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Deciding on a Vacation Home or Rental Property

If you are thinking about purchasing a mid century modern home, desert condo, mountain view luxury home, or other vacation property, especially here in the Palm Springs & Desert cities area…let me help you do your due diligence.

There is a lot to consider when owning a second home and you want to enjoy the property, not be burdened by it, especially when you are not living full-time here in the Desert.

The first thing to consider is what your goals are for the property. Will it be strictly a retreat for your family and friends, or do you want to earn rental income when you are not using it? If you are entering the rental market, find out what months are the high and low season for visitors. Will this conflict with your personal use of the property?

The size of the property is another consideration if you want to rent it out. You may need three bedrooms for your family to vacation comfortably, but the rental market may be much higher for two-bedroom properties. You need to weigh what is more important to you.

When figuring your budget, you need to know what resort fees or taxes you will be required to charge visitors, liability insurance policies you may need, costs for regular repairs and maintenance, and refurbishing household items that disappear or wear out often.

Make sure you know the area laws or neighborhood rules on renting your property. Some neighborhoods and most country clubs do not allow short-term rentals of less than a month or 30-90 days, others don’t allow less than a week. Some restrict the time of year, the number of people, or whether pets are allowed.

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If you will want to rent your property, make sure you get a referral to a reliable property manager, handyman, and cleaning service that can assist you in between guests.

As you shop for properties, find out what HOA or deed restrictions are in place. If you are looking at condos or single family homes, are assessments charged for major improvements like a roof replacement, storm damage, or structural repairs, and when is the last time that happened?

Is there planned construction or development in the area? You don’t want to fall in love with the view of the mountains from the backyard, only to find out a new complex is planned to be built in the vacant lot adjacent you.

Consider the ease of getting there. If you can load up the family, a few bags and groceries, and get to your vacation home with relative ease, you will be far more likely to use it often than if everyone arrives stressed out. However, many of our clients fly in to their vacation homes and know which is the best route and how far away they would like to be from Palm Springs airport.

Choose your city & lifestyle. There are so many different lifestyles and vacation styles here in the Desert. Do you prefer downtown Palm Springs and your daily social keeping you close to the airport? or would you prefer El Paseo and the Palm Desert /Rancho Mirage where you are just out of reach from Palm Springs and more centered in the middle of the desert cities? Some clients prefer la Quinta and being closer to places like Coachella Fest and Polo events in the eastern part of the Valley. Each of the cities offer so many different elements that it is important to discover which one best suits you and your family.

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Make sure everyone is all in. Nothing spoils a good time faster than having to force the idea on your children or spouse. If everyone is complaining about having to go rather than looking forward to the next trip, you have a problem. There are different philosophies on family vacations. Some families like to explore new places all the time. For them, a vacation home may not make sense. But, if your family philosophy is revisiting the same beloved place year after year, and creating memories there, then a vacation home may be perfect for you.

If you have made the choice to look into a vacation property here in the Desert, I would love to help you locate the perfect property or refer you to a trusted real estate agent in that area.

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