If you are considering purchasing vacation real estate, there are a number of things to think about before you can enjoy your home away from home. Whether you want a warm getaway, a small lake town cottage or a house near the slopes, you want to ensure that you enjoy spending your time in those regions, budget appropriately, know your options and arrange to have a home inspection completed. 

Spend time where you want to invest in a second home

According to Forbes, it is important to experience the location where you are interested in buying a house multiple times. You will likely be spending a great deal of your vacation time at your second home and want to ensure that you will not quickly get bored or tired of the area.

The amount of time you should spend in the city or town before looking for a home depends on each individual. If you quickly fall in love and like regularity in your vacation schedule, you may need to visit only a few times. However, if you like going somewhere new for every holiday, you may want to wait and spend more time making sure you can find something unique and adventurous to do in the community on a regular basis. For example, consider visiting a town or city that has both impressive summer and winter tourism.

Establish a budget

Discuss your budget with a lender or broker before you start looking at available homes. It is important to factor in not only the price of the home but also taxes, utilities and potential emergency expenses that may arise while you are away.

In addition, you may consider purchasing a fixer-upper if you are looking at a region that tends to be more expensive. This can help you save money, but it is important to know how much money you will need to set aside for renovations as well as an emergency fund.

Potential vacation home locations

Chances are that if you are interested in a vacation home for last-minute vacations, you have a specific location in mind. However, in some instances, you might not know where to start. 

According to FrontDoor, you should think about your needs and what you will want out of your second home. For example, if you are planning to start a family or already have one, you may want to select a location that is more family friendly. A lake town with a high volume of other families may be a good option. If you are interested in finding a great location near the ocean, Vacation Nest noted that Sanibel Island, Florida, offers 22 miles of available bike trails. Bethany Beach, Delaware, is another great beach town that many families many families love.

If you are an empty nester or do not have children, you may not be as concerned with the number of family activities available in a community. According to Zillow, Oak Hill, Florida, is a great location for boating, heading to the beach or fishing, and Bonita Springs, Florida, is a popular spot for vacationers. In fact, one-third of all the houses located in Bonita Springs are vacation homes.

Arrange for a home inspection 

When you are purchasing any real estate, it is always important to have a professional come to the home and check for any potential issues.

Even if you live further away from the location, still arrange to attend the inspection with the individual you hired to ensure you have a clear understanding of any obstacles or extra expenses that might be necessary if you decide to purchase the property.