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Things to keep in mind when buying a second home

By Danny Margagliano | July 4, 2021

The housing market may go slow at times. However, the demand for new homes always remains at an all-time high. When you know the right way to select a property, you can reap many benefits from the housing market. Whether you are looking for a second home for vacation or simply looking for a secure place to invest, the following tips can help you make a wiser investment. 

Do not buy as an impulse

Buying a house is serious business. Therefore, one of the main things to avoid is buying under an impulse. Try not to make any purchase without thinking it over very seriously. If you do so, you may end up spending more than you can afford, putting money into a property that does not appraise, or simply ending up with the property you do not like or need.

Think about the long-term goals

The second house you are buying should be consistent with your lifestyle. For example, you can buy a property in a place that can be perfect for weekend getaways. Or this second home could also be your place to spend the days of retirement. If you intend to use it for the latter purposes, you should also check out the accessibility to other nearby areas. The availability of various facilities you may need during your senior years, mainly healthcare, are important factors to consider. 

Do thorough research of the area

Even if you are buying a property for vacation purposes, you must get to know the surroundings well enough. This will help determine the safety and convenience of living in the area. Talk to the locals for their perspective on the area. 

Hiring a real estate agent

Although you can always take up the task of going through the real estate market yourself, getting help from a real estate agent is always advisable. They are much more familiar with the market values of various properties and can also help you through the buying process from start to finish.

Decide what is best for you

There are so many different types of properties that you can buy. Therefore, when trying to purchase a home or a condo, you will need to weigh out the pros and cons. However, all of these require different amounts of maintenance. For example, a condo may be a perfect choice if you are looking for a vacation property. However, they can have very expensive HOA's and also do not offer much privacy for residential uses. Therefore, if you intend to use the property for residential purposes, it may be more advisable to go for homes or townhomes. 

Find the best deals

Real estate property values change continuously. Therefore, choose a property that will not lose its value very easily. It would be advisable to attempt to purchase a property that will gain equity quickly. Try not to purchase at the top of the market. Consult your realtor as to when and where would be the most advantageous location to get a good deal.

Calculate the additional expenses

It would help if you did not forget the additional expenses of buying a new house. This may include insurance as well as basic household maintenance costs. For example, if you are buying a property in a hurricane-prone area, you will have to set aside some additional funds for insurance. Similarly, it would help if you also were insured for forest fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, depending on the location of your property. At least 2 % of the total cost of the house should be kept aside each year for maintenance. 

Opting for fractional ownership

  When buying a vacation or 2nd home, most people do not plan on using it more than a few weeks a year. Therefore if it agrees with you, you can opt for mutual sharing with friends, families, or strangers of a condo or house. Buying a fractional condo or home doesn't fit everyone's lifestyle, but it is the perfect buying option for a select few. Fractional ownership allows people who either do or do not know each other to pool the funds together to purchase a property.  Fractional ownership is not like a timeshare. You actually own a portion of the property in fractional ownership. Then the owners decide on a calendar that typically rotates each year, giving all parties a fair amount of prime weeks to is the property.

Tax benefits and renting

If you want to supplement your income through the new property, you can rent it out when you are not planning to use it. However, the property should be in such a location where you can quickly get short-term renters. You may also have to pay rental taxes on the income. Therefore, it would do good to study the taxation system in the area before moving. Although, there are many benefits when it comes to tax time for those that income-producing properties. And yes. You can have the best of both worlds — a vacation home when you want it and an income-producing property when you're not around.

Danny Margagliano has over a decade of experience in the real estate industry.He works for 30a Local Properties in Santa Rosa Beach on the beautiful Emerald Coast of Florida.He specializes in working with residential investment properties and second homes.Danny also is the owner and founder of the Internet marketing company for real estate agents, Web Tech SEO.He’s a former professional surfer as well as a firefighter paramedic.
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