Turning Your Vacation Destination into Your Permanent Residence

by Brooke CribbsAugust 16, 2018

We take vacations as a means to escape reality, kickback, and relax. We head off to places that differ from our normal day-to-day. We love the views, the attractions, the food, and the way we feel when we’re at our destination. What happens if you fall in love with the area so much that you decide to live there instead of just visiting? This exact situation happened to my family nearly six years ago.

A tall, white building reminiscent of classic Charleston architecture.

The charm of downtown Charleston, the history, and the culture is what drew us in.

My husband and I knew that we always wanted to retire to the Carolinas, but a life changing situation had us question our need to wait that long. After much discussion, we decided to make the big move from Ohio to Charleston, SC, a place we had visited friends twice in one year.

Unsure of exactly where we wanted to plant our family, we decided to rent for the first year. Much like buying a house, we searched for spaces in the location and school district we wanted since that was our top priority. Renting gave us the chance to live in the city and explore other possibilities without the commitment. We expected a different feeling actually living in our vacation destination, especially in the off season, instead of just being visitors.

A large, blue, multi-story Charleston home with a Palmetto tree in the yard.
Our temporary home had all the charm of Charleston, including the Palmetto Tree.

Living in a coastal town for a whole year made us realize that our priorities had shifted from when we lived in Ohio. We desired to live close enough to the beach, but far enough from the activity during peak tourist season. Staying in our current school district was a definite must because our girls absolutely loved their new school and so did we.

A scenic view of a Charleston beach at sunrise.
Catching a beach sunrise whenever I want is a perk of living on the coast.

While we didn’t need to have a pool in our backyard, we did want a pool in our neighborhood. We surprised ourselves when we actually wanted a smaller house than what we typically purchased in the past. The best part, you can highlight which items are a “must have” on your Homes.com search to help find the best houses that match your needs. Narrowing the search helps to save you time when you actually see the house because you’ll know it has all the things you desire.

Sunset at a boat pier in Charleston.
Nothing can beat a Charleston sunset.

Once we started looking at houses, we learned that to get the size house we desired, it may cost more because of the area we chose. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the property taxes were about a third of what they were in Ohio. On the other hand, because we were now in a flood zone, property insurance would cost more than what it did in Ohio. Having a Realtor knowledgeable and familiar with the area you’re considering, can make a huge difference in explaining all the things you need to know when purchasing your home.

Here are a few other things to consider when deciding to move to your vacation destination:

Jobs and salaries: We were lucky in that my husband found a job and my job transferred. If you’re going to need a job once you get there, are there any jobs available and if so, will you make enough income to cover your living expenses?

Crime rates: Often, when we’re in new cities we have blinders, but when deciding if your new town is going to work for you and your family, your safety also needs to be a priority.

Weather: Obviously, we love Charleston for the longer hot seasons, but then there’s this thing called hurricanes, which was a new experience for our family. Check out the average temperature and types of weather the area receives. Develop an emergency preparation plan for your family.

Cost of moving: Out of state moving can be expensive and may require you to hire a moving company where the price is by the poundage and not just amount of stuff you’re moving. When we moved, not only did we have to decide what would make the move, but also where we would store things during our temporary housing.

Not able to move far away, but still love the charm of the houses in your vacation destination? A great tool to utilize is the “Snap & SearchBETA feature on Homes.com. Simply take a picture of your favorite style of house and the search will find houses in your area for sale that match the same or similar exterior architectural features that you love. For us, we fell in love with the Charleston Single-style for our first home and found one in the area that we loved, which was actually 30 minutes from downtown Charleston.

Aa single-style, yellow home in Charleston.
We were able to find the Charleston Single style we fell in love with when we purchased our first home here in Charleston.

Whether you’re thinking about or just starting to plan a big move to your favorite vacation city, or you want to stay local and have the vacation vibe, having the right tools can better prepare you for your next home. Thankfully Homes.com can provide you with all you’ll need in one location to make this transition enjoyable for your family.

Shares 0
About The Author
Brooke Cribbs
Brooke has a lifestyle blog called Cribbs Style and currently lives in Charleston, SC. This wife, mom of two almost tweens, and mom of three fur children enjoys all things DIY and organizing. When she’s not helping others tackle the chaos of life, she’s either working out, at the beach, or just enjoying time with family and friends.