How much money should you have before buying a vacation home?

Getting a loan isn't as cumbersome as some might think, but it does require patience and paperwork. Mortgage loan rates are lower for those with a good credit score and plan to live in their homes all year round.

How much money should you have before buying a vacation home?

Getting a loan isn't as cumbersome as some might think, but it does require patience and paperwork. Mortgage loan rates are lower for those with a good credit score and plan to live in their homes all year round. Often, these landlords can put as little as 5 percent of the requested price on a down payment. According to Bankrate, these loans are now around 6 percent APR.

Second homes tend to require at least a 10 percent down payment and mortgage rates can be. For a vacation home mortgage, you may need to deposit at least 10% for the down payment. It's usually higher than the down payment for a primary residence, which can sometimes be as low as 3%. If you anticipate a rapid increase in your income and net worth, then you can probably stretch your vacation home budget to 25% of your net worth.

For those buying abroad, it is important to consider tax rules both in their country of origin and where the property is located. That means purchasing and installing equipment such as a video doorbell and outdoor cameras, as well as a home alarm system that is centrally monitored (meaning it will alert local law enforcement if a violation occurs). My vacation property buying rule focuses on limiting the purchase price based on a percentage of your net worth. Otherwise, if you calculate the numbers correctly, buying a second home outright could lead to big profits.

Before you start looking for available properties, it's important to take a step back and consider some questions about owning a vacation home. It helps that the vacation home belongs to my best friend's family since fifth grade and I've helped them with projects in it most of that time, so I don't feel bad. The idea of buying a vacation home with a group of friends has appealed to many of us at one time or another, but the idea of joint bank accounts, shared responsibilities, and conflicting schedules deters most. Buying a vacation home comes with rewards and risks, including the possibility that if you plan to rent the home for income, you won't earn enough to offset your expenses.

To make buying a vacation home worthwhile, you'll only need to offset your mortgage payment against the rent you earn on the property. In addition, interest rates are generally higher for vacation home purchases than for first home mortgages. Buying a vacation property to enjoy and then constantly worrying about whether it will ruin you financially is counterproductive.

Shawna Fluellen
Shawna Fluellen

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