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A Summer Vacation Home Isn't as Out of Reach as You Think

Vacation is on everyone’s mind as the summer housing season heats up, but is a second home or summer rental right for you? No matter where you live, a few key strategies can land you a getaway for less, meaning a summer vacation home isn’t as out of reach as you might think.
Summer rentals are the budget solution with a national nightly rate of $225, which comes out to be much less than what a family might spend in June to stay at a three-star hotel in Las Vegas. And with a rental you can get more space and amenities like a full kitchen and private pool.
You can also make it last the entire season. Summer shares split between family or friends during peak months might run you as little as $3,000 to $5,000 per family.
For tricks on how to save on a summer rental, note that the key is prioritizing — and sacrifice. In the accompanying video, Corcoran Real Estate Broker Jack Pearson offers some key tips for saving money on a rental.
For example, Pearson says a pool can add 20% to 30% to a rental price, but being on the ocean can mean you pay 10 times more than you would for a house further inland with a pool.
According to Pearson, a two-bedroom house will save you the most money on the rental rate. Three bedrooms can add 10%, four bedrooms causes a 20% to 25% increase, and five bedrooms will run you 30% to 40% more.
You can also save money with last-minute deals and by looking in off-peak months or non-traditional locations. We give some examples in the video.
To see these savings tips and more in action, Pearson takes us on a tour through some homes in the Hamptons, where he and his business partner Cee Scott Brown are Corcoran’s top realtors. The Hamptons, a popular summer retreat for many New Yorkers, is known for its high-end homes, but Pearson emphasizes that the same cost-saving principles he highlights would apply anywhere.
For vacation rental properties near you, check out Flipkey.com, HomeAway.com, and VRBO.com, where you can also see guest reviews and ratings.
For those in the market to buy a vacation home, there’s good news for you as well: you don’t have to be a millionaire to score one.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical investment-home buyer in 2012 had a median age of 45 and earned $85,700 — and about half of them got a mortgage to help with financing. Rental income is one motivation, and Pearson offers some details in the video of what to aim for.
In addition, there are vacation spots across the country where home prices are still down 23% to 44% from 2008, where median existing home prices are under $140,000. Check out the video for a look at the best deals across the country.
And in terms of knowing whether it’s a good time to buy, according to NAR, 78% of second-home purchasers say it is. That compares with 68% of primary-residence buyers, indicating the second-home set may be first in sensing the market come back.
Have questions or comments? Connect with us on Twitter @YahooFinance using the hashtag #DestinationHome!

Special Thanks:
Truilia.com, Jack Pearson of Corcoran Realty, Cee Scott Brown of Corcoran Realty, Corcoran Realty, Eric Lavey of Teles Properties, Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce, and the Miami Chamber of Commerce.