Vacation Home

5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Vacation Home

Life in the city can be too stifling sometimes – there are plenty of spaces for bustling enjoyment but not much for tranquil relaxation, plus there could be too many people and not much community. You know that it would do you and your family so much good if you could escape from the city when the times call for it, without all the hassle of booking hotel rooms, carrying luggage, and constantly needing to plan out itineraries.

A vacation place in the right location with an engaging community that suits you and your family whims and needs should very well be a house that you are always welcome to come home to. Also, you could opt to rent it out whenever you’re not going to visit. This poses your vacation home as a viable investment. But for now, let’s focus on helping you find the perfect vacation home.

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  1. Visualize and list down how you want your vacation home to be – If you’re living in an apartment in the city with just the right amount of space for you and your family, you may want your vacation home to be bigger, where you and your kids can comfortably lounge in and invite some friends over. You could also be dreaming of having it near the sea so you can often hear the calming sound of the waves. Be clear about what you want in your house; list it down or make sketches if you could. When you know what you want, finding the perfect home will be easier for you and your agent since you can narrow down your options and save time, effort, and money.

  2. Top point to consider: location – you might want to consider its proximity to your main residence. According to an article on CNBC, over 80% of second-home buyers choose a house within driving distance. If that’s the case you choose, you and your family can frequently visit and maintain the house. Also take into account its proximity to places such as police and fire stations, and hospitals. If it would require you to fly out every time just to go there, you might want to reconsider. But really, if you long to be near bodies of water such as beaches or lakes and your home is away from all of that, then by all means, buy your vacation home near such areas. Just make sure to check your local airport so that you’d know if they offer regular flights.

  3. Hire an agent with great knowledge on the area – More than just helping you with the whole buying process, hiring a local agent in the area that you’re choosing to buy would be to your advantage. They’d be giving you vital information for you to consider such as weather and environmental hazard issues, property rental rules and local zoning. They could also give you information on local novelty places to hang out or dine in with your family, and could even acquaint you with the local community.

  4. Consider the long-term family appeal – What are your family’s passions and hobbies? Are they lovers of the great outdoors and are always up for a hike or a surf session? Or do they prefer to stay indoors and play board games? Note that this vacation home is a place you will create memories for years, so let your family have their slice on the decision making.

  5. Choose to be in a community that you and your family can engage in –  According to NAR, 78% of home buyers surveyed that neighborhood quality is more important  than the size of the home. We are social animals, and as said in the previous number, the vacation home will be used for years, and one of the best reasons to utilize it and stay there for long is to have you and your family be part of the local community. You guys could get together for common hobbies (or you might find yourself a new one because of them, too!) and even advocacies. Belonging to a community will surely enrich you and your family’s experience in your vacation home.

Top Investment Tips for Buying Your Dream Vacation Home

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If you're the adventurous type who's always itching to get on a holiday weekend on your favorite beach, or you want to experience living in the countryside more often, chances are you have been thinking how nice it would be to have your own vacation home.

And although owning a vacation home is a decision that shouldn’t be taken too lightly, it can also be profitable (and enjoyable) in the logistical and financial sense. In the 2017 NAR Investment and Vacation Home Buyer’s Survey, more than 80 percent of vacation buyers reported that now is a good time to purchase real estate. For some people, it is a matter of money and responsibility, and the process could be too intimidating. But for some, it might be a matter of experience and recreation, especially for those who are looking to have a retirement place in the future.

Here are our investment tips to help you with your decision:


Determine your intentions for the home

Ask yourself what you plan to do with the house. Aside from enjoying it over the holidays, would you like to rent it out during the off-peak season? You need to consider how you want to use and own your property for financing and tax issues. It's your choice if you want it to be your primary residence, your second home, or even have it as an investment property. According to NAR*, at least 42 percent of vacation home buyers plan to use their property for vacations or as a family retreat, while 18 percent plan to convert their vacation home into their primary residence in the future for retirement.

Meanwhile, 37 percent of investment property buyers purchased the home to generate income through renting the property. You can rent the home and even use it when it's not rented. Tax treatment is less beneficial if you'll use it as an investment, but the extra rental income can help you with the costs.


Greatly consider your vacation home's location

Even if you're lucky enough to have found your "magical place," you still need to take into consideration all the pros and cons in the area. It is best to visit the community many times over — both peak season and offseason — and check out other important factors such as the condition of roads in any time of the year, neighborhood safety, access to nearby shops and public transportation, and others. Spend more than a few weekends there and talk to the locals about any day-to-day hassles they may be encountering.


Calculate all the costs

The purchase price of your vacation home isn't the only thing that needs to be taken care of. You need to factor in all extra costs for running the house — from taxes, insurance, property maintenance, HOA fees, utilities, and all other costs associated with homeownership. You might also want to consider the travel costs to your vacation home. It is also advisable to plan for personal budget items that lenders don’t use in their qualifying calculations, such as furniture and housewares. You’ll also need a budget for special equipment needed for properties near the beach or resort.


Work with a real estate agent who knows the area

Your chosen country town may look great; picturesque even. But you might want to consider the state of roads leading into the area during winter. You will also need advice on local zoning and property rental rules. A local real estate agent who knows the area by heart can help you clarify any issues associated with buying in your chosen location. The agent can also help you envision your dream vacation home in any season, and is a great resource for any information related to the community.


Know the area's proximity and have a plan for emergencies

They say the best vacation homes are easy to get to and have alternate routes to avoid traffic. It is also smart to choose a house that is within driving distance from your primary residence so you'll be able to check on it more often for any necessary repairs and maintenance issues.

*2017 NAR Investment and Vacation Home Buyer’s Survey