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If you think you are ready, first determine what you are looking for in a vacation home. Remember to balance your wants and needs. It is very tempting to go for the gusto, but keep in mind that, depending on your situation, you may not be using the home too frequently.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are planning on ultimately retiring to your vacation home, evaluate how the expenses of owning the home will fit into your retirement budget.
Where Do You Want to Vacation?
Most people considering a vacation home have a favorite vacation spot. Now that you are thinking of buying there, be more specific about the location and consider your price range. Do you want to live on a golf course or on the water? What about a condominium for a more carefree lifestyle? These are some of the things you will be deciding as you shop around.
Balancing Your Wants and Needs
Once you've selected the location and type of community, begin thinking about the home itself. We all think about our vacation home in grand terms, but usually financial considerations bring our dreams down to reality.
See the section Choosing a Home to complete the Wants and Needs Checklist to make it easier for you to go through your decision-making process.