Top 5 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Leisure Property

Modern villa outdoor with swimming pool and gazebo at sunset

If you’re looking to buy a property solely for leisure, you should keep a few key things in mind. Doing your research and preparing ahead of time can make the process much smoother—and even more exciting. Here are the top 5 factors to consider before making your purchase.

Location

The first thing you’ll want to consider is the property’s location. If you’re looking to retire, you’ll want to consider factors like proximity to family and friends, healthcare facilities, and other amenities. If you’re looking for a vacation home, on the other hand, you’ll want to consider the climate, local attractions, and whether the property is easily accessible.

Property for Retirement

If you’re looking for a leisure property for retirement, you will want something low-maintenance and within your budget. Consider a community with a pool, clubhouse, or golf course. You have been looking forward to retirement your whole life, so make sure it is something you will enjoy and your visitors.

Property for Vacation

For a vacation property, you will want to ensure that it is in a location that you love and is easily accessible. You’ll also want to consider things like whether the property is pet-friendly, as well as any potential rental income you might be able to generate. If you have kids, you’ll also want to ensure plenty of activities for them to enjoy in the area. If you are looking for a more relaxing location, consider finding a place near the beach or in the mountains.

Size of the Property

The size of the property is another important factor to consider. If you are looking for a retirement home, you might not need as much space as you would if you were looking for a vacation home. Likewise, if you have a large family, you’ll want to ensure enough room for everyone to comfortably stay.

How Much Maintenance Are You Willing and Able to Do

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance property, you’ll want to find something that doesn’t require a lot of work to keep up. This is a smaller home or condo rather than a large family home.

If you’re looking for a property on which you can put your personal touch, you might be more willing to do some work yourself. If you are willing to do most of the maintenance, then look for a property that needs some work but has the potential to be your dream home. However, consider how much money you’re willing and able to spend on repairs and renovations. While it can be rewarding to put your personal touch on a property, it can also be expensive — so make sure it will be worthwhile in the long run.

Purpose

Besides thinking about this as a potential retirement home, what is your plan for the property? Are you looking for a warm-weather getaway? A place to throw parties and entertain guests? When you have answers to these questions, you can begin eliminating properties that don’t fit your needs.

Are you looking to escape the cold winters?

If this is your purpose, you’ll want to find a property in a warm climate. Someplace like Florida, California, or Arizona would be ideal. If you want a place with the right warmth but not too hot, consider Hawaii.

Are you looking to entertain guests?

For a property you can use to entertain guests, you’ll want to ensure enough space for everyone to comfortably stay. Consider the proximity to local attractions and whether the property has amenities like a pool or hot tub.

Full-length shot of a senior couple leaving the house with luggage and walking towards the parked car with an open boot on the driveway in the foreground

Finances

Of course, you’ll also need to consider your finances when purchasing a property for leisure. Before starting your search, ensure you clearly understand your budget and what you can afford. Once you’ve found a few properties that meet your needs, it’s time to compare prices. Remember to factor in things like closing costs, insurance, and taxes when making your decision.

Paying Off Existing Loan

If you already have a loan, you’ll need to include the payoff amount in your budget for a new property. You may want to refinance your mortgage to get a lower interest rate and monthly payment; doing so could save you money overall.

If you have equity in your home, you can get a lower interest rate or even take cash out of your home to use for the purchase. However, keep in mind that this could also increase your monthly payments.

Homeowners Association Fees

If the property you’re considering is part of a homeowners association (HOA), make sure you know all the fees associated with ownership. These fees can add up quickly, so it’s important to clearly understand what they are and how much they’ll cost you before committing to anything.

What’s Included in The HOA Fee?

Some HOAs include things like:

  • Trash removal
  • Lawn care
  • Cable TV.

Other HOAs might only cover basics like water and sewer. If this is convenient and fair for your particular case, factor it into your decision-making. If you still need to, you should exclude properties with this type of fee from your search.

HOA Amenities

In addition to monthly fees, some HOAs have amenities like pools, gyms, and clubhouses that come with an additional fee. If you think you’ll use these amenities often, it might be worth paying the extra fee. However, suppose you don’t think you’ll use them, or you can find comparable amenities elsewhere for a lower price. In that case, it’s probably not worth it.

Property Taxes

Finally, consider the property taxes when purchasing leisure property. Property taxes vary widely from state to state, so it’s important to research and determine how much you’ll be responsible for before making an offer on a property

Remember that the higher the property price, the higher the taxes will be. So, if you’re on a tight budget, you should steer clear of properties priced at the top of your range. You’ll also want to consider how much the property taxes will increase over time. In some cases, they can go up significantly every year.

In the End

Purchasing a leisure property is no small feat—many factors influence the decision. However, if you take your time to research and ask pointed questions, you will find the perfect place for you eventually.

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