Ever come across a gorgeous old farmhouse or a charming rundown villa while on holiday and dreamed of transforming it into your own holiday getaway?

Many of the owners of the luxury holiday homes in Passepartout Homes’ exclusive property portfolio have turned this dream into reality. In our on-going interview series , our property owners have been sharing their stories of how they fell in love with an abandoned or dilapidated property with lots of charm potential and transformed it into their dream holiday home.

Renovating a rundown property into a chic holiday escape takes a lot of time, effort and, of course, funds, along with big doses of passion and perseverance.


Le Pratola in Tuscany – Before (Photo copyright of Margherita Piliero, Le Pratola)

Today we share 5 tips for revamping that charming ruin into a dream holiday home:

Check the fine print.

Before getting to work, be thorough checking legal obligations and requirements, especially if the property is located in another country where you are unfamiliar with local laws and rules. Is planning permission required for a renovation project? What are the tax implications of renting out your holiday home? It’s vital to get sound advice from a credible lawyer who’s on top of the latest rules and regulations. Beware of unscrupulous agents and lawyers who try to take advantage of foreign buyers who may be oblivious to local laws. The best way to find an adviser you can trust is through a recommendation by someone who has experience with their own renovation project.

Find a project manager who speaks the language.

There are many good reasons to hire the services of a local project manager. You may not be able to speak the local language fluently or be constantly on-site to oversee things, so a project manager is essential. He or she will already have experience working with local contractors, and importantly, have those essential contacts in the construction industry.

Plan wisely but expect the unexpected.

Renovating a property abroad is a lot more stressful and time-consuming than many people imagine. Plan wisely and set a realistic budget with extra funds set aside for unforeseen expenses. Come up with a renovation schedule with the contractor and project manager and insist on it being following. Despite good planning, expect the unexpected and be ready for potential setbacks: workers not showing up, certain supplies not being available locally, potential problems which were not identified beforehand… just about anything can happen!

Do you need a caretaker?

A holiday home often requires work all year round, not only during the holiday season. While it’s easy to lock up an apartment until the next season, a house or larger property needs more attention. Consider hiring a local caretaker who can help with the general maintenance of your holiday property while you’re not there.

Do it with love.

Make your holiday home something special by investing not only your time and money but heart and soul into making it a unique retreat offering all the comfort and calm you’d expect from a luxury holiday. Having found a special holiday escape in a place you love, you’re sure to cherish the time you spend there and the many memorable holidays with family and close friends. These returns on your investment are truly priceless!



Le Pratola – After

Passepartout Homes is a private members’ club catering to the high-end holiday rental market. We match carefully-targeted owners of private residences with highly discerning guests. To find your perfect villa, visit our website.