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Top 10 Factors to Consider When Choosing Vacation Homes

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Are you in the market for a new vacation home? Having a vacation home has several benefits worth exploring. A vacation home provides you with the ability to escape from everyday life whenever it suits you. There’s no need to call agents to schedule vacations and book rooms. 

You’ll have your own space where you know you can go each time you want to take a vacation. Before you have this ideal place to escape to every so often, you must first select a vacation home. Choosing vacation homes can take a bit of research and planning, but if you take your time and do it right, you’ll have the perfect getaway location to use as you please.

Whether you plan to rent or buy your vacation home, you want to find a place that meets all your vacation needs and more! How can you shift through your different options for vacation homes to find the right one for you? There are a few factors to consider when deciding on a vacation home.

Continue reading below to find out everything you need to know!

1. Location and Distance

If you live in an area where you experience extremely cold winters, then you most likely want to find a vacation home somewhere that doesn’t experience harsh winters. When you’re trying to escape weather conditions surrounding your primary residence, then it makes sense to select a rental far away. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before doing so.

If you purchase a vacation home at a popular vacation destination (warmer areas where northerners like to travel to), then you must take into consideration the number of tourists that’ll be in the same area as you. If you want to vacation somewhere more peaceful, then be sure to choose a location that provides the climate you want without it being in a major tourist area. 

You also want to consider the distance from your primary residence to your vacation home. How long will it take you to get from one to the other? Are you willing to make this trip enough times out of the year to get good use out of your vacation home? 

If you don’t want to travel across the country multiple times a year, then it might be best to consider a location far enough to meet your vacation needs but not too far from home. 

2. Time Spent Learning the Area

Something else you should consider doing before making a final selection is spending time in the area where the home is located. This is especially true for those planning to purchase a vacation home. Purchasing a vacation home is a great investment but it’s also a big decision. 

You should be sure to know the area surrounding the home before buying. Take the time to visit the area on a frequent basis. Get to know the neighborhood and what’s around the home. 

Some things to consider are as follows:

  • safety of the neighborhood
  • transportation options
  • commute times 
  • things to do
  • places to eat

When you stay at your vacation home, what types of amenities do you want available to you? Will you want easy access to lakes and rivers? Do you want everything to be within walking distance from the home? 

Keep these questions in mind when exploring the area. 

3. Vacation Home Features

If you rent or purchase a vacation home that’s a condo, then there will most likely be other similar units to choose from. They’ll most likely all have the same features in the home. When you search for a vacation house, each house will be unique. 

Know what features you’re looking for in a vacation home. For example, will you need access to WiFi? Do you want a home that’s located directly on the beach? 

Would you and your family enjoy an in-home theater? Vacation homes are a lot of fun and can come with many wonderful features. Be sure your vacation home has all the features you’re looking for. 

Don’t forget security features as well to ensure optimal safety and comfort while there.

4. Retirement Possibilities 

If you’re going to purchase a vacation home, then you should consider the future of it as well. Vacation homes can make wonderful retirement homes in the future. With that being said, be sure to choose a vacation home that can suit your vacation needs for now and your retirement needs for later on. 

Will the vacation home be in an ideal location for you after retirement? Can you see yourself living there in your later years? These are some questions you’ll want to know the answers to before making a final selection. 

5. Schedule and Time Spent There

Something else to consider is how much time you’ll be able to spend there. The idea of owning or renting a vacation home might sound great at first, but will it be worth it for you? What’s your current schedule like?

Will you be able to get away from regular life and spend a good amount of time at your vacation home and get your money’s worth? The last thing you want to do is purchase the home and never be able to enjoy it. 

6. Renting Before Buying

Although you have the option to rent, buy, or buy into a timeshare or fractional ownership, it might be a good idea to rent the property first before anything else. Renting before you make a purchase will help you feel more confident about your decision. When you rent, you don’t have to make any large commitments to the property. 

This is your time to learn what you like and dislike about the home. After renting, you might learn that you want to choose a different location for a vacation home you own or you might love it exactly how it is. It’s also a good idea to rent a few different vacation homes and then select the one you like the best.

Some ownership options, such as the Hilton RCI exchange, even allow you to trade in points earned on your current property to be used on a different property. This is a wonderful opportunity to try out other properties. 

7. Patience and Research

When you come across a vacation home that appears to be everything you wanted, don’t rush the process. As much as you might want to jump right into a purchase, take your time. Be patient and do your research. 

What are other vacation homes going for in the neighborhood? Is the home priced fairly? Does it offer all the features you want?

If not, where are you willing to make compromises? Remember, owning a second property is a big decision. Rather than buying a home quickly, take the time to ensure it’s the right decision for you.

8. Required Maintenance and Upgrades

Part of the reason why owning a vacation home is a lot of work is due to the fact that you’ll now have a second home to keep up with. As time passes by, you’ll need to conduct regular maintenance including landscaping (if a house). There will also be upgrades required for you to make as appliances, cabinets, flooring, and other aspects age. 

Do keep this in mind before deciding to buy. You can also consider hiring a property manager or professional landscaper to keep up with all maintenance and upgrades for you. 

9. Availability and Profit from Renting It Out

If you want to purchase your vacation home with the intent of renting it out when you’re not using it, then do be sure it’s allowed. Depending on where the vacation home is rented and what type of vacation home it is, there may be limits on renting it out. Make sure you’re able to do so without issue before selecting a home. 

You can then begin to figure out the cost of owning the home vs the profit of renting it out. Will you be able to make a profit? How can you cover the cost of the vacation home while it’s vacant? 

Prepare for all the above before making the purchase. 

10. Price and Your Budget

The two last things to consider are the price and your budget. You don’t want to buy a second home that’ll cause you more stress than providing you with relaxation. Make sure you’ve sat down with your accountant or bank and determine a budget. 

When it comes time to find the right vacation home, you’ll want to ensure it’s within your budget after considering all the extra costs. You should also do your research and start comparing vacation home prices to determine what’s a fair listing price for the home. Real estate agents are beneficial for this reason.

They have knowledge about the current market and will be able to find you something that marks off all the boxes. 

This Is Choosing Vacation Homes Made Simple

Choosing vacation homes right for you might take a bit of work. There are a few steps you should take before making a final decision. Although it could seem overwhelming at first, with the help of this guide above, we hope the process of finding a vacation home is simplified. 

For more travel topics, visit on a regular basis!

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