Connect with PVAngelsJoin PVAngels on FacebookJoin PVAngels on TwitterPVAngels News Feeds Tell a Friend PVAngels Newsletter  
Home Home   About PVAngels   Get Involved   Local News   Event Calendar   Add a Charity   Partners for Change   Contact Us      Search Search PVAngels 

Local News & Events

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

10 Things To know When Buying a Vacation Home

go to original
September 22, 2012

The first question to ask when buying a vacation property is how you plan to use it. Is it for big gatherings, quiet getaways, or income producer?

Buying a vacation property is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself or your family.  Here are 10 things you need to know:

1. Why Do I Want It?

Buying a vacation home isn’t always about just about a place to retire or relax. It can also be an investment, which generates income when you don’t want to be there. So that’s your first question. Are you using this second home mainly for fun or do you want to rent it out and make some money?

If it is mainly for personal use, then the most important consideration might be the size of the home and number of bedrooms. Is it big enough for family gatherings? Or you might want it close to the beach so you can watch the sun go down. If you are an investor, these details may not be important to you. What you might be looking for is a smaller property because it is easier to manage and rent.

Figuring out where you are on the spectrum and what is most important to you. This will help you find the characteristics of the property that will benefit you the most.

2. Keep Your Emotions in Check

Just because you have the cash for a down payment doesn't mean you should buy the property.

Buying a vacation home can be risky because it appeals to your emotions. Before you begin your journey make sure that you do a thorough check of your finances. Is your primary home paid off? Can you carry the operating costs? Do you have enough cash on hand?

Finding a mortgage in Mexico may be different than what you are used to so be prepared to pay a higher percentage in cash if that’s what it takes.

Some people take out the equity on their primary home to make a down payment on the vacation home. All’s well and good if the housing market remains stable. But if the market falls, so does your equity. Make sure this works for the long haul just in case the market does change for you.

If you are planning on getting a loan, talk to some mortgage brokers in the area to see what loans are available and get pre-qualified before you shop.

3. Where Do I Buy?

Your dream vacation home might be your backyard or Mexico. We’d like to think that Mexico would be your choice. Puerto Vallarta's international airport offers non-stop flights from most major cities and for a foreign destination has a lot to offer Canadian and US citizens.

A strong dollar, means Canadians are looking south of the border and US are right behind them.

The important thing to think about is the time and the ease of getting there.

4. Consider Pooling Resources

One way to ease the burden or to get a nicer property is through joint ownership. You may want to share the ownership with friends or family. The key is to make sure everyone understands the rules of the road, including a fair way to divide prime time use, what happens when one party wants to sell, and who inherits the property should be arranged ahead of time.

5. Beware of Tax Implications

Buying a home outside of Canada or the US could have tax implications. Owning property in Mexico can have some positive tax implications including extremely low property taxes and the possibility of exempting capital gains when you sell.

6. Location is Key

Buy a condo a block away from the beach and your potential rental income could drop by half. Vacationers are willing to pay extra for that week or two they spend in paradise. Views and beachfront are traditionally two of the main features people look for. Consider the trade offs. You may go for a lesser property closer to the beach than a larger property further away.

7. Condo vs a House

Do you have a big family and like to be surrounded by friends? Or are your vacations a chance to get away from it all? Thinking about this will help you decide whether you need a small condo, or a detached home with lots of space. Are you considering retiring in your new vacation home at some point?

Make a list of your important features. Things that were important in your family home may not be as important in a vacation property. Do you really need a lot of closet space? Will a smaller kitchen do since you plan to be eating out often?  Will you want a space for an in-home office?

On the other hand, maybe you always wanted a pool, or an outdoor shower. Talk to your broker about future re-salability. Do homes or condos hold value best and which are easiest to re-sell?

8. Check Out the Neighborhood

Once you’ve decided what to buy and where, stay for a few days and look around. Find a location that you can enjoy long term.

You may have vacationed in the area before but not really gotten to know anyone. Talk to neighbors and locals. What do they think of the area and what is it like in the off-season? Can you walk to cafes and shops? Is this a good fit for your family?

9. Look for Hidden Costs

Take a look at taxes, management, and condominium fees.  Mexico has a lower cost of living than most nearby countries.  You may be able to have a daily maid, help at home with cooking and gardening. Investigate these options and their costs.

Other things to consider:

  • Does the condo association allow rentals? Are there restrictions on length of rental periods?
  • Does the condo association have an adequate reserve fund to pay for future repairs.
  • If you are buying in a foreign currency and have a mortgage, you can hedge your risk to avoid currency fluctuations. The most straightforward way is to buy for example, U.S. dollars if you are going to make a purchase down south. You can leave those dollars in the bank until you are ready to make a purchase.

10. Inexpensive Doesn’t Always Mean Bargain

Buying on impulse can be dangerous. Make sure your agent helps you understand the market and market values. Make your offer with an AMPI professional who can help protect you throughout the transaction with things like a physical inspection and proper documents from the Seller. Do your due diligence and this exciting time in your life can be both financially rewarding and give you the life experiences you have been hoping for.

Timothy Real Estate Group – An innovative company setting new standards in Real Estate sales and services has the most professional and experienced Realtors in the Puerto Vallarta area who understand the intricacies of Mexican Real Estate ownership, the local market, Puerto Vallarta property codes and regulations and financing.  The Timothy Group uses that knowledge to provide a sound analysis on every aspect of property ownership. Timothy Real Estate Group is known for professionalism and experience and they bring this to every transaction they work on for the benefit of Real Estate investors and developers alike.

  Learn more about Vallarta Botanical Gardens

  Check out Timothy Real Estate Group

We invite you to add your charity or supporting organizations' news stories and coming events to PVAngels so we can share them with the world. Do it now!

Meet the Charities

Community Services


Animals & Wildlife

Health Care

Youth & Family


Culture & Recreation

Special Interests

How You Can Help

Use Your Powers for Good

Add Your Favorite Charity

Save a Life - Give Blood


Partners for Change

Meet the Partners

Become a Partner for Change


About PVAngels

Add Your Charity

Add Your News & Events

Locate Yourself on Our Maps

Join PVAngels Team

About Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Local News

Local Event Calendar

Puerto Vallarta Videos

Puerto Vallarta Photos

Historic Puerto Vallarta

Local Area Maps

Important Phone Numbers

CraigsList in Puerto Vallarta

   Stay Connected

    Find PVAngels on Facebook Follow PVAngels on Twitter Sign up PVAngels Newsletter RSS Feeds on PVAngels

Feeding Mexico

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

2019 • m3 • this site is part of a charitable conspiracy