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The summer vacation season is well underway and quite a few people will be thinking about purchasing a vacation home. For most this won't be a decision that is taken on the spur of the moment, but is more likely to be something they've dreamed of doing for many years.

An article in aol.com highlights the most important points to consider when purchasing a vacation home in order to make sure the whole experience is as personally and financially rewarding as possible. The first thing to consider is where to buy, and this can depend on how you like to spend your vacations. It can be good idea to make a list of all the things you like to do and to prioritize them. Another thing to do is to look at the Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home list which is produced by Zillow. Any area that is included on the list has to have met certain criteria, as for example anywhere considered to be optimal for outdoor activities needs to be within half an hour's drive or 20 miles of a national park. The list also rates in each place on its investment potential, and looks at the potential for generating rental income as well as any future increases in property values. Rental potential is definitely worth considering, as even though it might not be an option right away, it could be sometime you wish to do in the future.

It's a good idea to get to know your chosen area as best you can, and to make sure you don't jump into anything without researching it first. Try to visit the area in the height of the summer season and the off seasons so you can get a better impression of the local community. You also need to consider the proximity of the area to your main property, as apparently more than 80% of vacation home buyers choose somewhere within driving distance of their main home. Choosing somewhere relatively close by can ensure you use it more frequently and it will be much easier to take care of basic maintenance and repairs.

Owning a second home can be an expensive business, as often mortgage rates are slightly higher than for main residences, particularly if the home is to be used to provide rental income. In addition there are all the other general costs associated with home owning such as utilities, taxes, insurance and maintenance. It does pay to take all these things into consideration, as after all a vacation home is meant to be a pleasure not a burden.

Allison Halliday

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.

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