When You Check Out A Vacation Home, Check Out The Surroundings, Too

Are you planning to buy a vacation home? If you are, keep something important in mind: Not only is the house itself important, but the community around it, too. It's easy to look at a nice vacation home and become bedazzled by all the amenities. But you need to be sure the surrounding area and community are ones that you would get along with. Here are three things to look at in addition to the house and grounds that will help you decide whether buying that house is worth the money.

Short-Term Rental Laws

If you were hoping to rent out your vacation home on a short-term basis, double-check what local laws might apply. The development in which the house was built might have prohibitions against rentals shorter than a specific number of days. The city might have restrictions of its own. You could still rent out the house for a few months at a time, most likely, but you'd have to take charge of checking out the person or people who were trying to rent it.

Unless the development or city specifically says that you can advertise the house on vacation rental sites for long-term stays, it's better to keep the house off those sites to avoid misunderstandings. But that also means you won't have the benefit of knowing that the people renting the house were pre-screened -- you'll have to do that.

Local Security

If this is going to be your vacation home, how often will you be there? If there will be long stretches when the house will be unoccupied, will the house be safe? Even very good areas can have their bad days, and the more you leave the house unoccupied, the more of a target it can become. Ask if the development has a security guard that monitors the area, or if the home comes with live alarm monitoring. Are the neighbors permanent residents, or does the development lie empty for much of the year?

Remote Weather Preparation

What weather phenomena is the house subject to, and how would you be able to have the house secured against bad weather if you weren't there? For example, if the vacation home is in Florida, does the development have a service where maintenance people prepare the homes for hurricane landfall if the owners are away?

Discuss these issues with your real estate agent when you first meet. By giving the agent these requirements -- safe area, security, help with weather preparation, and local laws -- you are going to make your search for the perfect vacation home much easier. For more information, contact companies like Cimmaron Vacation Home Realty.