Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.
There’s lots of reasons to decide to rent out a holiday home for both short breaks and weekly bookings.
Not only can it be very financially rewarding but you can create beautiful spaces (a great reason to go shopping), meet lots of interesting guests and put your heart and soul into getting your property just right.
It’s a great feeling to know you’ve helped families and friends have a brilliant holiday and you’ll get instant feedback thanks to visitor books and online reviews.
Selecting the right holiday home is a key first decision for any cottage owner. Gorgeous Cottages have put together some advice to help you select the perfect property and maximise your income. Here are some of our top tips for UK cottage owners!
Decide how much work you want to take on
You’ll need to give some thought as to how much time and money you can reasonably invest in a property. It’s no good falling in love with a Grade II-listed period property if it needs lots of work and you spend your entire budget buying it.
If you want to really put your mark on a property, then look for somewhere that needs complete renovation. After all there are always barns waiting to be converted. However, if you want to be up and running quickly then make sure the structure of the property is sound - you may even be able to snap up an existing holiday let.
Remember the property needs to work as a business so however much you fall in love with it, try to keep a cool business head - sometimes easier said than done!
You may need planning permission for work and depending on the area, this may not always be granted.
Popular market town or rural haven?
Choosing the perfect location for your holiday cottage is a key decision. If you are looking to get a rural property, then it may be trickier to get cleaners who can look after your changeover (if you aren’t planning on doing this yourself). You may also find it more difficult to get Wi-Fi if the property is off the beaten track.
There’s lots of honeypot villages and market towns to choose from in Yorkshire. Villages that have good foodie pubs, tea rooms and lovely shops will always be a popular choice. If there are attractions and scenic walks nearby you’ll always attract tourists too.
A spot in a village like Middleham will always be popular.
Kerb appeal is important so avoid busy roads unless they are in a desirable village.
Different property types
There are so many types of properties that can be turned into a holiday home. Of course a traditional cottage with original features will always be popular but a stylish apartment or house in a prime location such as Harrogate and York will do very well too.
A chocolate-box cottage will always be popular!
Barn conversions are a top choice for many people and if you can get a bedroom/bathroom on the ground floor it means the property may be suitable for guests with reduced mobility.
Two-bedroom properties tend to be the most popular size of property as they can be used for both romantic breaks, two couples holidaying together and small families. We would always recommend having two bathrooms where possible in a two-bedroom property. A two-bedroom cottage with two en-suite bathrooms will tend to do better than a three-bedroom property with one family bathroom.
At Gorgeous Cottages we have also found an increased demand for larger properties as groups of friends and extended families will choose to holiday together. Think about creating sociable spaces such as kitchen-diners and again, adding en-suites to the bedrooms will always help.
Interior design and finishing touches
Getting the design right for your holiday cottage is critical as you really do want it to stand out from the crowd. Quirky touches and splashes of colour can work really well but we would recommend getting an interior designer involved to give it the wow-factor.
Dog-friendly is one of the fastest growing segments and with a bit of planning pretty much all property types can be made pet-friendly. Stone floors are great for cleaning and underfloor heating will add the luxurious touch that guests look for.
You want your property to be warm and welcoming and it is worth splashing out on quality furnishings, bedding and first-class bathrooms. People’s expectations are getting higher and they will want better than they have at home. Touches like an infra-red sauna may sound extravagant but people love them.
An infrared sauna gives this holiday cottage the wow-factor!
If your space is small then think about how to utilise it in the best way, particularly with your kitchen and the items people will want. It may be that you can store a washing machine in a separate cupboard or utility room and have a dishwasher and fridge-freezer available.
Having some outside space with your holiday cottage, even if it’s just a small patio is always a bonus and private parking is also desirable.
If you have a garden then make sure it can be well maintained - regular grass cutting will be essential. Think too about outside seating and equipment for children if you are going child-friendly.
Lots of people ask for enclosed gardens, especially if they have dogs, so fencing and chicken wire if needed can go a long way.
Everyone loves a holiday cottage with a hot tub.
Hot tubs are always popular. If you have space to get one installed this will help you achieve higher than average rates and excellent occupancy levels.
Get expert advice
We would always recommend getting a letting agent involved in an early stage of your development process.
It’s much easier to get the layout of the property right at the start of the project than have to change it later on.
If you are thinking of purchasing a holiday home, give the Gorgeous Cottages team a call.