Chalet tyrolien La Tani??re dans l'pentu, Saint-Jean-de-Sixt, Haute-savoieLooking to escape the winter blahs, or maybe just get away from your day to day routine? Maybe its time for you to purchase a vacation home.

A lot of thought should go into the purchase of a vacation property before you make the leap as they are generally pretty pricey and you’ll only be using them for short periods of time, unless you plan on becoming a snowbird and spending half your year in the warmer climates. Before you purchase a vacation home make sure you’ve done a lot of research so you know that the area is exactly what you want. You may think that being on the beach is all you’ll need, but after a few weeks you may find that you’re actually a bit bored, or that the local restaurant scene offers nothing for you. If possible, rent for a couple years in the area to really see if you think this is the best place to have a vacation home.

Then its time to review the real estate market, price of homes in the area, and price of insurance and any condo fees. Home owner’s insurance is something people often over look when purchasing a vacation home, but many ideal winter hot spots face some serious weather during the off season which can mean home owner’s insurance can actually cost as much as the monthly mortgage payments.

Once you’ve determined that the location and finances are a fit, its time to look at yearly maintenance, especially when you’re not at your vacation property. Lawns still need mowing, in hotter climates you’ll still need to run air conditioning, in colder climates you will have to watch for water leaks or pipe breakage.

Finally, when it’s all ironed out you can sit back and enjoy your vacation property and live in luxury in your own home.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Toprural