EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


June 22, 2014

6 tips for buying the right vacation home


Even if you don’t share your getaway with tenants, remember to factor in such costs as utilities, maintenance and landscaping.

MAKE IT A STRESS-FREE TRIP: Many people prefer a relatively short trek to their second home, so buying something that’s between a 45-minute and a couple-of-hours’ drive from your primary residence can be a good idea.

Larry Aguilar’s Yorba Linda client is 56-year-old Hemant Agrawal. The Balboa Peninsula condo is his first vacation home. The search, Agrawal said, was a relative snap.

“It was much simpler than had it been for someone who’s not aware of what they need,” he said. “We were already clear we wanted to be as close to the water as we can.”

He also saw no need to travel far.

“Sometimes you just want to get away just to take a break,” said Agrawal, who works in the software industry and is married with two grown children in their 20s. The kids like the peninsula’s summertime vibe, busier than their quiet, inland neighborhood, he noted.

“They wanted to be someplace where there’s some action.”

— PICK THE RIGHT BEACH: Buying a house along the beach brings its own set of decisions.

“Do they want a busy beach or quiet beach?” asked Ken Ross of Surterre Properties, who sells oceanfront houses along a strip of Capistrano Beach, where the homeowners also own the sand.

And size doesn’t matter as much as it might in another area, according to Ross.

“Do they really need a bigger home?” he said. “When at the beach, they are outside 80 percent-plus of the time.”

— DON’T ISOLATE YOURSELF: If it’s isolation you’re after, that’s fine. But be aware of the financial implications. Agents say that being an outlier can limit a vacation home’s resale potential.

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