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Five Best ‘Bang For Your Buck’ Places To Buy A Vacation Home.

Although we are just starting to look for our first home, and I think buying a vacation is kind of waste of money unless you use it 50% of the year, Smart Money has come up with a list of places to buy a vacation home. So if you and yours are thinking about buying in this buyer’s market, here are 5 places they think you should check out:

1) Panama City Beach, Florida

2) Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

3) The Crystal Coast, North Carolina

4) Lake Tahoe, CaliforniaThis is the only place I would consider it out of these 5. Lake Tahoe is amazing!

5) Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

So, if you could buy a vacation home, where would you start looking? Personally I would prefer to take vacations in different places each year, but some people like familiarity. What are your thoughts on this?


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Comments (16)

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  1. Laura says:

    I got to be honest. I’d be too lazy to juggle two places. We’re still saving for our first home anyways. Since I’m in North Carolina, I’d like to go to the west coast. I’ve never been to Lake Tahoe.

  2. Emily says:

    I cannot believe the town of 20 that we vacation in is not on the list! Harumph!

    Seriously though, I hear PCB, Florida is really fabulous! I should head over that way sometime to check it out.

  3. david says:

    Where in NC? I love NC, went to college in VA and spent a bunch of time there.

    Emily – any concern about the hurricane coming your way?

  4. Sarah F. says:

    I couldn’t commit to a second home, because like you, I would like to visit different places each year.

  5. Six years ago we bought a lake home 90 minutes away in Kentucky. Very affordable. We use it often – year round, never rent it, kids also use it. (Yes we also take other vacations.) My advice is not to purchase a vacation home that is too far away to go for the weekend by car.

    I would never consider a beach house. The salt water/air just eats it up and creates tremendous maintenance problems. Erosion and hurricanes are also a concern. Who needs all that sand anyway? Call me practical but I prefer water without sand and without salt.

    Been to Tahoe. It’s beautiful but (a) not affordable and (b) not a weekend place unless you live close by.

  6. david says:

    Good point – if in driving distance, you would definitely use it more and still take vacations. Its the traveling to one far away that eat up any chance to take any other vacation!

  7. We love Lake Tahoe as well, and looked at buying a small cabin or condo when we living in SF. It would have been our little tax write-off when we were dinks. At first it looked like we could manage to buy a condo, but then the expenses of HOA’s and trying to find renters that would stay year round became an issue. Many people just want to rent through the winter or summer and not for other months. It would make a wonderful place to live full-time if you could work from home or work for a resort.

    As far as inexpensive, I guess that’s all about your definition. It’s cheaper than Tokyo or Beverly Hills, but they also have one of the most expensive areas in the country called Incline Village. Truckee or Reno could be cheaper options for many families.

  8. David says:

    Scott- that’s kind of why we moved here to New Mexico. After vacationing here and loving it, we realized I could do my job from anywhere and my wife is a teacher – she can get a job anywhere. We feel like we are on vacation all the time!

  9. I think Lake Tahoe is absolutely beautiful, that’s where I proposed to my wife. Mt. Tallac 🙂

  10. David says:

    Really Jim? Very cool…

  11. I can vouch for Smoky Mountains, TN location. Growing up in the blue ridge mountains, the scenic beauty of this area in the fall is nothing short of spectacular.

    I would also suggest Asheville, NC. It frequents the best city to live top 10 list, has a non-tourist like atmosphere, and has held up relatively well in the property value department considering the sub prime lending fiasco.

    What school did you attend in VA? Hokie, Cavalier or other?

  12. David says:

    ODU in Norfolk.

  13. Double says:

    I like to have my vacations at different places. My vacation home would be in a warm climate. I agree with ToughMoney, beach is nice but salt water/air can be unbearable.

  14. Stacey says:

    Don’t do it! The Poconos are full of summer homes (no offense if it’s what you want)…

    Most of the year, there is no one around and it’s easy to loot. And then for a few weeks each summer, the place is crawling with people, the roads are clogged, and the crime rate goes through the roof. Not exactly my idea of a vacation destination.

    If you really want a second home, don’t buy into a “destination” summer home. Find a place off the beaten path!

  15. […] Five Best ‘Bang For Your Buck’ Places To Buy A Vacation Home. […]

  16. […] Five Best ‘Bang For Your Buck’ Places To Buy A Vacation Home. Although we are just starting to look for our first home, and I think buying a vacation is kind of waste of money unless you use it 50% of the year, Smart Money has come up with a list of places to buy a vacation home. So if you and…… […]

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