Whether you dream of owning a place where you and your family can escape the routine of the everyday, or are charmed by the idea of owning a property which can earn you a healthy second income, many of us have pondered the possibility of owning a second home. 

Unique Homestays have recently launched a Property Finding Service whereby aspiring home owners can enlist a bespoke Property Consultant who will use their insider knowledge to find a second home to perfectly suit the given requirements. They sort the wheat from the chaff, the interesting from the mundane, so that you do not have to waste valuable time in endless searching, unnecessary journeys and disappointing appointments. And we love that sound of that.

Clare Towl (Unique Homestays’ dedicated property finder) takes the devil out of the detail to ensure that her clients will only see the best prospects for their particular specification. She tells us how she employs both her extensive knowledge and little black book bursting with industry contacts to source the ideal second home for prospective clients. Clare explains, “I take time to scour the press, trawl the internet with a fine tooth comb, and leave no property industry stone upturned as I search for the very best properties to present to my clients.” She goes on, “Not only do I work to their budget and other requirements to oversee the entire buying process, but I also ensure that clients acquire properties which can make them the highest level of income”.  The company, who specialise in marketing ‘homes with heart’, also recommend professional interior designers where needed to help bring out the beauty of the clients’ new home and make it more alluring to paying guests.

Clare loves her diverse role and the unexpected twists and turns it can sometimes take. This summer she found herself flying to the wilds of West Wales on the behalf of a client to view a unique lighthouse which was for sale. The historic working lighthouse, which is situated in the middle of 16 acres of countryside, has a castle-style walled courtyard and is perched right on the edge of an Anglesey clifftop. But that is not all! It also comes with two accompanying cottages thrown in for the cool price tag of £1.37million. The client (who already has a beach house which she lets through Unique Homestays), was hoping to purchase the lighthouse to use as a unique wedding venue. The entire visit was documented by a film crew who followed Clare with a camera for two days before airing the results on national television. It’s a far cry from a humdrum 9-5 job that’s for sure.

We ask Clare a little more about what it takes to let your house successfully. Enjoy these top tips especially for readers of Live Unique…

  • Many agencies require you to give them a minimum number of weeks to rent out the property, while others are more flexible – especially if your house has the added ‘wow factor’. Ensure you have a realistic idea about when you and your family will want or need to stay before you commit.
  • Think about your audience. Carefully choose the right marketing platform to ensure you get the type of house guests you can trust to look after your prize home and belongings, almost as if they were their own.
  • Before you sign on the dotted line, ask your agent for an income projection. Take a look at tariffs and booking levels of similar properties in the area and see how yours compares. Don’t forget the cost of implementing health and safety precautions, changeovers, maintenance and the rest! Our owners always go that extra mile to ensure guests leave with glowing feedback and the will to return. Fresh flowers, luxury toiletries, eggs, bread, butter are a must.
  • While you’re trekking through the Amazon rainforest or cruising around the Med enjoying the income, you’ll want someone back at home should anything go wrong. Choose somebody local you can trust, and who you know will be the perfect host for your guests. Is it the medieval under croft you’ve converted into a deluxe cinema room, the hot tub perched on the cliff top, or the fact that Sir Walter Raleigh had the house built as his hunting lodge? These are three of our properties’ USPs which never fail to attract both press and guest attention. Determine what makes your home stand out… And don’t be afraid to shout about it!