Trying to round up the whole family in the midst of a busy year can be difficult, to say the least. Most families opt to invest in a vacation property to escape the distractions and stress of real life, while spending quality time with one other.
Picking the perfect home can be overwhelming – you’ve already picked a house to live in the majority of the year and now you have to do it again? Have no fear! Follow these easy tips and you’ll find the perfect fool-proof vacation home for you and your family in no time.
- Choose the location carefully – OK, this may seem obvious but have you taken into account everything? If the house is to serve as a place for you and your family to get away together, then you don’t want it to be located across the country. A little road trip isn’t a problem but buying plane tickets every other weekend might be. Check out activities around the area and make sure there’s something for every age group. You’ll most likely be renting out the place during weeks/weekends you aren’t there so choose a location that has demand all year long so you aren’t restricted to extra income for only a couple months.
- Stay in the area several times before commitment – Don’t immediately buy the place when you first see it. Even if it looks and seems like perfection, try it out a few times. If the property is available for rent, rent it out a few times. If it isn’t, at least stay in the area. Stay for an extended period of time to make sure the location doesn’t become boring after a few days, and go different times of the year to see if and when the busy season is and what the weather is like.
- Be realistic about the full price – Besides what the asking price is, calculate everything including insurance, property taxes and any other carrying costs. Even during times when no one is staying there, you will still have to pay maintenance charges, such as trash removal, landscaping, gas, electrical and water. This gives you a more realistic price of the property so you can determine whether it is doable and how much you would need to charge renters for their stay.
- Buy under – Having a better idea of what the actual total price will be, reconsider how much you want to spend on the property. This is your second home. It doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles; it doesn’t have to be huge. Determine what your budget is and spend under that. This house should be a fun endeavor. If a year in the finances gets too tight, the house is going to be a stressful endeavor and not a peaceful one. Buy something that is under budget so that you have some wiggle room. You can always upgrade down the line.
- Buying for more than you – While the initial idea of this property was for it to be a place that you and your family can escape to, if it will be a rental property during the times you aren’t there then you will have to take into consideration more than just your tastes. Three bedroom houses have a higher demand than two bedroom houses for instance, so even if you don’t need that much space, you still want interest in the property. See what places in the area have and what renters say are their favorite part. Anything that you want to add that isn’t popular with most people may not be the best thing to invest in.
Remember that the purpose of this property is to spend some peaceful time with the people you love. Don’t let the stress of finding a place get in the way. Sooner or later you will find the perfect vacation home where you can sit back, prop your feet up and enjoy the new view.