Five popular types of holiday homes in Cornwall to buy
Once you’ve made the decision to buy a holiday home in Cornwall, you’ll need to think about the most suitable property type. You’re certainly spoilt for choice in England’s favourite holiday county. You can take your pick from cosy cottages to modern bungalows via traditional farmhouses and eco-lodges, with just about everything in between.
To help you come to a decision, we’ve put together some pointers for the most popular types of holiday homes in Cornwall, plus some pros and cons for each. But whatever property type you choose, remember that your preferences may not necessarily match those of holiday let guests. For the best holiday letting potential, always go for a property with as wide appeal as possible.
1. Static homes
At the bottom of the budget range, but with the potential to be just as spacious and high-end as conventional bricks and mortar, come mobile homes and holiday park lodges. Over the last few years, they’ve become one of the most popular types of holiday homes in Cornwall, which is home to a long list of caravan and holiday parks.
While it’s true that mobile homes tend to be tarred with the same brush as caravans – think cramped spaces and chilly draughts – today’s versions have come a long way. Holiday park lodges can be as spacious as any home, include as many extras as you like (hot tubs, verandas, en suites…) and boast the best energy efficiency around.
Pros and cons of buying a static holiday home
Top of the advantages for this sort of property is price. While you can spend upwards of £250,000 on a holiday park lodge, the budget for most static homes comes in at much more wallet-friendly £30,000-80,000. Compare this to typical house prices in Cornwall, add on the savings in stamp duty and estate agent fees, and this type of holiday home has instant appeal.
You can also go to town on location – beachfront houses fetch the highest premium of all holiday homes in Cornwall but a mobile home overlooking the sea needn’t cost the earth. And if your home is truly mobile (few are nowadays), you can change the location every so often.
On the other hand, mobile homes tend not to increase greatly in value. Unlike a cottage or bungalow whose value is, in theory, infinite, a holiday park lodge rarely offers a lucrative investment. You also don’t own the land you park on and may be restricted by the lease – check how long your lease is to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
What to look out for when buying on a holiday park
Check the holiday park rules and regulations before you buy. Some don’t allow holiday lets, while others restrict the number of days a year you’re allowed to rent out your lodge. And before you buy on a particular holiday park, spend a few days there to find out if you like the park’s general atmosphere and vibe.
2. Semi-detached holiday homes
Semi-detached houses rank as the most popular property type in the UK and Cornwall is no exception. Most Cornish towns and villages have a choice of semi-detached properties, which range from traditional terraces, often built in stone, to modern housing, usually with painted cement façades.
Ins and outs of buying a semi-detached holiday home
The overwhelming advantage of buying a semi-detached comes in the price. Semi-detached holiday homes in Cornwall count as some of the cheapest property types in the county with those at the bottom end of the ladder costing a fraction of a detached home. They also have universal appeal, particularly to young families or downsizing couples, and boast good resale potential further down the line.
Having another property literally next door provides surprisingly good insulation. As a result, you’ll make savings on heating bills in the cooler months. This will help keep your running costs down and improve your return from holiday lets.
However, semi-detached properties have two significant drawbacks, both of which affect holiday letting potential. Firstly, there’s the lack of privacy – not only may you (and your holiday guests) be disturbed by noise from next door, but you’ll probably be overlooked in the garden too. You’re also limited in what you can do to expand the property. Lack of land may mean you can’t add a conservatory or an extra bedroom.
What to look out for when buying a semi-detached
Check the quality of construction. A cheaper semi-detached home may come with wafer-thin walls giving you and your holiday let guests no respite from the lives of those next door (and vice versa).
3. Bungalows as holiday homes
Lack of building land in towns and cities means that bungalows aren’t a particularly common type of property in the UK anymore. However, popular holiday locations including Cornwall tend to be the exception and you’ll find a good choice of bungalow properties on your search for a holiday home.
Ups and downs
Lack of stairs instantly makes the home more accessible. Gone are the worries of falling down stairs – no need for stair gates – and you open up the property’s appeal to older holidaymakers. It’s also handy to have everything on the same level.
Bungalows tend to be spacious properties giving you plenty of scope to cater for larger holiday groups or simply provide more room – an important consideration in the winter months when wet weather may drive everyone indoors. You also have the potential to expand, outwards if the plot is large enough and/or build upwards.
On the other hand, few bungalow properties could be described as beautiful or charming. Many have non-descript modern designs with little kerb appeal. You may also not like the lack of privacy – in a bungalow, there’s no going upstairs, ‘out of way’.
What to look out for when buying a bungalow
Take a good look at the floor plan. Having the living space on the same floor as the bedrooms can lead to privacy and noise issues so go for a distribution that keeps the two areas as separate as possible.
4. Detached homes
If your budget runs to it, it’s worth considering a detached property as a holiday home in Cornwall, particularly if you want to offer an unusual holiday experience or spacious and private accommodation.
Advantages and disadvantages
Detached holiday homes provide the most privacy, a big consideration when you’re relaxing on holiday. Plant the garden well and you can create a completely private space. Detached properties also tend to let in more natural light since you can have windows on all sides.
In addition, they offer more space. Even if they aren’t particularly large, you generally have scope to add an extension for extra living space.
However, detached properties necessarily involve more maintenance – perhaps more than you’re prepared to do and pay for in a holiday home. These repairs can eat away alarmingly at your holiday letting income. To avoid unpleasant surprises, get a survey of the property before you buy.
What to look out for when buying a detached house
Don’t assume you’ll get planning permission for refurbishment or additions. Check for planning restrictions before you dream too big.
5. Traditional Cornish houses
One of the most attractive aspects of a holiday in Cornwall comes in the opportunity to stay in a traditional Cornish house. The county really comes into its own when it comes to holiday homes with a unique selling point. And you’ll find a surprisingly wide selection, both inland and on the coast.
Pros and cons of traditional Cornish holiday homes
Whether it’s a cottage with a thatched roof or a slate one, a quaint fisherman’s nook, a historic dovecot or a converted chapel, traditional Cornish properties appeal most to holidaymakers. Your property instantly stands apart from the others and as a result, will get more interest and by extension, more income.
On the other hand, you’ll probably pay a premium, although this sort of property in Cornwall rarely loses value so most are worthwhile investments. Traditional Cornish homes are also subject to often strict planning regulations – some are registered period buildings – and this will limit any refurbishment or extension plans.
What to look out for when buying a traditional Cornish property
With traditional properties comes the potential for problems, what might be described as the price you pay for buying ‘period property’. Get a comprehensive survey done before you commit to purchase to avoid unexpected maintenance or repair expenses.