Taking The Plunge Into Vacation Home Ownership
By: Justine Assal •
A great vacation heals the soul! The best vacations are moments when we truly just let go and live in the moment wishing for it to stay forever and creating memories that last a lifetime. Anybody who has ever really enjoyed a vacation has spent moments daydreaming about not going home and just staying there. My husband and I once seriously considered selling everything and running the tiki hut on the beach in Mexico that we were purchasing our margaritas from. So two things about that, yes the margaritas were strong and may have influenced the discussion and second, at that moment we really didn’t want to go back to the carefully orchestrated and very hard won life that we had spent years creating. Was it the tiki hut though or that we simply have overly busy and stressed out lives and yearn for simpler times spent playing with the kids, frolicking in the waves, or vegging out poolside with a book! It is true that today’s world is much about building a life that sometimes we need to escape from but it doesn’t have to be all one way or the other.
This is often the thought that starts people on a hunt to buy a vacation home, a desire for their own piece of paradise in a simple world where the daily grind of life is blocked out. It sounds like a dream but it isn’t just millionaires that buy vacation homes, in fact it is far more reachable than many would believe. So we start with an abstract idea to escape reality and perhaps do an internet search and check out prices in the area, the rest is surprisingly straightforward.
If this sounds familiar, how do you go from dreaming about it to actually owning a vacation home? A bit of research will take you a long way but you do need to find a local expert who you can trust to guide you. In the USA, this is a local Realtor, one who you feel comfortable with, knows the area and type of home you are looking for very well and one who is accustomed to working with International buyers. The last point is quite important as there are some specifics areas of expertise that international buyers need including a mortgage broker who specializes in foreign national mortgages, that is unless you are paying cash. Finding a team of professionals to guide you begins with the Realtor so take your time and find somebody that you feel comfortable and confident with. As a side note, the Realtor will work for you but usually is paid commission by the seller, not the buyer.
If you are budget conscious, as many of us are, and are looking for the biggest bang for your money, take a look at the mortgages available, often to about 70-75% of the price. Add another 4-6% for closing costs, insurance, and other start up spends and this is the money that you will roughly need to purchase your dream vacation home. If you don’t have this money saved already, that doesn’t have to kill the dream as often people will then look to raise the deposit on equity on their existing property. Just remember that you are looking to buy a vacation home to ease your stressful life, not add more challenge to it so do not overextend yourself with payments. To help offset expenses, you can also check if the home is in an area that allows short term or vacation rentals so that you can rent it while not using the home yourself.
The dream is very attainable for many and the memories that you and your family create in your new vacation home can make it one of the satisfying purchases you will ever make. Just remember that it is a real estate purchase and you need to take your time and do it wisely with professionals that can guide you.
vacation homes, dream home, live in the US, mortgage, real estate investment