By Craig Middleton
For most people, the occasional weekend getaway to the northwoods is plenty of exposure to cabin life. But for others, once in a while just isn’t enough. If you’ve been considering making your vacation a permanent fixture of your lifestyle, here are a few tips for ensuring you buy a cabin that’s a good fit for you.
1. Consider Your Financial Situation
Before making any purchase as big as a second home, it’s important to sit down and make sure you fully understand where you’re at financially. Other factors like how does deforestation affect the water cycle, can be considered once you know whether you can afford a cabin in the first place. For instance, those who are already making mortgage payments for their primary residence may not be in a place financially to take on a second mortgage. But don’t throw your hands up in despair if this describes you – paying off your mortgage or getting enough savings together might take a little while longer, but you’ll be glad you waited and bought when you were ready.
2. Factor In Distance
Your dream cabin location might be the top of a mountain at the other end of the country from your primary residence. But realistically, you’ll need it to be in a location where you can actually visit it regularly. Imagine having to buy a plane ticket every time you want to get away for a weekend or spend a week in the mountains. Driving distance is generally advisable, and preferably in a place where extreme weather conditions won’t make it impossible for you to get there and back again. If you’re committed to a specific location, ensure that any vehicles making the drive out there are equipped with the right tires for emergencies, as well as emergency supplies.
3. Consider Renting Out
If you’ve taken the time to purchase a gorgeous cabin in an incredible location, you may as well consider renting it out to others who will enjoy it just as much as you do. Especially if you aren’t spending the majority of your time there, having occasional renters could end up earning back what you’re spending on a mortgage or utilities. You should be partnering with a qualified renting company to ensure that your cabin is up to snuff with safety regulations, but otherwise, it can be an easy way to earn while you’re sleeping. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to really share one of your passions with others.
4. Visit In-Person
A big mistake that many first-time cabin buyers will make is signing off on a purchase before seeing the cabin in person. Like most things, a cabin can look much different in photos than it does in real life. And any experienced homeowner can tell you that even with the best home inspector, you’ll need to see for yourself whether the quality of the plumbing and construction are up to snuff. Take along a checklist to make sure you know what you’re looking for and really take a moment to step back and make sure this is the right place for you. You could even rent a cabin yourself just to get the feeling for the place.
5. Talk to Other Cabin Owners
Before doing anything even mildly risky for the first time, it’s always a good idea to talk to someone who’s done it first and did it successfully. If you know anyone who has bought a cabin and been happy with their purchase, get their opinion of your plans. The best possible scenario is finding someone who lives locally to where you’re hoping to buy, so they can give you the inside scoop on the area and let you know what to look out for.
Buying a vacation home can be exciting, but don’t let your excitement cloud your judgment. Use these tips to make sure that buying a new cabin is the right move for you.