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The holiday house continues to be an object of fantasy for many French. According to yet another survey on the subject, published in May, 70% of people dream of owning a second home. But from the dream to reality is rarely easy. Many buyers disillusioned after a few years, when they discover the cost of a second home.
 
"To appreciate what really costs a country house, take into account the housing tax, property tax, maintenance charges and multiple fixed costs," explains Fabrice Abraham, managing director of Guy Hoquet network. A comparable size, maintaining a second home often is more expensive than that of a principal residence. "When a house is occupied and heated only a few weeks a year, it degrades more quickly," says Abraham.
 
Professionals believe that there should be every year a budget of 1% of the value of housing for maintenance, and instead 2% when exposed to sea wind or snow. "This cost can be up to 4% per year if the property includes a swimming pool and a large garden," says Laetitia Caron, CEO of Private particular.
The risk of burglaries are also up premium home insurance. And rising for a decade, local taxes complicates a little the financial equation.
 
To prevent a second home becomes a money pit, the solution is to hire a few weeks a year, including through specialized sites in vacation rentals. "More and more individuals, even among affluent families, do not hesitate to include this additional income in their financial plan at the time of purchase," said Ms. Caron.
 
According to his calculations, rent a property at least ten weeks a year to break even. Playable as "an owner who offers his house on our site the rents on average ten weeks a year and reaches 10,500 euros in rents," says Vincent Wermus, general manager of the site HomeAway.
 
But then, you're not the only one who had this idea. You will, therefore, put in place a strategy to "stick" to the request. First, know that traditional country house, which was dreamed in the 1970s, out of favor. "If your home is located deep in the Nièvre, Perche or Limousin, it will be much harder for rent in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur or Languedoc-Roussillon" says Mr. Wermus.
 
The distance to shops and transport is a serious handicap. To monetize your second home, it is better to buy on the coast, close to a seaside resort. "The most sought after goods are those with a sea view, a swimming pool and situated near the beach. They can rent up to twelve weeks a year, "says Jacques Magliolo, associate director of Barnes in Corsica.
 
In recent years, the Atlantic coast is attracting renewed interest, but displayed prices have nothing to do with those of the French Riviera. On HomeAway, a house for 4-6 people rent an average of 800 euros per week in Morbihan, against 1,300 euros in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques and 1400 euros in the Var. Family homes (for at least 6 people) concentrate most in demand. Another trend, the mountain has more and more followers. "An apartment in the mountains, which can be rented in winter and summer, is relatively easy to monetize," says Caron.
 
To find buyers, housing must be in good condition, with sanitary and immaculate bedding. A recent TV, towels available and an internet connection are most welcome. "With the comments left by users on sites, a shabby housing quickly spotted," says Caron.
 
"The market has become very competitive and required standards approach more and more from those of traditional hospitality," confirms Jean-François Buet, president of the National Federation of real estate, which emphasizes the time-consuming nature of this activity. "Each new tenant must be present for the household, the keys and the inventory, said Buet. This is all the more compelling that no one rented for an entire month these days ... "Seek a real estate agency, which will handle all these tasks is tempting, but this solution costs from 15% to 25% the amount of rent collected.

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