Owning a second home is something that many people dream about however the practicalities of this do need to be thought through if you are in the fortunate position where this dream can become a reality.
Apart from the obvious additional costs of running the property such as holiday home insurance, tax, rates etc you also have the costs of getting to the property and maintenance. Having a holiday home in the UK will probably be easier to get to and you would be more likely to use the property for short periods such as weekends, as long as it is not the other side of the country. Overseas property will be more of a planned trip arranging flights, car hire and more. On this basis you would use the UK property more often, but is the reason you pop there for a short weekend is that you cannot plan to have a whole week break as the UK weather is so unpredictable (writing that at the moment seems very unfair after the hottest April on record!) whereas the overseas property offers a full week of glorious sunshine next to your private pool? In fact this may be why most people opt to have that overseas holiday home. Flights can be expensive if not pre-booked well in advance and you must make sure you are aware of local customs and rules affecting your property.
Buying an overseas home is probably more daunting as the buying process is different to the UK and is a 'known unknown' to you - but professionals are there to help, just like in the UK. Remember, if you opt for an overseas property you should ensure you have purchased the appropriate insurance. You can purchase specialist cover underwritten by UK insurers written in English.
Maintenance is also one issue that is sometimes overlooked but really shouldn't be. As part of the dream of owning a holiday home, some probably dream of a old castle in France or a period cottage in the UK. Fantastic for a dream, but in reality make sure you can firstly afford the upkeep of the older property, and if you can afford this, make sure you can afford to pay someone to do it for you. Unless you are an experienced builder or property developer is your dream of owning a holiday home going away for a week and undertaking DIY? If the answer is no, then you really need to take a step back from your dream and make sure your holiday property delivers to you what you are after, a place to go and relax and get away from it all. If you have the additional money and time, or both then you have no limits and can buy that castle, if not maybe look at newer property in better condition.
Remember, if you buy a holiday home in the UK you should also buy holiday home insurance. Good luck with your decision making.