Family vacation homes have an emotional significance that goes beyond what words can express. A beach house, a cabin in the woods, or a lakefront property can become one of the most treasured family assets. They bring people together in ways that can't be experienced elsewhere and represent parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends. To keep them in the family for generations requires planning, attention to detail, and work.
Lenders view vacation home loans as a greater risk because borrowers are more likely to default on a loan for a secondary residence if they are in financial difficulty. For a home to qualify as a vacation home, you must live on the property for part of the year and have sole control over it. The shared family vacation home offers unique opportunities to build these values and create lasting memories. It's important to help children adjust to their new school situation at your vacation home, as a big move can be disruptive.
You may feel guilty about charging your friends and family to stay at your vacation property, but setting limits is the best way to avoid vacation home freeloaders. A vacation home or secondary residence is a home that you use only occasionally throughout the year, usually for recreational purposes. It's a common scenario faced by many families who come to see their beach house, mountain retreat, or European villa as more than just a holiday home and almost an extension of the family. With work, school, and transportation needs, your vacation home will need to accommodate more than just sunscreen and skis now.
There's a big difference between holiday home visitors and friends or family who ask to stay for a few days. Due to pandemic-related concerns and increased remote work opportunities, some homeowners are leaving their city or suburban homes to enjoy a daily vacation atmosphere in their second home. The sights, smells, and memories of the family vacation home help shape the family culture. As the family grows and begins to think about how to preserve the home as a legacy, an essential step is creating a formal master plan for the home, according to Wendy Goffe, Seattle-based estate attorney and author of several highly regarded vacation home management whitepapers including “classic” Planning of Residences and Vacation Homes.
No matter how unnecessary they may seem, having solid rules in place is the best way to ensure harmony at your holiday home.