Purchasing a second home is often the first step toward fulfilling a dream. Maybe you’ve reached retirement age and hope to relocate to a sunny climate soon. Or maybe you want a second home for your growing family to gather on holidays and on the weekends.
Whether you are buying your second home as a family retreat, for a future primary residence or an investment, here are four ways to get you started.
1. Consider the location. The National Association of Realtors found that 87 percent of second home purchasers intend to use the home for vacations or a family retreat. But research shows that if your second home is more than two hours away you won’t get there as often as you think you will. You might enjoy Florida’s sunny beaches, but if you live in New England, that’s an expensive plane ride or a long drive away to your second home.
2. Sleep In One. You love the Catskill Mountains, but will you eventually get bored, tired of the back woods? Before buying a second home, try renting one in the area. Stay awhile. Talk to the locals and eat in the restaurants. This is especially important if you plan to eventually make the home your primary residence, as 31 percent of second home purchasers plan to do, according the NAR. Online sites like Airbnb are a good resource for finding vacation rentals.
3. Consider Rental Income. If you are buying a second home for an investment or a family getaway, or both, be realistic about how often you can rent the home and for how much. Look online for rental listings. Find a local real estate agent, or vacation rental company. And be sure you can rent it. Some communities or Homeowners Associations don’t allow vacation rentals.
4. Add up all costs. Vacation homes never take a vacation. Like most properties, second homes must be maintained. Budget for the cost of hiring a local property manager to maintain the home while you’re away. Also consider the taxes, utilities, insurance you will have to pay.
Now is a great time to buy a second home. Interest rates are down, and the second home market is rebounding strongly. Give me a call at 860-435-9828 so I can help you finance your dream.
Lakeville Branch Manager, Vice President