Investments Tips For Buying A Vacation Home For Rental And Retirement

Posted on: 4 February 2016

If you're looking to buy a second home to serve as a vacation getaway, the second property can end up being a significant and lucrative investment if you choose the right property. For example, when you buy a vacation home, you have to opportunity to rent it out when it is not in use to seasonal tourists. Before you buy, here are some things you should consider to make sure you can get the best possible return on your purchase. 

1. What does the location of the property have to offer?

Of course, areas that are well-known for tourism are swamped with vacation homes. Proximity to resorts, beaches, and other amenities is one of the the first things that people consider when they are looking for a vacation home. However, there are some other aspects of location that you might not think about right away, including the following:

  • Parking. Is it possible for tenants to park on the street, or are they going to have to pay for parking in a garage or parking lot nearby? Areas that are closer to downtown will have fewer parking opportunities, which can be more difficult for those that are bringing one or two cars to the rental.
  • Drive time to airports. Getting from the airport to the rental can be a struggle for some renters, especially if they did not plan for transportation ahead of time. Being too close to the airport can affect the quality of life in the dwelling, but it can also be a good selling point for come-and-go vacationers.
  • Accessibility to amenities. Does the neighborhood accommodate travelers' needs? For example, if the corner grocery store is not open 24 hours a day, this can be a negative, as people can arrive at any time of the day.
  • Service. No cell service might be a great selling point for you if you are looking for solitude, but renters do not generally like to be isolated from the world. If you're buying a home in a mountainous, rural vacation spot, be sure that both internet and cell services are reliable. 

2. Does the house have future potential to be a permanent home?

When looking for a vacation, it's better to think in terms of the future instead of the present. You might need to sell down the road. You could even use this house in the future as a retirement destination after you sell your house in another area of the country. Look beyond your temporary needs, and take stock of features like the following:

  • Single level living. Not only will it be easier to get around once you are older, but it will be easier to sell later to other seniors looking for a vacation spot. Also, it makes the house more accommodating to a wide variety of tenants.
  • Handicap accommodations. Ramps, wide hallways and doorways, open floor plans, and hardwood or tile floors are good things to look for to help make a home more accessible. 
  • Required upkeep. If there is a yard space, does it need maintained? If you think you will not be up to caring for a green space, it's better to look at condos for sale instead of single family homes. Also, if there is a homeowner's association, do you have money for the fees in addition to the mortgage?
  • Lifestyle trends. While the place makes a great vacation, it may not be the best place for your day-to-day needs. Spend some time living in your rental for a long period of time during every season (if the seasons change drastically) before purchasing a home with the intention of retirement. 
  • Cost of living. Your savings will not go as far if you choose to retire in a vacation area that is more expensive than the area you are moving from. 

These items will be the things that matter if you plan on keeping this home for years to come. A vacation home can be a great investment for income from renters in the present, but also provide you with a comfortable home to live if you choose to retire to your dream vacation spot. These tips can help you to make the right choice when you buy. 

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