What are some tips for buying vacation property with family?
Oh, to own a vacation home – some quaint place not too far away to spend weekends fishing, boating and relaxing. Or perhaps it’s in the mountains for skiing and hiking. Regardless where your fantasy vacation home is, you have to find a way to afford it. Some people opt to buy vacation properties with family, to share the expense, work and fun. And that can be a successful venture…but it has some risks, as well. What are some tips for buying vacation property with family?
Set Guidelines: You need to, together, set guidelines ahead of time on certain expectations. Family members have varying personalities and those personalities come with the joint agreement, so expect differences in styles, opinions and ways of handling conflict. There will for sure, be healthy banter in the process of buying and sharing a vacation home.
Create Property/Family Boundaries: It’s important to make the purchase of a vacation property a business agreement. Define how often you will meet to discuss property matters but don’t bring conversations or conflicts into family time – resist the temptation to discuss the new dock while at a family birthday gathering or around the Christmas tree.
Communication is Key: Make sure you have opportunities to express yourself and then LISTEN to others as well. Don’t assume anything – talk things out, work through things. There is bound to be one person who is SURE they work harder or put more $ into the property, so listen to each other and figure it out.
Put it in Writing: Never assume you have things settled without putting it in writing. Not just your purchase agreement, but how you plan to handle cash infusion issues, division of responsibilities, buy-out options and how you plan to ‘reserve’ your time to spend at the property. You need an exit-strategy spelled out ahead of time in case the agreement is a bust.
Family First: Although it’s a business agreement, never allow the business to splinter a family. You need to keep your healthy family relationships a top priority. And sometimes that means not investing together in a property.
Buying vacation property with family members can be a successful venture and provide years of enjoyment for your extended family. Just make sure you thoroughly work through things prior to signing on the dotted line, expect to work through a few things along the way and keep the lines of communication open.
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