What to Know before Buying a Vacation Home

A vacation home right in Orlando is a great asset to have and enjoy. You can take advantage of the wonderful weather, all the great places to shop and dine, and, visit the most fun theme parks in the entire world. Owning a second home as a vacation property can have many benefits, particularly if you like to escape cold winters and soak-up the sunshine. The beaches aren’t far away and you can just taste the fresh seafood. If you have a good down payment for a mortgage and are ready to start shopping, you should know what to look for in a vacation home.

What to Know before Buying a Vacation Home

You might be tired of having to hustle to get hotel accommodations and wondering why you keep spending money every time you want to visit your favorite vacation spot. While it’s true that real estate makes a great investment, you can’t automatically assume owning a vacation property will be a good long-term investment. If you are in-the-know about the locality and are able to afford another mortgage with money to spare, it can be a wonderful thing.

There are lots of good reasons to want a vacation home, and hardly any of them are financial. There are psychological reasons, emotional reasons, family reasons. These kinds of reasons tend to push financial considerations into the background. But the financial side can’t be overlooked. —Kiplinger.com

Of course, before you purchase a property, you’ll want to have an experienced and local real estate professional on your side. You’ll also need certain purchase offer contingencies to avoid being thrown into a money pit. It’s important to remember that owning a vacation home isn’t just about dollars and cents, it’s about much more. Your enjoyment and experience are paramount factors, as are other considerations, like the following:

  • Consider location, location, location. If there’s one thing about Orlando real estate, it’s the treasure trove of newer and recently built communities. You’ll find all kinds of housing and because the area boasts such robust home values, you’ll see equity in a shorter time-frame. When you begin to narrow your search, understand you’re buying into the neighborhood, not just a single property.
  • Know precisely how much expenses will cost. For homeowners who have never owned a second home or even a rental property, the expenses can come as a shock when totaled. Calculate the costs, including the mortgage, insurance, taxes, and other carrying costs. If you plan to rent it out, you’ll enjoy a passive income, but, it’s smart to hire a property manager to deal with marketing, collecting rent, and so on.
  • Decide what you’ll do with the property when at your primary residence. You might not necessarily be excited or even interested in renting your vacation property. If this is the case, you can invite family and friends to stay when you’re at your primary residence. You can also donate time in the home, if you wish. Should you rent, understand what you can charge and what tax implications exist.
  • Determine how often you’ll actually be able to stay at your vacation property. Before you even start looking at real estate listings, you should be realistic how much time you’ll actually be able to visit your vacation home. This consideration is often the second biggest factor (behind cost) that will either endorse your idea of owning a vacation home or tell you it’s not worthwhile.
  • Learn all the rules in-relation to your vacation home, including laws and HOA rules. Another huge factor in owning and/or renting out a vacation property is the state and local laws, as well as any HOA rules.You definitely don’t want to run afoul of any of these because it’s not worth the frustration, effort, and cost.

In addition to these considerations, you’ll need to have an actionable plan for emergencies. Just one tiny water leak can wreak havoc in a home, and, you’ll need a go-to person to take care of such situations when you’re not there.