You've planned that perfect vacation, you've chosen where to stay and you like it so much that you are staying for good! That's what tourists believe when they go house hunting for a vacation home. Most tourists first think of hotels, though vacation rental homes have gained in popularity as a place to stay. Whether you're looking for a beach side rental in San Francisco or a mountain home in Tahoe, looking around to find vacation home to buy can present many challenges.
Here is my all time favorite, top 10 Myths tourists should consider when going house hunting for a vacation home. I'll be interested to see where you fit currently in your planning.
Myth #1: You need to focus on areas you've vacationed before.
Fact: You can look in new geographic regions. You don't need to be confined to areas that you've visited previously. Here's a tip, locate an area that you've always dreamed of and rent a home for a season to make sure this is the area that you really like. Go online and search for rental homes for vacation and you'll find some fabulous help in locating a dream vacation area.
Myth#2: You need to be pre-approved for a mortgage before you can start looking.
Fact: Getting pre-approved will increase your chances and the amount of homes a realtor will be willing to show you. However, you can alternatively work directly with the seller, there are many sellers who list online or in the local papers. However, an important step, particularly if you already have a home loan and will add to your debt level, is to get started gathering the documentation you need for the loan. Look at what Fannie Mae has to say and the typical questions asked in a home loan application and the documents you'll need to begin gathering. This is important to start early in the process because if you owe on your primary residence, you may be limited by what a lender is willing to give you for a vacation home mortgage. Alternatively, you might be able to refinance your primary residence at a lower rate for cash to buy a second home.
Myth#3: Your vacation home should be smaller than your primary home.
Fact: Think about what sort of vacation home you want first. Sometimes there are more choices of a type of home offered with vacation properties and sometimes there are fewer choices. For example, you could choose a cabin, a house or a condo. Condos come with additional issues, such as home owners associations (HOA). Cabins may have high maintenance as mostly those types of properties have to contend with environmental issues. Thinking about whether to choose a house versus a condo? That depends on you and the level of maintenance, liability and property taxes you want to pay. Also consider utility costs and look for vacation homes that have "green" in mind.