I own a vacation house for years now and as I’m pretty familiar with the ins and outs of it, I feel confident enough to advise you about vacation homes.
I know it sounds like all ritz and glamour, but there are some tricks you need to know about before buying a vacation home.
#1. Plan a Budget and Know What You Can Afford
Having a splendorous lake house in South Carolina or a lovely vacation house within an easy walking distance from the ocean seems really nice. Heading there after an exhausting Friday afternoon and spending the weekend sitting by the window with a cup of coffee and a book and enjoying the lush view is one of the best experiences of life.
However, no matter how glamourous it sounds like, it is not prudent to jump in such expensive investment blindly.
Unless you are wealthy enough like Marc Zuckerberg, you need to consider your budget and review your finances before even thinking of owning a vacation home.
Remember, this is a costly long-term investment that does involve not only the cost of buying a vacation house, but also the following costs:
- Property taxes
- Maintenance Costs
- Some seasonal items you would need like snow skis, kayaks, jet skis, boats or any other equipment.
Once you are familiar with the total costs, you will be more careful in your choice and not running around properties with price tags that go above and beyond your reach.
#2. Know Where You Want to Relax
Owning a vacation home means having the freedom and the feeling of being away from your residential house and your daily tiring routine life.
If you plan to spend every weekend there, you need to think of the type of place where you’d be closer to that Zen-like state of mind.
See, the main goal of a true vacation home is to give you a break you deserve and to refresh and relax your mind. However, different vacation homes embody different aspects of relaxation and adventure, including a mix of style and varied indoor and outdoor living spaces.
Let me offer you some help:
What exactly are you expecting to find in your vacation home?
Is peace the top priority for you or are you open to a friendly neighborhood?
Do you want to be in the midst of a busy downtown, packed with restaurants and nightlife? Or, you want to drown in a mountain cabin away from the hustle?
Are you looking for a place near the beach? Or, are you opting for a change of scenery?
Is proximity to urgent medical services important to you?
#3. Spend Time There First
This step is really, really important.
As you’ll be spending a lot of time in the vacation house, you cannot simply buy it before visiting the place a few times.
You are hoping for a place that will be to relieve your stress and help you enjoy the break from the constant craziness of your daily life. So, logically speaking, you have to know the place and love it before making the final commitment.
You cannot get married when you don’t know one thing about your future would-be (that’s why I’ve always hated arranged marriages).
#4. Plan Your Relaxation Times
It might sound a bit silly, but the number of people who actually bought a vacation home only leave it pending for years will shock you.
Again, your original intention may be to relax more and enjoy all of your weekends, but as things don’t always go the way we want, planning the calendar year when you’ll take the most advantage of your new vacation home is a good idea.
For instance, maybe out of 4 weekends, you’d take two to be away from home.
#5. Who Is Going to Watch When You Are Away?
To be honest with you, that’s one question most people often forget to ask.
Which is a terrible mistake.
If you plan to be away most of the weekends, you’d need to hire a house-sitter or maybe ask your friends and close family members to take care of your house in your absence.
How about sharing with us what kind of vacation home you’d love?