Owning a vacation home pros and cons…
Hey, welcome back! I’m Lindsay, a proud Anthem resident and your local REALTOR® with the Wise Move AZ Team at Realty ONE Group. If you want to stay up to date on all things Anthem and Real Estate then you need to subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Pro Tip: You’re also going to want to hit that little bell icon while you’re there so that you’re the first to know when our new videos are posted every single Thursday!
Earlier this year we made a video entitled “Should I buy a Second Home?” where we gave you 5 questions you should ask yourself before making a decision. If you missed that video or if you’d like to watch it again, you can click here.
In this post we would like to dive a little deeper on this topic and discuss the pros and cons of actually owning a vacation home. Here in Anthem we work with a lot of folks who are considering buying a vacation home, that they can come to, to escape the cold or just get away from the usual hustle and bustle of everyday life. And we know with absolute certainty that this decision isn’t for everyone.
It’s easy to be blinded by beautiful weather and scenery, but we feel it’s our job to help you make a smart investment when it comes to a second home. So let’s jump in and weigh out the good and the not-so-good.
I think this is where I’m supposed to ask do you want the good news or the bad news first.
Pros of Owning a Vacation Home
I am going to start with the Pros because that seems like way more fun:
#1: Always Have a Place to Stay
If you own your vacation home, you always have a place to stay. You don’t have worry about making hotel reservations months in advance or worry that there won’t be space if you want to go at the last minute. This gives you the flexibility to plan trips as far out or as last minute as you’d like. All you have to do is get there!
#2: Minimal Packing
If you have a vacation home, chances are you have the things you need there. This makes packing, quick and easy. If you go on vacation to a hotel you may need to remember things like sunscreen, flip flops, shorts, and so on. And let’s be honest, we always forget at least one thing.
#3: Live Like a Local
If you’re anything like me, when you go on vacation to a new place you want to see and do as much as possible. While this is usually really fun, it can also put pressure on you to make the most of your time. When you have a vacation home you can really get familiar with an area and enjoy it like a local. This can include local festivals, getting involved with community groups, and digging deeper into the local culture.
#4: Grow Your Investment
If you’re strategic when purchasing a vacation home, it can actually be a great investment. My best advice is to talk to a local real estate expert. Find out what’s happening with property values, how quickly homes are selling, and what the profile of the area is. You’ll want to know the proportion of rentals, the proportion of fulltime versus seasonal residents, and what’s expected to happen to property values in the future. You want to find a property that has good potential to appreciate over time and that will resell quickly.
#5: All the Comforts of Home
Owning a second property can give you all the comforts of home, because that’s what it is… a home away from home. When you go to your vacation property you’re not living out of a suitcase. You can cook your favorite meals, buy your favorite shampoo, and do laundry. Whereas, in a hotel, you are limited in what you can do and how comfortable you feel. Your vacation home is yours to decorate and enjoy as you please! Oh yeah, and you don’t have to be grossed out if you touch the duvet…
So that all sounds pretty good! But it can’t be all appreciating investments and lounging by the pool, right?
Cons of Owning a Vacation Home
There have got to be some cons to owning a second home:
This has to be number one on the list. So often people underestimate the cost of owning a second home. It’s possible that your vacation home could cost as much or even more than your current home, depending on where you live.
Could you afford to pay cash for the second home?
If not, you need to think about the cost of the mortgage. This would be the time to sit down with a lender and a REALTOR® in the area and chat about your options. You need to know how much homes cost in that area and how much you could afford.
In addition, you need to think about all of the other monthly expenses that go along with home ownership. The easiest way to do that is to look at your current monthly expenses and see which ones you will also need to account for at the second home. This may include things like utilities, internet, landscapers, a pool maintenance company, pest control, insurance, and so on.
#2: Lack of Flexibility
It is possible that having a vacation home could make you feel trapped? Does it mean that you have to go there for every vacation? Will you be able to afford to go somewhere else while still covering the cost of your primary and secondary residences? Ask yourself how you will feel if you take every vacation to your second home. If that makes you excited, great. If it doesn’t, you may need to rethink it.
You need to think about the safety and security of both your primary residence and your secondary residence. It’s likely that you will need someone checking in on both when you’re not there. Also, it’s important to know that some insurance providers won’t cover you if you don’t have someone checking in on the house regularly. Plan accordingly.
Unless you can afford a housekeeper at both homes, you will be responsible for double the chores. There are a lot of things you can do to prepare your home for extended vacations, to make things easier. Earlier this year I interviewed Henry Barrie of Barriecade Home Watch Services and he shared some great tips for getting your home ready. If you’d like to check that out, click here. Also, it’s not just day to day chores you need to think about, you will also need to clean the gutters in both places, wash the windows, and take care of the landscaping.
#5: Turn on your Primary House
We’ve seen it happen. Someone buys a vacation home up here in beautiful Anthem, Arizona and they get so involved in the community that they don’t want to go back to their primary residence at the end of the season! Our best solution to this problem is ‘just move’! Of course, we know it’s not always that easy, but it’s so fun here… Seriously, you’re not going to want to go back!
So, there you have it! What do you think? Do you feel ready to weigh out the pros and cons of owning a vacation home?
If all of this has you thinking, ‘yeah, I could consider a second home in Arizona’, then you’ll definitely want to download our guide: “Moving to Arizona? 10 Reasons to Choose Anthem”.
See YOU, next Thursday!