Where to begin? Questions to Ask Yourself...
Here are ten key questions you'll want to consider before beginning to look at homes:
1. What is affordable for you? Analyze your budget and determine your optimal price range.
2. Are you willing to look existing homes or only new homes?
3. Will you need a garage or other storage area?
4. Does your community need to be pet friendly? If you have dogs or cats, ask about any Homeowners Association restrictions regarding pets.
5. Do you want to be on water? Do you prefer a lake or a river?
6. Are you looking for a lake which allows water skiing, tubing and other water sports, also known as an "all sports lake" Or would you prefer a "no motor" lake, sometimes referred to as a "no wake" lake?
7. If you're looking for something on or near water, do you plan on getting a pontoon boat, ski boat, sailboat, fishing boat, Jet Ski or a wave runner? If so, will you need a dock or slip for the season?
8. If there are no permanent piers, docks or slips available with your home, are there public or private boat launches to put your boat in and take it out? Is there a place to park or store your boat trailer.
9. Do you enjoy doing some yard work or would you prefer a "maintenance-free community"? The current trend in many second home communities is maintenance-free living, with homeowners associations that take care of the common areas by providing snowplowing, pool cleaning, landscaping, etc. A second home community should ideally have a much more natural, rural feel and look than that of your primary home community. When you gaze out of the windows of your second home, you should see woods, water, ravine or natural field, i.e. a beautiful view that lifts and restores your spirit, a nice regular return on your investment in a vacation home.
10. Will you require a service to help you prepare for guests on occasion or to ready your home for your vacation visits? Many second home communities now have Concierge Services either provided by the community or available on a fee-for-service basis.
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