Ten tips to
remember on your home-buying holiday
1. Does the property have a
pool (fenced if possible)? If not, make sure there
is a handy, decent, beach near by.
2. The ideal number of
bedrooms is two or three. Large properties sell
well only during school holidays, but a couple
will often rent a two-bedroom house outside peak
season. The number of four and five-bedroom
properties for rent in the Dordogne has reached
“saturation level”, according to Carol Bowhill.
3. In a two-room property, put
a double bed in one and twin beds in the other.
Better still, buy zip and lock beds to reconfigure
4. You can earn more if you
rent the property yourself, by word of mouth, or
selling direct through holiday brochures such as
Chez Nous and Brittany Ferries’ Owners
in France. But do you want the hassle?
Companies such as Bowhills charge about 35 per
cent commission. A good standard property can earn
£15,000 a year for a 16-week let. June lets better
than September, with peak season the first two
weeks of August.
5. Bathrooms, bathrooms and
more bathrooms make a holiday so much easier. And
a good kitchen if possible — 75 per cent of
holiday bookings are made by women.
6. Everyone dreams of a rural
idyll, but it’s not so idyllic to have to drive
everywhere for a croissant or meal. Walking
distance from the village shops is a big plus.
7. Granny’s old sofa doesn’t
look so great to prospective renters. It is often
the brochure photography that will sell a villa.
8. Buy a property within a
comfortable drive of at least two airports. If an
airline axes one service, you have a back-up.
9. Find out about potential
developments in the area around your property. It
would be a shame to lose the view you bought the
place for in the first place.
10. Get ready to work.
Bowhills sends out a form to owners with a
checklist of 175 points. Owners must fill out the
form and provide pictures, a process that rejects
one-third of applicants. On a ground visit, owners
will be encouraged to improve particular points or
provide more facilities.
Additional information: Simply Travel Holidays
(020-8541 2211, http://www.simplytravel.com/).