Finally the time has come to turn your dream into reality: The search is on for a vacation property where you and your family can spend part of the year relaxing. On your way to second home ownership, there are several factors to consider. Here’s some advice for making your search and purchase go smoothly.
- Make sure you can afford the home
This may sound like a simple tip, but remember that an emergency repair, such as fixing the roof after storm damage, might find you staying elsewhere while the house gets fixed. In addition to covering the mortgages on your primary and secondary homes, you will have to deal with higher insurance premiums and a likely loss of income if the weather damage occurred while the home was being occupied by renters. Have a buffer in place so that you aren’t caught off financially off-guard in addition to having to deal with a crisis.
- Look for a draw
It’s likely that something fairly breathtaking drew you to your vacation property, such as its ocean view or mountain locale. The same will likely be enticing for potential buyers should you ever decide to put your vacation villa on the market. Examine the home for its rental potential, which can benefit you when tax time rolls around. Opening your home to renters is just one way to ensure your home is looked after when you’re not around and can be an excellent safety measure in addition to installing a home security system.
- Consider the area
You may have always wanted a coastal vacation home, but keep in mind what the weather will be like year-round. Beachfront properties, while exclusive, can also come with the threat of inclement weather, like hurricanes. While you can’t prevent storms from striking, you can take precautions so that your investment is protected even when you aren’t around. Give some thought as well to the area’s potential for growth. If you want your quiet getaway to remain that way, take a look at previous years’ population growth to make sure you won’t be packing up and moving in six months.
- Stock up on amenities slowly
Remember that you’re going to be filling your vacation home with furnishings and amenities much like those in your first property, from living room furniture to kitchen appliances. Not many people can afford to purchase a vacation home and then go on a house-wide shopping spree. Adding a piece of furniture here and there can help you save money for the vacation home purchase and keep you from getting overwhelmed when moving day arrives.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate
The current state of the economy and availability of homes for sale gives you lots of choices when it comes to deciding where you want to live. Now is the time to look for a property in an area you might not have been able to afford in recent years. Do your research so you get the best deal possible for your money. Relaxing in a home that you bought for a song will only make your new acquisition that much more enjoyable.
No matter where you end up, whether you wake up to the ocean every morning or go for a pre-dawn hike through the mountains, get the most out of your vacation home purchase. A little planning, research, and financial plan of action will find you on the deck with a refreshing beverage before you know it.
Kristine is quite the homebody. She enjoys crafting, treadmill running, and eating peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon. She can’t wait to ring in the new year and think of a few resolutions to break.