A vacation home is a second home as a supplement to your permanent home. As an owner of two vacation houses I can introduce you to a number of aspects that will help you getting your dream vacation real estate with lasting pleasure for yourself and your family. In fact when you read this easy list you will also get an impression of the pros and cons of owning an extra home for vacation.
Some of the same aspects of buying a vacation home are exactly the same as for buying a permanent home.
Price and running expenses of the vacation home
For most of us the price when we buy a home and the costs through the year are obvious and important limitations to take into account. Make sure to think through what you can afford now and what you can afford when you retire if that is in the horizon.
The most important aspect of a vacation house
If you ask a real estate dealer about the three most important aspects when you are searching for a new house he will say: 1. Location, 2. Location and 3. Location.
Think through what will that mean for you. When you get a home for vacation you might be able to improve it and make it bigger and better. But you cannot change the location for the same house or vacation flat.
Many will summarise it in the way that it is smarter to buy a not so super vacation home in a super nice location – than the opposite.
The style of the vacation home
As we already have 9 grandchildren from our four children we gave a high priority to our vacation houses that could accommodate everybody. Not in a luxury way but in a functional way. Other couples might be more focussed on having a more luxurious living space for themselves and say two friends on overnight stay or the like.
Other families might be more focussed on finding a rather simple and basic accommodation that is not demanding in anyway but which might have a rustic appearance.
Facilities at the vacation home
If you go for a vacation house far away from other people the facilities in the house might be quite simple and primitive. You might not even have running water and toilet facilities.
In such a place it will also be a challenge to get help from professionals when you need repair and service. On the other hand such a house might be rather cheap to buy.
How often will you or family members use the vacation home?
Be realistic and calculate how often you and your family would actually be able to make use of it when you think of your checklist for reflections before you buy an extra home for your leasure time. A vacation house or other vacation home must not develop to be a burden in daily life. Difficulties and expenses going there should be a part of your calculation, but also your ideas of alternatives like going abroad on vacation.
Can you make use of the vacation home in the way you want?
Finally you should think over and discuss in the family which kind of activities you want to have as options when you search for a vacation house or flat. Some families are very focussed on skiing, others on swimming and sun bathing on a beach, others on wildlife experience and others again on hunting. If you have teenage children ask them what could attract them and expect to let them bring a classmate or other guest with them when staying on vacation.
Summing up the pros and cons of owning a vacation home
Pros of a vacation home
You will have the ability to escape from your daily duties and exchange your home environment with something different that might reduce stress and improve your feeling of being on vacation.
Often you will combine your trips to your sparetime home with social activities like inviting friends and family members. Your guests will often think back of such visits with much more satisfaction and pleasure compared to normal social gatherings in your permanent home.
Your children will get a wider horizon by being familiar with another location than their daily surroundings.
Cons of a vacation home
A vacation home is an extra burden in economy and daily management.
It might limit your access to travel to new places and to experience unfamiliar sightings and cultures.
It might generate some discussions in the family when to go and when not to go. You might experience clashes between your dreams of going to your vacation place and to fulfil expectations to stay home and be involved with other activities, e.g. birthday parties of friends etc.
And finally it will not be possible to be sure when you can sell your vacation home in time to a decent price.