9 Types of People Who Should Never Buy a Vacation Home

A vacation home quickly can become an albatross if you are one of these types of people.
Last updated March 31, 2023 | By Jenny Cohen | Edited By Chris Kissell
happy mature couple standing on terrace in log cabin somewhere in woods

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As housing prices decline across the country, some potential buyers may see an opportunity to buy a vacation home.

Such a purchase can make sense for many people. But you should think long and hard before buying a vacation home.

A second property often comes with headaches. And that means a vacation property might not be a good lifestyle fit if you are busy with other things, or simply don’t think you will use the home much.

Before you buy a vacation home, think twice if you are one of the following types of people. Skipping this purchase may be a great way to avoid wasting money.

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Workaholics

DragonImages/Adobe pretty woman working in front of desktop late at night in the dark

Are you chained to your desk all the time? Buying a vacation home might seem like an excuse to get away from your job.

But if you are a workaholic, you are more likely to just grab your laptop and spend much of the time at the second property working instead of enjoying a vacation.

If you aren’t taking advantage of vacation days now, expect to continue that habit even after you buy a second home.

Those who don’t like to travel much

BestForYou/Adobe young woman in her room resting on cozy rocking chair

If you're a homebody, a vacation home might not be a great choice.

Chances are good that the second property will be some distance from your primary home. That means you will face the dreaded tasks of packing and driving or flying to a different location.

Those who dislike travel might enjoy less frequent getaways. If that sounds like you, skip the vacation home and stick with the occasional hotel or Airbnb.

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Anyone who hasn’t saved enough for other goals

lovelyday12/Adobe man saving pennies in a jar while writing

Investing in a second property likely means a lot of your money will be tied up in two pieces of real estate. That leaves less cash for retirement accounts or saving for your kids’ college tuition.

If the money in those other accounts isn’t at the level you would like it to be, reconsider adding another home to your portfolio.

Pro tip: If you’re trying to save money to meet financial goals, look into a high-yield savings account that can earn you extra cash.

People who like variety

EVERST/Adobe man hiking in the mountains alone with backpack

Some people love to try a variety of new experiences when they travel or enjoy time off.

A vacation home, however, means you will be in the same place doing the same things vacation after vacation.

It’s fine to crave variety when you’re taking a break. But that spirit does not fit with owning a vacation home that you return to over and over again.

Those who already own multiple properties

Prostock-studio/Adobe happy african american family at home holding keys together

Owning rental properties can be a rewarding way to make extra cash. But if you already have investments tied up in real estate, do you want to add more?

A vacation home — even if you plan to use it yourself — is another property in your portfolio. You might want to consider diversifying your investment portfolio instead of adding more real estate to it.

Folks who can’t handle the extra costs

gmcgill/Adobe man standing on staircase caulking window

Before buying a vacation home, consider the extra costs. They might include:

  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Upkeep and repairs
  • Taxes

It’s a good idea to sit down and create a budget for all your estimated costs. This might include everything from winterizing your home to hiring someone to care for it between visits from you.

Factor in any fees you’ll have to pay to a rental agency if you plan to rent the home out when you’re not there.

Busy people without time to keep up the place

Dmitrijs Dmitrijevs/Adobe happy senior man mowing lawn

A vacation home needs the same level of care as your main residence. You’ll be responsible for mowing the lawn in the summer and removing snow in the winter. You should also take into account maintenance and repair issues.

It can be daunting to take over the care of two homes instead of just one. So, factor in any time you will have to spend caring for the property, or finding other people who can care for it while you’re gone.

Investors who dream of owning an Airbnb

AlesiaKan/Adobe man holding sign reading airbnb

A vacation home can seem like both a good place to stay and something you can rent out to visitors when you’re not there.

But do your homework first. Some cities and towns that are popular vacation destinations have increased regulations or even banned homeowners from using their homes as Airbnbs.

And even if you are allowed to rent out a vacation home, doing so can be more of a headache than you think.

Confused folks looking for a place to invest money

fizkes/Adobe african american advisor talking to young couple

If you have a lot of money but don’t know where to invest it, a vacation home can sound like a tempting solution.

But before you simply throw that excess cash into a vacation home, check with a financial advisor to get a better idea of what else you can do with the money. Perhaps there are other ways to invest it that make more sense than simply sinking cash into a vacation home.

Bottom line

travnikovstudio/Adobe woman wearing beach hat relaxing inside pool during day time

For many people, buying a vacation home is not the right choice. However, others may feel differently.

Still want to own a vacation home? Check with lenders about rates and costs associated with closing on a vacation home.

If you buy a second home, get in touch with local rental agencies to see if there are ways to earn extra income with your property and boost your bank account when you’re not using it.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.