Should You Move Permanently to Your Lake Home?

By Ainsley Lawrence

There comes a point in many of our lives when we decide to focus more on our health, happiness, and self-fulfillment. This is often when people take more vacations and begin to slash items off of their bucket lists. Some decide to take their love of non-work life even further by buying a vacation property that they can visit when the daily hustle and bustle of life becomes too much. Those who really want to make a change may decide to ditch their primary residence altogether and just live from the vacation home.

For those who are facing this decision, it is not as easy as just packing up and living out of your second home. You will need to decide what to do with your primary residence, how you can move the contents of an entire home, and most importantly, you need to think about why you want to live at your vacation house in the first place. We are here to help with some important considerations and tips to make the transition easier.

When Do You Know You’re Ready?

The question of whether or not you should move into your vacation home depends entirely on you and how your life is going at this point. First, you should think about how often you’re currently using your vacation home. To qualify as a primary residence, some states require that you live there the majority of the year. If you are already doing that at your vacation home, then you might as well make it official.

You should also consider the weather and how it will help you enjoy your life. Many people choose a vacation home in a warmer climate because they like the warmth and the fun beach activity it provides. In addition to the entertainment aspect, warm weather has also been shown to help with arthritis, bone health, and vitamin D levels while also providing better overall energy. If you are older or face any similar conditions, a permanent move to the warmer climate of your vacation home may be best.

Many people with vacation homes avoid making a permanent move because they would be moving further from their job. If you work in an office, you may want to stay put, but if you can work remotely, as many people are these days, then you can potentially work from anywhere. You would just need to make sure that your vacation home has proper internet access. If you are in retirement mode, you could move and work side jobs in your free time. This could include freelance writing, dog walking, or driving for delivery service.

Important Considerations

If you have checked several of the boxes above and you are seriously thinking about moving to your vacation home, you next need to consider a few important factors. First, what will you do with your primary residence? You have many options here. You could sell your home and use the money you earn to pay the mortgage on your vacation home. You could also rent out your current primary residence to continue earning money to pay off your vacation home. Either way, you will want to create a budget and look at the financial implications of either decision.

While you are looking at your financials, you should also consider the costs of living in the area of your vacation home. If it is located in a place like California, will you be able to afford the higher price of living? On the other side of the coin, you could also be moving to a place where you will pay less, especially in state taxes. For example, states like Nevada and Florida have no state taxes, while California and Hawaii have the highest in the nation. Work these numbers into your budget to see if you can still afford it.

You are also going to want to think about the needs of your family while living in this vacation home. Many vacation spots are fairly remote and won’t have immediate access to the big box and retail stores that you are accustomed to at your primary residence.

Also, think about work and school. If you are going to work remotely, will you have adequate office space to do so? If not, you may have to build an addition to the home. Do you have space and a budget for that? Will you have sufficient internet coverage? What about the kids? Moving to a new school is not always easy for them. That is assuming that there is an adequate school to attend near the home in the first place. Talk with your family about all of these considerations before you make your final decision.

Tips for A Successful Move

If you have weighed the pros and cons and you have decided to move permanently to your vacation house, then you are halfway there. The second half of the equation is deciding how you will move all of your belongings to the new home, especially if you are selling your existing property.

Start planning as early as possible. How do you plan to transport your stuff? Are you going to rent a truck or hire movers to do it all for you? If you are on a budget, you might consider moving during the winter when rentals are cheaper. Also, start gathering boxes wherever you can find them. You can try the grocery or liquor stores as they typically have larger boxes to spare.

If you have pets, you will need to consider them as well. You may have to crate train them ahead of time so they are safe and comfortable during the actual move. You should also research to ensure that there is a veterinarian near where you are going to live.

Those who are selling their previous house and moving to a smaller vacation dwelling will probably need to consider what items they have space for and what may not make the trip. Go through each room and determine what you don’t need. In the kitchen, get rid of all expired food and donate cookware that you no longer use. Go through your closets and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the last six months. Determine which kids’ toys are no longer of use. Make your load lighter by getting rid of these items.

In the end, the decision to move to your vacation home is something that you need to decide for yourself. Consider the factors discussed above, and if the outlook looks good, you might be ready for a change.


Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer with an interest in business, technology, good health, and beautiful places. She is frequently lost in a good book.

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