Across California and the rest of the United States, after months spent at home, many people have decided to make their vacation homes, their everyday homes. Why not have a staycation where you can ski or go kayaking at the end of your workday (weather permitting) if you can work from anywhere? This is true for many of my local clients – since many can work remotely, moving full-time or splitting their time in Mammoth Lakes, is becoming increasingly popular. Finding and moving into your dream vacation home is definitely possible, and while it might be slightly more complicated than moving into a “primary residence,” with some advanced planning you’ll be on your way to a permanent vacation in no time.
Hire the right agent
It could be that you have a real estate agent who you’ve worked with before who helped you land your current home, but it’s important to keep in mind that if you want to buy a vacation home, you need to find an agent who knows your target market. If your ideal vacation home is in an area that isn’t near your current home, you’ll want to plan a trip to find that dream home. Keep in mind that it might take some time before you find the perfect place that you’ll want to live in full-time.
Decide if you are going to keep your primary residence
If you love your current home but just want a change of scenery, then it could be that you want to move into a vacation home and keep your primary residence too. For example, you might move full-time to the mountains but then go back to the city one week a month — especially if you might need to go into an office. Or, you might say goodbye to that primary residence and move into vacationland full-time. Lenders classify homes as primary residences, vacation homes, or investment properties. Mortgage loans for primary residences typically have better rates, but if you can prove that you’ll be living in the vacation home year-round you may be able to refinance it as a primary residence after you make the purchase.
Plan for some extra paperwork
Because you’ll need to prove that you really are planning to live in that vacation home full-time (with or without a second home), you’ll need to get prepared for some extra paperwork. Along with tax documents and utility bills, you’ll also need to change your address on your government IDs, voting registration, and car insurance and registration. Just as you would when moving to a new home, you’ll need to update your address, but also be ready to show the documentation when refinancing.
Think about condos versus single family homes
Vacation homes in the mountains can be tranquil and the most popular request is for a “cabin in the woods.” While this sounds appealing, determining whether you want to rent the property if you decide to not use it full time is important. Most single family homes in Mammoth Lakes do not allow nightly rentals while most condos do. Also, maintenance is a totally different ballgame at 8000 feet elevation so be sure and investigate all the pros/cons to condos versus single family homes.
With the freedom to work from anywhere, many people have decided that they want to be closer to the outdoors and open spaces. Moving into a vacation home that’s your everyday abode might just be the answer to your permanent dream vacation.