From stocks and bonds to mutual funds and retirement accounts, you have many choices when it comes to investing your money. With that in mind, some investments are more fun than others; for example, a vacation home could be the best investment of all.
If you are looking for an investment that pays dividends for both money and fun, it may be time to buy a vacation home. However, before you start shopping, you need to know what you want out of your vacation property, and how much you can realistically afford.
Consider All the Costs
It is important to consider all the costs of owning a vacation home, and those expenses go far beyond the monthly mortgage payment. While the mortgage is important, it will not be your only cost.
You will also have to pay for regular upkeep, even when you are not there enjoying a family vacation. In addition to upkeep, the property taxes may be higher for non-residents, so check out the rates before you make your offer.
Vacation homeowners must also pay for insurance, including flood insurance in many of the most popular markets. The cost of flood insurance has skyrocketed post-Sandy, so do your homework to understand the true price of owning a home in a vacation paradise.
Those are not the only expenses you will face when purchasing a vacation home. Owners of vacation properties will also be on the hook for regular utilities; including water, gas, and electricity. You are already paying those costs on your primary residence, and owning a vacation home could cause those expenses to nearly double.
If the vacation home you purchase is part of a resort, you may also be responsible for association fees, as well as trash removal and landscaping costs. Keep in mind you will need to watch over the property when you are not using it since vacant homes can be a popular target for crime. That means paying for an alarm system and monitoring and/or hiring someone to watch over the property while you are away.
What About the Sellers?
For every buyer, there is a seller, and you will need to research the individuals on the other side of the transaction. How long have the sellers owned the property, and why do they want to sell? Are they simply tired of owning and paying for a second home, or is there something about the property itself that makes it unattractive?
Doing your homework is an essential part of any real estate transaction, but it is even more important when choosing a vacation home. You have many choices when buying a second home, and you want to choose a property that fits your family and your lifestyle.
How Will You Use Your Vacation Home?
Speaking of lifestyle, it is important to ask yourself how you plan to use the vacation property. Do you plan to use it a few weeks a year for family vacations, or do you hope to make money by listing the home on Airbnb and other popular vacation rental sites?
If you plan to list the home on Airbnb, you will want to research local restrictions that could limit your options and your income. If you plan to use the home for your own family vacations, you will need to consider its location, amenities, and the attractions of the local area.
Consider Your Options
You have many options when buying a vacation home, and it is important to consider all the implications. If you are looking for a fun vacation property, you may find that home sharing or another arrangement is preferable to buying an entire home.
If you do decide that a vacation home is right for you, think about what size home you need, including the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Do you prefer a traditional home, a condo, a cottage, a cabin or a manufactured home? Answering these questions now can help you make a smart decision, so you can get the vacation home of your dreams and never live to regret your decision. Call your agent at Urbanista Daytona Beach for more assistance before buying.