Do you dream of having a special place you can go that’s all your own to get away from it all? There’s nothing like having your own vacation destination without paying for a hotel or dealing with strangers on vacation. Not to mention, it can be a great investment that can pay off in the future!

If you’ve got your sights set on a second lake home, make sure you slow down and take stock. There are a few things you should do before you pay for a second property.

Start Searching For Your Dream Home

There’s nothing wrong with looking for your dream home while you do some of the more serious stuff on this list! For example, check out home listings at the Lake of the Ozarks or research average home prices on Lake Tahoe. Compare properties on different lakes in different states and get a feel for the type of property you’re looking for.

Not only will browsing properties get you pumped up to do some of the more difficult things on this list, it can also help you narrow in on exactly what you want and what you might be able to afford. That way, when you start touring homes, you can avoid falling in love with a house that isn’t right for your family.

Stay Before You Buy

Just because you have always dreamed of living on the lake doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what’s right for you. There are things about living on the lake that you may not realize until you live there long-term. For example, you may not realize just how buggy it can get, or how often you have to replace the sand on a private beach.

It also means narrowing down the locations where you want to purchase your second home. Although a nearby lake may seem nice, you don’t really know until you’ve been there. Spend at least a few day exploring the lake and the surrounding area. You may realize that local restaurants and community activities are just as important to you as being on the water.

Get to Work on Your Savings

Owning one property is expensive. It’s even more expensive if you have two. Make sure you can afford it by getting to work on your savings as soon as possible.

Don’t rely on yourself to put money into your savings account willy-nilly. Instead, automate your savings. A few ways to bulk up your savings account fast include:

  • Automate deposits into your savings account every month
  • Save your tax refund.
  • Use a cash-back credit card
  • Automate bills so you don't ever pay late fees

There are some apps that can help too. They can round up your payments and automatically put the change into a savings account. It’s a great way to save a little extra without thinking about it!

Get Real About Maintaining a Second Property

Daydreaming about owning a second property is a lot of fun, but what it actually takes can be a lot more work than it’s worth.

It’s important to get real about what it will take to maintain a second property. It means making sure your vacation home is safe while you’re away, and it means making sure you can keep up with cleaning and regular maintenance.

It also means tackling vacation anxiety. If you will be too worried that you left the stove on at home or water is flooding the basement while you’re gone, owning a vacation home may not provide you with the rest and relaxation you’re looking for.

Think Long-Term

It’s important to strive for financial freedom, but life often has other plans. What happens if you’re let go from your job or you’re unable to work? Do you have an elderly parent who will require care in the future? Do you have plans to help fund your child’s college education? Do you want to be able to afford trips around the world after you retire?

It’s important to think about how your finances will change as you age. That way you can plan for at time when you might sell the home, or if it’s worth buying at all.

Whether you’re thinking about buying a vacation property on the lake soon or you have dreams of making it a reality in the future, there are multiple things you should think about and plan for to ensure you get the most relaxation and fun out of your property as possible.

Posted by Casandra Properties on
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