Buying a House in a Vacation Town? Read This First
Interest in vacation-area real estate is picking up.
According to a report from Zillow, pending sales in well-known vacation markets are up 30% over last year. Whether that’s due to more remote work arrangements, desire for a change of scenery, or just an uptick in second-home purchasers is unclear, but one thing is for certain: These homes come with some unique considerations before buyers can dive in.
On the hunt for a vacation-area property? Here’s what to think about first
1. Natural disasters.
Many vacation areas are located along the coasts, where hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, landslides, and wildfires tend to be more common. These not only mean more risk for you and your loved ones, but they put your property at risk, too — as well as the money you invested into it.
You should check out FEMA’s flood maps, USGS’ wildfire forecasts, and USGS’ fault maps to see how at-risk a property is you’re considering.
If your home is in an area with a high risk of natural disaster, you can expect more expensive insurance premiums, and you might need to get added insurance, too — like policies for earthquake or flood coverage, for instance. These aren’t covered in your typical homeowners insurance policies.
In the event you’re considering renting out your vacation home — even just a few times a year — you’ll need additional insurance for this as well.
In many vacation markets, local businesses, restaurants, and other nearby amenities are often seasonal. That means they’re only open a few months per year, when travel to the area is highest.
If you’re considering living in one of these markets full-time, make sure you visit first — both in the off-season and in peak tourist time. This will give you the most accurate picture of what life is like in the area.
Properties in vacation areas tend to need a lot of upkeep — especially ones near the beach. All the wind and salt water can really wear down a home’s exterior, and that means repainting, replacing the siding, and repairing and resealing wood decks and patios much more regularly than you’d have to on properties more inland. If you’re going to rent out the home, the upkeep is even more demanding.
Thinking about buying a home in a vacation town?
Get in touch with Embrace Home Loans today. We’ll determine if you qualify and help you figure out your possible mortgage options.