Monday, January 20, 2014

Finding The Perfect Vacation Home

I love to travel, especially during the winter months. Travelling as a family is so much fun, and with each trip we take, new memories are made. We frequently vacation to our favourite south Florida resort, but we've also considered buying a "home away from home" to spend even more time in our favourite city down south. After all, our winters here in Canada last for a very, very long time!

Just with any big purchase, looking into buying a vacation home is exciting, but stressful. There is so much to discuss, and making a spontaneous decision is not well advised. After all, you're not just buying a new pair of shoes! Planning and thorough research will bring you the best results.

Here are some tips and tricks for you to use, so that you'll get exactly what you're looking for:


The search for a vacation home may be a little glamorous at some point, buy first you have to spend some time doing some serious research—things like looking through advertisements, looking at areas you like and analyzing where the best place is for you and your family. If I was seriously looking for a place down south, it would have be right near the ocean, with a pool. I'd also definitely want to be near shops, restaurants, and a hospital.

Go for a drive

After the initial part of the search, go for a drive! Explore the territory, get to know the neighbourhood, and see if the place feels right for you. Think of the bigger picture; is it suitable for everyone? Are you happy with your location choice? Is it all you desired for a vacation home? You still don't have to make the final decision yet, but this is a great way to get a feel for what might soon be your dream vacation home!

Stay realistic

Okay, the truth is, I'm a huge dreamer. I'm sure the property I look at initially will be way out of my price range, so it's best to keep your options open, and it's best to remember to be realistic. Ask yourself if you're simply getting a summer home, or more—will this be an investment for you? How often will you use the property and would mortgage payments, property taxes and other expenses be realistic and affordable for you at this point in your life? How will you finance your purchase?

Narrowing down 

If you've all the above and have selected the location, it's time for you to narrow down your search and decide the type of home you want. Apartment? Condo? Single family home? Remember to keep in mind the things I mentioned above, like distance to the nearest grocery store, hospital, etc. I would love to also have a property surrounded by trees and greenery, as well as be within walking distance of the beach. A pool would be idea, as well!

Renting before owning

When you choose the house or apartment you want to buy, it might be useful and helpful to rent if for some time first to make sure you really feel that the place and atmosphere are exactly what you want. This will also give you time to evaluate the amenities and conveniences your property of choice has. Making a final decision after spending a good amount of vacation time at your chosen "vacation home" is a good idea. You can look through some classifieds websites to get some ideas on renting and buying a vacation home, too.

Find an agent

After you've figured out what you need and what you're eager to have in the house, get a local agent to lead the way for you—they can take your dream and turn it into a reality! Local agents are better to work with as they know the specific area you're interested in and they're going to be available to you when you have any questions that need answering.

Invest in the future

When you're buying a new property it's important to understand what the profit potential is. When searching for a new vacation home, for example, keep in mind the resale value and get an idea of the area you're investing in. Owning property (near of far) can be very beneficial for years to come. Make sure the house you are purchasing has as many distinctive features as possible—all these can help you get even more profit later, if and when you want to sell.

Have a strict price point and a timeline

In order to organize the search of a new house in the effective way, you should establish, along with your agent, the price limits you have and your timeframe. This will give you some stability and a solid plan.

Identify accessibility issues

When you're buying a new home, keep in mind things like how easily accessible your home is. Is it convenient for all members of your family? Are the roads to and from your home maintained year-round?

Go for it!

After you've done all your research, it's time to take that leap and buy your vacation home... and enjoy it for years to come.

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post. 

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