Quote 2023

Quote magazine about entrepreneurs who relax elsewhere

On April 20th 2023, Quote magazine published a living special with an article about entrepreneurs who relax in a second home and why this is not always ideal. The article highlights the disadvantages of owning a second holiday home and shows how important it is for entrepreneurs to be able to relax next to their busy job. Marike, the owner of this escort service, was also interviewed for this. You can view the entire article below. A translation of the introduction and the part about Marike has been listed here as well.

Second home horror: Entrepreneurs and their holiday home

Holiday homes are in demand. An estimated 2.2 percent of Dutch households have one – and 97.8 percent dream of it. Twice as many houses is twice as much living pleasure, right? Not really, second home owners know.

If anything becomes clear at the Second Home Fair in Maastricht, it is that the average Dutch person has more migratory appetite than a swallow. On a wintry Saturday, thousands of visitors shuffle resolutely past more than 150 brokers and developers in a dark convention center.

“There are several roads that lead to Rome, or in our case to the Costa Blanca. We help you from dreams to dream house,' promises the expert of Másmás Hipotecas.

The task of these providers is not only to make the public, consisting of straight couples whose men are armed with notebooks, enthusiastic, but also to warn them about everything that can go wrong without their help. At Elxis Greek Real Estate Services they know a story of two Dutch people who, after a lot of hassle, finally received a building permit for a villa. They sent a number of self-selected Greek workmen up the hill to turn the dream into a stone reality. In the end, the villa was there, but in mirror image. 'So the house could be deconstructed again. If coordinating construction teams is top sport, then coordinating a Greek construction team is the Olympic variant.'

They are the well-known stories. With every degree of latitude you drop, it's harder to get things done. In the Mediterranean countries people have siesta, so you can't go shopping in the middle of the day. And a Spaniard who promises 'mañana' means not so much 'tomorrow' as 'another time, sometime in the future'.

The question is: what are the unknown pitfalls of such a holiday home? What real dangers are all brokers hiding? In short, wouldn't it be better for all visitors to the Second Home Fair to turn around and return to their first and only home? We asked the experts. According to them, these are the biggest unforeseen risks.

Nicole Meesters, an entrepreneur in tourism and her husband have a second holiday home in the south of France. She is amazed by the talent of some to stick around and treat their holiday home as a free hotel, complete with roomservice. Lynn Westers, sales officer at an asset management agency agrees and has several friends and family members who ask her to stay at her holiday home. 

But things can get much worse, as legal advisor Martine Vink knows. Her home was occupied by Spanish squatters for four months, who in spain hold a lot of rights. She threatened them with a lawsuit and eventually they left.  

If people aren't the problem, the holiday home itself is, as Gerald Victoriano knows. He owns a holiday home in Spain that he stays in himself and rents it out when he's not around. The surroundings and facilities of his holiday home are amazing but not so amazing are the wild boars in the surroundings who trash his place. Once that's sorted, there's an issue with the pool. All these tasks take up so much time, there's always something to do at the holiday home. 

Marike van der Velden, owner of high class ecort service Society Service, has not two but three houses. She lives in Rotterdam and Amsterdam and has a holiday home in Loosdrecht. ‘As a busy entrepreneur, I wanted a place where I could really relax. The Loosdrechtse Plassen are beautiful, especially in the summer.' In her holiday home, with sauna, outdoor tub and boat, she deliberately has not set up a workplace. But she knows all too well that enough work results from such a house.

“Actually, a house like this just adds a to-do list. It's going to freeze and the water pipes haven't been drained yet. I need to find a box to store the lounge cushions. When that box arrives, it turns out I still have to assemble it myself. The neighbor complains that my air conditioner is too close to the property boundary, or he claims that the fence that we have placed in consultation is not in the right good position after all. Then a jetty for the boat must be chosen again. I have a wonderful sauna, but then the door jams and has to be hung again. And there are a hundred other things like that.”

The strange thing is, explains Van der Velden, that all those chores at a second home weigh much more than at your first home. ‘You don’t want to think about that at all, because you only come there to enjoy yourself. A ride to the Gamma detracts from the time you actually wanted to relax.' And everything that is not to your liking is somehow more noticeable. ‘At home, for example, I have a crack in the wall. But I'm there so often that I don't see it anymore. In Loosdrecht it is very different. It bothers me faster if something isn't perfect.'

And then there's the money, as Henny Huisman knows. In 2014 the well known television host put up his multimillion dollar villa at Bonaire for sale. He was not motivated by the growing amount of airplanes crossing over his garden but the motive was financial. A holiday home is expensive and the costs do not stop after the purchase but continue adding up. 

At the Second Home Fair, visitors have no idea what fate awaits them. At the end of the day, expectations have only grown. It has even risen to the bulb for most of them. "Do you know what I want, except a second home?", a man asks his wife at the parking meter. She doesn't respond. "A third house!"