Use vacation to try before you buy
Interested in spreading your wings to a new location or purchasing a second home in a different market? A decision of that magnitude is best made after gaining personal experience of the area. Let your curiosity guide your summer vacation planning and try out one of the communities on your list.
When you’re choosing where to stay, pick a place that will allow you to ingratiate yourself into the community. Rental sites such as Airbnb, VRBO, or Homeaway can provide better opportunities to get a feel for the community through the eyes of a resident compared to hotels. Choose a home near a neighborhood of interest or stay at a few different locations within the area. Embrace the opportunity to shop the local grocery store and visit neighborhood eateries off the beaten path.
If your family situation allows for it, consider visiting during shoulder season (generally May-June and September-October), or making it an extended stay. VRBO found more families booked rentals for longer stays at different times of the year during the pandemic, and that trend could very well continue as employers continue providing worksite flexibility. As people rush to book long overdue summer getaways, planning your trip for off-peak times could expand rental possibilities, save you money, and allow you to experience the community at a quieter time of year.