Is Buying a Vacation Home the Right Move for Me?
Posted by Garman Group on
There’s that special lake you like to visit for a month every summer, or maybe, since you hate the cold weather, you long to be able to spend several months in a sunnier location every winter. So, is it time to buy a second home — a vacation home? You need to ask yourself these questions before jumping onto those MLS listings to find that second property:
Do You Really Know The Area?
It happens, you take a vacation somewhere once and fall in love. Is this enough to go ahead and own property in that location, therefore commit to visiting it often? Perhaps, but then again, perhaps not. If you already have friends or family there and have spent a lot of time integrating yourself into the culture and community, then you likely already know how you’ll fit in. But if you’re being hasty after a week-long visit to somewhere brand new, you may want to re-think your decision.
Take a good look at the current market and the MLS statistics of the area you're considering buying in. If prices are really high, you can wait awhile to see if it softens — or look at a surrounding area instead. You want to make sure your investment will grow over the years.
How Far Away Is It?
Unless you have unlimited money, and time to visit and keep up your vacation home, you likely won’t want to buy somewhere too far away from where your primary residence is. Somewhere you can travel to in a few hours by vehicle is ideal for most families. It feels like you’re getting “away” without spending a lot of time and money to get there.
Do You Have The Money?
This is really the question to ask, of course. Do you have the money to spend on a vacation home? Remember, it’s not just the actual cost of the home. You need to think about the yearly taxes, upkeep fees and other expenses that come from owning any property. Don’t risk losing your first home to buy a second one.
Do You Have A Plan?
If you’ve answered all the above questions and have come up with YES, you should be buying that second property as a vacation home — great! But the keywords there “second” and “vacation,” which means that you likely won’t be there all the time.
You might be thinking of renting it out while you're not there to recoup some of your costs. Not a bad idea, but unless you live close, you won’t be able to check up on your home often. Even the most trustworthy tenants can run into problems which require a visit and fix from you from time to time. You have to have a plan for this.
Property management companies can take care of the rentals and issues that go along with it for you, but they often take a hefty fee. And again, you have to trust that they're doing their job and checking in. Consider asking your MLS realtor®, and we highly recommend that you do, about property managers who can do the job for you, and do it well.
Do You Have A Reputable MLS REALTOR®?
Investing in a second home is just as important as investing in your first – and no steps should be skipped. You still need to get your inspections done and ensure the property you are buying is the right one for you and your family.