With summer in full swing, and for those of you who enjoy the heat, you may be dreading the impending colder, snowy weather and wondering how you can lengthen your days in the sun. A vacation home is one such way, yet it’s also not limited to those who want a warmer place to retreat […]
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Whatever your reasons for considering purchasing a vacation home, consider these things before you make your purchase as it’s a big decision and owning a vacation property does not come without issues.
Consider your goals:Why do you want to buy a vacation home? Will it be an investment property, a place to retire or solely a place to vacation? You may want to use if for all three reasons! With your goals in mind decide what features in a vacation home are important to you.
Spend lots of time in the area:You want to ensure it’s a place you want to visit often. Every place has their cons, and the location of your vacation home will too. Research the area thoroughly to understand the crime rate, history, and natural dangers and disasters (i.e. tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, etc.).
Consider accessibility:Is the vacation home a short drive from your main residence, or does it require you to take a lengthy plane ride? If it’s the latter, it’s unlikely you’ll use the home very often.
Formulate an accurate budget: Understand all the costs of owning the home including property taxes, insurance (and if additional insurance is needed if it’s location in an area prone to natural disasters), utilities, maintenance and association fees.
Research resale value:Determine how the value of the vacation home may increase or decrease over time. Research areas where property values are increasing, and find out who is moving there and what the plans are for new construction.
Determine if you have someone available to watch the home:The home will still need to be cared for and checked on when you are away. You will most likely need to hire a property manager unless you have friends of family who live in the area. Keep in mind that you’ll also want to have a security system installed on a home that is left vacant often for any length of time.
Be prepared to work while on vacation:Some of the time spent at your vacation home will be spent doing maintenance. It’s not all fun.
Consider renting out the home:Vacation homeowners can benefit greatly by renting out the home when they are not using it. Offering the home for rent provides a source of income that can offset a great deal of your expenses, and you may be able to pay off the home quicker too.
Lastly, if any of these factors encourage you to reconsider a vacation home purchase, know that there are alternatives
. Research on sites like VRBO
. It may make more sense to rent from others and have the option to visit various locations as opposed to sticking to one location and being stuck with all the costs of owning the home. Plus when you rent a vacation home vs buy, your time is spent purely on vacationing as opposed to spending time on the upkeep of the home.