The Basics: Your Vacation Home

A vacation home represents a major family milestone. Consider these four things before you sign the mortgage papers.


1. Location, location, location

The woods of Maine or the Gulf of Mexico? Do you like tropical climates, changing seasons or the thrill of snow sports? Although it may seem obvious where you would want to go on a vacation, purchasing a home in a particular climate makes it more like a permanent vacation. Remember that the Arizona sun can be blindingly hot and the Maine snow will fall every year. 

2. Know the market

Real estate agents can always help you find properties on their lists, but with so many Internet tools available, you may want to start the search on your own. That way, you'll know more about what you want (and what it costs).

3. To renovate or not?

Think about the prices of a faucet, a vanity, and the flooring you liked that was reclaimed from a mill—the dollars and time add up quickly. Decide before you start shopping whether you would enjoy renovating an old home or prefer to move into one that’s move-in ready.

4. A house for generations

A vacation home is the perfect place to spend time with your family as it grows through the years. Talk to your financial advisor about how the appropriate planning can help keep your new property in the family for your children's children.

Considering a vacation home? Learn how you can save money on a second home mortgage.