Finally, your years of hard work is reaping rewards. You’ve managed your assets carefully and now you’ve reached a point in your life where you can seriously entertain buying a second home. Maybe it will be a vacation home for you and your family and become your retirement home if and when you do retire. Or perhaps it will be an investment property that you hold for a time. How should you go about making a good decision?
Things You Should Consider as You Search for Your Second Home
Buying a second home involves considerations that are a little different from buying a primary residence. Here are some important things to think about as you conduct your search:
How Well Do You Really Know the Area(s) You Have in Mind?
You may think you know an area well because you have been vacationing there for years. However, you may not know what the area is like during the off-season. In resort areas, many places close down during the off-season and your favorite places and services may be closed. Thoroughly research the area(s) you like. Look at the area from the perspective of a homeowner. Go online and learn about what the area has to offer to residents, check on the levels of crime, the health of the local economy, and average weather conditions at different times of the year. Talk to the locals about what it’s like to live there.
How Much Time Will You Spend at Your Second Home?
Consider how often you plan to be at your second home – will it be six months at a time? An entire season? Or just a few weeks scattered throughout the year? Holidays only? The amount of time you plan to spend there can be a deciding factor on how large or small your second home should be and where it should be located in proximity to the features that attract you to the area in the first place. If you’re thinking of buying your future retirement home, you will want to check into the quality of health care services in the area and the home’s convenience to services. On the other hand, if all you want is a weekend getaway, you should probably find something that you can drive to within a few hours of your primary residence.
How Far Away Will It Be from Your Primary Residence?
If you are thinking of buying a home located a long distance from your main residence, realize that you will likely visit it less often, and when you do, you will want to stay longer. If you will not be able to use it as much as you would like to, you should probably consider a smaller second home than you would if it was located closer to you.
Will You Ever Use the Second Home as a Vacation Rental Property?
You may not like the idea of renting your second home out to vacationers, but it can help offset the cost of ownership. If you think there is any chance of renting your home, you should factor that into your decision making as to the size of the home, its proximity to transportation and local attractions such as beaches, skiing, shopping, and so forth. In other words, you will want to make your home as attractive as you can to potential renters so that you can command the most rental income from it.
What Is the Resale Market Like in the Area?
Be sure to research the history of real estate sales in the area. You need to determine, before you make any offers on a home, if the property values fluctuate a lot. An area where the market is historically strong means you will be able to sell the property at some point in the future. You know you will be making a good investment there.
Will You Have a Property Manager to Handle the Maintenance?
Give serious consideration to the amount of maintenance the home will need and whether a property manager is available to handle it for you. If you decide to rent it out, make sure the property manager can handle that for you as well. Most importantly, make sure you factor in these maintenance expenses into your budget.
Do You Have a Real Estate Agent with Expertise in the Area?
It always makes sense to have a real estate agent who knows the area inside and out. This is especially important if you are new to the area or have little experience in owning a second home. A local real estate agent will help you get to know the market very quickly.
Contact the Katie Zarpas Group Today for more information
The experts at the Katie Zarpas Group have helped many people buy their second home. Schedule an appointment with them today to get started looking for the perfect second home.