We bought a flat in South Wales in 2016 as a base to spend time in when we visited the UK from our home in Dubai, to be near family and friends, to have somewhere to see people, for the adult children to use when they came to visit and somewhere we could could just arrive to and not have to live out of a suitcase, cook our own meals and not trip over anyone else.
I had the most use of it, Peter only stayed for a week or two at a time, whereas I was in it for at least half the year.
During covid we've had it rented out, the income earned has been declared to the tax man, but it's remained empty since October as we had to do repairs between tenants and we had rental agents contacting us saying they had buyers interested in this particular area. So we put it on the market, have made a profit, but as I don't live in it there will be capital gains tax to pay on the profit made.
We thought about keeping it and whilst it's near some of our family, it's only an hours drive away therefore we can go there and back in a day.
The next plan was to buy another property somewhere near the sea, or nearer our other grandchild, somewhere we could visit and stay in, take holidays, not worry about taking everything with us when we travelled.
But then we thought 'do we want to go to the same place every time we go away?' How often would we actually use it and then we remembered all the hassles we've had with rental agents with the flat and our house and we'd have to organise a change over cleaning team, plus people who could do repairs, set up a website, manage bookings and pay tax if we set it up as a holiday let or used it as an air b&b.
Next we thought about the cost of running a flat that lies empty most of the year. Council tax, property management fees, insurance and water rates. Currently we pay £3500 a year just for the above.
Over the Easter weekend we visited West Wales. We rented a dog friendly 2 bed cottage, fully equipped, in a great location near the coast. We paid £120 per night for 5 nights. We can have 29 nights away each year for the same price as the running costs of the flat. It would be a waste of money seeing as for the next half term we'll be visiting Yorkshire. and in the summer holidays we'll be going to Australia. We've also got a few trips to Northern Ireland planned.
So we're selling our flat, it's no longer in our interests to own it as we don't need to stay in one place in the UK anymore, we have our house for that.
So what to do with the money?
We'll get more use out of a camper van, for days out and trips away.