One of the best ways to spend a vacation or time traveling with your family is to kick back and relax in a home away from home. For many families, this means purchasing a vacation home that they can use whenever the mood strikes them. But while this all sounds idyllic, the reality of purchasing and owning a vacation home can actually be a lot more complicated. So to help make sure you make the best possible decision here, let’s look at three things you should consider before purchasing a vacation home.
Understand The Total Cost
While you might think that because you won’t be using your vacation home as much as your permanent home that the overall costs will be lower, that is not always the case. Trulia writes on Forbes.com that you have to be prepared to pay all the same costs you have with your primary residence as with your vacation home. This includes taxes, maintenance fees, utilities, insurance and more. So before you pick the perfect spot for you and your family to spend their down time, make sure you can actually afford all that a vacation home means financially.
Investment Vs Personal Property
One great way to offset the costs of a vacation home is to use it as a rental property when you’re not occupying it. However, this can have both pros and cons that you’re going to want to weigh heavily. According to Morris Dye, a contributor to HGTV.com, the rental market and its property values can fluctuate a lot, which could mean that using a vacation home as an investment property may not be a steady revenue stream. This could also mean that you’re sacrificing either time or money when you choose to spend time at your property rather than renting it out. However, if you use the home solely for your own personal use, the only money you’ll make off of it will be if and when you choose to sell the home.
Location, Location, Location
Regardless of whether you’re choosing to use your vacation home as an investment property or you just want a place to slip away to whenever you want, picking the location for your vacation home is going to be one of your top priorities. Not only will the right location make or break your experience there, but according to Jeff Brown, a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, it can also make it harder or easier to turn around and sell the home for a profit. So just like when you were buying your primary residence, make sure you take the time to evaluate the area and the market to find the perfect location to buy in.
If you and your family are wanting to get a vacation home, use the tips mentioned above to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.