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Buying and letting a second home abroad: Important aspects

Buying and letting a second home abroad: Important aspects

Are you thinking of buying and letting a second home abroad? Maybe you already own a second home but you are not renting it out yet?

For all those who want to rent out their holiday home: here are some essential points of attention regarding location, competition, promotion, regulations, management and profit margin.

Finally, you will see examples of hands-free, passive recreational real estate for sale that provides a rental return without any effort on your part. Such passive recreational real estate also comes with the right of private use (free or at very favourable conditions).

Have fun reading below!

How do I rent out my holiday home?

The holiday home rental market has become one of the fastest growing in the travel sector in recent years.

There is the ever-increasing popularity of going on holiday independently and renting a holiday home instead of booking a hotel room.

There is also the growing popularity of the so-called sharing economy where you can rent out your house (or houses) to strangers, as demonstrated by the success of Airbnb.

There are many owners who use rental income to pay rising taxes, to repay a loan or simply to cover rising living costs.

More and more second home owners abroad are even becoming dependent on rental income to cover the costs of their holiday home.

Competition among holiday home owners is also growing. Buying a property to let should therefore also be done with attention to the competition.

So don't just assume that you have to upload a few photos on some rental website and the bookings will come flooding in.

You want to rent out your holiday home and you want it to be a hit instead of a thoughtless decision?

Then it is best to take a closer look at the following points of interest so that you are optimally prepared!

Location | Buying and letting a second home abroad

How can this help you achieve your goals? What occupancy will you need? Are you better off with 2 high seasons or do you want visitors all year round?

In regions with mild winters, it is more common to rent to people who literally come here to spend the winter.

They rent for a longer period (up to 3 months) which is good for you because you have less worries and less costs to get your holiday home rented.

On the other hand, the rental income is lower compared to short-term rentals.

Golf regions or mountainous areas can be popular all year round (buying a golf course house [AVAILABLE SOON] can be interesting).

Also think about accessibility. Is the location [AVAILABLE SOON] easily accessible for your target market? Can you travel there easily? Are there good transport connections?

Read more about it on Guides to choosing a great property investment market [AVAILABLE SOON] and Steps to buying foreign property investment [AVAILABLE SOON] with financial success.

Beat the competition | Buying and letting a second home abroad

Stand out from the rest with your presentation, benefits, unique features, affordability and/or marketing.

Visitors nowadays expect free wireless internet and a bottle of wine as a standard welcome. So think about how you can make your offer truly memorable.

When renting out your holiday home, you can make sure that you emphasise the plus points.

For example, you can prepare a nice lunch and present it on the terrace or show with pictures how to make use of the garden.

Don't forget that people respond very well to (audio)visual things like pictures, presentations and movies.

Channels like Youtube, Vimeo and SlideShare are ideal to generate some more exposure for your second home!

Even cool aerial photos or videos made with a drone can help you with a unique and attractive positioning!

You can then put these online through a whole range of channels, including YouTube.

Promotion | Buying and letting a second home abroad

Make use of the popular channels but also consider creating your own website.

Social media can also help you promote your holiday home.

Finally, if you have trouble filling certain weeks, you can create last-minute offers.

Feel free to use previous visitors' reviews as part of your promotional material. The most successful holiday homes all have good reviews.

Note that you need reviews for this, so ask your customers!

Do you also want to build your own unique website for your outdoor area? To make it easier to let? Then read 5 steps to build a website for your second home [AVAILABLE SOON].

Regulations | Buying and letting a second home abroad

Is it allowed to rent out your holiday home on a short term basis? Are there specific rules within a complex?

For example, in Spain some regional governments restrict holiday rentals (especially in the Canary Islands).

For this you can seek the advice of an expert, so do not just believe what your estate agent says but do your own homework.

Also consider whether you have the required insurance, whether you need a licence and whether you comply with local safety regulations Conducting a very thorough due diligence [AVAILABLE SOON] is absolutely recommended.

Management | Buying and letting a second home abroad

So you're thinking of buying and letting a second home abroad. But have you considered how you will keep track of the reservations and/or maintain the holiday home?

Think about whether you will be able to answer the information requests and reservations soon yourself, or is it a good idea to use a rental agency?

Doing everything yourself can be hard work or even impractical: how do you find a plumber at 11pm in the evening in front of your holiday home in Spain?

That is why many people choose to hire a local party (passive real estate investment [AVAILABLE SOON]) who will take care of any problems and hand over the keys etc.

In this case, do not forget to include these management costs in your cost estimate.

Read more about it on Managing yield properties [AVAILABLE SOON]: Why pursuing passive income can be wise...

Proceeds and costs | Buying and letting a second home abroad

Once your reservations have been received, you will also have to sort out your money matters.

You will have to pay tax on your rental income so you should find out what local tax rate you can expect.

There may also be fixed management fees or community contributions if your holiday home is part of a larger complex.

Don't forget to check what insurance you need as a landlord and what it will cost.

Do you own a second home outside the euro area or are you looking for one? Think about the currency of your rental income and how you will pay the local management fees.

Prefer not to play landlord yourself? Choose a carefree buy-to-let property

Don't feel like spending your little free time renting out and managing your second home? But interested in investing in foreign real estate?

Did you know that it is also possible to enjoy the best of both worlds?

As a foreigner, you can purchase a ready-made buy-to-let property [AVAILABLE SOON] abroad, often with a rental guarantee [AVAILABLE SOON] and a guaranteed return!

Concretely, we can divide these types of income properties into two types: the investment properties [AVAILABLE SOON] that are constantly rented out and the investment properties that can be used for mixed purposes.

Mixed-use buy-to-let properties (private + carefree letting)

Are you more of a bon vivant who, in addition to profit, also has an eye for quality time, fun and entertainment?

Then you are probably more attracted to mixed-use buy-to-let properties.

The advantage of buying such an investment property [AVAILABLE SOON] is that you can make private use of it yourself every year.

It is a kind of benefit in kind that your family, friends and yourself can enjoy to the full!

Investing in a holiday home abroad [AVAILABLE SOON] for mixed use without worries is possible in various countries:

French mixed-use property

Such an offer of mixed-use buy-to-let properties for sale can be found, for example, in the Limousin region [AVAILABLE SOON] in France [AVAILABLE SOON].

At the Wyndham Halcyon Retreat Golf & Spa Resort you can buy a second home in France as a mixed-use buy-to-let property!

Some unique advantages of this offer are the following:

  • Up to 8% annual return
  • Return is calculated on the purchase price (so if you finance with a mortgage loan [AVAILABLE SOON], you can enjoy the leverage effect and a return on your equity that is much higher)
  • FREE 2 weeks of private use per year, free to choose during the high and low season
  • Two optionally callable resale guarantees available: Sell your property at a minimum of 125% or 150% of the original purchase price after 5 or 10 years respectively
  • You will acquire full ownership of a luxury studio, flat or tree house
  • Located in a luxury resort with extremely pleasant facilities, such as an 18-hole golf course, a luxurious spa, an indoor children's playground, a water park, and so on
  • Tip: Do you have a smaller amount to invest? Then you can also invest in co-ownership from 17 230 euros in the same resort

Greek mixed-use property on the island of Samos

  • On the green island of Samos, a top destination among the Greek islands
  • Luxury hotel suites, studio flats, kampanas and three types of villas for sale
  • Free weeks of own use per year + guaranteed annual rental return
  • Read all about it at Buy a country house in Greece at the Hera Bay Luxury Resort

Luxury mixed-use property in Montenegro

  • Location: Tivat, on a hill, ten minutes from the international airport
  • Luxurious new apartments and studios in Montenegro with views of mountainous landscape and Adriatic Sea
  • For purely private use or for mixed use (6 weeks of free personal use per year, the rest of the time rented out with a nice gross return)
  • No contractual guarantees of return, only non-binding simulations

Spanish property for mixed use on the Costa del Sol

  • In a golf resort on the Costa del Sol in Spain
  • Fully owned flats for sale
  • For mixed use (where you can enjoy favourable conditions in terms of own use + an annual rental yield (passive and hands-off)
  • See everything in detail on Buying a Spanish flat on the Costa del Sol [AVAILABLE SOON] for part-time rentals with guaranteed return

Revenue properties purely for rental

Looking for a pure income-producing property that simply gives you a decent return on your savings?

Without having to take care of the headaches as landlord [AVAILABLE SOON]? Without having to deal with annoying tenants, non-payments, maintenance tasks, etc.?

In that case, passive real estate investment [AVAILABLE SOON] is the only right choice for you!

And if you want to build in extra security in terms of returns, then investing in real estate with a rental guarantee [AVAILABLE SOON] is the investment method!

Of course, you should deal with a proper developer of turnkey investment properties [AVAILABLE SOON], who also provides a complete rental service [AVAILABLE SOON] from A to Z without any trouble or headaches for you as an owner!

Below is an overview of such investment properties with rental guarantee:

Belgian buy-to-let properties with rental guarantee


Swedish properties for rent with immediate return

German investment properties with rental guarantee

Separate rental units for sale in Germany with rental guarantee
Revenue properties for sale in Germany with several rental units

Additional information on foreign real estate

Rational investing in real estate abroad based on figures: Tips
Long-distance investing in real estate outside the country: Insights
Investing in a holiday home abroad: 4 good reasons!
Letting a holiday home: 7 tips to achieve higher returns!
Luxury villas can repay themselves in up to 6 different ways!
Retiring abroad: Trust your instincts when choosing a location
Where to retire? Start with yourself to discover the ideal destination!
How to retire abroad? Steps and tips to prepare your retirement abroad!
How to buy property abroad at the best exchange rate?
Houses for sale abroad: Different types of property rights!
Moving abroad: Checklist with practical considerations!
Investing money in a house abroad? Consult a solicitor!
Investing in foreign real estate? Plan your future and think ahead!
Costs of a second home: Careful budgeting is the key!
Buying a vacation home: Will you choose a new building or an existing one?

Additional information on French recreational real estate