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The Real Estate Marketing Insider has announced its top four tips for budget conscious buyers who are considering purchasing a vacation home as an investment property. A recent Trip Advisor survey showed that nearly half of all US travelers have stayed or are planning to stay in a rental home this year, up from 46% last year and 40% in 2011.

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This means 2013 could be a great year to invest in a vacation home, but it's important that potential buyers make an informed decision on this matter. REMI’s top tips include remembering it's a vacation home too. This means it should be somewhere you want to spend time yourself. According to many real estate professionals, a vacation home will never give the same kind of returns as a well-diversified portfolio, so if you intend to rent out your vacation home then it's worth making sure it's in a location you'd like to frequently visit. It will be well worth the cost if you intend to spend time enjoying your property with family and friends.

Their second tip is to not build a new vacation home. REMI points out that building a new home from the ground up can be frustrating. In addition you need to navigate your way through local building restrictions, homeowner associations and unfamiliar contractors. It's much easier to keep investment costs under control by purchasing a home that's already built into your desired location.

REMI’s third tip is to visit your chosen location at least once during each season. For instance you might learn that important access roads near your mountain chalet completely shut down during winter. Gaining in-depth knowledge of any potential drawbacks that may affect your rental property at any point during the year will help you make an informed choice.

Their final tip is to make sure the home would suit somebody on vacation. It might be that you like to travel off the beaten path and only need minimal amenities to make your vacation complete, but most vacationers will want something better equipped. The minimum requirements of most people are access to the Internet, a full kitchen, and optional extras such as a pull-out sofa that can be used for sleeping.

As a rule of thumb REMI suggests making sure the property is within walking distance of most local activities and attractions. It's likely that such properties falling into this category will be more expensive, but they will be easier to rent.

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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