Vacation Homes: Buy or Rent?

Saturday, 18th June 2016

In a quest for comfort and a relaxing getaway, the ultimate vacation home is always in demand.

Whether to buy or rent a vacation home is a daunting decision on its own. Buying a property, especially a vacation home, could be a wise investment or lead to a monetary loss later on. Same applies to renting one. Dwelling in a place for a few days, unencumbered by maintenance issues or upkeep is definitely a perk, not to mention the freedom to enjoy more than one vacation area year-round.  However, on the long run, the process of renting rather than buying could be more costly, especially if you vacation often and finding a property to rent, could be time-consuming, depending on availability.

Location

Often location is the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a place for either purchase or a rental.

It could be quite a good investment to buy a home that serves as a getaway for all seasons. Buying a place in Ain Sokhna or Ras Sudr, for example, is more convenient than buying a place in the North Coast, as it is mostly seasonal. The distance between the residence and the vacation home is also quite crucial; a place that is two hours away is more in demand than one that takes a seven-hour trip to reach.

Distance and climate are not the only aspects to consider when addressing location. The North Coast, for example, has been the hot spot of the summer months for quite some years, rendering it the number one choice of many in terms of location. Other aspects as community also play a role in location choice, a good example of that is the charming Gouna.

Renting provides more options. In fact, the rich tourism resources of Egypt allows holidaymakers to sift through many housing options, whether they overlook the Mediterranean the Red Sea, or a different place entirely. Having to plan well ahead of the vacation to guarantee a good spot at a reasonable price is something to bear in mind. Prices during the peak season tend to be higher, which could be costly on the long run compared to buying a vacation home.

Ease of Process

Unlike residential homes, buying a vacation home is a little trickier. The process requires more homework, with a focus on a good view and safety during and after the holidaymakers’ stay, as well as the proximity to beaches and vital hangout spots. When it comes to touristic places, Egypt has been privileged with some of the Middle East’s most professional developers in the real estate sector.

The government provides services to help potential buyers.  “A buyer needs to authenticate the project either through the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) or the Tourism Investment Authority (TIA). The buyer should also compare the services, security, landscapes and safety infrastructure-wise,” said Mohamed Roshdy, Vice President of the TIA in Ain Sokhna, during an interview.

In case of renting, many web portals have emerged recently to offer easy access to preferred destinations for holidaymakers and at reasonable rates. Airbnb, Booking, TripAdvisor, among others, offer rating systems to make renting rather safe, efficient and easy. The window of availability could be highly variable, depending on the season or holidays, and cause an increase to the cost or narrow options altogether. Away from digital services, there are vacation seekers who prefer dealing with brokers, since they know the ins and outs of such places. The cost could be fairly equal.  However, since the decision is based on one man’s sales pitch, expectations could be shattered upon arrival, as the place could be disappointing in terms of safety, available amenities and services, and the overall condition of the place.

Ultimately priorities of holiday seekers will determine whether the better decision is to buy or rent.

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