Buying a First Vacation Home

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 31 October 2017 14:10

With the recent downturn in the housing market, many Americans have forgone their dream of owning a vacation home. But, now is the best time to consider buying a vacation home since property values have been steadily increasing lately, making them a sound investment. However, before you decide to buy a vacation property, there are a few things to consider. Here are a few tips for people wanting to buy their first vacation home.

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Choose the Right Location

Like any sector in real estate, location is everything. And when choosing a location, you have to know exactly why you want to buy the vacation home in the first place. For instance, if you’re looking for a getaway with your family, then choosing a home that is far from your main house shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you intend to use the house as a second home, then the house has to be easily accessible. And, if you have a family, the location has to offer activities for people of all ages.  Having to jump on a train every time you want to get to your vacation home might seem fun to you, but the elderly and young children might think otherwise.

If you intend to rent the property, then you have to consider high seasons as well. You want to choose a location with a long high season. You don’t want to be limited to a few months of rental demand every year. The Carolina’s, for instance, offers great weather for most of the year and properties in the region are nowhere near as expensive as obvious destinations like the Florida Keys. A good idea would be to check with a realtor like Carolina Designs Realty and look at different properties in the area.

Rent before you Buy

Before you go all in and buy a property, it would be wise to rent a vacation property in the area first to see if you enjoy it. You shouldn’t go over two weeks at a time if you don’t want to end up getting bored. You should also try to book at different times of the year to get a sense of both the high and low season. For instance, the location that you might have your eye on might be too busy for your taste in the high season if you’re trying to find a getaway spot. Or, you might think that the area you’re going for is just too quiet for your taste. Either way, testing the location before you purchase will allow you to make a better assessment of what the location has to offer.

Have a Realistic Estimate of Rental Income

If you intend to rent out the property, as many vacation homeowners do, you have to have realistic expectations concerning rental income. Many people overestimate how many months they’ll be able to rent the property, but the reality is that you can’t really expect to be able to rent it every month. Try to speak with a vacation rental agency to get a sense of how much you can expect to earn from renting the property during the high and low season.


A vacation home can be a great investment and can greatly improve your quality of life, so long as you avoid certain caveats. If you manage to follow the tips in this article, you should be able to find your dream vacation home in no time.

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