Whether you live in Denver and you’re thinking of buying a second home elsewhere, or you want to buy a second home in the Denver area, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible. Here’s what you need to know when buying a second home.
Do You Know Your Long-Term Wants and Needs?
Buying a second home should never be an impulse decision. While it may seem like a great investment, there’s a lot that comes along with being the owner of two separate homes. You’ll need to think about several things, including how you plan to use the home, whether you want your second home to be your retirement home, and even whether you can rent it out when it’s not being used. These things will all factor into your decision, so be sure to carefully consider them before you buy.
Do You Like the Location?
While you may find a gorgeous house that you absolutely love, chances are good that you won’t love it for long if you can’t stand the area. Before you sign the paperwork, take the time to explore the location, including the immediate neighborhood and the “downtown” area, if applicable. Consider everything from the crime rate to the local restaurants, and this will help you make a better decision about your second home.
Is Your Real Estate Agent Local?
If you live in California but you want to buy a second home in Denver, it doesn’t really make sense to have your California real estate agent help you find a home. After all, he or she won’t know the area and the housing market as well as a Denver real estate agent will, which can put you at a disadvantage. When buying a second home, make sure you hire a reputable real estate agent who is from that local area. This way, you have someone on your side who knows the best locations and the best prices.
Do You Understand the Extra Expenses?
When buying a second home, you’ll need to worry about much more than an extra mortgage payment. You’ll have higher homeowner’s insurance rates (especially if your second home is in an area prone to flooding or hurricanes), more taxes to pay, and even increased responsibility for upkeep and maintenance. Now you’ll have two roofs to inspect, two fireplaces to clean, and more. Make sure you consider this carefully before making your purchase.
Can You Rent the Property When It Isn’t in Use?
If your second home will serve as a vacation home, either permanently or up until you retire, you may want to consider renting it out for the extra income. This can help you cover your mortgage payments, taxes, and maintenance expenses along the way, but for some homeowners, renting isn’t worth the headaches. You’ll have to be very careful about who you rent to, and you’ll also need to take a trip to inspect your home now and then.
Buying a second home is certainly exciting, but unless you’ve thought things through completely, you might find yourself in over your head. The considerations listed above will help you make a better choice about your purchase, both now and in the future.