Overseas Pakistanis often travel back home to visit friends and family. If you’ve been flying back and forth a lot, consider buying a home for the vacations in Pakistan. Not only will this put an end to awkward stays at your relatives’ homes, but it will also become a worthwhile investment over time. Here are all the possible considerations about buying a vacation home in Pakistan that will help you make the right decision.
Please note that all of these considerations are equally applicable to foreign investors who have no relatives in the country but simply want to visit Pakistan and its scenic locations for their annual vacations, but would prefer to stay in their own home rather than at a hotel or motel.
These considerations are also applicable to all Pakistani residents who would like to purchase a second property in a tourist spot for retirement or annual vacations.
Buying a Vacation Home in Pakistan—What to Consider?
Investing in a vacation home is a big decision, and you shouldn’t take it lightly. Here are some critical factors to consider before you start your search for the perfect property:
- Frequency of Visits
- Location of the Property
- Chances of Rental Income
- Maintenance Concerns
- Your Investment Budget
- Potential Resale Value
Let’s discuss each of these considerations about buying a vacation home in detail below.
Frequency of Visits
First and foremost, before you even think about buying a vacation home in Pakistan, think about how frequently you visit the country and how extended your stay generally will be? If you visit Pakistan once in three years for a week, there’s no point in making a large investment for visits that are so occasional and so short. You can easily rent a place or stay at a hotel at a cost far less than what it will take to maintain your vacation home in your absence.
For nationals, here’s the big question? How frequently will you be heading out of town to that remotely located property of yours? If you plan on heading to Murree or Swat every year, buying a home there makes perfect sense, but if you never visit the region yourself, the investment loses its purpose.
Location of the Property
The next consideration before investing in a vacation home is to consider the location of the property and its accessibility from where you currently reside. If you’re a foreigner who lands in Islamabad or a local who lives in the twin cities, Murree Hills or Patriata, also known as New Murree, are perfect for a quick drive to the property, but if you live/land in Karachi, how conveniently can you travel up north to your vacation home?
You’d also need to consider the views you want from the vacation home. Do you want a beach house? Do you want a house on a hill overlooking the valley? Pakistan offers geographical diversity, with luxurious resorts being made in Gwadar, Balochistan, besides the sea, including Gwadar Golf City, and hillside homes being built in Patriata Resort Valley, so you have plenty of options to choose from.
Chances of Rental Income
Many people buy a vacation home solely because they’re hoping to diversify their investment portfolio and get additional rental income from vacationers in the area. But guess what? You shouldn’t just assume that you’ll get plenty of tenants lined up to live in your property every year.
Assess the local market and the competition. If there are a lot of cheap motels around, what is it that helps your property stand apart? You’ll also need to market the home accordingly, preferably partnering with local tour guides to get regular rental income from the property.
When people purchase a holiday home, they often overlook one tiny detail—who will take care of this property in their absence? It is a sad fact that most holiday homes are located in areas that are prone to natural disasters—landslides in hilly regions or storms near the beach. This means that you should be able to get to your home frequently enough to keep it well maintained all year round, or hire someone to do it for you.
Aside from the utility bills, homes require a lot of upkeep, especially if they are frequently empty. Such homes also invite more intruders onto their land, as any observant burglar will realise that the house is vacant most of the time. This brings about the need to install high tech security and CCTV surveillance to keep the home maintained and safe.
Your Investment Budget
One of the biggest concerns with buying a second home is knowing whether you can afford it. This includes not just the down payment for the property and the multiple instalments until possession, but also all the upkeep that it will require over time.
Vacation homes remain vacant for the better part of the year, and as soon as the season begins, you will need plenty of cash lying around to perform immediate repairs that will fix the property up for its new tenants. Moreover, as we’ve mentioned above, if you’re hiring someone to take care of the property in the local area, you’ll need to pay them for their services regularly as well.
Potential Resale Value
All’s good while you still own the home, but what if you want to sell it in the future? That’s when things become tricky because while vacation homes generally cost more because they offer a number of amenities and beautiful views, the buyer’s market is limited. Few people will be eager to buy a vacation home unless they are looking for a retirement home or are, like you, looking for a rental income option.
Consider resale potential before you close the deal, as you don’t want to be stuck with a property that has no buyers down the line. This is also why we’ve asked you to conduct thorough research on the rental potential, too, as a house that doesn’t sell and doesn’t earn might become heavy on the pocket in the long run.
If you still think that buying a vacation home in Pakistan is the right choice for you, jot down your requirements with regards to the property. The size of the home, the number of rooms that you want, the facilities you require, and so on. You can also consider an apartment with a scenic view for your vacation investment, such as those on offer at Emaar Panorama.