Finding a nice vacation home can be a fun project or a fairly stressful endeavor. In the current economy, we are all trying to save a little where we can, so dishing out on beach real estate might not seem ideal.
However, there are a few things you can do to get your dream vacation without breaking the bank. If you are thinking of buying a place for the first time, you are in good company. In 2014 alone, 33% of buyers were first time buyers, anywhere from 31- to 53-years-old. Here are some tips that will hopefully help you in choosing the perfect vacation spot, whether it be a pool side condominiums or a nice stretch of beach property.
- Choose a touristy area
The cheapest vacation rentals on the market are usually in places that attract a lot of tourists. This makes vacation home prices competitive. Many places will have beach real estate, but the most inexpensive way to find it is to look into popular vacation destinations. One thing to remember about areas like this is that while vacation rentals may be cheaper, hotels will probably be more expensive. You could either stay a night at a hotel or for the same price, stay a week in a vacation home.
Before settling down on a specific vacation home, make sure you comparison shop. It’s very easy to find all kinds of different rental home listings online without having to commit to any single one. Some places may seem expensive, but will have discounts or group rates available so make sure to look into all of those kinds of perks as well.
- Never send money first
Say you find the best beach real estate in the area and you want to prepare it before anyone else grabs it. The danger with this is that there are a number of scams that you want to be careful of. If the beach real estate owner is requiring money before signing paperwork, this is a good indicator that something could be wrong. You want to read all of the details, see the fine print, check references and find out any details that you might need before signing the paperwork. Once this is done and you’re confident that the company is legitimate, then you can make your payment.
- Emergency contacts
Make sure that your rental contract informs you of who to call should something in the vacation home breakdown while you’re there. They should already have it in the paperwork. If possible, get the information of a backup emergency contact, just in case you cannot get a hold of the first person.
Many vacation homes do not accept pets, but some do. There may be an extra fee for your furry friend, but isn’t it worth it? Find out before signing the paperwork if it will be a deal breaker for you.
- What is the refund policy?
If you need to check out early, will you be refunded a portion? What if you have to cancel the trip last minute? This is something else that you need to find out. It should be in your paperwork or contract.
- Early reservations
Since you will be looking into popular areas, they will fill up fast, so you’ll want to try to plan and reserve as early as six months out. That way, you can get the best deal available, as well as the home that you want.
With the 115 million housing units available in the U.S., there is bound to be something that will work for you.