Buying a second home can be just as stressful, if not more stressful, than buying your primary residence. It is an investment in your family's future quality time together. There are a few things to consider in order to ensure that you are making the best decision for your family, both now and in the future.
1. Location: Where you choose to purchase a vacation home is just as important as how much you spend. Consider what your family likes to do together. If you are the only one that skis, a chalet may not be the best purchase. Likewise, if you are die-hard Disney fans, a cabin in the woods may not work for you long-term.
2. Space: Just because your primary residence has a bedroom for every family member doesn't mean your vacation home has to have the same requirements. In fact, when traveling, everyone makes do with the shared spaces in hotel rooms. A vacation home should be no different. It may even help you to spend more quality time together if everyone can't scatter to private rooms.
3. Distance: How far are you willing to drive or fly for a vacation home? Sit down and think about how you will use the home. If you really only have time for quick, last-minute weekends away, then a second home that is an eight-hour drive away may not work. Whether you want a lake house or river property for easy access kayaking, it needs to be close enough that you will use it regularly.
4. Value: As with any large purchase, buying a second home is an investment. Weigh your options carefully and use a buyer's agent, such as Gilbert Realty, to help you in the decision-making process. The economy is rebounding, but there are still some great deals to be had. In fact, NAR, the National Association of Realtors, states that vacation home purchases are on the rise, with over 700,000 sold last year, an increase of almost 30 percent.
5. Affordability: Like any budget, you need to factor in all the costs of owning a vacation home, not just the mortgage payment. Does it come furnished or unfurnished? What, if any, are the association dues? How much will it cost to have some local look after your vacation home when you are not there and manage lawn care, snow removal, and the like?
Consider the above items carefully and involve all the members of your family. Hopefully, with a little advance planning and a well-thought out purchase, you will have a family vacation spot for generations.
Searching for a home a hundred miles away from where I was previously living was hard. There was no way for us to take a trip up to see every single house that we found online to see first-hand the condition that it was in and how big it truly was. I had to find a real estate agent that I could trust to help us find several houses to make a trip up to see in a single day. I created this blog after going through the buying process and making the move. It is my hope that if you are buying a new home far from your current one, that the tips here will help to make it an easy transaction for you.