Finding The Perfect Vacation Home After Retirement: Where To Start
Photo via Pixabay by FrankWinkler
Vacation homes are a wonderful way to spend time with your family and get away from the stress of everyday life, but they can be expensive and a lot of work to keep up with. It’s also difficult for many people to know where to start when looking for the perfect home because there are many different factors to consider.
For retirees, perhaps one of the most important considerations is whether or not to rent out the home during the months you and your family aren’t using it. Not only will this ensure the house is being kept up with when you can’t get to it, but it will also give you an extra source of income.
Think of some questions you need to ask yourself: how often will you really use the home? What will your realistic budget be? What is your ideal location? If you decide to rent out the house, what portion of that income will have to be put toward repairs and upkeep? How much will it cost to move furniture and items into the new home?
It’s a lot to think about, but here are a few tips to get you started.
Where do you want to go?
Location is everything when it comes to a vacation home, so think hard about when you’ll be using it and who will be with you. If it will be used primarily as a place for family get-togethers, it’s a good idea to look for a home in a place where there are lots of activities for all ages, and one that’s in a centralized location so it will be fairly easy for everyone to travel to.
If you want something that will serve as a getaway for just your immediate loved ones, think about what you enjoy doing the most; does everyone love the beach, or are you a mountain lodge type of family? Asking these questions will help you narrow down what you want.
Figure out a budget
One of the most important parts of investing in a home is figuring out a budget. Be realistic; you don’t want to get in over your head and have a real estate debacle in another state (or even another country!). Once you’ve settled on a budget, choose a home that’s cheaper than what you can afford. This will give you some room to maneuver, especially if you decide you don’t want to rent it out for several months of the year. Remember, you can always look for a bigger home down the road.
Know the true cost
Aside from figuring out the budget for what you want to spend on a home, you’ll need to think about furnishing it–complete with dishes and linens–as well as laying out money for insurance, a home security system (especially if you won’t be occupying it most of the year), taxes, and utilities, among other things. For example, if you buy a home that needs some TLC, there are plenty of projects you can DIY, but there are bigger jobs that may require a contractor’s expertise. Keep in mind that working with a contractor will not only be a monetary investment, but it will cost you time as well. You’ll need to spend some time letting your pro know exactly what you need to be done at the start of the work, of course, but you’ll also need to be available to communicate with them throughout the construction process. Getting a handle on the true, exact cost before you buy–both in terms of money and time–will help prevent any nasty surprises down the road.
Find the time
Before you commit to a vacation home, you’ll want to make sure you and your family members will have time to visit it. Once you’re retired, it will be easier to get away, but you’ll need to take your funds into consideration, as well as the schedules of everyone in the family. For instance, if you have kids, they may not be able to get away from school at the same time you’re able to take a trip.
Having a vacation home to escape to for several weeks out of the year can help reduce stress and allow you to spend quality time with your loved ones, but it’s important to weigh all your options before making a decision. Being well informed will give you peace of mind and will allow you to make the best investment.