Absence really does make the heart grow fonder, according to new research by over 50s holiday operator Saga. Couples who invest their savings in overseas property may be miles away, but they actually get to spend more quality time with their families.
More than two-thirds (69%) of overseas homeowners invite family members to use their holiday hideaway, with nearly half (47%) laying out the welcome mat twice a year or more.
And nearly a third of owners (28%) reckon miles don't matter - they spend more quality time with their nearest and dearest than they did back in the UK, with only 5% of owners saying they see their families less often.
The survey results were published to coincide with the launch of Saga's new Overseas Homes Service.
Asked about their main concerns regarding overseas home ownership, nearly one-third (31%) of prospective purchasers said "dealing with legal issues" was their biggest worry. Other issues included dealing with town hall bureaucracy, local taxes and language barriers.
With Saga's new Overseas Homes Service customers can choose from a range of hundreds of hand-picked properties in Spain, take advantage of great value bonded inspection trips led by hand picked agents such as Chesterton and Medsea Estates , choose the services of independent English-speaking lawyers, a building guarantee similar to the UK's NHBC guarantee, and end-to-end financial protection. To avoid the risk of any hard sell a seven day cooling off period is offered following the payment of a deposit.
"Saga Overseas Homes offers a safe and simple way to find your ideal home abroad, helping you through the process from beginning to end. We're giving customers six free return flights* to use between the payment of the deposit and the completion of the purchase and we also offer a comprehensive after-sales service - including property management if customers choose to rent out their new homes." Says Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga.
Of the survey respondents who already have overseas properties, 56% own in Spain or the Spanish islands, and 29% own in France. More than half (52%) own villas or apartments, and the vast majority (85%) paid less than 200,000. 19% even managed to pay less than 50,000!
* The free return flights offer excludes travel during the holiday periods, in particular Christmas, Easter and half term. The flights are subject to Saga's booking conditions at all times and are restricted to SAGA's flight availability.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Saga's Overseas Homes Service:
Choose from a wide range of locations and hundreds of specially selected properties.
Freephone service and expert consultants.
Great value inspection trips with a tailor-made itinerary led by a dedicated consultant (visits are ATOL protected).
Meet-and-greet service at UK airports for your inspection trip, if required.
The option to appoint an English-speaking lawyer from an independent panel operating to Saga guidelines for added value and protection. This service includes free Title Insurance for further peace of mind.
Saga International Payments currency transfer service.
Seven-day cooling-off period following the agreement of purchase.
Full after-sales service including assistance with property management if required.
A year's free advertising on Saga's property website if you want to rent your property to other Saga customers.
And for new developments
All the above plus six free flights between deposit payment and completion. Subject to terms and conditions*.
Added value offers on some properties such as discounted golf and beach club membership, free air conditioning installation or kitchen appliances, depending on which property you choose.
Bank guarantees on the money you pay for a new build property.
Building guarantee similar to the UK's NHBC guarantee to give you complete peace of mind on your new property.
The research was commissioned by Saga Holidays and conducted by Fieldworks from June to July 2006.
Saga is the leading provider of holidays and financial services for people over the age of 50.
If you are a customer and you wish to register your interest in Saga Overseas Homes call free on 0800 904 7911 or visit www.saga.co.uk/overseashomes
For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.