7 Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacation Home

The Nth Degree Team


Downtown Columbus, Ohio, is a thriving area close to businesses, shops, parks, and attractions. This exciting area sits along the Scioto River and features fun venues like the Columbus Museum of Art, North Market, Fifth Third Arena, and the Center of Science and Industry (COSI). The walkable area has many high-end restaurants and incredible high-rise condos perfect for professionals and active individuals. Downtown is the best place to stay connected. Despite being a busy city center, the community features many parks like Goodale Park, Topiary Park, and Bicentennial Park, with open lawns, sports courts, walking paths, and exercise stations.

Communities like Columbus, Hilliard, and Upper Arlington are prime locations for vacation homes. Their central location in Ohio makes them easily accessible from any part of the state and a short drive from other major cities like Cincinnati and Cleveland. With a thriving arts scene, and year-round recreation like kayaking and hiking, Central Ohio is a beautiful and fun location. If you are considering buying a vacation home, here's how you can make a decision.

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of the area

When considering a vacation home, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the area and how it will impact your living experience. A beautiful waterfront property may offer stunning views and a relaxing ambiance but also come with the risk of erosion due to water.

When researching areas for a vacation home, there are a few important questions to ask yourself:
  • What activities are available in the area?
  • Is the location easily accessible?
  • How bad is the traffic?
  • Are there any local regulations or zoning restrictions that could impact property use?
  • How much will it cost to maintain and manage the property?
  • Can you rent the property when you are not using it?

Create a comprehensive budget

It is important to crunch the numbers and create a budget to ensure your purchase is financially feasible. Even if finances are not an issue for purchasing a second home, it is wise to stay organized and see how the mortgage and maintenance will impact your financial stability. When creating a vacation home budget, it is essential to include the monthly mortgage and additional expenses such as taxes, HOA fees, insurance, maintenance, and utilities. If you plan to rent your property, you may consider additional services such as property management, cleaning, and advertising.

The costs can also be balanced or reduced by potential income from renting out the property when you are not using it. Working with a reputable financial advisor can help ensure expenses are not overlooked and prepare your finances for more real estate investments. By carefully evaluating your finances and creating a comprehensive budget, you can make sure owning a vacation home does not become a financial burden.

Determine the best time to buy a Central Ohio vacation home

Another crucial factor is the timing of the purchase. Market trends and economic conditions can significantly impact property value, so it is wise to conduct research and analyze data before making a decision. By working with a local real estate agent and utilizing data and statistics, you can track market trends and identify the best times to buy property in your desired location. Keep in mind that seasonal fluctuations may affect prices as well. When looking at data, check active inventory, median prices, and days on the market. If inventory and average time on the market are decreasing, buyers may want to move quickly to secure a property or delay a purchase.

Prepare for additional expenses like a down payment

A real estate purchase comes with additional expenses outside the mortgage and monthly maintenance costs. A critical expense is the down payment, spanning from 10% to 20% of the home price. Closing costs can also range from 3%-6% of the sale, accounting for title insurance, appraisal fees, and more.

Research rental options and how much you can charge

Researching rental options is a crucial step when considering purchasing a vacation home. By analyzing the local market and speaking with rental management companies and real estate agents, you can understand how much you can charge for rent and how often the property will likely be occupied. This information can be used to supplement your budget and offset the monthly costs of owning the home. Rental income is not always dependable and should not be a big factor in financing a home but an additional option to support your purchase.

Visit the community to test your research

Once you have evaluated the financial feasibility and market conditions for buying a vacation home, visit the community in person to test your research. This will give you a sense of the area's overall vibe and culture, allowing you to see the neighborhood firsthand. Once you assess the community and property, you may find that what you thought was a disadvantage of the area is not an issue. Or you may find that traffic in some areas is heavier and you have to reassess your advantages and disadvantages. Take some time to explore the surroundings and familiarize yourself with the local amenities, restaurants, and attractions. Visiting the community can allow you to connect with potential neighbors and assess whether it is the right vacation home for you.

Work with a luxury realtor to find a vacation home

If you are in the market for a luxurious vacation home, working with a luxury realtor can greatly benefit your search. A luxury realtor has specialized knowledge and experience in high-end properties and can provide you with exclusive access to listings and off-market opportunities in Central Ohio. With personalized guidance and expert negotiations, you can streamline your experience.

The Nth Degree Team is a Central Ohio real estate team specializing in upscale areas like Columbus, Hilliard, Gahanna, and Upper Arlington. Learn more about the beautiful region and find homes for sale that meet your vacation home criteria by reaching out to The Nth Degree Team today.

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If you are looking to buy a new house or sell your home in Central Ohio, contact us today. The Nth Degree Companies are truly a “one stop shop” for all your home needs!

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