As CNN points out, 55 percent of American employees don’t use all of their vacation time, while few small business owners plan to take a vacation at all. But taking a vacation is essential. It helps battle stress, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders and leaves us feeling capable of taking on just about anything. Just remember that there are a few things you need to intentionally forget while taking time away for vacation, including your 9-5 workload—so don’t forget to leave work at work.

For many Americans, having a vacation home to retreat to provides the ultimate in relaxation and comfort after a long stretch of hard work. The question, however, is whether it’s better to rent or own a vacation home. There are many things to consider with this question; some families may feel they wouldn’t use it enough to own one, while others might consider buying so they can rent it out to other families when they’re not using it themselves.

Depending on your needs, it will be important to weigh all your options and communicate with your family before making a decision. Sandra Erbe of Keller Williams Bethany Beach outlines some of the benefits of renting a vacation home over owning it.

You can change your mind

Renting a vacation home means you have the freedom to take a trip somewhere else down the road, whereas owning a home will keep you coming back to the same place. For example, if you want to rent a home in Colorado, you can choose a location based on the activities you enjoy. If your goal is to spend as much time as possible on the slopes in the winter, you have a plethora of options in the mountains. If you intend to spend plenty of R&R time, choose a location that hosts a number of wellness centers in areas like Denver at the Beer Spa or the Healing Waters Resort & Spa in Pagosa Springs.

It’ll cost less

The Motley Fool notes that renting will be cheaper because you’ll only pay for the amount of time you’re using it, but there’s also the fact that the differences between renting and owning a vacation home are similar to the differences between renting and owning a primary home. There will be no property taxes or association fees, and you won’t have to stock the home with furniture, decor, and necessities.

If you own a vacation home and plan to rent it out when you aren’t using it, that means maintaining it and advertising to potential renters online. Be sure to take photos of the property, and use a tool to resize images online so they display well in your postings. Alternatively, you could enlist a property manager to handle the listing duties for you.

You won’t have to prepare for emergencies

Owning a second home means another set of worries, especially if it’s in a state that sees a lot of bad weather. If it’s far enough away from your primary home, you’ll have to hire a caretaker who can visit the property regularly to take care of yard work, clean up after storms and other emergencies, and help prepare it for heavy rain. With a rental property, there’s none of that worry.

Less cleaning to take care of

It’s a big job, taking care of a home; there’s a lot of cleaning to think about, especially if you’re going to be entertaining, and it can be exhausting. Dusting, vacuuming, washing linens and dishes, cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen…there are tons of chores that come with a house. Add in a second home to take care of on top of that and it hardly seems like a vacation at all! With a rental, you can leave the cleaning to the owners (within reason) and not have to worry about restocking paper products or other necessities.

You won’t have to worry about upkeep

Aside from cleaning, being a landlord means having to take care of maintenance and repairs. The good news is if you’d prefer to own a vacation home, you can hire a property management company to take care of upkeep for you. While this will be another cost to factor into your budget, it’s an important consideration to make, especially if you don’t live close to the property.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to vacation homes, but with a little planning and some research, you can find the right place for you and your family to enjoy for as long as you need it.

If you’re looking at purchasing or selling a home in South Delaware or the Maryland beaches, enlist the real estate services of Sandra Erbe of Keller Williams Bethany Beach. For more information, please visit her website or contact her today!