Sparano + Mooney is a Park City, Utah architectural firm that specializes in mountain modern architecture, contemporary design, and passive design. They say that vacation home builders generally come to the table with a lot of expectations. Most expectations can be met, but rarely do clients get everything they have been dreaming about.
With that in mind, here are a few things to consider before building a vacation home:
It might seem obvious, but the location of a new vacation home makes all the difference in the world. And it is not just the difference between a Park City ski lodge and a private beach property on the Gulf Coast. You have to think more broadly than that.
Let’s say you choose Park City because you’re a big fan of winter sports. How much time will spend at your vacation home? Moreover, how much time will you spend on the slopes? Does it make sense for you to build your vacation home an hour away from your favorite ski resort?
Another aspect of location is the actual town you decide to build in. Some towns in vacation hot spots have been so overrun by tourists in recent years that they are starting to restrict how vacation homes can be used. You may run into problems if you plan to rent out your home when you’re not using it.
2. Property Management
Speaking of renting out your home, you should also consider how you are going to manage it. Your property will still require maintenance when you aren’t there. And if you do plan to rent it out to others, it is going to need more maintenance and repairs. You will probably need to hire a property management company to take care of it for you.
Note that there are entire vacation home communities built around the restricted deed concept. You build a home in a community that is owned by the combined homeowners. You pay HOA fees and, because you built a vacation home, the community’s management arm maintains the property for you. Of course, that’s just one option.
3. How You Plan to Use It
It is easy to fall into the temptation of building a custom vacation home with tons of space and all the bells and whistles. But ask yourself how you are going to use the property. You might be able to limit the size of the house based on the number of people you expect to visit at any given time. You can limit the extra bells and whistles if you don’t need them to attract renters.
How you use your vacation home will influence everything from its size to the number of bedrooms and the built-in amenities it offers. This is the one aspect of building a custom vacation home that is hardest to do. We all have grandiose plans that may or may not come to fruition.
If you are planning to build a vacation home, plan to hire an architect as early in the process as possible. You might even hire your architect while you’re looking for a piece of land. Also, pay attention to your architect’s advice. They are likely to encourage you to think about things you otherwise would not.