Weighing up the pros and cons of holiday home ownership, villa rentals, and timeshare
Have you spent most of the past two years daydreaming about leaving everything behind and moving to the seaside? Or perhaps you’ve spent hours on real estate websites, searching for that perfect second home?
If so, you’re not alone. People have been increasingly re-evaluating their lifestyle choices, including how and where they want to spend their time. Indeed, the markets for second homes across Europe and the US have boomed since early 2020. And between 2019 and 2021, year-on-year Google searches for ‘second home’ or ‘holiday home’ have increased, on average, by 50% across France, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
But does owning a second home in your dream destination make sense for you? Here we weigh up some of the pros and cons of renting for each trip, opting into a timeshare, or buying a holiday home – and suggest the option of co-ownership, which might just give you the best of everything.
Cost and value
Buying a holiday home will of course involve a big capital outlay, and don’t forget to account for the ongoing running costs. But purchasing property is also an investment in your future as it has the potential to increase in value over time.
Renting a luxury property has the benefit of a once-off cost for each trip. You also don’t have to worry about the upkeep or unexpected costs like a geyser bursting on Christmas morning. Depending on your needs, luxury rentals can offer better value than high-quality hotels – however, they tend to come at a premium.
Timeshare only allows you to buy time in a holiday unit – you don’t own any part of the property and therefore won’t benefit from any increase in its value when it’s sold. Timeshares don’t come cheap, and you often have to pay a high upfront cost as well as increasingly higher annual costs and charges. They also don’t tend to appreciate in value and are often difficult to sell, so they’re generally not a good investment option.
Choice and flexibility
If you own a holiday home, you can use it whenever and however you want, with whoever you want. And by buying in your ideal destination, you can ensure you have everything you need right on your doorstep. However, it might limit your chances to visit new places when on holiday, as you may feel pressure to maximise the use of your second home.
Choosing to rent for your holiday offers unlimited choice of destinations – the world is your oyster. However, finding the perfect property to rent can be time consuming, and there’s no guarantee it’ll be available when you want to use it.
While some timeshares offer a certain amount of flexibility by allowing you to exchange your timeshare for other properties in the company’s portfolio, this isn’t always the case. Which means you may be restricted to always holidaying in the same place – and some companies even specify the exact dates that you’re allowed to use the property.
Time and effort
Owning a second home means you’re responsible for the upkeep and day-to-day management. Whether you do this yourself or hire someone to do it for you, it’s going to require a lot of dedication to get right.
Finding the perfect rental property can take a lot of time and effort. But once you’ve booked it, all you need to do is turn up and enjoy your holiday. And luxury rentals often provide a chef and other dedicated staff – so you won’t have to do very much at all other than relax.
If you like stability and predictability and don’t want the hassle of choosing where to go, a timeshare might be a good option for you. You also don’t have to invest any time or energy in looking after the property – although you will be financially responsible for a portion of this.
Quality and experience
Don’t like that chair? Sell it. Want a better view? Renovate. Ownership gives you the freedom to design and decorate the home however you want in order to create your perfect holiday experience. And there are no limitations to inviting family and friends to enjoy it with you.
As with any rental, there’s always the risk that it doesn’t live up to expectations, or what was advertised. However, most luxury villas are in exquisite locations and offer an exclusive, private, and personalised experience. Private rentals allow you to relax and be comfortable in a home-like environment.
While timeshares can vary in quality, they often offer more space and better amenities than hotels. That said, they tend to be units or flats as opposed to the bigger home you might be after… and if they’re not carefully managed, your time away may be more hassle than holiday.
What’s right for me?
So, should you buy, rent or choose timeshare? The right option for you largely depends on your financial situation and lifestyle.
Personally, we love the best of both: owning a home in our favourite location, but also renting when we want to explore new and exciting destinations. Which is why we think shared home ownership is such a great option as it allows you to still own a second home without tying you down.
Co-owning your second home can provide great flexibility and amazing quality – at a fraction of the cost of owning a whole house outright. Simply put, you share all the costs with like-minded owners and you get to use your home exclusively in proportion to your ownership. What’s more, you can leave your belongings behind for your next stay.
Co-ownership gives you a sense of being at home whenever you visit, allows you to create timeless memories in a treasured place and enables you to truly discover a destination.
And if you purchase a co-owned home with Lazazu, we’ll save you time and effort by taking care of the paperwork and looking after the property. All you need to do is turn up and enjoy every holiday in your dream home.
Discover more about Lazazu:
How Lazazu co-ownership works | Frequently asked questions about shared holiday homes | The benefits of fractional ownership | Browse Lazazu’s selection of second homes | The difference between timeshare and co-ownership