5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Vacation Home
If you’re on the fence about purchasing a vacation or summer home for you and your family, there are a few things to consider before you start looking at properties and scheduling appointments with realtors. Owning a vacation home sounds lavish, and it definitely can be, but if you’re already a property owner, you know the process of purchasing a home isn’t always a glamorous one.
The home buying process will essentially be the same, but you’re going to be coming back into it from a different perspective. With your family growing and your needs forever increasing, there’s a whole new set of questions that would be in your best interest to find some answers to.
Here are a few questions you should consider before you before the purchasing process.
1. How far am I willing to travel?
One of the first questions you should be asking yourself is where this vacation home is going to be and what lengths are you willing to travel to get there. The cabin in the wooded Mountains of Colorado sounds idyllic, but what about the 2 connecting flights and the 3-hour drive on an unpaved road? You want this home to be a place you can escape to. You shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get there.
2. Will I grow tired of the scenery?
When thinking of your vacation home, you probably have some great landscapes in mind. That’s probably the whole reason for you wanting to get away from the city or suburbs: a change of scenery. When it comes time to think about where you want to start looking at property, pay mind to what’s beyond the windows and fence. Ask yourself if this is a view you’re always going to be in love with. It may sound silly at first, but you are also going to be paying for the views around you. Sometimes it’s even included in the listing price. You want to make certain the landscapes are going to continually impress you.
3. How Much Time Have I Spent There?
This may seem pretty basic, but before you start this process, you need be sure you absolutely adore and cannot get enough of that lake town, country ranch or ski village condo. Perhaps you’ve been there on vacation a few times before and you love the town, the people and surrounding area. If you haven’t visited often or even once, take time to plan some trips to get to know the local area. You’re going to be spending quite a bit of time there with your family and friends. Don’t consider buying a vacation until you have had time to properly investigate. The last thing you want to find out is that your vacation home isn’t accessible during certain times of the year.
4. Who is going to watch Over it while I’m away?
There’s an extra expense that comes along with owning a vacation home that you’re probably not familiar with. That expense is management fees. Find a local property manager to keep an eye on your property and help maintain it while you’re away. Even if you are considering on having renters during the offseason or while you’re away you should still look into having a property manager on call and close by. It’s going to be an added cost, yes, but not as much as the damage from a ruptured pipe left unattended or a storm that ripped through the area and caused damage to your home that you may not notice until your next vacation.
5. Am I going to utilize a rental income?
It would be unwise to purchase a vacation home and not think about the rental possibilities. If you play your cards right, the majority of your costs can be offset by allowing renters to stay while you’re away. If you’re thinking about an investment opportunity, the rental income may allow you to build equity and eventually pay off the property. Don’t be afraid to ask local agents and vacation rental companies for prices. You can also look online to see what’s being rented nearby and for how much. Researching and looking into occupancy rates and how often people are renting is another item you can ask local realtors or businesses about as well.