Traveling is a simple pleasure in life that can build many memories. But, traveling can have it’s challenges. Buying a vacation home is sometimes the best of both worlds. Here I share with you 5 tips for buying a vacation home.
Planning out all your vacations, packing, getting to and from, it’s all sometimes the worst part about travel. Just imagine getting in a car, or hopping on an airplane and arriving at a fully stocked vacation home. No need to bring all your stuff, as it’s already in your own vacation home. A home away from home.
Types of Vacation Homes
There are many types of vacation homes and the one that’s right for you might not be for someone else. Choosing what kind of vacation you like is key. Are you a beach or water lover, or maybe you like mountains and woods. Is adventure your thing, or do you prefer quiet places. Looking for a full size house, a condo, or just a piece of land to park an RV or travel trailer. Many 55 and over parks have nice park models for sale and offer many amenities for those living there. The choices are endless.
If you live in the USA, maybe finding a vacation home far away on an island or even in another country is what you want. Be a part time vacation traveler, or a season vacation traveler. So many options when it comes to a vacation home.
The buying of a vacation home can be a very exciting, and stressful time in your life.
These 5 tips for buying a vacation home will help you greatly.
Find Your Perfect Location
As mentioned above, there are many types of vacation homes out there. A vacation home is one that should hit all the sweet spots for you. Sweet spots means having all the amenities you like. A beach, or lake, or ocean, or mountains. Do you want close to a town, in a town, totally in the middle of nothing?
Reflect back on past vacations and think about where you had the most fun, or most relaxing time. Decide if places you have traveled might be good for a long time vacation home. Did you meet people along your travels you know you’d like to hangout with. Were there attractions or things you like to do that were in certain areas, so you are not bored.
Because you will be buying a vacation home, you want to make sure it’s the perfect spot for you and your family. Is getting there going to pose a problem or will it be easy to get to and from. The more things you know you like of a location the better.
Adding a vacation home, or second home is a huge step. Making sure you are financially prepared for this is very important. Traveling is one of those things many do, but if money gets tight plans can be cancelled. When you own a vacation home, it’s another monthly commitment so you want to be sure you can swing it. You also don’t want to be strapped because then you can’t afford to actually go there and spend time.
Cutting costs on things in your life might be what it takes to be able to afford a vacation home. Stop eating out as much, cut the cable bill (who needs TV when you travel), cut back on shopping for things you don’t need. Find ways to make side money to help fun the vacation home. Maybe start a blog, or become a virtual assistant to help earn some extra income.
If you are already at a place in your life you don’t need to earn extra money for your vacation home then you just need to figure out how much you can spend.
Watch the Housing Market
Being in touch with what the housing market is doing is a huge thing to think about. You don’t want to buy when rates are super high, or houses prices are high. Again, keeping in touch with a realtor here will help, as well as your financial institution. Buying when prices are high can lead to a loss later if you ever need to sell, or decide what you bought is no longer working for you.
The housing market and the finance rates change very quickly, so keep a notebook with dates and what your finding are every week. Keep in close contact with the financial institution and realtor. Everyone working together and being on the same page is very helpful and means a successful purchase.
Financing the Vacation Home
The best way to finance a vacation home is by using as much cash as possible or your savings. However for many that isn’t possible so figuring out where you can get a loan or how is next.
Before calling your financial institution, check out sites that have mortgage calculators so you can play with some numbers. Figuring out approximately what you can spend a month helps before you call to find out about loans. Knowing this will help your financial officer find the best loan, rate, terms, etc., for what you need. Then once you have a dollar amount you know you can spend on a vacation home, it’s time to hunt for the home.
Choosing the Perfect Vacation Home
Now that you know what you can spend, it’s time for the fun part! Searching out and choosing the perfect vacation home.
Are you wanting a home for just 2, or do you have a big family that will always be with. Hooking up with a realtor is very helpful as they have all the in’s and out’s on what’s available, how long things have been listed, and what the areas where the home is located are like. Even if you call your local realtor, they might have some insight or be able to point you in the right direction.
Another thing to consider is if you want to use your vacation home to earn money for you, or even just pay for itself. Buying a vacation home that can be used as an AirBnB or VRBO will help on both those fronts. Why not let others use it when you aren’t there, and reap the benefits of the income.
Buying and owning a vacation home has many good points, as well as not so good points. Owning a vacation home is not for everyone. If you like to explore and do something different every time you travel, then a vacation home isn’t for you, right now. Maybe some day things will change.
If you have found that one place you absolutely love, and dream about being there all the time, then this is perfect for you. My husband and I are on the hunt, but not ready to pull the trigger yet. We do love our travels, but also know that soon we would like one place to go to whenever we want, that is ours.