Most Kiwis dream of having their own place by the beach where they can escape the day-to-day grind and kick back with the family, a couple of good books and a fishing rod. But does the dream live up to the reality.
Our second home
It’s great to have the option of getting away for weekends and holidays, but an extra home also means extra rates, maintenance, furniture, insurance and responsibility. And more than likely, an extra mortgage.
Spending carefree time on the hammock at the bach on balmy summer days seems pretty idyllic, but it’s a different story when you have to forgo your winter weekend to drive four hours in the driving rain to sort out that burst sewer that is threatening to consume the whole of the village.
We can rent it out
Extra income sounds good, but it is usually hard-earned (and taxed). At best holiday home rental income is unreliable and occupancy levels can be low unless it is professionally (expensively) managed. Not surprisingly, the best paying tenants want it when you do, during summer and the holiday periods.
Same old, same old
Are you going to get bored with the place? Nowadays there are a lot of options to get away from it all. New vacation options are springing up across the country. International travel has never been more accessible and affordable. There’s a whole world out there, but you need to get your money’s worth out of the bach and spend every spare moment there.
Don’t worry, it’s an investment
Yes, it is Jim, but not as we know it. Holiday homes are notorious for their price peaks and troughs. When the economy is booming prices can sky rocket, but at the earliest signs of belt-tightening holiday homes are the first things on the block, buyers disappear and prices can hurtle downwards. If you need to sell you might not have the luxury of waiting for the market to rebound and sell at a loss.
It's all about disposable income
Emphasis on “disposable” unfortunately. Buying a holiday home is a bit like buying a classic sports car. If you are in the fortunate position to have a windfall, or surplus dollars there must be nothing more rewarding than lying back in the comfort of your home-away-from-home, listening to the waves lap on to the beach, or sneaking down to your garage to pull the dust cover off an exotic Italian. They’re both far more rewarding than looking at numbers on your bank statement, but just be grateful and take them for what they are, don’t come to rely upon them as liquid assets and accept that their worth may be fleeting.