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Allison James

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Is a Vacation Home the Right Investment for You?

Is a Vacation Home the Right Investment for You

For many people, the opportunity to purchase a vacation home represents a dream come true.  However, before signing on the dotted line, ask yourself a few questions to help you decide if a vacation home is the right investment for you.

What are your Goals?

First of all, is a return on investment your primary goal or are you just looking for a weekend retreat for your family and friends?  Most often, it is a little bit of both.  This is important because vacation homes do not always carry the same equity return that other real estate investments bring.  If there is a severe downturn in the economy, vacation home sales and rentals will feel the brunt of the downturn right away.  If, on the other hand, you view the property as your eventual retirement home, you will probably want to follow your heart and focus on location and amenities vs. equity potential and risk assessment.

What are the Costs?

In addition to monthly payments of principal and interest under your mortgage loan, you will be responsible for real estate taxes, insurance, association dues, repairs and maintenance and property management fees.  You can save on property management fees by self-managing, but this only works if you live a short distance from the property and can handle both scheduled and emergency maintenance and repair issues.  As all homeowners know, appliances and heating systems never stop working at a convenient time.

What is the Property’s Rental History?

If, like most investors, you will be looking to rent the property out to others most of the year, this question cannot be stressed enough.   You will be taking a significant risk if you purchase a home with a spotty rental history.  Work with an experienced Realtor to study rental trends in the neighbourhood and overall area.  A condominium in a busy tourist area will always rent faster than a sprawling farmhouse away from everything.   You will also need to do a little investigation work to determine if any local ordinances or association rules prohibit or limit your ability to rent the property.

How Far from Home?

Distance, of course, factors into property management decisions, but you will also need to decide just how far you are willing to travel to enjoy your vacation home.  This will depend largely on how often you plan to use it.  If you envision yourself heading out to your lake house most weekends, it should not be too far away.  If you plan a one or two week family vacation once or twice a year, you may be more inclined to travel a greater distance.

These are just a few of the many factors to consider before investing in a vacation home.  Work with an experienced Realtor to ensure that your vacation home is indeed your dream come true and not a nightmare.

Do you need to move to celebrate the changes that are happening in your life? Let me serve you in helping you make the move to the place or home that reflects where you are in life’s journey! I will listen to your needs and use my knowledge and expertise to make this a smooth transition to the right place for you to call home in Calgary. Contact me at 403-708-5873, ajames16@gmail.com, or www.allisonjames.com and let’s get on with your journey!

About Allison James

Allison James has been a realtor® since 1999 with Century 21 Bamber Realty Ltd. in the changing Calgary real estate market. A Century 21 Centurion Award 2007 recipient and a member of CREA and AREA, she specializes in residential real estate and has her designations as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist and a Certified Condominium Specialist. These designations testify that she has the expertise and resources to help her clients make a smooth transition to the next step in their life journey. She enjoys helping her clients as they move through many of the same stages of life that she, too, has experienced. The fact that the majority of her business comes from past clients and/or referrals from satisfied clients speaks volumes about her dedication to the high quality of service that she offers her clients to meet their Calgary and surrounding area real estate needs. She is a mother of four who are all on their own now, and a grandmother of eight. Besides helping people buy or sell real estate, she loves spending time with her family, being active outdoors, traveling and meeting new people, photography, playing the drums, reading, scuba diving, listening to music, learning new things, and nurturing her spiritual growth.

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Allison James, Century 21 Bamber Realty Ltd.
1612 17 Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2T 0E3
Tel: 403-245-0773 Toll Free: 403-708-5873 Cell: 403-708-5873 Fax: 403-592-9187
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