Buying a Second Home

Written by Posted On Friday, 25 July 2014 08:51

If you’ve reached the stage of your life at which you’re prepared to buy a second home as either an investment or a second residence, there are a few factors to take into account. A second home can be an excellent financial investment, but only if undertaken with a clear picture of the financing and responsibilities involved.

Some important considerations include the following:

1)    Your financial picture. Even if you have plenty of money in the bank to cover a down payment and a second mortgage loan, you’ll need to plan for ongoing costs. If you aren’t going to live in the home full time, you’ll need to hire a property management company to take care of the house when you are not there. You’ll also need to factor in insurance costs, property taxes, and maintenance.

2)    Location. If you are buying a second home in a different community (or perhaps even state) than where you are living now, you’ll want to research the market in which you’re buying. What will your resale or rental prospects look like? Research the property just like you would research your primary residence. Take into account the desirability of the area in terms of amenities, the school district, property tax rates, and recent resale trends.

3)    Type of home. Decisions, decisions. Single-family home, multi-unit property, condominium, or townhouse? What type of home fits your needs and what do you plan to do with it? Condos typically involve associations that may involve a fee – but that fee could manage upkeep and maintenance for which you would otherwise need a management company. 

4)    Amount of time spent in the home. Here, you have several options, from dividing your time between homes to renting out your second property either periodically or part- or full-time. Which brings us to the consideration of whether …

5)    To rent or not to rent. Rental income can be financially lucrative and help you pay for the mortgage on your second property, but taking on landlord duties can present its own set of issues. First, rental properties can take a long time to actually start to make money. Finding good tenants (or vacationers) can be challenging and takes some legwork. Periodic rentals differ from long-term rentals and must be handled differently. You’ll want to educate yourself about the rights and responsibilities of being a landlord before taking on such an endeavor.

As with any home purchase, when buying a second home, it’s vital to educate yourself ahead of time about the potential benefits and pitfalls. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your real estate agent for valuable advice concerning owning a second home.

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Kim Clark

As a Real Estate broker, a former pediatric nurse, and a resident for 35 years, Kim Clark knows Cape Cod! She specializes in residential real estate, waterfront homes, dock homes, golf homes, 1031 tax exchange, and at this point works mostly by referral. She also has a team member that specializes in commercial real estate if that is your need. As the owner of Bayside Realty Consultants, Kim services these areas: Cape Cod, Orleans, Dennis, Brewster, Harwich, Chatham, Yarmouth, Barnstable, Eastham, Wellfleet,Truro, P-Town, and Sandwich.

Kim has been married for 27 years and has two children, two dogs and a cat. She enjoys water sports, classic cars, hockey, basketball, volleyball, and car racing. She owns a pro-4 race car that races all over New England.

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