Owning a vacation home can be a good investment, but you need to be careful when buying, as many investors buy a vacation home for all the wrong reasons. Since I like to have a more positive approach to life, I thought we would discuss the four best reasons to buy a vacation home.
4 Compelling Reasons to Invest in a Vacation Property
1. They give you the ability to take family vacations.
If you and your family have a favorite vacation spot you love to go to and you desire to visit a few more times a year, then buying a vacation home in that area would be a good investment. Remember, you can’t put a price tag on spending quality family time and developing memories that will be with you for a lifetime.
2. They can serve as retirement homes.
In most popular retirement hot spots throughout America, the prices of homes continues to rise. One of the best ways to save money is to purchase a house where you and your spouse would like to retire someday. Purchasing the house before you are actually ready to retire has quite a few benefits. For one, it allows you to buy a fixer-upper and have plenty of time to get the work done. Secondly, you can actually spend a few weeks a year in the area before you are ready to move there. This will allow you to get used to the area and meet quite a few new friends.
3. They’ll provide some extra income.
Most vacation homes, especially if you have a good management company, produce extra income, and they will also provide great tax benefits for you. You need to do your research and make sure that the area where you are buying the vacation home is a popular vacation spot (enough visitors to support the lodging choices) and the income of the property can hold up to the monthly bills.
Remember, owning a vacation home is just like owning a business; the income needs to be greater than the expenses. The key is to buy right, have a tight range on management of the property and to spend money conservatively to maximize your profits.
4. They’re a good way to diversify your portfolio.
Most of the money investors make on their vacation home is when they go and sell their property. This is why it is said that you make money in real estate when you buy a piece of property — it is key that you buy right and not over pay. If you buy right, then you should be able to make money on the property, as most vacation homes do increase in value, especially if you own it for at least 7 years. Owning a vacation home is a great way to diversify your portfolio.
I will caution you that owning a vacation home is not without risk, and you need to take your time and do your research before you actually purchase a property. A vacation home is a luxury item, and as with any luxury item, it is best to purchase the property outright without having any debt on it. If you cannot afford to purchase the property outright, then you should look for a cheaper house or put at least 40% down.
It is also important to note that if you purchase a vacation home, you are pretty much locking yourself into one main vacation spot for your family. Trust me; it is really hard to convince yourself to visit another area for vacation, especially if you are paying for upkeep on a vacation home. Also, as your children grow and get older, their extra-curricula activities will get in the way of many of your vacations. When they are young, it is easy to plan 3 or 4 family getaways a year, but once they start playing sports, performing in drama, or just attending high school, you will be lucky to go away once or twice a year.
Owning a vacation home is a good investment, but you need to make sure it is the right investment for you and your family. Too often I have seen families purchase a vacation home for all the wrong reasons and not fully think the purchase through. Oftentimes this results in them losing a lot of money to get out of the property, or they end up getting stuck with a property they cannot sell.
In your experience, has owning a vacation home been a good or bad investment?
Let me know with a comment!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.