No matter how popular or private; no matter how secluded or out in the open; when you discover your favorite vacation destination, it becomes “yours”.  It’s an escape away from the ordinary to a place where you have your beloved hotel or resort, favorite restaurant, and you know the roads like the back of your hand.  While you may know the concierge, chef, and gas station attendants by name, at some point you may want to put down some roots in your home away from home. 

Just like any real estate purchase there is a lot of due diligence to be done, this is especially true when purchasing a vacation home.  Here are a few things to do, and a few to not do, when you decide to buy a vacation home.

Do Understand the Total Cost of Ownership

While your long term goal is to have a place of your own at your favorite retreat; a vacation home can also be a smart financial decision when you add up the expense of hotels, restaurants, etc.  However, it will only make financial sense if you understand the total cost of homeownership.  Just like with your primary residence there will be taxes, insurance, maintenance costs and more.  All of these costs along with recurring charges like utilities need to be included in your budget.

Don’t Overestimate Travel

Getting there isn’t always half the fun.  If you have a car ride of a few hours that can be very manageable.  However if getting to your new home requires a plane ride or difficult terrain, that could be an issue.  Remember, you’ll have additional responsibilities that may require unscheduled or inconvenient visits to your new property.

Don’t Forget About Safety

This is especially true when your home is new and you’re getting to know the community, as well as it is when you are away.  Having a security system installed is essential and should be added into your budget.  Wi-Fi cameras and surveillance are also a great way to stay connected with your property.  It’s also a good idea to find someone that you can trust to check on things and keep you up to date while you are away.

Do Hire a REALTOR®

Just as if you were shopping for a primary residence, a REALTOR® is an invaluable resource as you search for your vacation home.  REALTORS® offer local expertise and experience along with access to information and locations.  Entrusting your vacation home shopping experience to a skilled REALTOR® is a must.