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Buying a Vacation Home: A Guide for Retirees

 

Photo via Pixabay by Kirkandmimi

For many retirees, buying a vacation home is a dream come true. It offers a retreat from the stresses of daily life as well as a place to go when you want to spend time with family. More than that, it symbolizes all the hard work you did over the course of your working life and just how far you’ve come. There are so many details to think about when buying a home, however, and it’s important to do some research before making any decisions so you won’t be faced with any nasty surprises down the road.

 

One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is whether to rent out your vacation home when you aren’t using it. Many homeowners do this in order to have extra income to help pay the mortgage and taxes, and while it can be a tremendous help financially, it also means allowing strangers to come onto your property, which opens up the home to potential damage and general wear and tear.

 

This is just one of many considerations you’ll need to make; keep reading to find out more.

 

Factor in All the Costs

 

A vacation home can give you a lovely retreat for years to come, but it’s important to factor in all the costs before making any decisions. Not only will you have the mortgage and taxes to worry about, you’ll have to think about the costs of upkeep and maintenance -- especially if the home is in an area where storms are prevalent or if you’re going to allow renters to come in -- as well as stocking the home with furniture, cleaning supplies, dishes, and other necessities. Make a list of all the things your home would need, work out a budget, and then look at your own finances to make sure a vacation home is feasible before you begin looking.

 

Decide Who Will Maintain It

 

Most proper vacation homes are far away from the owner’s everyday home, so you’ll need to decide whether you can maintain it yourself -- which will likely mean traveling several times a year even if you’re not going to use the home -- or if you’ll need to hire someone who lives nearby who can clean it and make small repairs.

 

Figure Out the Insurance Policy

 

Some homeowners have a policy on their full-time house that covers a second home; go over your policy to get an idea of what’s included. If you need to buy a second policy, think about what type of coverage you will need. If you’re going to have renters in the home, there may be different considerations to make than if you’re only going to use the house for your own needs.

 

Make It Stand Out

 

If you do decide to rent, you’ll want to make sure your home stands out from the crowd, especially if it’s in an area that attracts lots of tourists. Adding curb appeal by planting colorful flowers, sprucing up the mailbox and front door, and making the landscaping nice and neat is one great start; you can also hire a staging company to come in and make the home look like something from a magazine or install a home security system to make renters feel safe and secure. These updates will ensure that you can get top asking price for your vacation home during tourist season. For more on how to make your house stand out, click here.

 

Buying a vacation home is a big decision, and it will require a lot of research and thought before jumping in. Location is always key, so look at several homes before you make a decision, and check out the neighborhood as well. With a good plan, you can secure a vacation home that keeps you and your family happy for years to come.

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