Heroes often work hectic jobs that can be physically and emotionally draining. So, it’s natural that you want to get away and relax a little now and again. For many heroes, buying a cabin represents a true dream, a place to enjoy quiet time and make memories with family and friends. But is it the right move for your family? Purchasing a second home of any kind is a big decision and cabins can come with some special considerations. If you’ve been dreaming of owning your own private getaway, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of owning a cabin and what you need to consider when thinking about buying a cabin.
Buying a cabin won’t do you much good if you never have time to use it. So, one of the first considerations you need to make is your work schedule. Heroes work just about every schedule imaginable, from regular office hours to overnight shifts and on-call hours. Sometimes these schedules can make it difficult to get away, while other heroes may actually have more time to spend at their cabin. For example, firefighter schedules typically involve 24 hours on and 48 hours off. Depending on how far away your cabin is, that could make for multiple trips every week. You’ll simply need to think about your work schedule (and your significant other’s schedule) and determine if it makes sense for your family to buy a cabin.
Buying Outside Your Local Area
If you’re buying a cabin, you’re probably not looking down the street from where you currently live. Chances are you’ll be buying in an area you know little to nothing about. That means it’s critical you work with a real estate agent you trust who knows the local area and can help you determine the best strategy to stay in your budget for any property you might make an offer on. Working with a local agent to search for the perfect cabin will not only take a lot of stress off your plate, but they’ll also be able to guide your search and may even have access to properties that haven’t been listed yet.
Finding the Perfect Location
In thinking about where you’d buy, you need to consider the distance from your current home as you’re less likely to visit a cabin that’s a 10-hour drive compared to one that’s only two hours away. Is there a chance you could get called into work on an emergency? If so, you’ll need to make distance a primary consideration in your decision-making.
If you’re looking to buy on a lake, remember that lakes, like people, have different personalities. Some are known for high levels of activity and lots of water sports, while others are more known for being laid back or may have wake restrictions. An agent who knows the area well will be able to help you find the perfect site that meets the needs of you and your family.
It’s likely your cabin will sit empty for long stretches of time, particularly in cold climates where the winter weather can make cabin living less than ideal. So, you need to consider what kind of security measures you want to put in place for when you’re not around. Do you have someone in the area who can check on the place for you? How big of a burden would it be to visit the property yourself on a regular basis? Would a security system give you more peace of mind and what would it cost?
If you’re concerned about security, consider a cabin that is closer to neighbors or is part of a larger complex. Having more people around can help keep your investment protected while creating a local community for when you are there with your family.
Home Repairs and Maintenance
Not every cabin comes move-in ready. So, do you want to spend most of your weekends fixing up an old cabin or at a resort enjoying yourself? When thinking about the pros and cons of owning a cabin, you certainly need to weigh the home maintenance needs against the time you’ll spend actually enjoying your new space.
Even beyond any upfront repairs to make the place livable, cabins can come with different systems than you might have at home, creating some special maintenance considerations. For example, some cabins use septic tanks that may be unfamiliar to those who live in the city with municipal plumbing. Other cabins rely on well water that may need to be treated to ensure it’s drinkable. You’ll have to learn all the ins and outs of these home systems and be prepared to take on all the various responsibilities if you want to add a cabin for your family.
Heroes Deserve a Break
Heroes do so much for the communities they live in that sometimes they just need a break. A cabin may be the answer. By weighing all the pros and cons of owning a cabin and looking at your work schedule, distance you’ll need to travel and your own unique financial situation, you’ll be able to determine the best path forward for your family and find a cabin that meets your needs.
Want to save money on your next home purchase? Register with Homes for Heroes today. Heroes who use our program save an average of $2,400 when buying or selling a home.