Robin V. Wish - Real Living Suburban Lifestyle Real Estate



Posted by Robin V. Wish on 8/26/2019

Owning a second home or vacation home is the dream of many Americans hoping to retire in style. However, owning a second home can also be a huge financial asset and even an added form of income if youíre savvy with the rental process.

What stops most of us from buying a vacation home in our ideal getaway? The funding, of course. But, there are ways to plan ahead to ensure youíll be ready to take the plunge and purchase a second home when the time comes.

In todayís blog post, weíre going to be talking about the steps to buying a home away from home and give you some tip on how to accomplish this goal in the most financially-sensible way possible.

1.  Location is Key

When you buy a second home, you take on all the responsibilities of homeownership a second time. Since you wonít be around every day to tend to maintenance tasks and troubleshoot problems, you risk discovering costly repairs that could otherwise be avoided.

The most common issues to be concerned with are frozen pipes in northern climates, flooding in coastal areas, and problems like pests that can be found just about anywhere.

Depending on your budget, you might want a home you can drive out to on the weekends, meaning somewhere close by to your primary home. This option also makes it easier to stay up-to-date on home maintenance tasks before they become an issue.

2. Try before you buy

If your ideal vacation home is in an area youíre not totally familiar with, itís a good idea to visit the neighborhood, talk to the locals, and gain their perspective on the area before buying.

This trip will also give you a sense of what you can expect to spend each time you visit the home. And, if you plan on renting out the property when you arenít using it, youíll be able to gauge what a reasonable rent price is for the location.

3. Earning income from your vacation home

Making extra cash from a home that you get to use pretty much whenever you want. Sounds like a dream, right? It can be if done properly, but youíll need to ensure a few things before you can start earning income from your vacation property.

First, be aware that investment properties often require a larger down payment (typically 30%). Lenders also charge extra interest on homes that will be rented out.

Finally, there are local and state-level laws youíll need to adhere to. These laws are designed to protect your interests as well as the people who rent out your property, so make sure you use a standard rental agreement for your area.

4. Making an offer

Youíve been here before. Once youíve decided on a home, itís time to start crafting your offer and negotiating with the sellerís agent.

However, before you pick a number, do some research on all of the expenses youíll be paying on the house in question. Property taxes, homeowners association dues, utilities, and any other costs should be on your radar before determining if itís the right home for your budget.

Youíll also want to be aware of the stipulations of renting out a property you own. This includes reporting income from renting your home to the IRS.


Now that you know the steps youíll need to take to move toward your goal of buying a vacation home, youíll be better equipped to make decisions that are best for you and your familyís future.





Posted by Robin V. Wish on 10/16/2017

Youíve visited a city and absolutely love the area. The food, entertainment, people,culture and sights attract you each time you stay in the city. Itís no wonder that youíre thinking about buying a vacation home in the area. But, you wonít be living there year round. Because of that, consider these points before you invest in a vacation home.

Weather

What is the weather like in the city, particularly during off peak seasons? Are winters harsh, dropping forty or more feet of snow a year? If so, that could put significant wear on the roof of your vacation home. Yet, harsh weather isnít a reason to turn away from buying the house. You could protect your house from hard weather conditions by installing storm windows, inspecting and repairing roofing and patching sidewalks and driveways before you leave at the end of summer.

Home Owners Association Rules

If your vacation house falls under a Home Owners Association, meet with association leaders to ensure that you understand applicable rules and fees. Get clear about rules and fees before you buy the house.

Count Up the Costs

As with other real estate, there will be property taxes, insurance and maintenance costs associated with your vacation house. Are you ready to take on these extra expenses, in addition to covering expenses at your permanent residence, expenses like food, clothing, entertainment and commuting costs? If not,staying at a hotel or resort may work better for you.

Furnishing Your Vacation Home

Unless you buy a house that comes fully furnished, factor in how much money youíre willing to pay to furnish the home. Keep furnishings to a minimal, steering clear of putting too many valuables in the house, as it could reduce the amount of money youíd be out of should the house get burglarized while youíre away.

Neighborhood

Get to know the neighbors. They could keep an eye on your vacation home while youíre away. Youíll also want to make sure that you get along with your neighbors. A good way to learn more about your neighbors is to stay in the city for a week or longer several times. Attend local events and stay abreast of local news the same as you would if you were going to live in the city year round.

Income Options

Rent out your vacation home while youíre away and you could generate income off the property.Check out local renting laws first. Also, run a thorough background check on people youíre thinking about renting the property out to.

Other points to consider include how much time you expect to spend at your vacation home. If you only plan to stay in the area for two to three weeks during the summer, it may not prove to be a smart investment unless you rent the house out while youíre away. Definitely install a security alarm at your vacation home and post signs on windows and doors, letting people know that the house is under surveillance.




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