You’ve always wanted to own a vacation home, and now you finally feel ready to make that purchase. That’s great! Before you jump the gun and put in an offer on that serene house in the mountains, consider all of the realities of owning a second property. Make sure that you are asking yourself the right questions and you understand the commitment before you finalize your plans. Here are some things to think about before diving in to buying your dream vacation home.

afforditCan you afford it?

It may seem like this is stating the obvious, but sometimes people can get so wrapped up in the idea and excitement of a vacation home that they don’t take the time to consider the additional expenses that owning a second home entails, such as –





  • Furniture and other household items
  • Travel costs to your new vacation home – airfare and/or wear and tear on your vehicle
  • Annual repairs or improvements to the property
  • General maintenance and upkeep of the property
  • Recreational items such as a boat, ski equipment or paddle boards
  • Additional costs of utilities
  • A dependable security system for when you are away

Also, if your primary home is more than a few hours away, or if you are planning to rent out your vacation home, you may need to hire someone to manage the property while you are gone.

Is the location right?location

If this is your dream vacation home, chances are you already have a good idea of where you want to buy. But, have you thought about what that location means in terms of year-round use and maintenance?

  • Homes located in areas where temperatures dip below freezing will need to be winterized and monitored to avoid problems such as frozen pipes. Also, where there is snow, there is shoveling and plowing to manage.
  • Homes located on the gulf could be at risk for problems during hurricane season.
  • Have you chosen a location and property that will grow in value?

rentWould renting be a better option?

Have you weighed the pros and cons of buying a vacation home vs renting one? It’s not a bad idea to see what options are out there in terms of short-term property rentals. Rather than being tied to one place, you can try new locations each year on your family vacation.

You can also consider buying a vacation home that is located in a high demand area that you could rent out and generate additional income. South Walton and 30A is the perfect location for this type of vacation home, being that you could have the luxury of using it whenever you wanted and also have the realistic option of renting it out. 30A homes make the perfect rental machines.

How will your taxes be affected?taxes

I know, right? Do we really have to talk about taxes? Unfortunately, yes we do. Different tax rules apply to owning a second home and they can be somewhat complicated depending on a variety of factors. Whether or not you rent the home, property taxes and mortgage interest are a few items that could affect your tax return. Before purchasing a vacation home, you’ll want to consult with a tax advisor to sort out the details and discuss how your taxes will be affected by purchasing another home.


We happen to live in an area that would make the perfect spot for your dream vacation home. Melissa Clements is an experienced real estate agent that has helped many find their dream home here along the Emerald Coast. Contact her today with any real estate questions you may have.