Haven’t we all headed out of the city at some point in our lives and thought the same: owning a house somewhere beyond the mundane metros – one that you could call your own and escape to at the drop of a hat? To transform that thought into reality, however, requires extensive research and meticulous planning – one wrong move and your dream of a leisure home could come crashing down.
We once had a guest tell us, “I wish I owned a place like this! Couldn’t contain my jealousy,” when he visited SaffronStays L’Attitude By The Lake in Kamshet. What is it that made this home so special? Overruling every little touch point that could have turned into an obstacle. But not all home owners invest in copious amounts of research before investing their money. Here are a few mistakes home owners often overlook and could avoid while buying a second home:
Buy V/S Build
In most cases, the point of a getaway home is to have a place that is an extension of your personal self. So, rather than opting for cookie-cutter apartments, designing a space from scratch shall have a personal touch that will make you feel at home the moment you step into it. Sure, it will come with its own set of unique problems and a whole lot of efforts, but at the end of the day, it’ll be your own unique creation.
Nupur Rabindranath, Home Owner, SaffronStays Saanuki, Goa, says, “Buy something that can take care of itself financially when you rent it out. If it doesn’t fit the criterion, can you access it enough to justify the purchase? If the answer to either one is a yes, you must go ahead with it, else, it’s a lost cause.”
To say that second homes double up as a hefty investment would not be news. Buying a property, creating a home and maintaining the space requires home owners to dig deep into their pockets. Utilities, permissions, taxes and mortgages can add up to a sizable amount, and owners should be aware of what they are getting into. Buying a piece of land you’ve set your heart on, and then falling short of money to maintain the home, or curate it as per your wishes is a criminal waste of effort. Site audits, inspections and regular check-ups can help keep a tab on expenditure, but if the initial investments are not backed, owners can be drawn into an endless pay cycle that beats the purpose of a ‘relaxing and calming getaway’.
Like investing in insurance schemes for homes, your weekend getaways too will need a flurry of insurances: Theft, Mishap, Fire, and the shebang. Keeping indemnity in mind while valuing the property and proposal should be of utmost importance. Ever so often, missing out on the fine print can lead to extravagant losses and increase the spending by a home owner. It goes without saying that volumes of research for the best insurance policy would only benefit the homeowner in case of any damage.
Willingness to Travel
The catch in buying a weekend home lies in the distance from your current address. If you are investing in a home that you plan to visit twice or thrice a year, by all means purchase one in the opposite corner of the country. But if you wish to slink away and catch a lazy night every weekend, scout for properties closer to your home. No one wants to spend 14 hours of a weekend getting from one place to another, irrespective of how lovely the drive is.
Namrata Sharma, Home Owner, SaffronStays Kamal Farms By The River, Karjat, says, “This plays a significant role when one plans on getting a second home. If it takes me half a day to reach my second home and I’m not going to stay there long enough, it’s futile to make that trip. We had seen absolutely stunning places in Matheran and Coonoor but it was difficult to visit them often. On the other hand, when it comes to Karjat, it only takes us two hours to be there.”
They say the journey matters more than the destination, and it could not be truer. Imagine crawling your way through a kachcha raasta every weekend or being denied access to your second home because the route was washed away? Not ideal for a place you and your loved ones want to head out to, right? The possibility of improving the current road system, and the probability of it degrading over time should be an added factor in purchasing a house or piece of land as a retirement stay option, given that old age and health issues can make travelling to far off locations extremely cumbersome.
Buying a second home, maintaining it and ensuring its functioning requires capital and manpower. If the former has been addressed, the latter is the next obstacle. Hiring help from local villages around the property would be ergonomically and ethically viable. To make your retirement home truly a home away from home, you must put in your resources wisely – quantitative and qualitative hiring.
Adds Namrata, “Hiring manpower is something which is quite tricky. Most of these second home locations promote hiring of local staff but it can get difficult as they are bound to be a little laid back in terms of hospitality. You have to keep trying until you find someone who considers your home as theirs and welcomes guests with open hearts.”
It may not always be possible to run away to your second home every other weekend. Will you have to keep checking your calendar and make last-minute changes before you make that trip? If the answer is a resounding yes, it is probably not the right time to invest in a home that you may not have the ability to visit yourself. While building a home, an owner must be actively involved along every step, as their absence may not yield the desired results.
Before purchasing a property or setting out to create a home, an owner must decide the voice of the space, and in effect, the budget they would want to allocate into creating this vision. From modern chic to regal traditional, and subtle luxe to obnoxious wonder, the ‘vibe’ of a home and the elements invested in the same go hand in hand. It is advisable to chart out the end game, before setting out onto the field.
If you would like to see your vacation home in a trusted pair of hands, SaffronStays is the place to go. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will call you back. Or just click here.