Trisha Bowen - RE/MAX Real Estate Center



Posted by Trisha Bowen on 1/1/2018

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 Trisha Bowen on 7/24/2016

Buying a vacation home is something that many dream of, but for some itís not just a dream. And itís certainly not something that is only for the rich and the famous. Maybe you have been saving for one your whole life, got a large bonus at work that you want to use as a down payment, or are just going out on a limb; there are several things to consider before taking the plunge and buying a vacation home. Cost: First and foremost, what kind of financial position are you in? Are you able to put down 20% and if not will you be able to afford the potential higher interest rate that goes along with less money done? If you are planning to buy farther away, can you afford the airfare cost for as often as youíd like to spend there? Can you afford the inevitable maintenance that will be necessary? You certainly do not have to be a millionaire to purchase a vacation home, but itís important to know what you can afford and cannot afford. Location: Do you want to buy a vacation home that is within a couple of hours from your home? Or would you rather buy one a plane ride away that may be in a location thatís warm year round? Or do you want to buy a home in another country? This is certainly something that should be determined before beginning your search. Condo vs. Single-Family: Do you want the privacy of a single-family home or do you want the amenities that come along with living in a condo? There is a level of privacy that comes with owning a single-family home versus a condo, as well as there are condo fees to consider. This decision may not matter much to you, but itís important that everyone involved agrees on the type of home they would like to buy. Rent It: Do you plan on renting out your vacation home when you are not there? Are you looking at homes in locations where renting is possible? Can you afford the home if you do not rent it out? If you canít afford the home without renting, how often do you need to rent to be able to afford it? Do you want the hassle of renting it? Itís important to consider this possibility even before you begin your house hunt. Buying a vacation home is extremely exciting, but itís a large investment. It should be well thought out and planned out. But, once you have those details worked outó go out and buy the vacation home of your dreams!