Should you buy a vacation home?
By Aimee Heckel
If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a vacation home, you are not alone. Vacation home sales are up — the highest rates in eight years, according to real estate investor Nadine Lajoie. The National Association of Realtors reporters second-home sales jumped 10 percent between 2011 and 2012.
If you’re planning on buying a vacation home, instead of planning vacations — or in addition to your vacations — here are some important things to consider:
1. Prices are rising. Because the demand for vacation homes is up, so are the prices. Beware of the competitive market before you set unrealistic goals of scoring the deal of a lifetime. In some of the most popular vacation-home destinations, bidding wars are standard, which means you may end up overpaying for a property.
Instead, consider a vacation home slightly off the predictable path, or set a budget before you start looking, and stick to it.
2. Consider just renting a vacation home instead of buying. Connect with a homeowner in your ideal location and work out an annual contract with them to rent their home for a specific period of time. Or live in new properties every time you travel.
Start by asking your friends and family if they’re interested in a house swap, or by searching VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner), HomeAway and AirBNB. Save money at VRBO.com with these coupons, paired with Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com. Read more articles about saving money on VRBO.com here.
3. Beware of time shares. Although the idea may seem appealing at first, there’s a reason there are so many people trying to get out of their time shares. If you do own a time share, be on the lookout for scam artists claiming they want to buy your share.
4. Pick a vacation home that you can rent out when you’re not using it. The best-case scenario is to find a vacation home that can actually be a source of income for you, too. But be careful not to budget based on the contingency of having renters. Plan for the worst case, and any money you make on top of that will be a bonus.
Save money on your other travel needs with these travel coupons.
Other articles that you might also enjoy: