Buying a vacation home is exciting! It’s the gateway to a vacation escape—any time you feel like it! But before you rush into purchasing a second home, make sure you read up on these tips and do your research to ensure that you find the home that’s perfect for you.
1. Pick a State.
What kind of vacation are you looking for? Summer fun or winter adventures? Big-city bustle and entertainment or a quiet retreat away from hectic city life? It’s important to choose a location that you will want to return to, season after season, year after year.
Now, let’s say you decide you want a quiet recreational escape that offers summer activities like boating, fishing, and biking, as well as winter activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, or ice fishing. That just might lead you to the Northwest of Wisconsin.
2. Choose Your Amenities
So, you’re looking for a recreational escape. But how far removed do you want to be? Close to a small town, or truly secluded out in the woods? And what sort of activities would you like to be near—conveniences like shopping and dining, or more recreational activities such as mountain biking trails or water-skiing lakes? You might also want to consider the traveling distance from home to ensure it’s not too far for an easy vacation.
Make a list of amenities, attractions, or conveniences you think you might like to be near. Then, start narrowing down your options.
3. Explore Your Options in Northwestern WI
Based on your selected amenities, Northwestern Wisconsin has a lot of options from which to choose. For example, you might want to be close to a town such as Hayward, which is known both for its charming little downtown shops and dining and its outstanding community events.
However, many people choose a more secluded retreat on a lake or a trail for easy access to recreational activities such as biking, running, or fishing. There are plenty of options for all of these—and more!—so start exploring!
If you want to live near a lake, it’s important to understand that not all lakes are created equal in terms of preferred activities. For example, Lake Namekagon might be an ideal location for someone interested in power sports or a wide variety of recreational pursuits, but could be annoying to those seeking a quieter environment. The Quiet Lakes are ideal for those looking for some tranquil fishing, but horsepower limits prevent water sports.
4. Go On Vacation
This the fun part—you get to take your chosen locations for a test ride! Explore the different areas you’re considering, and try to stay in each for as long as possible to determine which best meets your needs and ensure that you’re the right distance between conveniences and activities.
5. Find Your Ideal Home Size and Price
Ultimately, you want to strike a balance between the home you want and the home you can afford. It’s important to find a home that will fit easily into your budget, but it’s equally as important to consider the size of the house you’ll need. How much family or how many friends do you anticipate will come with you on your trips or visit while you’re there? How many people would you like to be able to accommodate? Other important considerations include whether you’d prefer a single-family home or a condo or townhome complex, and how much land or privacy is ideal.
6. Consider Your Financials
Keep all the expenses in mind—state taxes, homeowners insurance, home maintenance expenses. You might want to think about hiring a caretaker if you plan on being away from the home for long periods of time. Many second home owners will rent out their vacation homes, but this can come with additional expenses and stressors and isn’t always profitable.
7. Always Work with a Realtor
Though it’s important to be very thorough in your research, working with a Realtor can help lighten the load.
As your expert Northwestern Wisconsin real estate agents, we are more than happy to answer any and all questions you might have about buying a second home here! We can help you explore the area, find your ideal location, and search homes for sale. So don’t wait! Contact us today and let’s get started!