1. Understand your budget. If not paying all cash,qualify for a loan before looking. Understand how much discretionary income you will need. You will need to cover monthly mortgage, real estate taxes, assessments, regular maintenance, homeowners’ insurance, furnishings, an emergency fund for disasters and major repairs.
2. Determine how often you will use it. The amount of time you will spend in a vacation home depends on the individual and family and the investment and rental potential. Some think they need to go every weekend to justify the expenses, while others are fine just visiting in summer or winter.
3. Pick the right location. What makes one location more appealing to buyers than another largely depends on your interests. In Mammoth Lakes, requirements are as diverse as “on the golf course” to ski in/ski out or simply easy access to the town shuttle.
4. Understand upkeep. A single family home requires more maintenance than a condo. Granted there will be no monthly Home Owners Association (HOA) dues but there are still costs involved.
5. Research rental potential and costs. If income is your goal, buyers should know that rental demand and dollars fluctuate with the economy, weather, location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and amenities. Understand rental options – will you be using an onsite property manager, a third party company or VRBO (vacation rental by owner). Each have pros/cons and different costs.
Understanding these tips coupled with the advice of a qualified Realtor® will lead to success with a vacation property.