you take them at their word and the cycle restarts the following year.

We got rid of the real estate agent. We rent the apartment ourselves through word-of-mouth and over the years have built up repeat customers.

I have more to say, but I don't want to bore the pants off anybody, and I have to leave for work . . . so I will come back with Chapter 2 (b).
 
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