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Pros and Cons of Buying a Summer Vacation Home

Pros and Cons of Buying a Summer Vacation Home

July 11, 2019

If you are considering buying a summer vacation home, you may find it beneficial for your lifestyle. The most obvious pros of such a purchase are streamlined vacation planning and healthier traveling as you cook your own meals more frequently than relying on take-out options. As with any type of purchase, there are cons that come with buying a second home. Before you take the plunge and buy a vacation home, make sure to keep the following pros and cons in mind to ensure you make the best decision for your financial wellbeing.

Pro - A Better Connection to the Community

When you and your family travel to a new location each year, you come and go as a bit of a ghost within the local community. You stay for a few days, visit the big attractions in that area, and eat at the finest restaurants around. However, you do not really get the feel of the local community. If you buy a summer vacation home, you can put down roots for a period of the year in the same location and begin to develop a deeper connection to the local community. Rather than being a passerby, you can be a part of the community and enjoy attractions, locations, and restaurants with local flair.

Con - Renovation and Repair Costs

Just because your summer vacation home is a temporary residence does nott mean it will not require full-time attention. The structure itself and its major utilities, such as the HVAC system and appliances, will age and require upgrades over the course of time. These costs will come out of your pocket and could be financially crippling when you are faced with paying renovation and repair costs for two homes.

Given that many Americans seek to buy a summer vacation home near the US coastlines along the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern seaboard from the Carolinas down to Miami, Florida, there is also the threat of storm damage. The United States Search and Rescue Task Force notes that 10 tropical storms form in the Atlantic Basin each year. On average, six of those storms will develop into hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. This results in roughly five hurricanes making landfall in the US over the course of any given three-year period.

Pro - A Potential Retirement Home

Investing some of your money in a summer vacation home while you are still working could help you ease into retirement in a new locale without a major investment. If you buy a summer vacation home while you are still working, you can pay down that mortgage each month with the revenue gained from renting it out when you are not using it. When the time comes to retire, you will have the option to sell your primary residence and use the profits from the sale of that residence to invest in a move to your summer vacation home. That investment could be paying down or paying off the mortgage on your vacation home, or modernizing it to fit your lifestyle preferences.

Con - Economic Downturns

Nothing wipes out the pros of purchasing a summer vacation home like the threat of an economic downturn. When the economy turns sour, Americans tend to cut back on extravagances. This often starts with travel and can have an outsized impact on the tourism industry. An economic downturn could not only bite into your potential extra income each month from renting out the home, but it could also erode the value of your vacation home and leave you underwater on the mortgage for that house.

Before you make any decisions about purchasing a summer vacation home, take the time to weigh the pros and cons of doing so. Once you have weighed the benefits and drawbacks, you can analyze your current financial standing and determine if the purchase is a good fit for you.


The views expressed are not necessarily the opinion of Social Advisors, and should not be construed directly or indirectly, as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice.  Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed.