Explore blog articles The real cost of having a vacation home
The real cost of having a vacation home
Product·21/02/2023· Luna Marcos

The real cost of having a vacation home

Having a vacation home is everyone’s dream at some point. However, you have to be realistic about the costs it entails and be prepared for the financial responsibility. We give you some insights on what the real picture looks like, Sorry in advance for bursting your bubble a bit.

Everybody dreams of owning a wonderful retreat in our favorite location, to fully disconnect and relax during those long awaited vacation days. However, the dream of buying a vacation home costs more than just the listing price.

There are definitely some benefits to having your own holiday home: rental prices in holiday destinations are sometimes exorbitant, and the level of comfort when resting at our own place is incomparable to renting or staying in a hotel. In addition, investing in real estate is always a safe bet which will surely bring you profitability. But you need to look at the big picture before you land your dream vacation home and get real about the level of investment you will be facing on a regular basis. 

Owning a second home means having to face some financial responsibilities. Sometimes big ones. The costs associated with second home ownership are usually related to maintenance, utilities, HOA or community fees, and local taxes and fees. 

If you are thinking of buying a second home in your favorite vacation spot, it is a good idea to take all these expenses into account and decide whether it is worth it. Read on to find out about the most important costs associated with owning a second home.

Costs associated with your dream spot

These are the most common costs of owning a property in Spain. Take note:

Mortgage payments

The biggest expense associated with a vacation home is, of course, its market value. If you are paying for it with a mortgage loan, the bill will take the lion’s share of the expenses associated with a second home. Choose your property wisely and go for what you can afford, and also get well informed about mortgage options and interest rates. 


If you want to have some peace of mind, the best thing to do is to take out home insurance. The monthly payment of your policy will depend on some specific factors, such as the type of property, the contents of the house and the location, and the need for some other special coverage such as, for example, a rental insurance, in case you decide to rent it during the months in which you are not going to use it. 

Especially if your home base is far away from your vacation spotgetting insurance is the best option to deal with the unexpected.

Property taxes

You know they exist and they are inevitable, no matter how far you go from home. They also apply to holiday homes. Tax obligations depend on the location of your second home and any local exemptions or allowances. 

In Spain, for example, in the case of purchasing second-hand property and depending on the region, you may have to pay the Transfer Tax (ITP). In addition, the Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI) or property taxes as well as the garbage tax are some basic recurrent fees that Spanish homes usually have.

HOA or community fees

There are many fabulous properties in sunny holiday spots that are located in dream complexes, which can be an oasis of their own. They are usually very comfy, come equipped with amazing pool and garden areas and they are so beautiful that sometimes it is difficult to leave the place at all. But all that costs money. Living in a complex means having to pay a monthly community fee that is pretty much essential for maintaining all these wonderful amenities.

In addition, in the case of maintenance or repair work having to be carried out, it is mandatory in all kinds of complexes to make extra single payments that are split among neighbors. This can happen at any place, no matter how new or old the complex is. 


All homes need water and electricity among other services, and unfortunately it is not something that can be contracted for only a few months, right? Even in those months in which we do not use our second residence, we will have to pay fixed fees for basic supplies. 

In Spain, according to the OCU or consumer office, the cost of maintaining a second residence averages €1,791 per year, with community fees and utilities being at the top of the list. 

The dreaded unexpected

All the above expenses are more or less predictable and can be accurately taken into account when buying a vacation home. But of course, houses do not come without incidents or breakdowns. The sooner we picture unexpected expenses, the less stress we will feel. 

It is impossible to calculate the amount of money that we will have to invest to fix possible damages that may happen in your second home. But in order to better feel safe than sorry, the most advisable thing is to count on a good cushion of savings to face whatever comes up.

Yes, you can cut costs

The cost of maintaining a vacation home is something to take into account when buying it, but you can always do things to reduce it as much as possible.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Unplug all appliances every time you are going to be away for a long period of time. Silent consumption (the consumption of appliances when they are on standby) can amount to up to 10% of your bill.
  • Solve problems as soon as they come up: what today is a small leak, tomorrow can be a huge problem. Therefore, it is essential to tackle problems in the house as soon as possible to avoid having to spend a fortune on plumbers, electricians, etc. Avoid surprises!
  • Take time to research and compare prices from utilities and insurance companies: nowadays there are plenty of online comparison sites to find yourself the best deal and the offer that best suits your consumption levels.

Look for new ways to optimize your vacation investment

Home ownership models are evolving and the real estate market is current at an important point of innovation, especially in the second home market. There are numerous flexible purchase options such as Vivla, whose formula is based on fractional ownership. Vivla offers a new way of understanding property in which owners only pay for what the amount of home they need in exchange of being able to own real dream homes in top locations, avoiding the hassle of full ownership.

With the purchase of a fraction, you have access to much better homes than if you were to buy the whole property on your own and for much less. It also gives you more than 6 weeks of use in a year, which you can book any time. In addition, you really minimize home expenses. Find out more at www.vivla.com

Get in touch with us to find your dream vacation home