If you’re in the midst of hunkering down for a chilly winter, you may find yourself dreaming of warmer locales. If only you had a second home somewhere more climate-friendly to escape to…
If those dreams are getting closer to becoming a reality and a vacation home is on your to-do list, be sure to take these four steps first:
1. Really research locations. Make sure it’s a place you’ve spent lots of time in, and, therefore, want a permanent place there. A warm climate is only one attraction. Also consider ease of access (can you hop in the car, or does getting there require connecting flights?), weather-related concerns, like flooding or severe storms, community amenities and access to the services you’ll need.
2. Get your family’s input. Many envision a vacation home as the place where they’ll gather the whole family for summer break and holidays, but it doesn’t always pan out that way. If you’re investing in a second home that you want your family to frequent, be sure to include them in the conversation. Their idea of the perfect location may not match up to yours.
3. Analyze affordability. If you’re really crunching the numbers to make this happen, make sure you’re not putting yourself in a financially tight spot. Perhaps you’re planning to rent out your second home when you’re not using it. If so, make sure you’re willing and able to take on the responsibilities of being a landlord, and factor in the costs that come with that, as well. If you’re going the Airbnb route, check into regulations and fees associated with the location you’re buying in.
4. Find the right real estate professional. When finding and negotiating the purchase of a property from another location, you’ll need a real estate agent who’s experienced in helping buyers with second or vacation home transactions. Since a lot will most likely be handled remotely, you’ll need an agent who prioritizes communication and is technologically proficient so that they can handle details digitally.