Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger - RE/MAX Executive Realty



Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 7/22/2020

Image by June Hanabi from Pixabay

Buying a home is never easy, but it can be especially challenging if you're making your purchase from a remote location, like when you're buying a vacation home. If you're purchasing a second home or a vacation property in the next few months, these tips can help you through the process. By doing your homework, working with the right real estate professional, and by making decisions in advance, you can make the purchasing process easier on yourself. Here's what you need to know.  

Understand the Tax & Loan Implications

Mortgages for vacation homes often require a larger down payment than primary residences. In addition, some loans that can be used to purchase primary residences cannot be used to buy vacation homes. For example, you can't pay for a vacation home with an FHA loan. 

You may be able to deduct the mortgage interest from your taxes, but only up to a certain amount. Your accountant can help you understand how the mortgage deduction will work before you buy the house. Call your accountant before getting into the home purchase process, so you can be fully aware of the tax implications before finalizing the purchase.

Know What You Want

Sit down with your family before you start shopping for a home. Have discussions that will focus your search. Ask questions like: Where do we want to buy? How big will the house be? How large should the lot be? Answering these questions in advance will help you narrow your search and keep it focused on houses that are likely to make you happy.  

Research the Real Estate Market

Are homes competitive in the area where you'd like to buy? Do they go fast? Must you act quickly? What's the price range of homes you'd like to buy? What's the forecast for real estate in the area? Having answers to these questions will help you make decisions that will inform your home buying process. Some of this information can be found online, but the best and most accurate way to get a lot of this information is to work with a reputable real estate professional.  

Plan at Least One or Two Trips

Much of the home buying process can be done remotely. PDF document signing technology has made it easy to make offers and send documents to home buyers from out of state or even out of the country. However, it's still advisable to make at least one trip to the area and see the house you'd like to buy in-person before making an offer. 

Very likely, you won't find the house you want to buy in the first trip. Plan to make at least one (and possibly two or more) trips to the area where you'd like to purchase. Plan your trips carefully to ensure each trip is productive. Make a list of properties to see before leaving. Communicate your list of properties with your real estate agent in advance, so your real estate professional can make appointments to see homes before you arrive.  

Find the Right Real Estate Professional

Work with a real estate agent who has facilitated long distance purchases in the past, and who has strategies for helping out of town buyers. To find a real estate agent, interview reputable candidates before settling on the right one for you. The real estate professional you choose should be friendly, communicative and confident in their ability to help. Working with the right real estate agent, you'll be able to get the job done, even when you're not in town.  




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Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 3/21/2012

If you have been dreaming of owning a vacation home now may be the time to buy. Home prices and mortgage rates continue to fall and there are some great deals for buyers looking for a second home. Here are five things you need to know before taking the leap. 1. Prices are at all-time lows In many second-home hot spots, prices are still close to their five-year lows. When the real-estate bubble burst, some of the hardest-hit markets were vacation destinations. Many vacation home areas experienced overgrowth and may now be suffering from foreclosures. 2. Think ROI Consider the possible return on your investment. Whether or not you decide to rent the home out, you will want to consider buying a place that has good rent potential. That's because a home's rent ability can affect its resale value. Before you bid on a house, make sure the homeowners association or township allows short-term rentals. 3. Don't count on rental income If you are planning on counting on rental income to cover the costs beware. According to HomeAway.com, a typical second home property rents out just 17 weeks a year. Make sure to account for the weeks the home won't rent. Plus, you'll need to pay for cleaning, maintenance, insurance, and maybe management fees. Make sure to plan on the maintenance costs of the property being at least 15% of the income. 4. Your mortgage rate depends on how you use the home How you use the home depends on the mortgage rate you will receive. If you plan to use the property primarily as a second home and you'll pay about the same mortgage rate as you would on a primary residence. If your plans are to use the home for rental income and need that income to qualify for the loan, you'll need to have as much as 25% for the down payment and pay up to one percentage point more in interest. 5. Take advantage of tax benefits Talk to your tax guy before you buy. If you rent the home out for two weeks or less you won't have to report a cent of income to the IRS. The good news here, you can still deduct property taxes and mortgage interest. On the flipside, if you stay there for less than two weeks or 10% of rental days, you can deduct operating costs in addition to interest and property tax. But where should you buy? According to CNBC here are the top places to buy a second home. If you are thinking about buying a second home I can help you find a professional agent in that area.