5 Great Places to Buy a Vacation Home

Vacation homes under $400K with low climate risk? We've got you covered.

Two Adirondack chairs on a dock looking over a lake.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

These days, the prospect of buying a vacation home is still alluring, but trickier to pull off than just a couple of years ago. Mortgage rates have risen from historic lows, and inventory remains low. The COVID-19 pandemic supercharged the practice of working from home; many employees continue to work remotely, giving them the freedom to virtually check in to the office from just about anywhere.  

Getting the house of your dreams may be a challenge. Mortgage rates have risen dramatically since their pre-pandemic lows, and tight inventory continues to prop up prices. During the pandemic, soaring home prices and other factors in California fueled an exodus to more affordable areas in the Southwest and West, leaving slim pickings for those looking for a second home in states like Arizona. The pandemic also coincided with a surge in natural disasters like forest fires, mudslides and flooding — making some vacation destinations less attractive as relaxing retreats or investments.  

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Ellen Kennedy
Personal Finance Editor, Kiplinger.com

Ellen writes and edits personal finance stories, especially on credit cards and related products. She also covers the nexus between sustainability and personal finance. She was a manager and sustainability analyst at Calvert Investments for 15 years, focusing on climate change and consumer staples. She served on the sustainability councils of several Fortune 500 companies and led corporate engagements. Before joining Calvert, Ellen was a program officer for Winrock International, managing loans to alternative energy projects in Latin America. She earned a master’s from the U.C. Berkeley in international relations and Latin America.