If you are looking for a good real estate investment in today's tough market you may want to consider the many advantages to investing in a condo to rent out and live in part time.
There are a lot of advantages to be found in owning real estate including the tax break that you can get and the sense of security that only home ownership can provide. But don't rule out owning property just because you won't be there full time as a resident. You can buy investment property in highly desirable real estate areas and still make money on your investment when you're not living there by renting it out.
Consider condo rentals for example. When you go on vacation to the beach you probably don't stay in an overcrowded motel with people coming and going at all hours of the day and night slamming car doors and turning on showers that you can hear through the paper thin walls. You probably opt to spend a few dollars more and rent a condominium unit so you can have a home away from home experience with a view of the beach front.
Consider how nice it would be if the condo rental's list that your realtor provided potential renters included your home as an option for the times when you weren't staying there. If you do it right you can make money on your investment and your unit won't sit empty and be vulnerable to undetected damage including vandalism or water damage from a burst pipe. You can have the peace of mind that your home is being taken care of and know that someone else is paying your mortgage payment at the same time.
There are two types of condo rentals that you can consider for your unit including long term and short term rentals. If you only use your home away from home for an occasional weekend away or for vacation time play you might want to consider the long term tenant. Keep in mind that when it comes to living in a condominium unit most tenants are not there for the long haul of multiple years. Most renters who are seeking out the luxurious living of a condo are young professionals who are saving for their own home investment and don't want to spend a lot of time doing someone else's home maintenance chores and don't have a big need for the space that kids require. Once these couples move on which is usually a year or so your unit is open again and none the worse for the usage. This usually lets you have some time in the year where your unit is open and you can combine business with pleasure by planning a trip to your unit to examine it.
Short term condo rentals may be a better option if you prefer to keep the option of availability to your unit open for your own playing and staying time. You can have a realtor company control renting the unit out on weekends, holidays and the like and still have the unit available for your own use as much as you like.