It's not unusual for a dream vacation to become a dream of buying a vacation property. Canada has plenty of amazing beaches, ski resorts, and gorgeous lakes to visit, many of which aren't far from Edmonton via a short drive or flight. Who wouldn't love to have a place where your whole family can be together and enjoy a special getaway? When you find the beach, lake or mountain area you'd love to go to time and time again, it can be a good investment as well as a family retreat if you plan for it properly. We have five tips to think about if you're going to look for your dream home away from home.
- Do you want the place to be only for your use or do you think you'd want to rent it out when you aren't there? Renting the property weekly or monthly can help mitigate the mortgage cost but it's not without other expenses. You'll have to be prepared to carry additional insurance and increased maintenance. Even if you won't be renting out your home, you might also consider hiring a local property manager to keep an eye on the home while you are away.
- If you plan to rent the property, it should be a place that has a broad appeal. The most important thing about a vacation rental is its location. Homes near beaches or ski resorts will attract the largest number of renters and garner the highest rental rate. Of course, they will also be the most expensive to buy but, if your property is marketed well, the rental income should cover the monthly mortgage.
- Talk to a tax accountant about possible tax advantages or costs involved with owning a vacation property. Find out what you can deduct and how it could affect your tax situation overall.
- Consider renting first before you buy and get to know the area. Visit and stay in all four seasons to find out what it's like and if there are any seasonal down periods. If the area is only popular for half the year, you'll need to know that so you are prepared to carry the mortgage payments in those months.
- Work with a real estate agent who lives and works in your desired area and is an expert in the vacation home market. They will be able to advise you of the possible rental rates, the busiest seasons, and potential resale value for the properties. These are all crucial factors to consider and a well seasoned agent will be able to help make the process easier.