You have spent the better part of the last twenty months wondering if life will ever get back to normal. You have resigned yourself to the reality that future travel will be somewhat limited, leading you to also decide to invest in a vacation home. Guess what? That decision might be the easiest part of the whole thing. Now you have to do something with it.
It is one thing to dream of the perfect vacation home and what it would mean to your family. It is another thing to go out and actually get it. Putting the decision into action involves a lot of things. Some of them you have already thought of, others you have not. Regardless, you are in for a bumpy ride.
Build New or Buy Existing
One of the first things you will have to do is decide whether you want to build a new home from the ground up or buy an existing home in your preferred vacation destination. Buying an existing home is generally the easier of the two options. It will require considerably less effort on your part. However, building from the ground up gives you the opportunity to create exactly what you want.
Should you decide to build new, you then have to determine who you’re going to hire first: your builder or your architect. It makes an enormous difference. Sparano + Mooney, a Utah architectural firm that designs high end vacation homes in the Park City area, recommends choosing your architect and then letting the firm make recommendations for builders.
Establishing a Means of Financing
Vacation homes do not grow on trees. By their nature, they also don’t tend to be cheap. So your decision to acquire a vacation home has to be followed by establishing a means of paying for it. If you do not have the cash on hand, you are looking at some form of credit.
Some people choose to take a second mortgage on their existing home. Others get a separate mortgage altogether. Still others combine the equity in their current homes with established lines of credit. The possibilities are numerous and varied.
Staying on Budget
Acquiring a vacation home comes with its fair share of financial challenges. At the top of the list is staying on budget. It is extremely easy to allow fantastic dreams of perfect vacations to drive spending. But when that happens, it is also rather easy to spend more than you can truly afford.
One way to stretch the budget is to rent your vacation home when you are not using it. This is a fairly common tactic employed by homeowners in Utah’s ski resort regions. It’s also pretty common on the Florida coast, the Carolinas Outer Banks, and other popular tourist locales.
Arranging for Maintenance and Upkeep
Any decision to acquire a vacation home has to be coupled with the reality that maintenance and upkeep are part of the deal. The farther you live from your vacation home, the less likely you will be able to handle maintenance and upkeep yourself. You will have to rely on a third party, be that a neighbor or a professional management company.
The decision to acquire a vacation home is an exciting one. Making the decision gives you permission to dream. But don’t allow dreams to cloud your understanding of reality. Owning a vacation home is a big responsibility. Do not get in over your head.
Now that you have made the decision, you’ve done the easy part. Buckle down and work through the rest of it so that you can eventually enjoy your investment to the fullest.