Weighing Whether to Buy or Rent a Vacation Home

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Weighing Whether to Buy or Rent a Vacation Home

A little over 60% of Americans take a vacation away from their homes each year. Some of these vacations take people to destination locations, such as theme parks or foreign cities. Other people steal away to vacation homes.

If you enjoy getting away from home, you might wonder whether you should rent a vacation home or buy one. There are plenty of options for renting, such as a timeshare or through a vacation home rental agency. Yet, buying a summer place means you always have access.

Are you weighing whether you should buy or keep renting your vacation home? Keep reading for some information that can help you make the choice.

Rental Pros

Renting a vacation spot offers some real benefits. You get all the luxury of the home but avoid the expenses.

You’re only on the hook for the rental fee. The owner must cover the mortgage, taxes, and any maintenance costs.

Renting also lets you build a financial plan for your vacation. You can make educated guesses about the rental fee, along with other typical costs such as food and entertainment.

Rental Cons

Renting also comes with a few downsides. You can only rent what is available. Wait too long and you can find the best rental homes already booked for the season.

You must also rely on the description and pictures available of a place to make your decision. While most rental homeowners provide accurate information, not all of them do.

Buying Pros

Buying a second home for vacation does offer up a few benefits. You know the place is available when you want it. Even if you rent the house to others as a side business, you can make it unavailable for the times you want.

You furnish the house, so you know it includes the features you want. If you hate doing dishes, you can make sure there is a dishwasher installed.

Buying Cons

There are some things you consider before you buy a vacation home. You’ll likely end up taking substantial debt for the purchase. Since it’s a second home, you’re typically excluded from most home buying programs.

Even if you do rent out the property, you probably won’t make money on it. At best, you may defray some of the costs. Owning the property may make you feel obligated to go there, even if you’d prefer another vacation destination.

For a deeper look at some of the pre-buying considerations, you can read here.

Rent or Buy Your Vacation Home? Making the Choice

Making the choice between renting and buying your vacation home depends a lot on your finances and intentions.

If you can buy the property outright instead of financing, it’s less of a strain on your overall finances. Going into the purchase with a mindset that it’s for your enjoyment can also make the purchase feel like a personal investment.

Looking for more real estate tips and information? Check out the posts in our Real Estate section.

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