If you live in one part of the country and love to spend time in another, consider purchasing a vacation home in your preferred location. Although you may not be able to pick up and permanently move to your dream city or destination due to employment or other commitments, you can have a place waiting for you whenever you do get the chance to visit.

Owning a house in your favorite location won't always be a vacation, however, as you'll have real-life concerns to address even when you aren't at the home. If you can work out all of the potential issues prior to making the purchase, you may find that owning a home in your family's vacation destination is a lot more convenient and even more affordable in the long-run than staying in hotel or renting a condo. 

Here are some things to consider before signing a contract for a new vacation home:

1. Number of Visits

Even though you may like to visit your vacation home at least once a month, that may not be possible in reality. Before taking on the commitment of second-home ownership, determine how often you'll be able to stay there.

If logistics such as distance and transportation will only allow you to visit once or twice a year, owning a vacation home may not be worth the responsibility. Consider buying a vacation home in another beloved location that's easier to travel to. If you still have your heart set on the faraway destination, consider whether any family members or friends could also get use out of it as well.

2. Rental Property 

To offset the cost of home ownership, determine whether you'd be willing to rent out the vacation house during the times you aren't using it. Having other people pay weekly or monthly rent on the property will help reduce the water, electric, trash removal, and landscaping costs, which are services that will need to be paid for whether anyone is living in the home or not. 

The rent will also help you pay off your home loan faster, if you took one out.

3. Upkeep 

Another issue to consider when purchasing a vacation home is upkeep. Ask yourself if you're will to spend some of your vacation time fixing things, such as plumbing or roofing problems. 

To prevent the possibility of arriving to problems, you can hire a maintenance crew to access the property once a twice a month or more to fix any issues before they get out of hand. You can also hire a local property manager to watch over the home while you're away to prevent nuisances such as frozen or leaky pipes.