When the daily drudgery of life gets too much, millions around the world gaze out of the window dreaming of their perfect holiday home in the sun. Inevitably, it must include sea views, lush and green surroundings, and continuous warm sun and blue skies.

But does it really have to be such a pipe dream? Is it possible to bag yourself a dream property without having a fortune in the bank? There are ways that you can seek out your perfect holiday property on a budget.

Set a realistic budget:

First and foremost, set yourself a realistic budget. There’s no point aiming for a detached new villa by the beach with sea views if you can only afford a studio apartment in some of the more popular locations. If you have a studio apartment budget but want something bigger and better, then you need to expand your search horizons and seek out hidden spots which have not yet been discovered.

Head inland:

Some of those hidden treasures can be found in ‘off piste’ locations which have not yet been discovered by the mainstream. While this will include a degree of speculation on your part, you need to have a think about whether you want your purchase to be a potential mid to long term investment, or whether it is absolutely for the pleasure of having your very own bolt hole and escape from the rat race.

The further inland you go, the cheaper you will find your options. You will also find that you will be living among the locals, rather than a more transient holiday population who tend to stick to coastal towns. This will actually make your holiday home more of a second home, being with locals who are resident all year round and lie and work within the locality.  

Seek out a ‘doer upper’

Who can resist a doer upper? The ultimate bargain home will probably come with a host of issues which need replacing or rectifying. Whether it is stripping out and replacing bathrooms and kitchens, building a bespoke shelter to provide shade from the hot sun, the beauty of a doer upper is that you can truly make it your own.

The downside is, of course, that you will probably end up spending all your holidays working on your property. So unless you are someone who is knowledgeable about DIY and enjoys getting your hand dirty as a way to unwind, then you may want to avoid any project that is too challenging.

Equally, you will need to budget in any more expensive repairs. While wielding a paintbrush and putting up a shelf is not too taxing for the savvy DIYer, building an entire new bathroom might need the skills of a certified professional. 

Seek out distressed sales:

Keep an eye on overseas listings on sites such as Craigslist and Gumtree. Lurk on overseas property groups for the countries of your choice on places like Facebook. Occasionally there may be a listing from a potential distressed seller who needs to offload a property quickly and at a cheaper price. 

These are often sales direct from the owner as well, which means that you can cut out additional agency commissions. Bear in mind though that without the help of a local agent, unless you can speak the language and fully understand the buying process, you may make yourself vulnerable. Some savings might end up costing you more, so proceed with caution.

However you find your bargain home, make sure that you enjoy every moment of it. If you can find the right property at the right price, it might end up becoming your first home in time, not your second.