8 Important Things To Know Before Acquiring a Vacation Home

Purchasing a holiday residence is an exciting prospect, but it’s essential to keep in mind the various aspects involved before committing. 

With careful consideration and proper planning, you could live out your dream of owning a vacation home.

“A second home has countless life-enriching benefits, as it specifically gives you that place to spend time with friends and family and create memories which I find to be super important to set aside time for,” Austin Allison, co-founder and CEO of Pacaso, said. 

“There’s something relaxing and special about revisiting your favorite hiking trail or your favorite coffee shop and having those moments of peace and reconnection that people value more now than ever before.”

Purchasing a vacation home requires careful thought and planning. Here are some things to think about before you embark on your journey of owning that dream getaway.

  • Consider the potential benefits and downsides. 
  • Be ready to take responsibility. 
  • Evaluate your lifestyle. 
  • Milestone for your financial condition. 
  • Know the right location. 
  • Collaborate with agents familiar with purchasing vacation homes. 
  • Explore a variety of rental options.
  • Weigh on the perfect timing. 

Consider the Potential Benefits and Downsides.

Before taking the plunge and purchasing a vacation home, it’s essential to weigh all of your options. Evaluating the pros and cons can help you make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

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Be Ready to Take Responsibility.

“While there are many tempting reasons to buy an investment property, it’s clear that sole ownership of a second home comes with steep downsides, including a heavy financial responsibility and time commitment,” Allison stated. 

Allison cautions potential second-home buyers to remember that owning a home away from the busy streets of everyday life involves more than just enjoying its perks – you should take costs and inconveniences into consideration as well.

Property ownership comes with specific financial responsibilities – even if you go the route of entrusting a property management company. But be aware: those costs can skyrocket should you choose to rent out your asset.

Evaluate your Lifestyle. 

Have you decided how often you’ll have the chance to escape and relax in your own vacation home? Will it also be an investment opportunity when not hosting family or friends? Who will watch over the property while between visitors’ stays?

“I’d recommend that interested buyers consider their lifestyle and how they plan to use their home, how often and who will take care of it when they’re not there,” Allison said. “There are nearly 10 million second homes in the U.S., and the majority sit empty 10 to 11 months of the year.”

Milestone for your Financial Condition. 

Daned Kirkham, senior director of real estate at Vacasa, a Portland-based vacation rental management expert, advises that those seeking to buy a relaxing getaway should be sure to define their financial objectives from the outset. 

With this foundation in mind, they can more easily achieve extraordinary results.

For vacation rental home buyers, Kirkham recommends utilizing specialized real estate agents to ensure a property meets the buyer’s financial goals. 

These experts can assess competitive set data and provide income projections so that your dream getaway will be smooth financially.

Know the Right Location for your Home.

When searching for their dream second home, location reigns supreme! Pacaso’s 2022 Second Home Attitude Report found that choosy homeowners and aspiring buyers prioritize picking the right spot above all other considerations.

Nothing quite beats the allure of a home on or near water, whether it’s an idyllic beach house, sprawling lakefront property, or charming mountain retreat with picturesque views. 

If you’re in search of that perfect second abode, those are some places to start. 

Collaborate with Agents Familiar with Purchasing Vacation Homes. 

Whether you plan on using your vacation home as a refuge from cold winters or the perfect spot for beach-side getaways, make sure to seek an experienced real estate agent who specializes in buying second homes. They understand all the unique nuances that come with investing in one.

The National Association of Realtors offers an elite program, granting accreditation to those wishing to become Resort and Second-Home Property Specialists. 

Thinking of turning your vacation home into a rental property? An experienced real estate specialist can help you navigate the local laws and get everything in order.

Explore a Variety of Rental Options.

Allison suggests looking into short-term rental options for vacation homes, with the caveat of following any applicable rules or regulations set by either homeowner associations or local governments.

Handling tenancy for properties can take up a lot of energy and time. Still, Allison suggests that some aspects could be delegated to a professional rental management firm – leaving you free to focus on the other important parts.

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Weigh on the Perfect Timing. 

Homeownership has become increasingly desirable and costly due to the market circumstances brought on by COVID-19. 

Rearranging budgets and sacrificing luxuries have been required, as soaring home prices threaten purchasing power in a world where demand greatly exceeds supply.

With worries about the economic future mounting, homeowners have begun to hesitate in taking out mortgages. Consequently, demand has dropped off considerably compared to previous levels.

Before diving into a vacation home purchase, consider consulting an expert on both real estate and financial advice. It’s important to remember that buying property is no small commitment – so weigh the costs carefully before investing in your dream destination.