South Africa is a large, diverse and incredibly beautiful country. The size of France and Spain combined, and roughly twice the size of Texas, it varies from the picturesque Garden Route towns of the Western Cape to the raw subtropical coast of northern KwaZulu-Natal, with the vast Karoo semi-desert across its heart and one of Africa's premier safari destinations, Kruger National Park, in the northeast. It's also one of the great cultural meeting points of the African continent, a fact obscured by years of enforced racial segregation, but now manifest in the big cities.
Many visitors are pleasantly surprised by South Africa's excellent infrastructure, which draws favourable comparison with countries such as Australia or the United States. Good air links and bus networks, excellent roads and a growing number Villa rentals and guesthouses make South Africa a perfect touring country.
Here are a few facts:
Covering 1,219,090 square kilometres, South Africa has a population of 44 million and eleven official languages: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Pedi, English, Ndebele, Sotho, Setswana, siSwati, Venda and Tsonga. The country's religions comprise Christianity (68 percent), Islam (2 percent), Hinduism (1.5 percent) and indigenous beliefs (28.5 percent).
South Africa is a multipartydemocracy, the head of state being President Thabo Mbeki. Parliament sits in Cape Town, the legislative capital, while Pretoria is the executive capital, from where the President and his cabinet run the country. The judicial capital is Bloemfontein, where the Supreme Court of Appeal sits, though the Constitutional Court is in Johannesburg. Each of the nine provinces has its own government.
South Africa has the most advanced economy in Africa, with well-developed mining, manufacturing, agricultural and financial sectors. The country also has one of the greatest disparities of wealth in the world.
Lesotho covers 30,355 square kilometres and has a population of 2 million. It is a constitutional monarchy, with King Letsie III as its head. The official languages are Sesotho and English.
The kingdom of Swaziland, ruled by King Mswati III, has an area of 17,363 square kilometres and a population of 1 million. The official languages are siSwati and English.
Now that you know the facts why not discover for yourself what an amazing place South Africa is by visiting on your next holiday. Take a look at Bargain Villas for some cheap South African Villa Rentals
The advantages to buying a holiday home are well documented, some purchase simply to have a home away from home, some see the possibility of making some adding money.
However I think the hardest decision is deciding where to purchase your home.
For Brits, Spain is the most popular choice, with 66% opting to buy a property there. The weather, the standard of life and the culture, makes Spain a very appealing place and therefore a good sound investment.
There are currently 3.3 million holiday homes in Spain and demand is rising by three percent year on year based on the last decade. Firstly, this means that there is always going to be a demand for people wanting to rent your property while you’re not there. Secondly, house prices are set to rise with so much demand meaning that when it comes to selling up you are bound to make a healthy profit.
Another healthy market is Florida, the sunshine state, home of Disney. Florida and mainly the Orlando area are popular all year round due to its great weather, superb entertainment and beautiful beaches. Obviously its biggest pull is Disney and the potential to rent out your property when you are not occupying it is very good. Buying when the dollar is weak is key to healthy margins; also remember that we offer you the advantage of advertising your holiday home for free. I would suggest though looking in to insuring against hurricane damage.
France is also very popular, it offers culture, weather and has a big market in the U.S. Portugal is quickly becoming popular due to its weather, great beaches plus at present prices are lower than Spain and Florida etc.
The best piece of advice I can give you is to choose a location you like, feel comfortable with and have at least visited a few times before.
My five rules for holiday home letting
•Choose a good location
•Two and three bedroom properties are better for families and groups of friends
•Keep the property well-maintained and attractive
•Look at hiring a letting agent. Management fees can range from 15-30%
•Keep the property fully insured
Being on holiday doesn?t automatically mean you have to slum it for a couple of weeks. Renting a villa for your next holiday means you can STILL have all your creature comforts without spending a fortune. Here are a few great benefits to villa renting;
?Space: A holiday home is far more spacious than hotel accommodation. Rental properties will have all the dimensions of a proper home; multiple bedrooms, cooking areas, living and dinning areas, parking space and usually a garden or pool.
Kitchens: One of the things I miss most when I am away is being able to cook and prepare food. A holiday property will typically come with a fully equipped kitten with modern appliances. ??
Washing machine/tumble dryer: In house dry cleaning and washing facilities offered by hotels are usually done so at a premium. Not only are you making big savings on these services you can also pack less knowing that you can simply rewash your favourite clothes when you need to.
Privacy: When you rent a villa you are also renting your own private space for you and your family. Although most hotels have plenty of facilities for you to use; they are not exactly private. You can relax in comfort knowing that your villa rental is a private and independent space for you and your family to enjoy.
Cost: Most holiday villas are large enough to sleep two medium sized families. Doubling up with friends can spread the cost of your next holiday. The price per-head per-day represents significant savings when compared to the same standard of living/facilities offered by hotels.
The images used in this blog are from 'Roberts Florida Villa' Click here to view the property in full and book direct with the owner
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In these financially sketchy time's its really important that owners take stock of where they are and ensure that they are making the most of all the rental opportunities that come their way. So with that in mind here are 3 great tips you might find useful.
Families save money when doubling up!
One of the main benefits to renting a holiday home is that a large percentage of homes are capable of sleeping 2 medium size families. If you are an owner that has a reasonably large property now is the time to start promoting the fact that holidaying with another family is a great way for your customers to keep down the cost of their accommodation by splitting the price with another family. Even offer a discount on full occupancy?
Make sure you are still priced competitively
Its easy to fall into a routine of pricing. Once you set up your property adverts you set a price and leave it at that. Its so important to remain competitive in today's market. Set yourself 1 day a week or 1 day a month to do a quick scan of other properties for rental in your area. Being active and making sure you are still competitively priced is key to ensuring you win those rental out there!
look around at other properties in your area to see if you are priced within the market.
Minimise your losses
If you are struggling to rent out your property try adding a sweetener to the deal. (I am assuming that you have a mortgage to pay) Try offering something like a Free theme park ticket, a free welcome meal at the local restaurant, $50.00 in fuel, free travel insurance etc. The object is to spend a little cash in order to minimise your losses. If you have a mortgage of $1000.00 per month and no one rents your property you have already lost $1000.00 - If you had an offer that cost you $200.00 in order to rent your property at $1000.00 for a month you would have minimised your loss by $800.00.
The point is if you have to lose money at any time because of a down turn - why not make it as little as possible - in the long run you will come out on top because you have turned something with a negative outcome into a positive.
Now would be an ideal time to re-evaluate your marking material to incorporate any of the tips that you find useful.
- Change your brochures or add an insert.
- Update your website and make any special offers MORE prominent.
- Update any online villa adverts you have.
- Check your prices!
I'd like to hear any other useful tips you might have - How is everyone getting the best from their holiday property?
Look forward to hearing from you,
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