Vacations give us time to spend with family and friends, a time to kick back and relax, away from the noise and hustle of home. Some might consider owning their own piece of paradise. Having a second home for getaways sounds great, and often, it’s even a really good long-term investment.
Here’s the good news -- buying a vacation property is easier than you think, but don’t jump in blind. You absolutely need to work with professionals with specialized knowledge to help you purchase and finance that property.
Working with a local Realtor is essential simply because they know the area and will likely know the property as well.
Working with me is also essential to help you arrange a mortgage. As a mortgage broker, I have access to lenders with more flexibility than many banks, and often at preferred rates.
Here are some other considerations:
Spend Time There First
Make sure to visit the area a few times. It sounds simple, but it’s important to make sure you’re going to love it before committing to buying. You’ll be spending a lot of time there, unlike hotels and timeshares, where you have the option of changing destinations.
Also, if you’re financing the purchase, many lenders will not consider a vacation property that’s too off-the-beaten path.
Know All Your Costs
Just like your primary residence, you have to understand the total price of ownership including property taxes, insurance, and any other carrying costs. When you’re not there, you’re still being charged for water, gas, electrical, trash removal, landscaping, and other maintenance services. Remember, you’re purchasing a property that likely needs year-round upkeep.
You’ll Want A Rental Income Option
You may want to consider purchasing a home with rental potential. Some of your costs may be offset by allowing renters while you’re away. From a long-term investment standpoint, rental income may allow you to build equity and eventually pay off the property. Do some research, talk to local agents and vacation rental property management companies. Before you even consider this option, find out if rentals are permitted in the area.
Vacation Property Checklist
- What type of heating used?
- Is there electricity?
- What type of water source?
- Does it have seasonal or all-year access?
- Is the property a freehold or on leased or Crown lands?
- Is it easily accessible or do you need to depend on a ferry or a service road to get there?
- Is this really a location you’d like to come back to year after year, even if the great people you met last year are never there again?
- As your kids get older, will they still enjoy family vacations?
- Could your kids or extended family use the cabin without you there?
- If the property increases in value, what additional tax implications could you face because it’s not your primary residence?
Finally, consider what you value most about your lifestyle before taking on an additional commitment.
Call me today for more information.