Having a vacation home may sound exciting. Being able to take a quick weekend trip or a long summer stay to your second home can be convenient and more comfortable than booking a hotel stay or renting a vacation home. There are so many vacation friendly activities to do in Reno, with hiking and biking trails readily available, dozens of events and performances in the area, and Lake Tahoe just a quick drive away. Reno is a great place to own a vacation home. But, before you apply for the loan or begin your home search, consider these 6 tips.
1. Spend Lots of Quality Time There. Unlike hotel stays or timeshares, buying a vacation home takes more commitment. Be sure you absolutely love the location, the local activities and the weather before you commit to spending the majority of your vacation days there. Holidays can be especially crowded at some popular vacation destinations. Make sure you’ve spent time in your vacation town during the “high season”.
2. Ease of Access. Will your new home be convenient to get to? How long is too long of a drive to get to your vacation home for a long weekend? Are the roads accessible all year?
3. Are You Considering a Rental Income? If you’re thinking about renting out your vacation home, consider working with a Realtor who specializes in second homes. They will know the rental market and can help you choose a home that will fit both your vacation needs and be a good rental property as well.
4. Sometimes Vacation Days Will Include Work. Unlike a hotel or timeshare, when you own your vacation home, you’ll have to maintain it. This may include winterizing the house, yard maintenance and regular maintenance for HVAC and appliances. Consider all the work and maintenance you do on your current home and remember that your vacation home will likely need the same.
5. Consider All Your Costs. Even if you’re not living in your home full time, you’ll still be incurring regular costs from utilities, garbage pickup, landscaping and other maintenance. Before you purchase a vacation home, work all the costs into your budget.
6. Security and Property Management. Will someone manage the property while you’re away? If you are going to rent the home out, will a property manager manage the rental process, including marketing, deposits, cleaning and repairs? Property managers can also make sure that pipes are insulated before winter, schedule repairs when necessary, and alert you to issues that might come up. Many vacation home owners choose to install a security system or work with a security provider since they won’t be living in the home full time.