Buying a vacation home is a major undertaking, and it can easily become stressful if you aren’t prepared. For buyers looking for a part-time getaway, there’s a lot to think about, from the location of the home to who will take care of it when you’re not using it. A a good plan will help you avoid any pitfalls and will allow you to enjoy the process. Start with a good budget plan, and don’t forget to think about the total cost of a vacation home, as it’s much more than just another mortgage.

You’ll also need to plan for emergencies and upkeep, especially if the home is far away from where you live year-round. You might decide to hire a caretaker who can come in and make small repairs or take over maintenance issues when you can’t be there. If the house is in a very touristy area, home security is also something to think about.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to buy a vacation home that’s right for your needs.

Location Is Everything

The location of your vacation home will make a huge difference in how much you’re going to pay as well as how successful you’ll be at renting it out should you decide to do so. Costs will vary greatly depending on what part of the country you’re looking at. Do some research online to look at homes in your desired area and get a feel for average price and amenities.

Think About Total Cost

Vacation homes can be great investments, but it’s important to remember that the cost that comes along with them is more than just another mortgage payment; you’ll also have another set of taxes to pay, insurance, and the cost of filling another home with furniture, decor, and necessities like dishes and bath towels. If the home has a pool or hot tub, there will be costs associated with maintaining those as well. Think about the details before making any decisions.

Rent It Out?

Renting is a great way to help with the mortgage payment, but there are factors to consider, such as changing your insurance policy to one that covers tenants, providing amenities, cleaning and maintenance, and security. The location of the home is a major factor in whether it will be a successful rental, as well as the rental price point you set; if the house is in the mountains, many renters are happy to be secluded, but a place in Florida might need to be near the ocean in order to garner a nice rental fee.

Maintenance

How will you maintain your vacation home? Many owners only use it once or twice per year, meaning it will sit empty for several months, and this can leave it vulnerable to thieves and the elements. Hiring someone to care for the home is one of the best options since it means you won’t have to do the work yourself when you arrive, and you’ll have someone there who can show up in case of an emergency (such as a hurricane or fire).

Buying a vacation home is a major decision, as well as a major investment, and it requires quite a bit of thought and planning. Give yourself plenty of time to think about your needs and to plan out a budget so you can get through the buying process as stress-free as possible, and do some research online before making any decisions.

Guest blog post written by Jim McKinley from MoneyWithJim.org

 

 

posted by Eric Rothman

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