6 Things to Look For When Buying a Vacation Home in Gold Coast

Many people are interested in shopping for vacation homes on the Gold Coast. After all, who wouldn’t want to live in one of Chicago’s most luxurious and exciting neighborhoods? Before you begin looking at specific Gold Coast homes for sale, it’s a good idea to set aside some time to think about what you most want in your new home. Below you’ll learn more about several of the factors that should play a key role in your search for a vacation home.

House Size

Whether you’re searching for a vacation home or a primary residence, the size of the home is always an important factor to consider. Make sure you find a home that is large enough to meet your current and future needs. Usually, one of the first things you’ll learn about a home is how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has, in addition to the overall square footage. Think about the size of your immediate family as well as any extended family who you might want to host in your home at the same time. Many people find that their vacation home quickly becomes their family’s preferred gathering space for long weekends and family holidays. You could even consider adding additional space to your home in the form of an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) or by renovating an existing attic or basement. Doing so could allow you to create passive income by renting out the space on a short-term basis if you choose.

Outdoor Living Areas

Most people dream of having a home with an expanded outdoor living area. They crave a space outside where they can enjoy meals with family or wind down with friends at the end of the day. If you find a home with a large outdoor area that lacks a deck or patio, it’s not hard to add one on. Make sure your new outdoor area has plenty of lighting and enough space to hold a few chairs and a table. Some will also want to create a designated outdoor kitchen area or bring in a hot tub.

A Sturdy Exterior

The exterior state of a home is often a reflection of its overall condition. It’s easy to fall in love with a home’s interior layout or outdoor living spaces to the point where you forget to consider what kind of bones the home has. Make sure you are investing your money wisely by choosing a home that is well-maintained and in good condition. The home inspection will give you additional clarity about the state of key home fixtures like the roof and the HVAC system, but you should still keep an eye out for any obvious signs of wear and tear when you first see the home. Check the roof for missing shingles and inspect the siding of the home for any cracks. Peek at the bottom of the garage door to make sure it comes all the way down on both sides. If not, the home may have underlying foundation damage.


You should take into account how many bedrooms the home has in addition to the size and location of each bedroom. Depending on your family’s current structure and makeup, you may not want the master bedroom to be on a different floor than the rest of the bedrooms. Some parents with young children feel better when everyone sleeps on the same floor in the house. Individuals with older parents and relatives don’t want them to have to walk up and down the stairs to reach their bedroom whenever they come to stay in the home. Another factor to consider is how many bedrooms have access to a private bathroom. Usually, the main suite will have its own bathroom, while other bedrooms may have a shared bathroom down the hall.

Living Room

Everyone has different preferences in regard to how they will set up their living room. Some people prefer to have a space that is more elegant and formal. Others want to create a relaxed atmosphere more suitable for movie nights or watching the big game. If you want to accomplish both purposes in the same home, you could look for a property that offers multiple living rooms. This allows you to reserve one space for entertaining guests while preserving another for unwinding and relaxing with family. The other benefit to choosing a home with multiple living rooms is you’ll have additional space for people to spread out and spend time together whenever you’re hosting a large group in your home. It can be difficult for everyone to fit together and have meaningful conversations when they are all forced to occupy the same space.


You never want to buy a home without considering the neighborhood, and this is also true when purchasing a vacation home. Think about how the area and the community where the home is located will enhance your property value and the quality of the time that you spend in the home. Research what amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping centers are located nearby. Figure out if you’ll have access to any shared neighborhood amenities, such as parks or playgrounds. If possible, connect with others in the neighborhood before you submit an offer to hear from them about their experience living in the neighborhood. This can be a great way to gain firsthand knowledge that you won’t find elsewhere.

Daniela Pagani is an experienced Gold Coast real estate agent who is passionate about helping her clients find homes that they love inside Chicago’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Her knowledge of the local market is unmatched, and she is an adept negotiator who works hard to secure the best deals for the people who she works with. Reach out to Daniela if you have more questions about shopping for Gold Coast homes for sale. She would love to work with you.

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