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Reasons to Buy a Holiday Home in Cornwall

You may have already made up your mind. You may not need us to reiterate why this glorious county of Kernow is a great investment option. But if you’re still pondering the benefits of property investment in Cornwall, we hope to assist with some of your unanswered questions.

Why buy property in Cornwall?

Kernow’s climate, geography, coastline and rich panoply of attractions cumulate to make the Duchy Britain’s number one holiday destination. Once you’ve been, it’s likely you’ll return again and again. The idea of owning your very own home here tends to come from a longing to linger. Equally, the demand for staying in a Cornish holiday home continues to grow. As more visitors descend on the county, more accommodation is required. Whether you buy property to create a home away from home in Cornwall or to provide just that for paying guests, it’s typically a sound investment.

Cornish homes are not especially expensive

Certainly not when compared to urban environments or the South East. While house prices can fluctuate, if you’re looking at Cornwall property for a long term investment, this is less of a concern. Letting out your home when you aren’t using it for most of the year, can cover the cost of ownership and in many cases actually return a good profit?

Tourism is Cornwall’s main industry

There is certainly no lack of demand for holiday homes and the many attractions, natural or otherwise, that Kernow has to offer. The Cornish economy thrives on tourism. Visitor attractions large, small and artisan exist and grow across the county. With that, access to all parts of our diverse region is being improved all the time making it ever easier for tourists to reach the lesser known and often more sought after spots.

Cornwall is more accessible than the M5 would suggest

The already strong road network is improved each winter, which makes it ever easier for motorists to access every part of the county. Newquay International Airport brings visitors from London, the North of England and Scotland as well as Spain, Germany and Ireland. The mainline railway (from London, Bristol or the North) runs all the way down to Penzance with many branch lines to access the smaller coastal resorts. Perhaps these are some of the most pleasant, nay beautiful railway journeys in the world (link to railway journeys). The local bus services are surprisingly good.

The motivations of most holiday home investors can be divided into two broad categories. There are those who want to own a Cornish holiday home principally for pleasure while recognising that there can be other fiscal advantages to property ownership of this kind. The other group are those who are looking primarily for an investment and to maximise the rate of return. Those may or may not be interested in holidaying at the property as well. Here we break these categories down, illustrated by a few anecdotes that summarise some of our owners’ motivations and experiences.

Primary factors when buying a holiday home in Cornwall

Location, location, location. That’s what they say. But in reality, location is just one of three main factors that must be scrutinised to ensure the financial success of a holiday home venture.


Yes, yes, we know. But it’s not only about whether you like the location. It needs to be in an area where guests want to holiday and it needs to work well as a base for the activities guests want to enjoy.

Living in Cornwall (if you’re lucky enough) is very different from being on holiday there. Put yourself in the shoes of Cornwall’s visitors – you’re prospective paying guests.

Popular or undiscovered?

The honeypot locations like St Ives, Bude, Newquay or Padstow attract more visitors and command higher prices, but there are obvious pros and cons to buying there. Demand for housing and investment properties will likely reflect demand from holidaymakers therefore house prices will be higher in popular holiday spots.

Just because a location isn’t teeming with tourists today doesn’t make it an unviable investment opportunity. Consider its proximity to attractions – the quality of road and public transport access – as well as ease of access to amenities, beaches and the coastal path. Something as simple as being along the Camel Trail will increase the accessibility and appeal of a property to guests, because getting out and about will be easy (especially if you provide bikes for guests as one of your unique selling points).

Coastal or rural

Your research will likely reveal that the Cornish coastal towns attract more visitors in the height of summer than more rural localities. However, for shoulder and low seasons rentals, rural retreats carry huge appeal, especially with walkers, ramblers, cyclists and our second largest audience of guests: dog owners.

Property attributes

There are property attributes that make some holiday homes more appealing than others. Between basic amenities and well considered provisions, you can create a holiday home perfect for the audience you want to stay with you. Attributes that provide you with ‘stand out’ offerings are, in marketing terms, referred to as USPs (unique selling points).

These days connectivity is king. While it was once a USP, it’s now an expectation that WiFi and broadband of a decent speed will be available and free of charge. It’s only a USP to be off-grid if you’re actively promoting your property for digital detox holidays.

Real USPs need to demonstrate a unique offering that guests won’t find anywhere else. Even hot tub, these days, isn’t unique, but if it complements a series of other luxurious attributes it’s definitely worth a mention. Other considerations include whether you can offer particularly family or baby friendly accommodation, a swimming pool, or beachfront positioning, for example.

Pet friendly holiday homes

Consider whether or not you want to offer dog friendly accommodation. Pet owners are a good source of shoulder and low season bookings – when Cornwall beaches are more likely to be open to dogs. It’s also a bit of a no-brainer for rural properties or those close to the Coastal Path.

Cumulatively, these factors will contribute to helping you decide which property you buy, how you decorate and furnish it, what you create as your unique selling points for marketing purposes, what you’re able to charge for it throughout the year and what occupancy rate you can expect.

Quality, wear and tear

Long gone are the days of holiday homes being a rarely used and dusty family pad advertised through five lines in the classified section of a newspaper. We’re in an age of image-led, competitive holiday home marketing where guests expect to arrive to what was seen and described online.

Neutral with accents

In one’s own home, some classic furniture with a provenance and a string of nostalgic memories is perfectly acceptable. Holiday homes to more guests when the decor and furnishing is less personal and more neutral.

Decor, furnishing and cleanliness combine in the eyes of a guest entering the property for the first time and they expect simple clean lines with minimal fuss and plentiful attention to detail. Holiday homes are not necessarily the cheap holiday accommodation option these days, plus guest expectations are forever rising.

Clean and practical yet homely

Opting for hard wearing, mid-range furnishings that will last a season or two of changeovers, some maintenance and not cost the earth to replace, are a sound investment. Ensuring all the crockery and cutlery is matching and unchipped, is almost an unwritten rule these days.

This blog was provided by Cornish Traditional Cottages