18 August 2022

Home or away? Things to consider when purchasing a holiday home.

Written by Victoria Kinkaid

We have seen an increasing trend in clients buying a holiday or second home. With more people holidaying closer to home, flexible/hybrid working, a second home can be both the perfect escape and also a great investment opportunity.

The conveyancing procedure for purchasing a second home is the same as any property you buy. We will will carry out due-diligence prior to entering into a contract to ensure the property has good and marketable title.


Deciding where you want to buy your holiday home will depend on a number of factors, including whether or not you intend to rent the property out. A holiday home can be the perfect escape, but can also be rented to third parties for extra income at times when you are not using it. Some places attract more tourists meaning a higher premium and a greater turnover of rentals and so a better return on you investment. It should be noted if buying an apartment to rent out, there may be covenants in the lease under which you will legally hold the property which restricts same.

Funding the purchase

If you are obtaining finance to assist with the purchase of a second home you will need to consider what the property will be used for. Lenders may ask for a higher deposit on second homes and will also want to ensure you can afford to pay future mortgage payments on top of any existing loan you may have.

Lenders offer different types of mortgages depending on whether you are buying to live in the property or rent same to third parties. If the former applies, then you should be able to obtain a standard residential mortgage for the property. If the latter applies, you will need to obtain a Holiday Let or Buy-to-Let Mortgage.

Some lenders prohibit short term lettings such as Airbnb and may not lend on properties on holiday parks.

Additional costs

You’ll pay 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) surcharge on the purchase price of a second home in the UK. The precise SDLT payable will depend on the purchase price and second home status.


Managing a rental property, especially short-term lettings, can be very onerous. You may wish to appoint a managing agent to look after the property. If you intend to manage the property yourself you should ensure you have the necessary measures in place for same.

Foreign Property

Foreign property is treated as an intangible asset and so is governed by the laws in the country the property is situate. It will therefore be subject to different tax and inheritance laws and may not be covered in a Will made in the UK. You should always ensure adequate provision has been made that provides for foreign property to ensure your wishes are followed. Our Private Client team will be able to advise you in this regard.


If you are thinking of selling a property that is not your main residence, you may be liable to pay Capital Gains Tax (“CGT”). CGT is charged in the profit or gain made on disposal of an asset and will be calculated according to whether you pay basic rate or higher rate Income Tax. You will can avail of a CGT allowance on your gain which, at the time of writing is £12,300.

We, as solicitors do not provide tax or financial advice and it is important to speak to a tax or financial adviser to ascertain what tax (if any) is due on your transaction.

Carson McDowell’s Real Estate team are qualified to practice in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, England and Wales. If you are interested in buying a second home or have any property related queries please get in touch with Victoria Kinkaid or a member of our team who would be happy to assist.

**This information is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute, nor should be regarded, as a substitute for taking legal advice that is tailored to your circumstances.

About the author

Victoria Kinkaid


Victoria Kinkaid is a Solicitor in the Real Estate team at Carson McDowell. Victoria acts for developers with respect to sale of new build properties and also acts for clients in the purchase and sale of residential properties.

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