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Half investment, half holiday home – is it a good idea?

By Andrew Bell

White sands, perfect surf, amazing weather – who wouldn't want to own a holiday home on the Gold Coast

As an investor, you might think, "Perfect – I'll rent this out some of the time, and use it for my own family the rest". While there are perks of renting out your second home when it's not in use, this option doesn't come without a degree of risk. 

Let's take a closer look. 

The risks of renting out your family getaway

Owning an investment property and renting it to traditional tenants is pretty straightforward. If you're not an experienced landlord, you can even hire a property manager to do all of the legwork, from finding suitable renters to chasing arrears. 

When your tenants are holiday goers, however, things are a bit different. For one, you'll constantly be in the process of finding and vetting your guests, cleaning the rental and turning it over to new visitors. This alone can be risky. Do you check references on everyone staying for a week? How can you be sure they'll be respectful in your space? What's more – are you prepared to play the role of both landlord and innkeeper?

When you run your second home as an investment property, your family holidays will also be dictated – that is, if you want to earn maximum rental yields. As an investor, it's in your best interest to have guests during peak periods. As a parent or grandparent, however, those times – such as school holidays – may also be when you want to use the property. 

Tips for finding the perfect Gold Coast holiday investment

That said, it is possible to add a 'half holiday home' to your portfolio and achieve a good balance. You simply need to be willing to put in the work of managing the property or hire someone else who can. 

If you're dreaming of your own Gold Coast holiday spot, a good option might also be to pick one up now, find full-time tenants for a few years and make the space your dedicated holiday home when it's more financially possible. 

If you do decide to rent out your holiday home, here are some things to look for when shopping around:

  • Location – While you may be able to tolerate a commute to the beach, sun-seekers might not. To this end, ensure the property you buy is in a desirable location with good access to attractions and amenities. 
  • Unique selling points – What will make your rental stand out from everything else that's out there? Ensure your home has special features, such as a spa or pet-friendly option, if you want to enjoy strong returns.
  • Competition – It's also a good idea to do your research on what else is in the area before buying. You not only want to steer clear of areas that are saturated with competition, but also avoid buying a home that's much more expensive than the properties around it. No one will choose your $1,800 per week rental, for example, if everything else costs $1,000.
  • Space – Families in particular want large accommodation when they go away. It's a good idea to buy a property with extra bedrooms or areas that could easily be converted into a 'kid's room' with multiple beds. 

Ready to add the next winner to your portfolio? Reach out to the experts at Ray White Surfers Paradise today.

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