Are you dreaming of retirement? When you finally have the freedom to fill your days with whatever you please and to travel to places you have always hoped to go. For many, a retirement vacation home offers a way to escape to a new place, while still enjoying the creature comforts of home. Jim McKinley, a retired banker and personal finance expert, says that while a vacation home can be a sound investment, there are many things to consider before jumping into owning a second home.
Consider Your Destination
When selecting a destination for your vacation home, you first must consider what you want from the experience. Do you want a home that your children and grandchildren can visit and feel comfortable? Then consider a location in close proximity to them or near family-friendly amenities that they may enjoy. Research various neighborhoods and don’t feel like you have to find a place right smack dab in the middle of the action. You can often find more affordable homes by looking at nearby communities so do your due diligence to be sure you find what best fits your needs.
Importance of Insurance
A second home means you typically do not live there full-time and it is often considered an investment. So you must protect your investment! When looking for insurance, be sure to buy extra coverage for natural disasters that may be common in the area. For instance, people looking at vacation homes in Florida should seek additional flood and hurricane coverage. Meanwhile, people who want a second home in California should look into extra coverage for earthquakes, mudslides and wildfires. If you want to save money, work with a single agent to get a bundle deal that covers both your homes, as well as other property, like your car, boat or motorcycle. Also, ask about discounts based on your claim history, age and any safety-related updates you make around the house.
Find a Caretaker & Secure Your Property
Be sure your second home is in good hands when you are not enjoying it. Hiring help can be a difficult thing to do — it’s not always easy to suss out the trustworthy people. Ask your real estate agent for recommendations or strike up a conversation with your new neighbors and ask if they know of anyone who can help watch over your investment. And when interviewing candidates, always perform a background check.
When it comes to finding household staff, there are websites available where past clients give detailed accounts about their experiences working with specific individuals. Try out different professionals when you are spending time in your vacation home before settling on the right one for you. And it’s a good idea to install a video surveillance system that you can access from your phone to ensure your home is secure at all times.
Retirement is an opportunity for a second chapter in your life, one where you have the freedom to do what you’ve always wanted. If that involves a second home, then spend time looking for the right one. And in the end, trust your gut… more often than not it will lead you down the right path!
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