Vacation Home Expenses Checklist

Thinking about buying a vacation home? You know to expect a mortgage payment, home insurance, and taxes, but what else will you be spending money on to support your home?

Regular Expenses

These are expenses that will be ongoing and ones you can expect to see all the time.

  • Heating fuel (oil, propane, etc.)
  • Electricity
  • Water (unless you have a well)
  • Garbage collection
  • Home security system
  • Internet fees
  • Cable or satellite television

Seasonal Expenses

These are costs that will go on and off with the season. Some of these won’t affect all homeowners, for example you might not have a pool so you can safely ignore those.

  • Lawn mowing and gardening
  • Leaf raking and collection
  • Pool cleaning and maintenance
  • Plowing snow on driveway
  • Tick and mosquito spraying

Occasional Expenses

These are expenses that will come up with regularity, but only once or a few times a year.

  • HOA fees
  • Local permits (fishing, parking, beach, etc.)
  • Sprinkler system opening and closing
  • Pool opening and closing
  • Generator fuel refill (usually propane)
  • Generator maintainance
  • Lawn and garden end of season clean up
  • Gutter clean out
  • Chimney sweeping
  • Furnace maintenance
  • Water testing (if you have a well)
  • Water filtration, softener and/or neutralizer
  • Home alarm system permit

The costs and regularity of all these things can vary wildly, so be when you are budgeting be careful to right-size the amounts for the size of your home and property. Local conditions can also vary considerably — a second home in Maine might have much higher heating costs than one in New York, but you might pay less to have your garden maintained, for instance.