Real Estate Investment 101: Getting Started

5 Things To Consider Before Buying Your First Vacation Home

Buying a vacation home is exciting, but there are several things to consider before you make an offer on a home you like. 

Consider how often you will reasonably stay in the home.

Buying a vacation home is a bit of a milestone for a lot of adults. Once you get to the point where you can afford a vacation home, it is easy to get excited and buy more home than you need. Consider how often you will stay in the home, how much you have to spend, and how much maintenance the home will require.  

Give the idea of rental income a logical look. 

Yes, you can often rent out a vacation home when it is not in use by the week or month, and you can make an attractive income doing so. However, renting a vacation home is a lot more difficult than some buyers assume. You will have to properly vet renters, work to collect payments, and potentially get additional homeowner's insurance. 

Make sure you can have someone who can visit the house when you can't. 

There will be times when you are not close to your vacation home, and you will need someone to stop in and check things out. If your vacation home is several states away from where you live, it is best if you have a local acquaintance you can trust or a maintenance company you can rely on when you need someone to check things out and you're not around. 

Plan a budget for security for the vacation home. 

A vacant vacation home without a good security system is an open invitation to thieves and vandals. If the home you buy does not already have a security system in place, this is something that will be a necessity for you to buy. Therefore, it is best to assume this investment cost along with the price of the home when you are looking at prices. 

Remember to plan for rental income taxes. 

Even though you can generate a good rental income from a vacation home when you are not staying there yourself, you do have to keep in mind that you will have to pay taxes on rental income at the end of the year. Many buyers pick up a vacation home to use when they need it and then rent it out when they don't, but then are surprised just how much they owe in taxes when they file.

If you're interested in vacation homes, start looking today.