Top Places to Buy a Vacation Home

Top Places to Buy a Vacation Home Near Long Beach, CA

When it comes to buying a vacation home, location matters!

Second home sales have become increasingly popular as more and more people are realizing the long-term benefits of investing in real estate in a place where you can also have fun. What’s not to love about having a second home for weekend getaways and vacations? When determining where to buy a vacation home, it’s important to consider the lifestyle in that area, real estate prices and trends, and what exactly you will use it for. When it comes to buying a second home, the location is key – especially if you plan to re-sell or rent.

Many home owners purchase a second home and then rent it out long term or use it as an Airbnb. While this can be very financially rewarding, it comes with responsibility. If you are planning to use your second home for your own use, consider what is important to you. Do you want to live by the beach? Does the location matter more than the size? Are you planning to have guests stay there when they come to visit? Asking yourself these questions will help you narrow down your home search.

While California has endless beautiful vacation destinations, here are some of the best spots to consider buying a vacation home within 3 hours of Long Beach.

Palm Springs

This desert community has long been a popular vacation spot for Californians, especially during the winter months. Plan on spending your days playing golf, tennis, and relaxing in the famous natural hot springs or lounging by a cool blue pool. The community is quiet and offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of L.A. However, it’s also a popular retirement spot and lacks the  excitement that young party goers may crave. A perk of buying a vacation home here is that you will most likely never have trouble renting it out if needed. The median price of a single family home was $515,000 in May 2016, which is actually slightly below the median price a year ago in May, so now may be an especially good time to buy.

San Diego

The real estate market in San Diego has rapidly heated up in recent years and was recently ranked in the nation’s top 10 hottest real estate markets by San Diego is rare in that it offers a large city hub with direct access to serene beaches. The city vibe is youthful, trendy, and laid-back. There’s much to love about San Diego, but the cost of living here is very high. In addition to the great beaches, there are wonderful restaurants and attractions including the San Diego Zoo and Legoland. It’s an excellent place to buy a vacation home. Not only is it a fun city to visit, but the demand for both short and long term rentals is high here too.

Big Bear

Two and a half hours from Long Beach, Big Bear is a beautiful place to vacation year round. However, it’s especially popular during ski season in the winter months. Located in the San Bernardino Mountains, the resort community has easy access to a 7 mile lake and offers a breath of fresh air from the polluted metropolitan areas. If a log cabin in the woods, winter snow sports, and lake use sounds like your ideal vacation spot, than Big Bear is for you. The average sales price of single family homes in Big Bear was $299,900 in May 2016 and the vacation rental industry is always hopping.


Located about 2 hours from Long Beach in the San Jacinto mountains, Idyllwild is the place to buy a vacation home if you truly want to escape from the fast paced life. With a small town atmosphere and lots of hiking trails, Idyllwild is a great place to unwind on weekends. If you buy a vacation home here, plan on lots of rock climbing, hiking, biking, fishing, and exploring the great outdoors.  Home prices range from about $100,000 for a 1 bedroom cottage style home to upwards of $1 million.

Pismo Beach

Located half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Pismo Beach is a beach town community home to the largest Monarch Butterfly Grove in the state. The local saying, “What California was, Pismo still is,” rings true in this ultra laidback city.  At $795,000 in May 2016, the median price of single family homes in Pismo Beach is fairly high. However, the median price of a condo was $342,000 and with its prime location on the water, renting or re-sale will like continue to be financially rewarding.

If you’re considering buying a vacation home in one of these locations or elsewhere in the country, let us know and we’d be happy to refer you to a great real estate agent there!

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About the Author

Shannon Jones has been selling real estate since 1998 and specializes in listing and marketing homes. She has consistently been one of the top Realtors in the Long Beach area. Prior to her award-winning career in real estate with the Shannon jones Team, Shannon has had successful careers in journalism and public relations. She holds a bachelors degree from UC Irvine and a masters degree from UC Berkeley. Shannon holds E-Pro, CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert), and PSC (Pre-Foreclosure Specialist) certifications. Shannon is very personable and maintains a very strong moral compass, always putting the best interest of home buyers/sellers above monetary goals. A California native, Shannon enjoys gardening, travel, reading, cooking and poker when she’s not selling homes MY DESIGNATIONS Lic# 01247705 | CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) | E-Pro | PSC (Pre-Foreclosure Specialist) MY SERVICE AREAS Anaheim Bellflower Buena Park Carson Cerritos Cypress Downey Fountain Valley Garden Grove Huntington Beach La Palma Lakewood Long Beach Los Alamitos Los Angeles County Norwalk Orange County Rossmoor San Pedro Seal Beach Signal Hill South Bay Westminster

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