The Most Wanted Vacation Houses in 2016

Only a decade ago, Inner Istria wasn't as attractive as it is nowadays and it didn't attract neither domestic nor foreign guests. Due to the constant investments in the coastal tourism, rural Istria was unconsciously neglected. This was really unfortunate because this place's natural and other attractions can easily compete with Italian Tuscany or French Provence.
Luckily, it didn't take long for the tourist board to unite with the private owners and take charge using various actions to search for and find a solution of rural Istria's revival.
The attractive vacation houses with swimming pools found their place in the tourist offer. This type of accommodation, similar to other attractive European destinations, made Istrian tourism rise rapidly in the last couple of years. This fact caused a greater demand for accommodation facilities of rural Istria and consequently for cultural events, entertainment and food and wine offer. Not to mention that aforementioned conditioned a great revival of Istrian village. 
Not only this. When these houses reached the market, investments in Istrian real estate have multiplied and blossomed. We can freely say that in recent years this has been the safest investment. In the last decade the trend of renting this type of facilities is constantly growing, and lately spread to Dalmatia as well. Indications are that this positive trend will not decline as the demand for luxury vacations greatly exceeds the current market offer.Future investors already realize the safeness of their investment, but what is the most profitable solution? Buying an already built house? Building a new one or renovate an old one? Naturally, this decision also depends on the investors’ economic ability.The advantage of buying an already built house is in the fact we can quickly start making money on our investment.The advantage of building a brand new house is making it exactly as we want it to be, and in the end, building a house is always less expensive than buying a built one. 
Renovating old Istrian houses can be even costlier than building new ones, but nothing can replace these old Istrian beauties’ charm and grace. Tourism is an area subject to constant transformations and that is why it’s really hard to estimate its future path. Old Istrian stone houses were definitely interesting to our foreign guests, but I have a feeling this trend is slowly changing. This doesn’t mean they would be a bad investment – on contrary, a carefully restored Istrian old home will surely be a good investment – but the time has come for contemporary houses with straight lines, large transparent apertures that altogether have little in common with original Istrian houses, but still perfectly blend with the idyllic Istrian environment. These large windows transfer sun beams into the house in pre- and after season when it’s not so warm outside. Of course, the architecture should be carefully conceived in order not to stick out in the middle of a small Istrian village and spoil its appearance. 
Some time ago, a friend told me “When thinking about building a real estate, don’t go cheap on land. If you buy a terrain on a good location, you’ve already done with 80% of the job”. A good location of the house is the most important factor especially when dealing with a vacation house. Even if you spend more money on a good land with a sea view, believe me, you won’t regret this decision. This is a type of location where the house will have no problems with capacity filling even at a pretty high price.
Of course, the view of the sea is not the only thing that attracts. Istria has beautiful locations with a view of beautiful Istrian nature, towns, hills, meadows and forests. We can point out the Motovun area as a place of especially high demand. The houses on the surrounding hills with a view of Motovun are of an exceptional beauty. 
Regarding the size of the house, my advice is not to go over the top because the houses that can accommodate a large number of guests are tempting to younger groups (under 21 years). If fifteen or so young visitors split their expenses, even a pricy house won’t be out of their reach. Try imagining what you can expect to find in your house after this group of visitors. The winning combination is a house for two families (four people each), but personally I advocate small one-family houses (with two bedrooms) with extra facilities such as wellness, fitness, billiards, heated pool… 
My experience shows that one family easier comes to an agreement compared to a couple or more of them. This goes for the period and the destination of the vacation, so I definitely advise buying or building smaller vacation houses. 
If some day you decide to sell your real estate, bear in mind that a smaller house is easier to sell compared to a larger one. There is a great interest in the market for those smaller properties because currently the prevailing houses are the ones with a big square footage. 
We can conclude that a contemporary house on a quiet location with a beautiful view is an impeccable investment. Whatever investment you choose to make, it’s important that you do it with enthusiasm, caring for details and extra contents. Also consider that the guest probably comes from a large European city and thinks about his or her holiday throughout the year, so once they arrive, it’s up to you whether they will return or not – because only a satisfied guest is the one that comes back!
In the end, when you decide to go for one of the offered solutions, don’t forget to seek for advice from your real estate agency that will use the expertise and experience of its employees to point out quality solutions and legal certainty because the latter is imperative! 

Massimo Chiavalon

Lovely Istria – Travel agency