If you are thinking about purchasing a vacation home, cabin, lake house, city condo, or other vacation property, let me help you do your due diligence.
There is a lot to consider when owning a second home. You want to enjoy the property, not be burdened by it.
The first thing to consider is what your goals are for the property. Will it be strictly a retreat for your family and friends? Do you want to earn rental income when you are not using it? If you are entering the rental market, find out what months are the high and low season for visitors. Will this conflict with your personal use of the property?
The size of the property is another consideration if you want to rent it out. You may need three bedrooms for your family to be comfortable in your vacation home, but the rental market may be much higher for two-bedroom properties. You need to weigh what is more important to you.
When figuring your budget, you need to know what resort fees or taxes you will be required to charge visitors, liability insurance policies you may need, costs for regular repairs and maintenance, and refurbishing household items that disappear or wear out often.
Make sure you know the area laws or neighborhood rules on renting your property. Some neighborhoods do not allow short-term rentals of less than a month, others don’t allow less than a week. Some restrict the time of year, the number of people, or whether pets are allowed.
If you will want to rent your vacation property, make sure you get a referral to a reliable property manager, handyman, and cleaning service that can assist you in between guests.
As you shop for condos or townhome properties, find out what HOA or deed restrictions are in place. Are there assessments charged for major improvements? These can be things such as a roof replacement, storm damage, or structural repairs? When is the last time that happened?
Is there planned construction or development in the area? You don’t want to fall in love with the view off the porch of your cabin, only to find out a new complex is planned to be built below you.
Consider the ease of getting there. If you can load up the family & necessities and get to your vacation home with relative ease, you will be far more likely to use it. Having everyone arrive relaxed and energized, makes for a perfect vacation spot. The ability to store recreational gear and some basic provisions, so you can pack a few clothes and perishable goods, is helpful.
Make sure everyone is all in. Nothing spoils a good time faster than having to force the idea on your children or spouse. If everyone is complaining about having to go rather than looking forward to the next trip, you have a problem. There are different philosophies on family vacations. Some families like to explore new places all the time. For them, a vacation home may not make sense. If your family revisits the same beloved place year after year, creating memories there, then a vacation home may be perfect for you.
When looking into a vacation home, I would love to help you locate that perfect property. If outside of my range, I would be happy to refer you to a trusted real estate professional in that area.
Question? contact Crystal Kateryniuk with any questions here!
Looking for information on WHY to use a Real Estate Professional when buying your next vacation home? Check out my previous blog in regards to this here!
Need to sell your previous vacation home first? Read WHY to use a Real Estate Professional to sell here.
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