Going on vacation is the best time of the year. Relaxing, not thinking about work and being stress-free is what makes a vacation so appealing. But where will YOU go?

We all have our favorite destination that keeps us coming back whether it’s the nostalgia, unforgettable views, or the best tasting food. Taking that next step and purchasing a vacation home may be something that has crossed your mind numerous times. Not only does the thought of it sound nice but it can also provide a great return on investment, however, it is not something to take lightly. Before taking that next step and purchasing your dream vacation home, here are 4 questions you need to ask yourself.

Where is it? 

There are so many factors that go into choosing the perfect place for a vacation home. It may be where you went every summer as a child or it may be you and your family’s favorite new favorite vacation spot. Wherever it may be, mountain or tropical, it needs to be somewhere you really love. You need to have vacationed there a myriad of times before, so that way you know it is the place that will keep you going back. But HOW do you get there? For some the perfect vacation distance is a few hours in the car, for others, it is a few hours on a plane and then a few hours in a rental car.

Knowing that you can get there quick, and most importantly, knowing that it is an easy and painless trip will also keep you going back to it. Rather than having to plan in advance, like booking travel and rental cars, knowing that you can go there spontaneously when you have a long weekend or some time off is very convenient. Since you will be spending a great amount of time here, it is so important that no matter how many times you go you will not get tired of the scenery.

Are you going to rent it?

There are plenty of vacation homeowners that prefer to not rent out their vacation homes however, there is the opportunity for rental income. Renting out your vacation home allows you to collect rent while you are not occupying the vacation home yourself. This way, while you are away you are able to offset some of the costs which could eventually lead to you having equity in your vacation home. Thus, a renting out a vacation home could be a great long-term investment.

Before deciding if you are going to rent out your vacation home, you are going to need to scope out the area and see what other homes in the area are renting for and how high the demand for renters is and when. This way, you are able to see if renting out your vacation home would be worth it, in the long run, being that there are maintenance costs involved now. Ensuring your vacation home is in prime condition before renters arrive will require more money from your pocket for cleaning services, upkeep, tenant complaints, etc. Knowing that there is that opportunity for rental income is a big plus for vacation homeowners.

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What are the peak vacation times?

You have to remember that this is YOUR vacation home. You are most likely going to want to be there during the peak vacation times, so depending on if you are trying to get as much as you can out of renters you are going to have to be prepared to share that peak vacation time. However, there is always that option of being selfish since this is your vacation home and blocking out the peak vacation times for yourself. The potential for rental income is still there during the offseason and all the other times you do not plan on being at your vacation home.

Keeping the peak vacation times in the back of your mind though allows you to plan ahead for when you want to stay there allowing you to then get the most out of renting out your vacation home. But remember, put yourself first when it comes to staying at your vacation home. You do not want to go down the path of feeling stressed when trying to figure out dates to go when your renters are not, you want your renters to figure out dates based off of when you are not there.

What happens when you are not there?

Knowing that a majority of your time is going to be spent elsewhere, leaving your vacation home often vacant, can be daunting. Having homeowners in the area keep an eye on your home every once and awhile is not reliable or enough. Investing in security cameras is a must when having a vacation home, not just for crime but for liability. Not only is the safety of your home a factor while you are gone, but so is the upkeep of the house.

Leaky pipes, AC problems, even electrical issues are all very common. If you know no one is going to be occupying the house months at a time, investing in a property manager may put your mind at ease while you are away. Instead of going back and forth and doing all of the maintenance yourself, having someone there in case of an emergency will help keep your vacation home in good condition.


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