Many of us dream about having a second home. It’s nice to think about a getaway where you can have a change of scenery and enjoy different activities and perhaps even a change of climate. A second home can also offer a place for your family and friends to gather and make lasting memories. If you’ve been pondering the purchase of a beach home, a mountain home, or something in between, here are some questions you might want to ask.
1. Can I afford all the expenses associated with the property?
In addition to the purchase price, you’ll need to calculate costs for taxes, utilities, HOA fees, insurance, and furniture. You’ll also need to project maintenance costs for the structure as well as for home systems and appliances.
2. Will I enjoy spending time there?
Before you invest in a second home, make sure the area and the lifestyle both appeal to you enough to make you want to visit regularly. It may be a good idea to do a long-term rental of a property before you decide to buy. It’s also important to consider the travel time to the home, which could affect your enjoyment and affect the frequency of your visits.
3. Should I buy a house or a condo?
While there are benefits to both, many second homeowners choose condominiums because of the low-maintenance lifestyle they offer. Many condos have staff that take care of exterior maintenance, yard work, and to check on units when they are unoccupied. In addition, some condominiums offer attractive common areas with recreational and social opportunities.
4. Will I rent the property when I’m not using it?
If you’re planning to rent your second home to generate income, you’ll need to know the rental history and how seasonal traffic might affect rental potential. It’s also important to consider how economic trends could impact the rental pool in the future. If you plan to use a property management company, be sure to understand their fee structure and how they may be able to help increase rental potential.
5. Am I looking at this property as an investment?
If you’re counting on the property increasing in value, make sure you do your homework. A good start is to ask your real estate professional about the history of housing prices in the area. Take into consideration economic growth projections for the area, as well as national economic and real estate industry forecasts. It’s also important to analyze local municipal plans for future growth and infrastructure improvements, and to talk to your financial advisor.
6. How can I protect my budget from unexpected home repairs and replacements?
Even second homes can experience breakdowns and malfunctions of home system components and appliances. That’s why HSA Home Warranties are great solutions for properties that are used as second homes. HSA warranties cover many essential appliances and home system components that break down due to normal wear and tear – items that most home insurance plans don’t cover. In addition to offering budget protection and a reliable resource for home repairs, HSA Home Warranty coverage offers second homeowners peace of mind when they aren’t in the residence. If a covered system or appliance breaks down, renters or management companies can call HSA for a diagnosis of the issue, which can save time and hassle. For more information, visit onlinehsa.com today.