What to Pay Attention to When Buying a Vacation Home

The idea of buying a new vacation home can at first seem relatively easy. Most people first approach this with a certain level of fantasy in mind. However, it can soon start to feel a bit overwhelming from the sheer amount of things you must keep in mind. An example of this can be your budget. When considering what to pay attention to when buying a vacation home, many things can come to mind all at once and overwhelm you. We have decided to make a list of the most important ones. This way, you can approach them one by one and have a calmer and more efficient experience of buying a vacation home. 

What is your desired season?

The simplest solution is the best if you’re having a problem deciding where to start when buying a vacation home. In other words, you must determine when you will be on vacation. 

winter cabin in the woods at night
The first thing on your list of what to pay attention to when buying a vacation home is whether you will vacation in the summer or winter.

If you are an avid skier, the obvious choice for you is a winter cabin. However, some people are bigger fans of summertime activities. So they would probably be better off with a beach house. This should be first on your list when considering what to pay attention to when buying a vacation home is simple. It gives you a decent idea of what exactly you are looking for in a property. While it does seem like a simple task, it is an excellent first step to getting you into the process. 

Keep the real estate market in mind

You have to remember that buying a new real estate property is a significant investment. Many problems or emergencies may come up over the next few years. This is why keeping the real estate market in mind is a very important thing to do. You should buy a property which you are sure you can quickly sell in case you need to. This shouldn’t scare you out of buying, though. There is a very high likelihood you will never be in a situation where you have to sell your vacation home quickly. It is vital always to have a plan B when it comes to big investments. Do not worry if you have no previous experience with real estate investment and market following. Our advice is to observe and listen to professionals in the field online and learn from them. 

Look for security options

A big problem that can come up when considering what to pay attention to when buying a vacation home is security. This is because you won’t be spending the majority of the year in that home. In these situations, burglaries and break-ins are a much bigger problem. There are two main ways to solve this. 

Proper security in the house

The first solution is securing the house itself. This can include a high reinforced fence, installing cameras, installing an alarm, etc. An alternative would also be to get a house sitter. 

Securing your valuable items

The second way to solve this problem is to find a way to store any valuables securely. This can be an easy feat if you buy a small vacation home. Anything truly valuable you have in a small vacation home can probably be taken home with you after you have finished your trip. However, this becomes trickier when you have a large vacation home. While there are many pros and cons of renting a storage unit, our advice is to go for this nonetheless. The pros simply outweigh the cons extensively. Even if you are reluctant to pay for this added expense, we encourage you to at least think about this option, as it can effectively prevent your things from being stolen. 

What type of vacation home are you buying?

Next up on your list of what to pay attention to when buying a vacation home should be figuring out what type of vacation home you actually want. Even if you buy a home for winter skiing trips, you might not enjoy rustic log cabins. There are three main things to keep in mind when figuring this out:  

  • Size 
  • Use 
  • Budget 


When it comes to size, the process is relatively straightforward. If you plan to have yearly vacations with your family of four, you will probably need a larger house. However, if you are a single or newlywed couple, you might want to consider a smaller condo that is part of a larger complex. 


There are many uses for a vacation home, but we have presented three primary examples so you can get a general idea of this process. These are beach living, winter activities, and tranquil mountain hikes. If you are going for beach living, you should look for simple beach houses with tiled flooring and good air-conditioning. A good choice for buying a vacation home for the winter would be a smaller house with good heating and easy access to supply stores. Finally, suppose you’re looking for a serene natural mountain environment where you can hike. In that case, you should look for a smaller, easy-to-maintain, sustainable home since getting there will probably be much more complicated and costly. 

Old-fashioned stone brick house with floral decor
If your goal is to have a getaway from modern life, consider an old-fashioned countryside style when buying a vacation home.


When buying a vacation home, your budget is crucial to keep in mind. The size and use you decide on have to make sense with your budget. 

Be open to renting out your vacation home

Buying a vacation home comes with a lot of additional expenses. The best way to combat them is to rent your property either during the off-season or while you’re not there. An important thing to pay attention to is whether the home you buy has the potential for renting. Even if you’re not an expert, there are certain things to look for when purchasing which will help you spot a house with potential more easily. Of course, it can always help to get a second opinion from someone with more experience. 


The maintenance requirements are the final thing to look out for when buying your vacation home. This is another reason why getting a house sitter is a good idea. Of course, if you have the money, certain service providers can help you with this. But the best way to solve this problem, if you think maintaining a large house will be a problem for you, is just to get a smaller, more easily maintainable home. 

Man using a lawnmower
When buying a vacation home, pay attention to small things that will need regular upkeep such as the lawn in the yard.

The list of things to pay attention to when buying a vacation home goes on

This guide is meant to help you more easily go through the most important things to pay attention to when buying a vacation home. However, this is just the beginning. There are many more aspects to purchasing a vacation home. Of course, if it’s ever too much for you, you can always find a real estate agent who can help and assist you with the whole process. Remember that you are fine if you take your time and are thorough enough. Your goal should be to make this experience enjoyable and reduce as much stress as possible. After all, this is supposed to be your vacation home.