A vacation home can add tremendously to your family’s quality of life. This is especially true when you make your choice carefully and thoughtfully. Here are ten tips to consider when buying a vacation home.
1. Ease of Access
Most people only get two or three weeks of vacation time each year. If your vacation days are limited, you might like to take advantage of three-day weekends to visit your vacation home. However, you won’t be able to do that unless you can get to your vacation home fairly easily. Consider how long it takes you to get there as well as the travel expenses you’ll incur. Also bear in mind how easy or difficult it might be for your friends and extended family to travel to visit you in your vacation home.
2. Home Owners’ Association
Many communities have home owners’ associations (HOA) that regulate everything from the maximum height of your home’s shrubbery to what time you can turn on your porch light. Before investing in a vacation home that you will only occupy some of the time, carefully review any HOA regulations. You don’t want to be penalized for things you were unable to control in your absence.
3. Choosing the Right Realtor
Utilize an expert of the area and find a realtor to help you search for your vacation home. A great realtor will help you make an informed decision on choosing the perfect vacation home. They can provide insights on neighborhoods, their HOA, crime rates, and other useful information. Often a good real estate agent will know about homes that are about to be on the market before anyone else.
4. Rental Suitability
There are numerous personal and tax benefits to renting out your vacation home when you’re not using it. When choosing your vacation home, consider how suitable it might be as a vacation rental. Can it sleep multiple people? Are there natural and manmade attractions nearby? Your vacation home could become a lucrative source of extra income if you choose one that renters would like. Check out Davenport Vacation Rental Neighborhoods.
5. Partial Ownership Options
One way to manage the financing for a vacation home is to share ownership with another couple. If you have trusted friends or family members, each household could share in the purchase and use of the home. If you share a calendar, it’s unlikely that you would ever have problems with scheduling vacation times on the same dates. Be sure to handle the arrangement through proper legal channels so that everything is very clear to all parties involved.
6. Property Manager
Consider hiring a property manager to look after your vacation home when you’re not using it. A property manager will be able to check on the home on a regular basis to make sure everything is in proper order. Remember, a vacant home can be a magnet for undesirables. Vacant homes are more likely to be burglarized. In addition, the property manager can check for potential damage from storms, power outages, and other problems.
7. Consider All Costs
There are a lot of hidden cost associated with owning a vacation home that prospective buyers forget to include on their initial calculations. Thorough research should be conducted to figure out real cost of purchasing and owning a vacation home. Among the hidden cost are the property taxes of the home, proper insurance coverage, and taxes you would have to pay if you rent the property.
8. Property Values
Even if you’re planning to keep your vacation home in the family for decades to come, it’s a good idea to keep property values in mind. Ideally, you want your vacation home to increase in value over the years. That way, if for any reason you want to sell in the future, you’ll be able to get back your investment and then some.
9. Suitability for Your Senior Years
Another feature you want to consider in your vacation home is whether it will be suitable for your senior years. When you get older, you may not want to climb that charming spiral staircase or walk up the twenty steps from the driveway to the front door. When you think of your vacation home as a long-term investment, you’ll be able to assess how easily you’ll be able to enjoy it in your mature years.
10. How Will Your Family Grow
If your vacation home will host you and your children now, it’s likely it will also host your grandchildren in the future. Remember too, that your children and grandchildren may also like to invite one or two of their friends when they come to visit. Consider the square footage of the property. Will it be large enough to comfortably shelter your growing family?
These ten tips on buying a vacation home will help guide you in your decision. As long as you look at your options from all these angles, you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation dream home for years to come.
British Solomon is a contributing writer and media specialist for Holowesko Realty. She regularly produces content for a variety of realty and luxury lifestyle blogs, based around marketing and selling luxury homes.