Are You Ready to Purchase a Vacation Home?

  • Joe Lewkowicz
  • 07/18/22

The conversation around the dinner table grows lively. It's been an exciting day on the water and around the grill. The family is enjoying the highlight of every summer — their annual reunion at the family vacation home. Every year, the volume of stories and tall tales grows, as does the ensuing laughter. This is the best part of the day as they gather around the table to reminisce about the memories and traditions centered around these people and this place.
 
Do you ever dream of your family gathering in such a way? Crossing the distance and setting aside the time to intentionally make memories together and grow closer in your very own vacation home? Owning a vacation home has become wildly popular in recent years, and for good reason. Even so, a purchase of this magnitude should not be made lightly. Here are a collection of tips and considerations to make before purchasing your vacation home.

Benefits

The reasons people cite for purchasing a second home can be as varied as the types of properties they purchase. Many like having a Tampa waterfront home to call their own — a home away from home that is familiar and comfortable. Some people like the simplicity of having all of their vacation things, such as a boat or a jet ski all in one place, ready whenever they need them. When the property is your own, it is easier to practice hospitality and do things according to your own preferences.
 

Some others purchase a second home as a source of income and rent it out for the majority of the year. They see Odessa luxury homes as a good long-term investment. Generally, real estate increases in these desirable areas where most vacation homes are found, and more often than not, it is profitable for the investor.

Do you have the time?

In this fast-paced world, time is perhaps our greatest commodity. Consider how much time you have available to enjoy a Tampa waterfront home. Reflect on your family’s vacation time over the last three to five years. How much time did you have, and how did you spend it? Did you take vacations? Think about your current stage of life. If retirement is looming, you may be looking at more available time than you’ve known in years. If you have a house full of children with many activities and school commitments, getting away will not be easy. To make it worthwhile to own a vacation property, you must have time to enjoy it.
 
When calculating the time available to use at your vacation home, consider the amount of time that will be spent traveling to and from your property, as well as the time that will be spent on home maintenance and repair. 
 
Do you have the option to work remotely? If yes, that may provide you with additional time to “get away” to your vacation home while remaining virtually connected to your responsibilities at work.

How do you vacation?

There are many different ways to go about taking a vacation. Think about the type of travelers you and your family are. Do you love the thrill of exploring new places, tasting new foods, and experiencing new cultures? Or are you more inclined to make a tradition of revisiting your favorite place year after year? If the latter is the case for you, then you may want to give serious consideration to a vacation home.

Money


Purchasing a vacation home comes with considerable expenses. Therefore, it is vital that buyers of second homes get their finances in good order before moving forward.
 
A vacation home will require a larger down payment than a primary residence, sometimes 25% or more, and the lender will require the borrower to have higher credit scores than was required for a first mortgage. Vacation home insurance premiums are higher than for first homes and depending on your plans for the property, there may be other fees and expenses. If you choose to rent out your Odessa luxury home, don't forget about homeowners associations, maintenance fees, and property managers.
 
A vacation home can be a great financial investment; you can generate more income by renting your home out when you are not using it. This is not always successful as the market can shift greatly in travel interest and popularity of the location, so only use rental income as a benefit and not something you rely on to pay your mortgage.
 
Also, consider the cost of owning a home from a distance. Security systems are a good idea to install, and it may be necessary to hire someone to do regular maintenance check-ups on your home to make sure everything is in good condition. Neglected home repairs can cause considerable damage to your home and a great deal of expense.
 
You can get a few tax breaks if you own a vacation home. If the home is primarily used as your second home, the mortgage interest can be deducted at a maximum of $750,000. However, if you choose to use your second home for a rental property, you may not take that deduction, but you can write off the expenses of upkeep and maintenance as well as any management fees for your property.
 
Weigh other financial considerations. Does purchasing a second home negatively impact your other long-term financial goals? Is this a good time in your life to make such a purchase? For instance, if you are about to send a child to college or are preparing for a large wedding, you might not want to buy a vacation home at this exact moment.

Why choose Tampa?

Photo courtesy of Hotels.com
 
Tampa, Florida, is thriving. In 2021 alone, 84,600 new jobs expanded an already diverse economy and boosted the real estate market. This port city on the Gulf of Mexico is the third-largest city in Florida, and it continues to grow steadily. Currently, Tampa is the 7th most desired location in the nation for investment properties, so there may never be a better time to consider purchasing a vacation home in Tampa for your investment portfolio.
 
Tampa has broad appeal. You will have to visit it again and again before seeing all the beautiful sights. Sports enthusiasts can cheer for the Tampa Bay Rays, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sparkman Wharf is a waterfront destination for shopping, dining, and nightlife. If you love the ocean, consider visiting the Florida Aquarium with your family. You will be thrilled to discover some of the most fascinating ocean creatures ever found on earth. And don’t forget about the beaches! Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa offers over a dozen beautiful beaches from which to enjoy the sand and sea.

Choosing to purchase a vacation home is not a decision to make impulsively. There will be tremendous benefits to you, your family, and your finances if you choose wisely, but there are also plenty of risks to weigh carefully. If you do decide to go forward with finding a vacation home, reach out to Joe Lewkowicz and let him help you find a Tampa waterfront home or an Odessa luxury home. Soon, you and your family will be making vacation memories to reminisce about for years to come.



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With over 40+ years of experience, Joe has proven himself to be a prominent figure in the Tampa Bay Real Estate market. Selling thousands of homes throughout his career, Joe is known for his exceptional customer service, attention to detail, market-savviness, and calculated decisions.

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