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Thinking through a vacation home purchase

Thinking through a vacation home purchase

 
May 19, 2011
 
A vacation home can be a great opportunity for families to have a place they can escape their usual residence during the less pleasurable times of year and spend time in a more relaxing atmosphere.
 
But, just like buying any other home, there are many factors to consider when looking at purchasing a vacation home.
 
Choosing the right location
 
Like with any real estate purchase, the right location is critical for a vacation home, as choosing too popular or secluded a location can create issues.
 
The Wall Street Journal says purchasing a second home in a very popular vacation spot may seem like an easy choice. However, people looking to buy a home in a vacation hot spot such as the Hamptons on Long Island may also want to consider the regular weekend traffic jams which generally occur there during the summer.
 
By the same token, buyers may want to avoid a property too far away. The Wall Street Journal suggests if air travel is needed, buyers should choose a location relatively close to the airport. Otherwise, owners may feel like getting to the property is a chore, and use it less frequently.
 
Examining rental possibilities
 
Since a second home is rarely used year-round, Forbes says home buyers should examine the potential for renting the property out for part of the year. While it likely won't be enough to pay for the property completely, it can serve as useful supplementary income.
 
However, choosing to open the property up to renters may also cause issues for owners, Forbes magazine says. Since the times of year when they can demand the highest rates - summer and winter vacations - are likely also the times of year when they may want to use the property themselves.
 
Considering future family needs
 
Those looking to buy a second home should also try to consider what needs their family may have in the future, instead of focusing on the present, the Wall Street Journal says.
 
Many parents, once all of their children have grown up and moved out, may want to downsize to a smaller home, such as a condominium, located in a warmer climate. However, while it may have plenty of space for one couple, a condominium could become significantly more cramped if grandchildren visit a few years down the road.
 

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