The most important parameter is the location. How far is it from your permanent residence? A holiday home/ second home can only are enjoyed if it is at a maximum driving distance of 8 hrs from your primary home. On any extended weekend, you would want to escape to this dream abode of yours with your favourite books and DVDs. You certainly would not want to get exhausted in reaching there.
Your holiday home should be well connected via road and rail. After all, travelling is the beginning of your holiday and you would surely not want it to be tiresome.
You may control the temperature of your interiors but not the whole city. The location of your holiday home should be able to give you a diverse weather condition. If you live in the hotter areas of the weather belt, you would want your second home to be at a cooler place and vice versa. So make sure, that the weather of the place should be as per your liking.
4. Neighbourhood/ Surroundings:
Living in a metropolitan city, you would be desperate to escape to a more quiet and serene place. Whether it is a beachfront or a hill station, the place has to give you the mental peace that you truly deserve. So while scouting for a suitable second home, look for actual jungles rather than concrete jungles.
Both the social and physical infrastructure of the place should be at par with what you're used to. Basic essentials like hospital, fruit & vegetable market, banks, ATMs, grocery store etc should be well within the vicinity.
Don't forget that Holiday Home is not your primary home. You are not going to be using it for more than 10% of the year. Who takes care of the security of your property and its belongings. Your property would be equipped with expensive furniture, LCD TV, Fridge, microwave, home theatre system, gaming consoles etc. You're certainly not going to be travelling with all this each time you visit your dream home. Therefore, you must ensure that you buy your property in a gated community with a proper security system in place.
Your holiday home would be locked for a couple of months before you visit it again. It is easy to clean up the internal mess in a couple of hours but what about the common areas. It is essential to buy your house at a place where there is a maintenance agency looking after the property. The internal roads, the street lighting, the gardens etc should be well maintained to welcome you with a smile.
8. Basic Facilities:
Certain luxuries in the past few years have now become basic necessities now. For example, 24 hours power back up, uninterrupted water supply, 3G mobile network and broadband have all become a dire need more than a luxury. So make sure that your holiday home has all these facilities without which, you and your family are going to feel crippled. You would not want to be spending half your weekend without power or water, would you? And besides, why not ask for a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, healthclubetc in your community. It is your Holiday Home after all, and these facilities would surely add the glamour to your much deserved holiday.
9. Rental Returns:
With the concept of serviced apartments fast catching up in our country, your property can well be the serviced apartment that a holidayer would be seeking for a short stay. It becomes a win win proposition for both the property owner and the holidayer as he gets to stay in a larger space for the same or even lesser amount. It's like renting a Presidential Suite in a Hotel. The concept works well for the property owner as now he has started getting a decent income out of his property along with the flexibility of using it for himself. Besides a rental income, the property also would be maintained and ready for use whenever you want to.
10. Capital Appreciation:
It is a myth that a holiday home is a dead investment. In fact, in some cases your second home is more capable of giving you higher capital appreciation than your primary home. Unlike your primary home, your holiday home's location has to follow quite a few factors like beautiful views, right weather, convenient distance etc. Therefore, a location which can qualify all the above mentioned parameters has got to be quite limited. With the demand for such holiday homes ever rising, the pressure such good locations would increase enormously, thereby increasing the market value. So in the end, if while you're looking for that dream home of yours, please do keep in mind all the above mentioned parameters to ensure that your property not only gives you the appreciation of your neighbours but also the appreciation of your capital.