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Willow Cottage River

Julie, a semi-retired director of a management company, shares her story about holiday letting her charming chocolate box property, Willow Cottage, which finished with 43 bookings last year and has only a few weeks remaining for 2019. 

Julie Owner Case Study Willow Cottage

How did you get into holiday letting?

I started holiday letting in 2005 after originally buying Willow Cottage with the long-term plan of moving my elderly parents into it. However, plans changed when my parents moved into a granny annex next to my own home for health reasons, and so an opportunity presented itself to turn my hand to holiday letting.


How much money did you invest to start holiday letting?

Willow Cottage Bedroom

We bought the property in 2004, for £265k, but we had to gut it and start again. We knocked down walls, installed a new kitchen and bathroom and did some general decorating and furnishing, which in total cost us £50k-£60k. After which we had the property revalued a year later at £370k.


How have you found the experience of holiday letting your property to guests?

Opening up my property to guests has proved to be an incredibly rewarding experience so far, both financially and personally. I really enjoy sharing the property, and all it has to offer – plus, getting so much positive feedback really makes the experience worthwhile.

I find that taking a hands-on approach to holiday letting is all part of the fun – I even enjoy the changeovers and cleaning(!), but it’s good to know that Sykes can help me with this if I need them to.


How have you found the financial side of holiday letting?

Willow Cottage Bathroom

Holiday letting seemed like an ideal way to generate an income and boost my pension – allowing a smoother transition into retirement; we think it’s a more lucrative option than short-term residential letting, as well as providing more freedom.

It’s essentially a retirement plan for us, as once all the mortgage has been paid off and it’s owned outright, it will provide an excellent full-time income.


Why did you choose to work with Sykes and what is your experience of Sykes Holiday Cottages?

After comparing a few holiday letting agencies, I found Sykes to be the most professional and organised. They’re friendly people to deal with, are always very helpful and I’m very happy with the service they provide.


Do you have any tips for others thinking of letting a holiday property?

As with any property, location is key when it comes to holiday letting. If you want to ensure a steady flow of bookings, it’s important to choose a popular location with an active tourist market – something that the Peak District certainly offers.

Willow Cottage River

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