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After not traveling for a couple years and facing economic challenges in the U.S., successful individuals and families are heading overseas to buy homes for their own use or to rent to others. In fact, according to a recent Coldwell Banker survey, 92 percent of wealthy Americans are actively looking to relocate and purchase homes abroad. However, even though owning a home in another country may sound intriguing, it may not be the best choice for everyone.

Questions to answer before buying a vacation home


1. What is your travel personality?

Before you purchase a vacation home, consider your basic travel personality. Are you the type who loves to discover new places year after year, or do you long to return to the same place? If you have a favorite location, buying a home may be a good idea. However, if you enjoy traveling to different countries or even different states within the U.S., renting a vacation home in each location may better suit your needs.


2. Do you look forward to seeing the same people each vacation?

If you go back to the same location to see the same people each year, it may make sense to purchase a home there, instead of renting each time. On the other hand, if you like to entertain while you travel (maybe not the same people each time), you’ll need to make sure your rentals can accommodate additional guests.


3.  Are you looking to make extra income?

If you bought a vacation home in the U.S. or abroad, would you plan to offset the cost of a vacation home with rental income?  Or would you keep the house exclusively for your own use?


4. Who will take care of your vacation home when you’re not there?

If you’re not prepared to manage the maintenance of another home—especially one abroad—renting may be a better avenue. However, if you’ll be living in your second home quite often and are comfortable managing it yourself or hiring a management company to handle any issues that arise, purchasing a vacation home may be a good idea.


The importance of insurance

Either way you go—renting or purchasing—you’ll want to invest in the right insurance coverage. If you buy a vacation home, policies like Chubb’s vacation home insurance can be customized, offering discounts for limited use, security patrols and even the fact that you likely keep fewer personal belongings inside. If you rent a vacation home, consider purchasing travel insurance that can cover you in the event of a medical evacuation, bad weather, errors made by the rental agency or even cancellation for no reason at all.