Tips When Purchasing A Vacation Home

3 Tips to Help Retirees Avoid Issues When Buying a Vacation Home

By Ray Flynn,

Retirement is a great time for seniors to travel, which is why so many retirees choose to purchase a second home to make relaxing in a favorite destination easier. Buying and owning a vacation home are not without their challenges, though. So if you are a senior who is considering investing in a vacation home, make sure you read these tips first.

Decide How You Will Pay for a Second Home

Before you start looking for a vacation home, you need to make sure that buying a second home will work for your finances. There are several ways retirees can make owning a vacation or second home more affordable, including renting it out. You could even turn a little profit by renting out your second home or your primary residence, but you will need to keep it clean between each guest. If you go this route, it’s wise to consider a property management agency. While it will cut into some of your profit, the right agency can help keep your rental spotless, manage bookings and handle all aspects of hospitality.

Other expenses to consider include a larger down payment for your mortgage, as well as any other maintenance costs. Mortgage requirements tend to be more stringent for second homes, so you also need to make sure your credit is up to standards, in addition to being prepared to put down a sizeable down payment.

Consider Buying a Smaller Vacation Property

Even with rental income coming in, buying and maintaining a second home can still be costly. Maintenance costs tend to be higher for a larger home, so if you can make it work, you may want to think about downsizing your second home. A smaller home can also have other benefits for seniors, even if it’s only for part of the year. You are less likely to collect clutter in a smaller space, which means you are less likely to feel stressed in your vacation home. If you need a little extra room for storage, you can add an outbuilding to your vacation property. These structures have many perks, including being easy to assemble and energy efficient. Note that steel buildings, in particular, are also very durable in any climate and can be used in countless ways. You can use your steel building as a garage, or even create an additional living space to generate more rental income.

Think About Home Maintenance and Security

It’s important for seniors to think about how they will pay for maintenance on a vacation home. What you really may be curious about, though, is how you will actually carry out maintenance tasks, especially if you are away from your second home most of the year. Again, one easy option is to use a property manager to help take care of those tasks and help rent out your home. Despite the extra fees involved, a trustworthy management company will discuss these costs upfront so you can make an informed decision. Those fees may be a good investment if you want to maximize your profits from rentals and avoid marketing your own home. It’s also wise to invest in a security system to monitor your property and protect it from break-ins and fires and to keep insurance expenses low.

A second home can be a smart option for seniors looking to split their retirement years between two places. You can use the tips above to make this major purchase more manageable, but you should also talk to a financial advisor and even a realtor before you proceed with investing in a second home. After all, this is a major decision, so don’t make it in a hurry.

Photo Credit: Unsplash


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