how to purchase a vacation home with your 401K

How to get started owning your own Vacation Home with your 401K

Happy April to you! 

First, I have set up a challenge for myself and I hope I can do it.  I might need some cheering on as I know, this is going to be hard. I have committed to writing a Blog Post every day for the entire month of April. OMG, that is 30 Blog Post's when sometimes I am lucky to do one a week. Wish me luck! I will need it. 

How to get started owning your own Vacation Home using your 401K with Dina Marie Joy!

Today, I am going to introduce you to How to Get Started Owning your Own Vacation Home. What? Well, about two years ago my husband and I decided to buy a home and flip it.  That is where the story began but that is not where it ended.

It all started with us attending a Real Estate Workshop in our hometown about, "How to Flip Homes." Let's just say, we were crazy because we purchased the dream.  This is why I decided to write this story so that you don't have to invest in thousands of dollars like we did.  Yes, I said thousands.  I won't even tell you how much but it is way over 10K.  So hard to even tell you that. So follow along and learn from us! We will teach you how to buy a vacation home now!

Here is the priceless part of what we purchased, though.  We learned that we could use our Retirement Savings to purchase homes. What? Yes, we had a retirement which was a 401K. We learned that we could convert our 401K into a Self Directed IRA and use it to invest in Real Estate. Bingo! 

Here is the "Skinny" on this! You can't use the home for your own use! Got it. So we would use the money to buy a home, fix it up, and then flip it. Let's try to make at least 20K per flip, we thought. That was the plan and we did our homework and we did it. 

We bought a foreclosure, (finally after being bid out several times) hired a contractor, did the rehab, and then put it on the market to sell. All of this took about one year for us. From looking for the perfect home to going through the bidding process, to the closing process, to hiring a contractor, and then rehabbing the home and making it ready to sell. Wow! That was a learning process. So, the house hit the market and guess what, it was on the market for 90 days and no offers. Well, that was not the plan, right? So we decided to rent the house out maybe for a year and then we will put the house back on the market. 

We did indeed rent the house out very quickly and our renter stayed in the home for about one year. Now, we said we were going to put it back on the market to sell but me being an Interior Designer and being hired to do so many vacation homes, I convinced my husband to turn our "Fixer Upper" into a Vacation Home. That is where you come in!

How to own your own Vacation Home using your Retirement.

Let's back up! We bought a Vacation Home with our Retirement. We did not spend any of our work current salaries, we used our retirement. So if you have been thinking about owning a Vacation Home but you don't know how you would be able to do it and you don't want to pay a mortgage, you can use your Retirement and why not? Your real estate investment will keep going up in value and you will be putting all the money (from your guest's) back into the home and your retirement. 

Another cool thing about using your retirement is, you don't have to use all your retirement to do this unless that is all you have. You can still invest in the stock market and own a vacation home too! I currently have a very small amount in a SEP IRA and my plan is to build that account up and then convert it so I can purchase another Vacation Home with it.  I love the Stock Market too - that is an entirely different Blog Post that I can write about if you are interested. I am not a Stock Market Expert but I love figuring it out and picking my stocks.  I have my own strategy that works for me.  

Here is my advice to you about purchasing a Vacation Home...

  1. Research the Area and make sure there are other Vacation Homes too (you need to make sure there is a market for people traveling and looking for homes to stay in versus hotels)
  2. Buy low
  3. Don't overdue on the Rehab
  4. Hire a good Contractor and Interior Designer (I am available to you as your Interior Designer - I do travel or I can do it remotely)
  5. Find a good Handyman, Gardner, and House Keeper

That's it for today! I will chat with you tomorrow about Rehabbing your Vacation Home - Hiring your Contractor and Interior Designer and yes you need both!

Embrace your Design Style,

Dina Marie Joy