Buying a Second Home: A Comprehensive Guide

Dreaming of owning a second home in the UK? Whether it's a coastal retreat, an urban bolthole, or an investment opportunity, buying a second home is different to a normal property purchase. Our comprehensive guide takes you through the intricacies of second home ownership, whether it is intended as a buy-to-let, a holiday let or as an investment for a family member.

Can I Buy a Second Home in the UK?

Absolutely! Purchasing a second home opens doors to various possibilities. Whether it's for personal use, rental income, or investment purposes, understanding the process is key to making informed decisions. The first thing a lender will want to know is affordability. Have you got enough equity in the property to afford the mortgage payments? Can you afford to pay mortgages on two different properties?

How Much Deposit Do I Need for a Second Home?

Securing a second home mortgage requires a larger deposit than for a first home, usually at least 15-20% of the property's value. Compared to conventional mortgages, which require deposits as low as 5%, the threshold for second home deposits is higher. Calculating your level of deposit involves assessing your financial position and options such as leveraging equity from your primary residence.

What kind of Second Home Mortgage do I need?

When making an application for a second home, you will be subjected to a more rigorous series of financial checks, because lenders need to be sure of the homeowner’s ability to manage mortgage repayments for two properties. Specialised mortgage options are available, including:

  • Buy-to-Let Mortgages: Ideal for those intending to lease out the property.
  • Holiday Let Mortgages: Tailored for short-term rentals catering for holidaymakers.

Understanding the detail of second-home mortgages enables buyers to make informed choices, based on their financial goals and circumstances.

The Tax Implications: What You Need to Know

Second home ownership in the UK has various tax implications, each of which require careful planning and consideration. The rates of stamp duty are higher for second properties, and capital gains tax kicks in when second properties are sold. Beyond mortgage and tax considerations, prospective second homeowners must take into account a range of other expenses, from mortgage arrangement fees to insurance premiums.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty rates for second properties differ from those for primary residences. If you own a second property, you pay an additional higher rate.

These are the current rates for people buying second properties:

Tax Band

Normal Rate

Additional Property

Less than £250,000



£250,000 - £925,000



£925,001 - £1,500,000



Over £1,500,000



So someone buying a second home worth £450,000 would pay stamp duty of 13% (£23,500).


Capital Gains Tax

To work out capital gains tax, simply deduct the difference between the value of the property when you sold it from the price you paid for it – effectively the profit you have made. If this is more than your combined capital gains tax allowance for the year, you will have to pay capital gains tax.

Mortgage Arrangement Fees

Additional expenses may include fees for processing and arranging the mortgage, which should be factored into your overall budget.

Conveyancing Costs

Legal fees associated with property transfer and conveyancing services are an essential part of the buying process.

Insurance Premiums

Securing adequate insurance coverage for your second home is crucial to protect your investment against unforeseen circumstances.

Felicity J. Lord can help you buy your second home

Purchasing a second home in the UK requires expertise and guidance. Whether you're a seasoned investor or a first-time buyer, the Felicity J. Lord team is here to help you every step of the way. Get in touch with your local branch to start your search for your second home today.