10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Vacation Home

Are you thinking about buying a vacation home? These 10 tips will save you time, money, and effort. You'll be able to find a vacation home your family will love!

Only Buy What You Can Afford
Make sure your monthly housing and auto expenses amount to no more than 36% of your income.
Count on Extra Costs
Don't forget about maintenance costs. Also, many vacation environments (like beaches and cold skiing areas) put extra wear and tear on a house.
Don't Buy Land
It can be tempting to buy land and build on it. Don't. By the time you comply with the extra zoning requirements in most vacation areas, you'll wish you just bought a house.
Don't Buy a Timeshare
They're very hard to resell.
Work With an Agent Who Knows the Area
They can tell you things you don't know about the area -- but need to. For example, many roads and businesses in vacation areas close for much of the year. This can be a hassle if you don't know about it ahead of time.
Make Sure It's a Good Rental
Check the demand for vacation rentals in an area before buying there.
Research the Area
Make sure you know what it's like in all four seasons.
Don't Buy Abroad
Houses in other countries are subject to different laws. In many countries, the government can take your house without even telling you.
Be Careful With Joint Investments
Make sure the rights, obligations, and who owns what percentage are clearly spelled out -- in writing.
View Your Place as Fun, Not an Investment
You'll never make the money on a vacation home you'd get with other investments. Enjoy yourself, but don't think of your property as an investment.

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