Making the leap and purchasing a vacation home is an exciting experience. It means you can visit your favorite travel destination without paying for impersonal hotels or booking accommodation months in advance. But before you settle on your dream home, make sure that it meets the needs of your family and fits your budget.
Avoid Common Mistakes
People who purchase a vacation home on a whim are likely to make a few mistakes. According to MarketWatch, people often put too much money into a down payment and become cash poor as a result. Sit down with a financial advisor before making your purchase. Also, many people regret buying vacation homes that are too far from friends and family. You may want to stay close to the social community that you enjoy spending time around. For example, consider a home a few hours away instead of across the country. Don’t get a place that requires a car as your only means of transportation. You and your partner may not be able to drive forever, so make sure you’re within walking distance from entertainment, stores, and public transportation.
Research Your Location Carefully
Be careful when buying a home outside of the country. Different countries, such as Mexico, have unclear rules about land ownership. Also, make sure you find out about the risks of living in your desired country before purchasing a property there.
Once you know where you want to live, research homes in the area. Find out what kind of services and transportation are nearby. If you can, rent a place in your location of interest. This will help you determine if the neighborhood is friendly and if your house’s location is convenient. Try to stay in the area during different seasons so you know what it’s like year-round.
Stay Within Your Budget
This may go without saying, but make sure your finances are in order before purchasing a second home. Mansion Global stresses that a vacation home is not an investment. Don’t buy a home just for the rental income or with the intention of selling it in the future. You should already have the extra finances to support a vacation home before making the purchase. Research the homes in your desired area and see if they’re within your budget. Instead of stretching your money for your dream location, see if you can find cheaper areas with similar appeal.
Is it Worth Buying Smaller?
In some cases, particularly if you’re having trouble finding something your price point, it might be worth looking at a smaller property and then adding on the features you want. For example, you don’t have to let a lack of garage or carport space be a deal-breaker. If that’s all a home is missing, you can always add a steel outbuilding for very little cost. Plus, a prefab metal building is highly durable, easily constructed and energy-efficient. If it’s an actual room you want added on to the house, get pricing for an addition by talking to multiple contractors. There really are numerous solutions you can look to if extra space is all you need.
Reduce Your Insurance Costs
Don’t forget to factor insurance costs into your vacation home budget. Luckily, you can take a few steps to keep your insurance premiums to a minimum. Install a central alarm system that can detect fires and break-ins. You can save even more on insurance by obtaining proof that fire departments have easy access to a water source, such as a nearby stream. Purchasing a home in a gated community can get you a discount from some insurance companies as well. Finally, avoid buying a home with a pool if you want to avoid insurance headaches. You may have to follow strict pool safety guidelines before your insurance coverage is effective.
Find Someone to Maintain Your Property
Since you’ll be away from your vacation home for long periods of time, you’ll need to find someone to look after it. At the very least, get someone to check if your house needs any emergency maintenance to prevent extensive damage. Property managers offer services such as checking plumbing or appliances and having them repaired, replacing air filters, winterizing, and taking care of rental guests. If you want something cheaper, talk to local caretakers in your area who can tend to your gardens, mow the lawn, and keep your house dusted.
A vacation home will give your family an inviting place to spend time together. It’s a place where you can kick your feet up, relax, and bask in the glory of your golden years. Host fun family reunions or use it as a peaceful haven away from the bustle of city life. Perhaps one day you’ll even move in full-time!