A Multi-Family Home

Four Costs to Account for When Buying a Vacation Home

by Arnold Gomez

Buying a vacation home that you plan to rent out for most of the year and spend a few weeks in is often a fun endeavor. However, it can also be costly, so it's important that you plan financially before you sign on the dotted line to buy your vacation home. Here's a look at four vacation home costs that many buyers forget to plan for.

Cleaning costs.

Typically, you will need to have the vacation home cleaned between renters. You can expect to pay between $116 and $227 for a thorough house cleaning, depending on the economy in the area, the size of the home, and how dirty the home is at the time. The more often you change renters, the more often you'll need to have the home cleaned. So it's good to decide whether you plan on renting by the week, by the month, or otherwise and establish a cleaning budget before you buy the home.

Advertising costs.

In order to find renters for your home, you'll need to advertise. There are several ways to do this. You could advertise for free on sites like Craigslist, but it may be hard to find a high number of renters in this manner. A better strategy is to work with a realtor who can find you reliable, short-term, pre-screened renters. You'll typically pay them commission on the rent you receive. Each organization has a different fee schedule, so ask for this up front and compare fees before you choose one to work with.

HOA fees.

Most vacation homes are located within closed communities that are governed by a homeowners' association. Make sure you know what fees the HOA charges before you purchase a home. Also check to see what the HOA fees cover. For instance, in some cases they may cover your garbage service or water, which will decrease your utility costs overall. 

Equipment for residents to use.

Though it's not absolutely necessary to do so, most vacation home owners provide some equipment for their renters to use. Depending on the area your home is located in, this could be anything from campfire equipment to mountain bikes. Decide what you're going to include for your renters and price it out before you purchase the home. 

To learn more about the costs associated with buying and owning a vacation home, speak with a realtor in your area who specializes in vacation homes.