1. Love something about the area where you are considering buying a second home. To buy, use and maintain a vacation home, there has to be a compelling reason and an emotional attachment that keeps you coming back year after year. Otherwise, it’s not worth the hassle even if you can rent it to cover the mortgage.
2. Buy in an area close to your primary residence or family. The bulk of second homes are within two hours of buyers’ primary residences.
3. Know your second hometown well enough to pick out what we at Texas Beach Homes call “the lifestyle area” that best suits your needs. Take the time to dig into each neighborhood before you plunk down your money. Sometimes homes in your preferred area aren’t frequently available so you’ll have to be patient and work with a local realtor to spot listings when they come up.
4. Stay in the area with your family and see what it’s like to live there during the season when you plan to visit. Are the people friendly? Is the ambience conducive to relaxing or adventuring or whatever is your purpose for getting away from your primary home?
And, of course, follow the tips in the Vacation Home Tip Sheet. But first, make sure you have love, proximity and the right lifestyle area for your new beach home.