What to consider before buying a vacation home

NEW YORK – June 16, 2017 – After slumping in the years after the financial crisis, prices of vacation properties are back where they were in 2006, a National Association of Realtors survey found.

The median sales price of a vacation home rose by 4.2 percent in 2016 to $200,000, following a 28 percent gain.

Whether people are looking for a spot to enjoy themselves, rent to others or resell for a profit, there are many mistakes that could bring them big headaches or cost them a lot of money.

Experts and homeowners warn new vacation buyers, for instance, that they may end up putting in a lot more work than they expect to keep renters happy. They can easily run afoul of rules laid down by local governments or homeowners’ association, or find themselves facing unexpected costs.

Successful vacation homebuyers have to put in a lot of effort to make it work – starting with careful thinking and planning before they take the plunge. The Realtors association surveys find that the primary motivation for most vacation-home purchases is vacationing, and rental income is so unpredictable it should be viewed as gravy; buyers certainly shouldn’t rely on it to cover their mortgage and other expenses.

In addition, the market is too unpredictable to expect to profit on a sale. The approach with the fewest risks, many experts say, is for buyers to pick a place they will enjoy and focus on that as their top priority.

Source: Wall Street Journal (06/12/17) Brown, Jeff