August 'tis the time of year for back to school, dumping that summer fling and, yes, vacation homes. I was invited to chat vacation homes on one of my favorite sites DOMAINE HOME the other day. And when the editors at Domaine asked me about tips for vacation home buying, I had to think about it for a second. After all, is vacation buying any different than regular buying?
Alex's Tips for Buying a Vacation Spot:
1.Choose a good real estate agent. This is obvious for any purchase, but particularly when buying a vacation home. Most likely you don’t know the ins-and-outs of a foreign market, so work with someone who does.
2.“Too good to be true” often is. That four bedroom shingle house in the Hamptons with a pool for $500K? Before you stick it on your Black AMEX do some checking. Maybe it’s sitting on a rarely used runway at East Hampton airport or in a mosquito protection area.
3.Visit the house you’re buying in person. Remember that guy you met on Match.com who looked so cute in photos? Vacation homes are often the real estate equivalent. Photos lie.
4.Consider investment objectives. If times turn the vacation home is the first to go. Is the area blue chip and saleable? Should you need to lease it out, is it a viable and/or profitable rental?
5.Don’t make an emotional buy. A vacation home is one of life’s ultimate luxuries, but you still need to be practical about it. Is the house in an area you’d want to visit during all seasons? (Ski destinations are great second homes because they’re fantastic in summer too.) Sure, Marbella sounds great, but is there stuff for the kids to do there? Does the area have easy in-out-access or does it take you a weekend to get there? Are you buying on a lake but hate lakes? The last is a true story from one of my clients, so think it through.
Still in the market? Take a look at our Related Top Ten for Ten Amazing Vacation Homes and, as always, let us know your favorite.
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