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By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

Q: Is it advisable to buy a vacation home while still on vacation?

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to afford buying a home in New York City or New Jersey, chances are you might have the funds needed to take a nice vacation once in a while. It’s probably not a stretch to say that while you’re away having the time of your life, you might discuss buying a vacation home in that idyllic location. On impulse, you might even see a real estate broker before you return home.

New York and New Jersey real estate attorneys often hear from clients who just enjoyed a wonderful vacation and –  high off the amazing experience – impulsively want to buy a second home at the vacation destination.

Making a major real estate decision when you’re on vacation is a bad idea. At a minimum, those considering buying a second home based on having a great week at the location need to step back and carefully consider the potential long-term consequences:

  • you probably won’t get there as often as you think;
  • when you do get there, you’ll be spending time on repairs and maintenance instead of fun;
  • the mortgage, property taxes, and maintenance and overall costs are always more than you anticipate;
  • if it’s an investment property, tenants will want to go at the peak times you would;
  • if it’s not being rented, is it worth the carrying costs for the amount of time you’ll use it;
  • going to the same place every vacation will get boring;
  • it’s fun now, but will this vacation home suit your family’s future lifestyle;
  • will it be as enjoyable without maid- or room-service and when you have to grocery shop, cook and clean;
  • will you be in trouble if the real estate value does not increase on the investment?

This isn’t meant to discourage you. Buying a vacation home can be a wonderful thing and a smart investment as long as you give serious consideration to the above factors—and see a skilled real estate attorney—before signing that contract.

Contact Merlino & Gonzalez Today

If you are thinking about buying or selling a vacation home, the attorneys at Merlino & Gonzalez can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our offices in Staten Island, New York, and East Brunswick, New Jersey, we represent clients in both states in all aspects of real estate law.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.