Considerations when Looking to Buy a Vacation Home: Location, Location, Location

The second home/vacation home market has more ebbs and flows than the primary home market. Sales are iffy in a bad economy except, perhaps, on the high-end. That said, there is a growing trend toward the purchase of vacation homes. They are being bought for investment purposes, enjoyment, as well as retirement. In the latter instance, some people are buying with the idea of turning a vacation home into a permanent retirement residence down the road, a move that puts them ahead of the game now.

Before taking the leap of purchasing a second home, we will look at buying and owning a vacation home from a few different viewpoints in this 3 part series. The first—and most fun—consideration is location.

Where do you want to buy? Have you spent time there in the past and during all the seasons? 

It's important to know the area and the real estate market where you want to purchase your vacation home. Working with a local Realtor can help avoid the wrong purchase. Make certain it's where you want to spend a lot of time. Owning the home you won't have the flexibility of changing the destination if you grow tired of the local scenery.

How easy is it for you to get to your vacation home? 

When considering where you want to buy, you will also want to consider how easy it will be to get there. Many people dream of a tropical beach house, mountain ski chalet, or remote lake home in the woods, yet the more accessible, the more you will use it. If it's only two hours away you will use it much more if it takes two flights, a rental car and a 3-hour drive to get there.

Who will be watching the property while you are away? Will you hire a property manager? 

If you hire a property manager ensure you can handle that expense. Regardless, there will need to be someone locally to keep an eye on the property in case of frozen pipes, a leaky roof, storm damage, etc. Any one of those things left unnoticed for a period of time can cause much more damage and cost more to repair.

Do your homework, contact mortgage brokers and Realtors as they can be your most valuable resource. Your local Coldwell Banker Hubbell BriarWood agent can also help with any out-of-the-area needs!