Jerry Newman's San Antonio, TX Blog 210-789-4216: Tips for Retirees Buying a Vacation Home

Tips for Retirees Buying a Vacation Home

Buying a vacation home is at the top of the list for most people. Many retirees have the unique ability to realize this dream after years of hard work and saving. Depending on the location of your proposed vacation home, though, the experience of owning a vacation home can be more complicated than expected.

A vacation home requires upkeep, a process that can be much more difficult than the work necessary to maintain a house you live in full-time. Here are some ideas on how to navigate the vacation home-buying and owning process.

Should you consider a vacation home?

Although the idea of your dreams being fulfilled may be exciting, be cautious and prudent about your vacation home purchase. It is easy to make a wrong decision and difficult to reverse once a choice is made. Since a vacation home is a commitment, invest your time appropriately in the decision. Consider:

  • Is the location ideal for you and your family? Make sure you’ve visited the area before. If you have any hesitation about spending a lot of time in the area, delay your purchase and spend time there on an extended vacation. If you can, try out several places to find the best fit.
  • Will you own the home yourself or with family or friends? If family members or friends are going to share the vacation home experience with you, make sure you put down some concrete rules. It’s crucial to know who is responsible for upkeep and repair to best avoid problems later on down the road.
  • What if a home requires renovations to meet your needs? If changes are necessary, you’ll need to include in your preliminary budget the cost of hiring a contractor and the major improvements you want. Take note: You’ll also need to account for a timeline if renovations will keep you from moving in for several months.

Find your home

When you have decided on the location and how you will handle upkeep, it’s time to do some research. Check online to see prices and recent sales in your desired area. Reach out to real estate brokers that represent homes that you like and ask for some assistance. Most will gladly offer buyer’s broker services and help you find the vacation home of your dreams.

Determine how the property will be cared for in the off-season

Although overall care responsibilities should be part of your plan if you are sharing the home with others, you’ll need to determine property maintenance requirements year-round regardless of who is signing the checks for the work. If your vacation home is far from your home residence, you should develop a strong relationship with a property maintenance company. The prior owner or a local real estate agent may be good sources of connections. You’ll also want to install a security system to help ensure your home is being monitored -- whether by you or a private company -- while you’re away.

Make your vacation home a retirement home 

When you find that dream home, think about whether it works as a full-time retirement home. Some retirees stay at their homebase for family reasons, but living full-time in a frequent vacation spot gives your family a fun and exciting place to visit. Even if a full-time residence does not seem likely today, make a “what-if” in the event you change your mind.

A vacation home is an exciting decision that can yield great return on investment and provide years of relaxation. Take it easy and consider all of your options and responsibilities carefully and you’ll find a home and location that fits your needs and your life. 

San Antonio has been a military retirement choice for many of our veterans. As a retired veteran myself, I can relate to choosing a city that offers many great housing opportunities, medical facilities, and other nice benefits for our military veterans. Visit my website at Homes Homes For Sale In and Around San Antonio, and give me a call today. 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

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Jerry Newman, REALTOR®

US Army Retired

Military Relocation Professional

Brown Realty

900 NE Loop 410 Suite D303

San Antonio, TX 78209

Direct 210-789-4216


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Comment balloon 12 commentsJerry Newman • March 06 2019 05:26PM


When buying a vacation home you have to be careful to make sure you get what you really need

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) almost 2 years ago

Yes, William. That's very true. It's all about specific needs. 

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, almost 2 years ago

Hi Jerry... well written about how to go about buying a vacation home. (I'm one those people who has never wanted one.)

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) almost 2 years ago

Hi Nina. I realize this post was only intended for a niche market for vacation homes, and those who are retiring. Hopefully, this information will be useful for them.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, almost 2 years ago

Good afternoon Jerry. I think your analysis is very sound and this is really accurate too.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 2 years ago

Great post, Jerry Newman and certainly questions vacation home buyers should answer before proceeding. Thanks for the post!

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc.) almost 2 years ago

Thanks, Sheila Anderson Hopefully, many retirees will see these tips to help with their choices for a vacation home.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, almost 2 years ago

Thanks Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI Having a guide like this can be beneficial to retirees looking to purchase a vacation home. 

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, almost 2 years ago

Oh I don't know...deciding to buy a vacation home is a tough one. I can see the advantages. If I was interested, this guide would be so useful. Nicely done, Jerry. D 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 2 years ago

Thanks, Debb. I was hoping these tips would be useful for anyone looking at vacation homes. Missed your You Tube videos. I want to start doing a few again soon. 

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, almost 2 years ago

Jerry such good advice, I never could afford or wanted a Vacation Home, but that is because I never take vacations:) now with that said for those who do good advice, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) almost 2 years ago

Yes, Endre. I hear you about not taking any vacations. I am just about in the same boat. I was planning to go to Israel last year, but my plans changed. Have a Blessed and Wonderful Weekend!

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, almost 2 years ago

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