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Dream Destination, Choosing Your Island Home

A Step By Step Guide to The Vacation Home Buying Process

6 minute read

Buying a vacation home isn’t something you do every day. There’s a lot to consider and there are plenty of moving parts to juggle along the way. The process of buying a vacation home can be quite drawn out, too. That’s why it’s important to have a clear understanding of what it looks like to ensure you find a property that’s exactly right for you and your needs.

In this article, we’ll provide a step by step guide to what the vacation home buying process typically looks like, so you’re fully prepared for when the time comes and you decide to purchase your own.

  1. Choosing a Financing Option
  2. Find Your Ideal Property
  3. Book an Inspection Visit
  4. Final Checks and Making the Purchase

1. Choosing a Financing Option

Before you can start searching for your dream property, you’ll need to get your finances in check. First and foremost, you need to talk with your preferred mortgage lender to begin the financing process to acquire your mortgage.

It’s important to know what you can afford before talking to a lender, especially before viewing any condos for sale. 

However, a mortgage isn’t your only option.

There are several ways you can finance a vacation home. You may decide to use your savings or opt for a conventional loan. Whichever choice you make, be sure it’s right for you and that the purchase will be affordable.

The cost of the property is just one factor to consider. You’ll also likely have to pay agency fees as they’ll have the specialized expertise needed for buying a property in a second country.

Before you choose an agent, do your research. It’s important to find an experienced and licensed real estate agent who understands the intricacies of buying a condo in a specific location.


2. Find Your Ideal Property

Step two: The hunt for a property that suits you. 

With so many options available, it’s vital to take your time and consider your options. But first, have you selected the right location?

When it comes to buying a vacation home, many prefer to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and choose a peaceful getaway where they can truly relax and unwind from the stresses of everyday life. 

That’s why Bermuda tends to be such a favorable and memorable option. The beautiful country is packed full of varying cultures and amenities you can’t get anywhere else.

What are you looking for in a property in your chosen location? Do you have an idea of what facilities the vacation home needs? And most importantly, how much is it going to cost? 

Think about the general upkeep and how you’ll maintain the property when you aren’t around. Will you need to budget for cleaners and maintenance? Or do you plan to use a management company that will look after your property for you?

There are different types of vacation homes available, too. You might like the sound of a condo, but need to get a little more clued up on the advantages of this type of property compared to others.

Always do your research about where the vacation home is located. Real estate prices vary from place to place and cultures can be different. We’ve collated six of the best countries to currently buy property abroad here.


3. Book an Inspection Visit

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, we’d always recommend booking inspection visits so you can gain first-hand experience of locations and surroundings.

This is also a good opportunity for you to take a trip to some local spots and find out more about the locals. The last thing you’d want to do is purchase a vacation home and feel unsettled once you move in.

You should also look at a few different property types. It might quickly become apparent that a villa isn’t for you and you want a property that has more facilities close by, as you might find inco a condo-hotel.

Before you head off to your inspection visits, it’s worth creating a tick list. What are the key selling points? For example, if you’re looking for somewhere family-friendly, you may want to consider a vacation home with plenty of open space.

We understand that traveling abroad isn’t that straightforward at the moment. So, if you’re overseas and can’t physically view the property, it’s still worth asking your agent to send you photos or even a video, so you have some idea of what you’re buying

A visit is always worthwhile, though. So, always check the recent travel guidelines before arranging a viewing.


4. Final Checks and Making the Purchase

You’ve nearly made it. That dream vacation home is almost yours. However, before you go ahead and buy, you’ll need to spend some time doing some final checks and working with your agent to find a competitive price you’re willing to offer.

You might only get one chance to make an impression on the seller and they’ll most likely look to receive the listed price — or possibly more.

If you can offer a 30-60 day closing time frame, that’s usually more attractive to the seller than an offer for more money. It might just be the edge you need to beat the competition and secure your dream vacation home. Some are even likely to sell slightly cheaper with an all-cash purchase.

Once you’ve completed all of the final checks and submitted your offer, fingers crossed its plain sailing from there. If you decide to choose a hotel condominium as your property type, there will be specific documents you’ll have to read up on and sign.

In general, these documents could specify a range of items, including its pet policy or whether you’re allowed to rent your condo out short-term. 


A Condo-Buying Timeline

If you’d like to know more about the process of buying a condo specifically in more detail, we’ve put together a condo-buying timeline. From details about what’s entailed in a condo viewing to insight into how long each step of the process takes, this timeline covers everything you need to know.

It’s available to read below.

condo buying timeline