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Buying Vacation Property: Pros and Cons

Summer is in full swing, and many people are heading out of town for vacation. After spending a few days in a beachfront condo or a cabin in the mountains, you might be dreaming of having a place of your own in your favorite getaway spot. But, how do you know if it's a good idea to buy a vacation property?

Like most things in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to buying a vacation property. Before you take the plunge, take some time to examine the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • ​Enjoy a convenient vacation spot.
    ​Finding lodging for vacations can be a hassle. Wouldn't it be nice to own a place where friends and family can spend quality time together without worrying about booking a hotel? When you own a vacation property, you'll have the freedom to visit your favorite spot any time of the year and enjoy a fun-filled vacation on your terms.
  • Prepare for retirement*.
    Your vacation property can serve as your full-time home once you retire. If you've fallen in love with a location, it might make sense to downsize and live there permanently when the time comes. Planning ahead and buying your future home now may save you a lot of time and hassle down the road.
  • Earn rental income.​
    Many people invest in vacation properties with a plan to rent them out until they retire. If you only visit your vacation home a few times a year, you could offset the costs by renting it to others when you're not there. Renting out your home or condo is made easier with websites such as Airbnb or Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO), although these services do take a commission fee.

Cons:

  • Potential risks.
    While owning a vacation home has its perks, it may present some potential risks. For example, if you purchase a beachfront property in Florida, you face the​ risk of hurricanes or other adverse weather damaging the property. You might also have to deal with accidental damage caused by short-term renters. 
  • Uncertain return on investment.
    Investing in a vacation home also comes with some financial risks. While renting can be a nice way to earn extra income, you may not be able to count on this extra cash if rental demand drops off. Plus, with today's unpredictable real estate market, there's no guarantee that you'll earn a return on your investment if you decide to sell your vacation home.
  • Year-round responsibility.
    Even if you only use it a few times a year, maintaining a vacation property is a long-term commitment. Between maintenance, insurance and ongoing bills for utilities, buying a vacation home can often require a steep investment of both your time and money.

Final thoughts

Owning a vacation property can be fun, relaxing and potentially profitable. But it also presents some risks that should be considered carefully. Take the time to research your options and understand what you're getting into before you commit to financing a home away from home. 

As always, Wright-Patt Credit Union is here to help make navigating life's opportunities – big and small – a little easier. Contact us today or visit one of our convenient Member Centers to meet with a financial coach.

*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS"), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. WPCU has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members. For specific tax advice please consult a qualified tax professional.