Want to buy a recreation home? Don't do it in a whim

Kop-Munt,  Saturday, 30 June 2018

Holiday home in France 

Due to the extremely low-interest rates, many savers are looking for alternatives that will enable them to obtain a return on their capital. The holiday home seems to benefit from this. The Dutch brokerage association NVM sees the number of transactions thrive, by 20 percent in 2016. There are quite a few obstacles to an investment in a holiday home.

Lawyer Marcel Bosman has dealt with a large number of cases of people who feel misled when purchasing a holiday home. Bosman talks about pitfalls that investors fall into and how to prevent them from doing so.

What kind of problems do you encounter?

"Many people get a flyer or read in the newspaper that they can get a guaranteed return of seven percent. It does not state that this only applies for a fixed period after which it can be much lower. Another point is that chalets are being depreciated over ten years, while consumers are being told that they are making a value-added investment. If you sell the holiday home, the park has a preferential right of purchase. As a rule, this will reduce the price. Also, often only the chalet is sold and not the land. The land is then leased, without a building lease being established. Without a building lease, the park will eventually become the owner of the holiday home. On the other hand, the size of the plot and the location of the land are not or not sufficiently specified in the contract.

Is that deliberate, or is it carelessness?

"The moral of the story is that the information is inadequate, while many people buy a holiday home on impulse. The concept encourages this. Potential buyers receive a great deal of attention at an information meeting. The sellers enthuse the buyers. The consequences of the purchase are not always fully explained. However, the contracts often state that the purchasers have received all the information necessary to be able to assess the scope of the purchase accurately. Somehow, a lot of sensible people decide to buy anyway. They sign without really knowing what the consequences will be. The fact that consumers have a statutory cooling-off period of three days in which to terminate the contract free of charge and without giving reasons is also often omitted. This does not apply if buyers buy in the course of a profession or business. Most of the sales contracts I come across mention the latter as a standard clause, yet they are offered to consumers for signature.

Shouldn't the purchase of a holiday home always be handled by a notary?

"For the sale of land, we do indeed have the system whereby delivery is arranged through a transport deed drawn up by a notary, which is then entered in the public registers. But in the case of holiday homes, providers say that this is not necessary because a holiday home can be transported and is, therefore, a movable property. The seller and the park are also often formally separated. For a total amount you buy a chalet, the inventory and an option on the ground, but with the park then a rental mediation agreement and an exploitation agreement must be concluded. They are also confronted with park regulations. My advice if you buy a holiday home is to check carefully in advance what you are buying and which rules apply. Don't sign immediately, but first, ask an expert for advice. If you do not buy the land, but rent a place, establish a building lease through a notary.

Can it still be a good investment?

"Of course, investing in holiday homes can be a good investment, but it depends on the agreements and their implementation. People come to me with problems. Buying a holiday home is not the same as buying a loaf of bread. As a consumer, you have to be critical before you buy a holiday home. Once the signature is placed, there is no way back.

Creative Commons-Licentie This article of is subject to a license. Based on Recreatiewoning kopen? Doe het niet in een opwelling. Translated from the Dutch language by Jos Deuling.  

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