4 Things to Know about Buying a Vacation Home

Are you looking for your own personal oasis? We’re talking about a place where you can unplug, kick back, and truly relax. A place where your cares melt away the moment you unlock the front door. Put simply, the living space we’re describing is the vacation home of your dream.

Many of the Hilton Head buyers we work with are looking for a home away from home. It makes sense—the island’s temperate climate, spectacular ocean views, and world-class recreational opportunities make it a vacationer’s dream. While we love the enthusiasm of these paradise seekers, we always tell them that the process of buying a second home comes with some unique challenges. Fortunately, knowing what to look for will help you make a purchase that you’re absolutely thrilled with—today, and for years to come.

If you’re preparing to buy a vacation home, here are four things you should know as you embark on your search…

1) What you’re looking for

Close your eyes and imagine your ultimate vacation. Are you relaxing in the lap of luxury? Enjoying the solitude of a cozy little villa? The answer to this question will help ensure that you find exactly what you’re looking for in a property. For some buyers, it’s all about being waterfront. For others, it’s about having the outdoor kitchen or spa-inspired bathroom of their dreams. Once you decide what you want your vacation days to look like, it will be much easier to create a list of must-have features to guide you during your search.

2) Where you want to be

There’s no shortage of places to buy a gorgeous home, but some areas will be better aligned with your preferences than others. That’s why it’s so important to choose your location wisely. We’ve worked with a whole lot of buyers over the years, and many of them know exactly where they want to be—whether that’s in a specific community, near a particular golf course, or within walking distance of a marina or private beach. Of course, it can sometimes take a little bit longer to find your dream home when you’re set on a particular neighborhood. But in our opinion, the outcome is always worth it!

3) How you’ll get there

It may sound obvious, but make sure your vacation home is accessible enough that you’ll use it regularly. Trust us, it’s all too easy to fall in love with a property and forget about the commute! Here on the island, many property owners fly in for their vacations. Thanks to a recent runway extension at the Hilton Head airport, there’s potential for more flights to come to our little piece of paradise than ever before. Our point is, whether you plan to fly or drive to your dream destination, it pays to think through the route you’ll take—and whether the distance could be an impediment in the future.

4) The rental options

The demand for vacation rentals is high, and many owners in desirable destinations are cashing in. But before you buy a property with the intention of renting it out, it’s important to know the rules. In many communities on Hilton Head, you’ll have the freedom to rent out your vacation home according to your own terms. Others have restrictions in place, or prohibit the practice altogether. Your agent will know what you can and can’t do, so be sure to discuss it with them before making a commitment. Word to the wise: if you do get the opportunity to rent out your space, make sure you know your taxation obligations!

The bottom line? Owning a vacation home can be incredibly rewarding. To get the most out of the experience, it pays to know what you’re looking for—and be aware of any small challenges that could come up along the way.

Looking for your ideal vacation home on Hilton Head? Reach out to learn what’s on the market, and how we can help!