For many, buying a vacation home is the ultimate reward after decades of hard work. But a dream home can turn into a disaster if you’re not careful. Be wary of these common mistakes to avoid when buying a vacation home so that your oasis doesn’t become a money pit.

Not Doing the Research

Before buying a vacation home, or any real estate property for that matter, you should be an expert in everything that property has to offer. You should also know how it compares with other properties. That’s why it’s beneficial to work with a local real estate broker who has experience with the area and can help you make an informed decision.

Don’t let the gorgeous curb appeal and showing photos sway you; you should never buy a vacation home without physically seeing it. When it comes to such a substantial investment, the more you know about it, the better.

Making an Emotional Decision

People go on vacation to a beautiful destination and decide they want to buy a vacation home there—it happens to many. While it’s good to look at property in a place you’re familiar with, don’t let recency bias or an emotional connection to an area cloud your judgment.

Don’t limit your potential vacation home to only places you’ve been to before; do your research on all the available opportunities. Don’t simply pick a property because it reminds you of your favorite vacation.

Going Over Your Budget

Many people save for years or even decades before purchasing a vacation home. So they don’t mind paying a little extra when decision time arrives because they’ve been waiting for so long.

Before you look at any houses, come up with a firm budget for your purchase and stick to it as best you can. Remember that a vacation home isn’t just about the sale price but also:

  • Furnishings
  • Maintenance
  • Property management
  • HOA fees

Managing the Property Alone

One of the best ways to supplement your income and help pay for a vacation home is to rent it out. Some homeowners decide to manage and rent out their vacation homes themselves instead of using a rental property management company. But that’s typically a poor decision.

Along with maintaining the property, rental management companies also help set up your home for guests and handle the hassle of bookings and guest relations. Plus, their experience can help you get an even better return on your investment in a vacation home.

A vacation home can be an excellent place for you and your family to escape and unwind and an excellent investment. However, it can become a financial burden if you’re not careful. Remember these common mistakes to avoid when buying a vacation home so that your slice of paradise doesn’t turn into a nightmare.