6 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Vacation Home

Buying a vacation home is a bucket list item for many people. They dream of idle weekends spent at their own cottage by the lake, cabin in the woods, or chalet by the slopes. There are many points to consider before you begin your hunt for the perfect vacation home, however.

1. Distance: How far are you willing to go on a Friday night? While some people do not mind flying to another state to use their vacation home once or twice a year, others want to be able to use it every weekend. Having a vacation home within driving distance is a must. Be realistic about how far you are willing to go. 

2. Rental: If you have plans to offset the monthly payments on your dream vacation home with short-term rentals, make sure that is even a possibility. Many home owner's associations (HOA) and municipalities prohibit short-term rentals in their community. Know the ins and outs of the laws in your area before counting on that rental income. Talk to your real estate professional for details. 

3. Guest Bedrooms: While the tiny house trend is increasing in popularity, you may want more than a one-bedroom or studio. Once friends and family find out you bought a vacation home, they will want to come for a visit. You will need additional bedrooms to accommodate overnight guests. 

4. Activities: Discuss with your partner and family what activities you want in a vacation home and make a list. If cooking is out and you want to eat meals out, make sure your remote cabin is within driving distance of restaurants. If swimming is a key goal, you probably want to buy on the lake instead of down the street from the water. 

5. Budget: The hardest conversation to have is budget. You need to sit down and crunch the numbers. You need to consider not only the main cost of your mortgage (PITI—principal, interest, taxes, and insurance), but you also need to think about other, auxiliary costs. You will be paying for utilities on two homes, snow removal and lawn care at two homes, and maintenance at two homes for things like a new roof. 

6. Condition: Some buyers want the house in great condition while others want a fixer-upper. Be realistic about how much time you are willing to commit to a house that needs work. In some cases, it may be the only thing you can afford to get the vacation home in the area you want. 

Buying a vacation home is an exciting step and one where all points are thoroughly considered before making a purchase. Contact services like Summit Real Estate to learn more.