Whatever happened to the idea that if you can't afford something, you don't buy it? Didn't living above our means get us into this recessionary mess in the first place? No, I'm not an anti-credit card fanatic; I just believe in paying them off each month. What I don't believe in is layaway. If you can't afford it today, why do you think you can afford it piecemeal or at all?

So this item got my ire: We are now being encouraged to use an installment payment plan to pay for our vacations. The writer in Realty Times says: Retailers are doing it, so why not vacation rental owners? Easy answer dude: Buying a washing machine may be a necessary expense and one you have to make on layaway. But taking a vacation, and I like to get away as much as the next guy, just isn't. Vacations are luxuries and in these times, luxuries are what we give up first.

The writer suggests that stretching out the payments will be easier on travel budgets and from a vacation property owner's perspective, it takes the chance out of occupancy uncertainty.

Not hardly -- on either case. You can't afford what you can't afford. And as the owner of a ski vacation rental property myself, the last thing I want is someone tying up my property during a prime rental period only to cancel at the last minute without penalty.

What we've done to increase rental traffic to our vacation place is this: We made it dog-friendly. We charge extra for Fido and have the carpets cleaned more frequently. It's still cheaper than kenneling the family pet and our unit is booked up months in advance.

As for those who want to take a vacation but can't swing it financially right now, here's a rational idea: Stick $100 a week in an envelope. If you need it for something more pressing than a vacation, you can open the envelope. And, if at the end of the year you've accumulated enough for your dream vacation, by all means go.

And send me a postcard.

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Perhaps it isn't so much that they can't afford the vacation trips or homes, it's the convenience factor of spreading those payments out over time. People will always try to maximize what they can get with their money, and while you won't get far if you don't keep up with payments, I don't see why we should take this option away from responsible citizens who will. Areas like MLS Hamilton are a great place to look for new homes, too: http://www.robgolfi.com/listings.php?areaId=1&areaName=Hamilton+Ontario

October 16 2012 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree that some people need to focus a lot more on paying off their credit cards instead of trying to max them out. There are a lot of people that can take loans and they go buy vacation homes and real estate. I think that it would be really cool to have a vacation home. It would be a nice break from the rat race that we are all running around in.

June 01 2012 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rebecca H

This is just crazy! I can understand layaway for something like Christmas shopping, but real estate? That seems like a bit of a stretch. I would love to buy a house, but if I can't afford it, I'm not going to put it on layaway! Speaking of houses, does anyone have an advice on how to get a mortgage? I'm a first time buyer so this is all new to me.


February 02 2012 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fort Wayne Realtor

I have to agree, what a strange concept for real estate. Maybe KMart will get into the vacation home business. Luckily Fort Wayne Indiana is not a vacation hot spot and I will not have to worry about putting up with such tactics. http://www.listwithbontempo.com

January 25 2012 at 9:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Amelia Quailler

I have to agree. Layaway is one of those silly concepts that are fully accepted. If I'm looking at homes for sale, vacation or otherwise, then I'm really interested in the real estate to BUY now. Thanks for the article! http://www.NewburyportVip.com

November 17 2011 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great article! As a Naples FL Realtor, I am able to observe the fact that there are a lot of people who like to purchase homes in Naples, Florida as a vacation home. As well all know, Naples is a great place to buy and sell homes, and also to vacation in! http://www.selectnapleshomes.com

August 05 2011 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply