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Owning a vacation home in Florida can be an incredibly rewarding experience. There is nothing like the feeling of being able to close up your primary home and head off to a warmer climate before winter weather sets in. Before you start looking at houses, however, there are a number of different factors that you should consider. The following section outlines some key questions that you should ask yourself before investing in a second home in Florida:

Q: Do you have enough money?

Unless you have the money to buy the property outright, you will have to take on a brand new mortgage. While your payments may seem affordable today, there is no telling what may happen with your income in the future. The last thing you want is for your vacation home to become an overwhelming burden on your finances. To avoid problems further down the road, you should only buy the home if you are totally positive that you can comfortably afford the payments.

Q: Is it likely to be a good investment?

Even if you have plenty of disposable income, there may be smarter ways to invest your money to grow it for the future. Generally, real estate is a good investment that will appreciate over time. However, you should do careful research on the area where you plan to purchase the home to make sure that property values are going up and not down. Ideally, you should look for a home that is located in a popular, high-growth area. This will not only help ensure that it increases in value, but will also help improve the chances of a fast sale if you ever decide to put it back on the market.

Q: Will you get bored with the location?

One problem that many people run into is getting bored vacationing in the same location year after year. If you worry that you may not want to return to the same vacation spot for more than a few years, you may want to consider renting a vacation home instead. Chances are you won’t spend more money on a rental than you do on a mortgage. However, you have the benefit of not being locked into a home if you change your mind about where you want to spend your time.

Q: Can you handle upkeep on a second home?

Maintaining a second home in a remote location can be a lot of work. You may need to hire contractors over the phone to deal with issues that arise or to make any necessary repairs. Chances are you will also have to hire someone to maintain the yard year-round. If you plan on doing the work yourself, you need to make sure you have the time, skills and energy to get it all done…not only today, but also as you get older in the future.

These are just a few of the many factors that you should consider before purchasing a second home in Florida. As long as you put careful thought into the purchase, you should be able to find a beautiful home where you can vacation for years to come.

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