What to Know About Buying a Vacation Home

Posted by Lindsay Gough on Friday, April 17th, 2015 at 6:47am.

According to a recent report by CNN, 21% of all real estate purchases last year were vacation homes. This is up 57%  from 2013, and the highest rate since 2003. While this is a great sign for the American economy overall, it is an especially good thing for St. George. Washington County is a popular vacation home destination, giving visitors from up north a break from the snow in the winter and plenty to do during summer. If you are one of those interested in buying a vacation home in St. George, use these tips to make the best purchasing decision.

Manage Expenses

Are the expenses worth the investment? While you probably won’t use your vacation home as much, expenses can still  stack up, especially if you hope to rent it out and need to pay for upkeep and maintenance. Another cost is insurance. “Policies tend to be more expensive for vacation homes than primary residences,” explains the Wall Street Journal, “because insurers consider the homes to be at greater risk of damage or theft.” Get an accurate estimate of your costs before investing in a vacation home.

Make a Plan for When You are Away

More likely than not, you will spend more time away from your vacation home than you will spend visiting. What is your plan for while you are away? Will you hire people to take care of the property? Will you rent it out? Property managers can help with these tasks, but you need to have a plan for when you’re not there.

Name Your Priorities

If you plan to rent out your second property, there’s a good chance that the highest demand for your property will be during peak season, when you would like to use it. Are you more interested in making rental income or having a place to stay whenever you want? Your answer to this question will change how you use the property. Decide on your priorities and set up a system that works for you.

Build vs. Buy

Construction is booming in St. George, so would you rather buy or build? If you build, you can make sure you get exactly what you want, within limits. There can be a lot of regulations on vacation home building. Trying to navigate those regulations can be a headache. It might be easier to find an existing structure. Look around St. George, and talk to your real estate agent to decide your best option.

St. George is a great area for vacation home sales and rentals. Use these tips while you’re shopping to make sure you get exactly what you need from your Southern Utah vacation rental.

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