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3 Things You Should Do Before Buying A Vacation Home

Many people look for vacation homes, and many will jump into a purchase without doing much by way of research. There's nothing wrong with having a vacation home, but you also don't want to regret your decision later on. To that end, here are a few things you should do before buying a vacation home.

1. Know What You Want and Plan for Usage

If you're buying, as opposed to renting, then it's extremely important you know what you want and why you want it. For example, if you're looking for a place you will stay at for one season out of the year, then you'll need to have a plan in place for the off-season months.

It's best to choose a vacation home you plan to make frequent use of. Without that frequent use, it's hard to justify paying a mortgage and upkeep for a place you rarely see. You can rent it out when you're not using it, or let others live there and maintain it between your visits.

Don't start the process of purchasing a vacation home without spending some time thinking about what comes with such a purchase. Come up with a plan for how you would like to use this additional piece of property. You'll want a plan that increases your enjoyment of it, and lowers your costs concerning it.

2. Make Sure You Thoroughly Research the Home and Surrounding Area

When people purchase their main home, they typically spend a great deal of time researching the home, the neighborhood, and the town. You should do no less with your vacation home.

No matter how ideal the vacation home seems, you should want to have an idea of who your neighbors are, and how things work in that location. You can run into issues that have nothing to do with the home and everything to do with how things work in that area.

For example, you may want a vacation home you can throw lavish parties in. What happens when you find out after the purchase the law doesn't allow such things in that particular location? You'll also want to know how close or far you are from important institutions such as hospitals.

3. Visit the Location and Look Around

You should definitely take a trip to the location and have a look around. If possible, you should book a hotel room and stay for a day or two to get a really good understanding of the area. This helps you in a number of ways.

Taking the trip itself will help you figure out how long it will take and the best ways to get there. After all, you will find yourself taking trips there somewhat regularly.

Staying for more than a day will help you gain a better understanding of the area and the people in it. You can do all the research you want, but there's no substitute for a physical visit.

Of course, all of these things assume you already have everything else in order for your vacation rental.

  • Is your financing in order?
  • Did you look into how insurance will work?
  • Did you examine how a second home will affect your taxes?

Make sure you familiarize yourself with all the financial and administrative concerns that come with looking to buy vacation homes first.