How To Buy Second Homes And Holiday Homes

According to UK estate agents, of those people that pay for a second home with cash, the most popular sources of financing are either inheritance, bonuses or through selling one large property and buying two smaller properties. For the majority of the population who buy a holiday home, finance would have to be organised through re-mortgaging a main property or by possibly taking out a second mortgage.

Whilst a few years ago the high street banks and building societies seemed to be uncomfortable with providing mortgages for second homes their attitude seems to have changed in recent years and it is now possible to get mortgage rates at levels that are very similar to those offered for a main property. It is likely that there would still be arrangement fees on the mortgage but if you go to your existing mortgage supplier sometimes they are flexible on this point.

Steps to buying a second home or holiday home
The first thing to think about is financing. If you are lucky enough to have cash for the full purchase price then this is not something for you to spend a lot of time on. For everybody else, consideration needs to be given to how much money you have available for a deposit, what their current financial commitments are and therefore what additional repayment commitments can be made. As we all know, property is not a “one-way bet” and you have to consider the risks associated with extending yourself in property and think about how your personal circumstances would look if the value of your second home dropped by 50% over the next five years? Before any commitments are made you should consult with a qualified financial adviser to explore your options.

The next thing to think about is where you might like your second home to be. In most cases this will probably the first step that people go through: falling in love with an area that you have visited on holiday, wanting somewhere to return to in the area in which you brought up, buying somewhere for your student child to live during their studies – the list is endless.

Practical considerations need to be taken into account such as distance from your main home and ease of travelling- factors like this can have a significant impact on whether your experience of second home ownership lives up to your expectations or develops into a chore. If buying over-seas you need to consider what you would do if the low cost airlines significantly increased their prices or cut routes that you need to rely on. Also, if you intend to spend a lot of time over-seas, will friends and family travel the required distances to see you on a regular basis?

The next step is the process of researching your chosen locations. Obviously driving around the area and signing up with local estate agents would be a good first step but in addition to this, buying a subscription to the local newspaper and having it sent to you along with using some of the online property sites will allow you to ensure that you are getting all the information that you need.
The final step is the appointing of advisers (solicitors, surveyors, engineers) to help you through the process of actually buying the property. Even if you are buying in the UK this is never a straightforward process, but if you’re buying overseas then a great deal of caution is required. The advice is generally to ensure you appoint competent legal advisers in the country in which your purchase is being made. The nightmare stories of people finding out years after they had bought their property overseas that the property did not have planning permission and must be demolished are all too common. Similarly, laws on taxation are very different in other countries and it is important to understand how these will affect you (and your heirs).

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The Fine Art of Juggling Business and Motherhood for Mom Entrepreneurs


My Story. I have always been a driven person. I knew what I needed to do to earn my next promotion. I took every class and seminar that I could find to help me get ahead. When I was in my early 20′s, all my colleagues were men in their 40′s. If I had kept going, I would certainly have reached upper level management.

My desire and drive for status in the corporate world came to a screeching halt on a day in late 1993–the day I became Jackie’s Mom. That day, as all Moms understand, my priorities dramatically shifted. Life was no longer “all about me”. I wanted to spend as much time with her as I could. Suddenly work and school were unimportant. I began looking for opportunities to work from home or for good part-time jobs.

It is not easy to juggle business and motherhood. I do not claim to be an expert. After Jackie was born, I spent several years in the corporate world not realizing there were other opportunities for me. While I worked full-time, my constant concern was that I was missing everything while my child was in daycare for 11 hours a day. Because I know children are only little “for a short time”, a cloud of overwhelming sadness was constantly hanging over me. In my efforts to overcome this concern, I was fortunate along the way to find several excellent part-time jobs, and I even job-shared for a year. I have actually only worked full-time for half of my daughter’s 12 years. Yet it still never occurred to me that I could leave the security of a corporate job to have my own business.

Thankfully, the entrepreneurial bug bit me in late 2002. I now have my own business, and I love every minute of it. I am much happier and I am able to set my schedule around my children’s important activities and, on occasion work with them beside me. I recently sat at breakfast with Jackie and asked her when she has been happiest with my work schedule. She too was happiest when I was able to take her to school and pick her up myself and attend all her important activities.

My husband, Terry is about to begin working in my business full-time, too. While we are looking forward to being together more and working together to help build our business, this will be a major life change for us. Our son Cole (age three) is currently in daycare for three part-time days each week. Last week we discussed some of the adjustments we will need to make with Terry being home more. We made the commitment to juggle taking care of Cole and working in the business the remaining two days a week for the next two years until he starts kindergarten. We know it is best for Cole, that this time is a special time to be with him, and he is worth it.

I have learned many things as a Mom Entrepreneur, and I would like to share two of them. The Importance of Being Present. Several months ago, I had a breakfast meeting with my business partner and one of our networking organization members. The member was sharing some of the things he had learned in a workshop. I will never forget when he said, “You are not listening, you’ve never listened, and you are not listening now…” Then he explained how he realized he hadn’t been listening to his own daughter. I immediately understood what he was saying and my heart sank. I thought of my children. Although I had always wanted to have as much time with them as possible, I had become involved in growing my business. While juggling both work and family, I had stopped listening. I had been fooling myself and I had been very wrong. I apologized to my daughter that day. I changed immediately, including even little things. For example, while ironing on stars Jackie had earned in P.E., I took the time to talk about how she had earned the stars. I understood how much I was going to miss unless I was present all the time. Working moms often struggle with the lack of time spent with their children, but when we are present, every moment we spend with our children can be special quality time.

The Value of Teamwork. One of the most important things we can do for our families is to have open communication. I am not afraid to ask for help from my family. I try my best to communicate my upcoming schedule ahead of time. When I have a particularly hectic week, we talk about what is happening, if it’s temporary, acknowledge the stress it puts on all of us and handle it together. As a team, we worked out a plan for the days when I leave early to attend a breakfast meeting. When I say, “I have a breakfast meeting tomorrow,” everyone knows what to do. For example, my husband takes care of our son and drops him off at preschool. My family understands my commitment to them is, if at all possible, I will only attend one breakfast meeting a week. I communicate with them what is happening in the business and try to involve them in it, too. We are all in this together. As the business succeeds, we all succeed.

You can help, too. I love to help others, and as I continue my personal journey towards a more balanced life, I want to collect the experiences of other entrepreneurial moms. I am also writing a book for Mom Entrepreneurs. The comments submitted for these articles could also be featured in the book. It is my goal to share your stories so that we can all help each other to master the fine art of juggling business and motherhood.

Terilee Harrison, The Business Mom, is Mom to Jackie (12) and

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