Buying a Vacation Home in Colorado

Buying a vacation home is a completely different experience than buying an everyday home. Homebuyers have to consider different factors, like choosing a location and financing a second home. You’ll also need to consider property management, as well as rental possibilities when you’re not using it.

5 Critical Tips from Local Colorado Experts to Optimize Your Vacation Home Search

Colorado boasts a great number of vacation homes, particularly in mountain communities, where out-of-towners can escape their hometowns to enjoy the Colorado way of life. But how does one start the process to buy a vacation home? What special considerations should the buyer contemplate? We decided to ask our network of more than 22,000 local brokers and REALTORS® throughout Colorado. Here are their top tips and advice for buying a vacation home in Colorado:

The financial aspect of the purchase will differ greatly

When buying a vacation home it’s important for the buyer to consider how often they plan to actually use the home for personal use. There are options for second homebuyers to acquire a second home as an investment, but still be able to use the property for personal enjoyment. Buyers need to consider financing and where to get it. Lenders have different requirements for second homebuyers. Understanding how a vacation home can affect ones tax situation is important. If a buyer wants to acquire a property as an investment, then potential rental income, depreciation/appreciation and market CAP rate all come into play. An agent helping this type of buyer has to be knowledgeable in both the market value of sales in an area and the potential rental income and associated costs.

Angela Alter

RE/MAX Alliance

Find a local expert

Best tip, find a VERY experienced REALTOR that lives and plays in the vacation area you are considering – there is no 2nd best tip. Have them find you a rental during the seasons you plan to use the 2nd property so you can experience all it has to offer.

Rick Yerman ABR, CDPE, CNE, GRI

Keller Williams Realty DTC

Take it for a test drive

If it is a VRBO home, rent it for a weekend and test it out to see if you like the area!

Kate Getchell

Re/Max 100, Inc.

Prioritizing location helps mitigate risk

I always focus on the location and reselling factor in a vacation home. People are constantly changing their minds, and if they make the wrong investment, it could cause them a big financial loss.

Regina Cauley

HomeSmart Cherry Creek Properties

Remember: This is about personal fulfillment

Paramount is personal enjoyment. While there are opportunities concerning rental, the reality is few (if any) 2nd home/vacation properties will positive cash flow. Thus, do not look at your purchase as a capital investment; instead, consider it an investment in personal enjoyment and fulfillment. If desiring to be within driving distance, 150 miles is generally the maximum (i.e. perfect for weekend getaways). For further distances, be sure to factor the cost of management/oversight of the property, as your visits will be less frequent. Finally if financing, if your purchase may be a condo/hotel (i.e. rentals within the complex), consider a local lender in the area which can facilitate such a transaction, as these unique properties demand different lending criteria.

Joseph Sobin

Engel & Voelkers

If you’re in the market for a second home, we encourage you to contact one of these experienced professionals to help you through the process. Browse homes for sale and get to know popular places to live and vacation in Colorado on

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Originally published April 26, 2016 — Updated April 24, 2018– Updated September 23, 2020.

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