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8 Tips when buying a Second Home

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By : James Hardy    99 or more times read
With homebuyers taking advantage of the drop in house prices, smart investment is crucial; here are a few tips to consider when buying a second home.

1. Avoid impulse buying
Many people make the mistake of going on holiday, and returning with the keys to a newly-purchased property, having been ‘swept up’ by a location. However, the purchase of a new property should be considered very carefully, otherwise, you may end up with a house that is not suitable to your needs.

2. Find the right type of home for you
Think about the amount of time you are going to spend in the second property, and how much time you are willing to spend on on-going maintenance. Also consider the size of the property, the size should fit your needs, but also be easy to maintain.

3. Assess your needs and long-term goals
You need to be realistic, and assess which type of second home suits your lifestyle. For example, if you are looking for a quick to access weekend retreat, stick to properties within a relatively short drive of your primary home, traveling can eat into your valuable holiday time. If you are viewing the second home as a retirement spot, make sure that the property is accessible, and close to essential amenities, such as health care services.

4. Get to know the area
It could be that you have been visiting the same holiday spot for many years. However, it is generally thought that you don’t know an area completely, until you have lived there. Visit the area off-season, and chat to locals to get their opinions of the area.

5. Find a local real estate agent
Purchasing a vacation home outside your local area can be a tricky process, so obtain the services of local experts. A local estate agent can help you to assess the market, and make the right decision.

6. Look around for the best mortgage
In a volatile housing market, the buyer is very much in the driving seat, so resist the temptation to accept the first mortgage offered to you. Instead, shop around, and get independent advice if necessary, to find the perfect mortgage deal for you.

7. Rent our your second home for extra income
If you only intend to spend a small amount of time in your second home, consider renting it out for the rest of the year. This allows you to generate cash to supplement your monthly mortgage payment. Obviously, becoming a landlord involves more responsibilities, so read up on recent landlord/tenant laws and the Fair Housing Act before considering renting out your home.

8. Consider additional expenses
When looking to purchase a second property, don’t forget to factor in the additional costs such as insurance and maintenance. These on-going costs can build up, and ideally, you should get a few insurance quotes before purchasing a property, so you have a better idea of upkeep costs.
If you need to sell a property to fund a second home, this website could help: Sell Your House Quick.

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