Finding that perfect winter residence can sometimes be more difficult than buying a primary residence. There are so many things, other than price point, to consider including what type of community are you interested in, what community amenities are important, what hobbies do you plan to pursue, does the home need to accommodate visitors and more. It’s important to make a list of your priorities for the time you’ll be living there, and understanding these priorities may be different from the ones you have at your primary residence. But don’t feel overwhelmed, there’s an easy way to narrow your choices down.
First make a list, in order of importance, of the following types of considerations:
What type of community are you looking for, i.e. golf, waterfront, tennis?
Does the community need to be pet friendly?
Do you want a gated, staffed or open community?
What type of interests or hobbies do you plan on pursuing?
Are you planning on hosting visitors from out of the area for extended stays? If so, how many guest rooms do you need?
Are you looking for a full size kitchen with upgraded appliances, or are you planning on eating out a lot?
Do you need a pool and/or a summer kitchen?
Do you want privacy and seclusion with a lot of downtime or do you want to be in the middle of everything?
Is being close to shopping and dining important to you? How important is it to be close to cultural activities, like festivals, museums and art galleries?
Will you need a home office to be able to conduct business?
Questions such as those listed above can help you determine in advance what’s most important when deciding on a secondary home. Having this information handy will be most helpful to your real estate agent and in the long run, narrow your choices down to those homes that best fit your lifestyle and needs.
Buying a second or third home is exciting and can be a lot of fun if you’re prepared.