Buying a Second Home: Things to Consider

by Washington Federal Team on August 12, 2011

Are you considering buying a second home or vacation home? There’s no doubt that having two homes would allow you to vacation without rental fees and in the luxury of your own space. And often, a second home can be a great way to transition to a retirement lifestyle. Before you decide to purchase a second home, here are a few things to consider:

1. LocationBuying a second home: Things to Consider

Whether you have found the perfect spot or are still in search of a right location, it is vital to do your research before you buy. Make sure the location has the amenities you want, such as shopping, medical care, transportation, infrastructure, etc. It’s always a good idea to do some hands-on research by renting a home in the area for a week or two and doing a trial run so you can scope out the neighborhood and local amenities before making a decision to buy. For vacation homes in scenic locations, make sure you are not in a “high risk” area for natural disasters. Even if your home weathers storms that come its way, the “high risk” label will increase your insurance costs.

2. Security

Security is a very important feature for vacation and second homes. They are usually used sparingly and can be left vacant for months at a time, making them susceptible to theft. It may be worthwhile to install a fire alarm system that automatically calls emergency personnel.

3. Cost

A separate mortgage payment is an obvious cost, but many homebuyers forget about additional costs that come with a second home. Don’t forget to consider taxes, water bills, yard service, energy costs, etc. Owning two homes also means you’ll also be responsible for twice the maintenance.  If you plan to retire to the second home, be sure to consider your long-term budget for maintenance and upkeep as you age.

Purchasing a vacation or second home is a big investment, so make sure that you take your time to find a home in the right location, with sufficient security features at a price you can afford. With careful research and planning, you will find a second home to meet all of your needs.

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