Anna Teyssonniere de Gramont's Blog
Owning a second home or vacation home is the dream of many Americans hoping to retire in style. However, owning a second home can also be a huge financial asset and even an added form of income if you’re savvy with the rental process.
What stops most of us from buying a vacation home in our ideal getaway? The funding, of course. But, there are ways to plan ahead to ensure you’ll be ready to take the plunge and purchase a second home when the time comes.
In today’s blog post, we’re going to be talking about the steps to buying a home away from home and give you some tip on how to accomplish this goal in the most financially-sensible way possible.
1. Location is Key
When you buy a second home, you take on all the responsibilities of homeownership a second time. Since you won’t be around every day to tend to maintenance tasks and troubleshoot problems, you risk discovering costly repairs that could otherwise be avoided.
The most common issues to be concerned with are frozen pipes in northern climates, flooding in coastal areas, and problems like pests that can be found just about anywhere.
Depending on your budget, you might want a home you can drive out to on the weekends, meaning somewhere close by to your primary home. This option also makes it easier to stay up-to-date on home maintenance tasks before they become an issue.
2. Try before you buy
If your ideal vacation home is in an area you’re not totally familiar with, it’s a good idea to visit the neighborhood, talk to the locals, and gain their perspective on the area before buying.
This trip will also give you a sense of what you can expect to spend each time you visit the home. And, if you plan on renting out the property when you aren’t using it, you’ll be able to gauge what a reasonable rent price is for the location.
3. Earning income from your vacation home
Making extra cash from a home that you get to use pretty much whenever you want. Sounds like a dream, right? It can be if done properly, but you’ll need to ensure a few things before you can start earning income from your vacation property.
First, be aware that investment properties often require a larger down payment (typically 30%). Lenders also charge extra interest on homes that will be rented out.
Finally, there are local and state-level laws you’ll need to adhere to. These laws are designed to protect your interests as well as the people who rent out your property, so make sure you use a standard rental agreement for your area.
4. Making an offer
You’ve been here before. Once you’ve decided on a home, it’s time to start crafting your offer and negotiating with the seller’s agent.
However, before you pick a number, do some research on all of the expenses you’ll be paying on the house in question. Property taxes, homeowners association dues, utilities, and any other costs should be on your radar before determining if it’s the right home for your budget.
You’ll also want to be aware of the stipulations of renting out a property you own. This includes reporting income from renting your home to the IRS.
Now that you know the steps you’ll need to take to move toward your goal of buying a vacation home, you’ll be better equipped to make decisions that are best for you and your family’s future.
Selling a home may be difficult, especially for those who plan to list a residence for the first time. Fortunately, many real estate agents are available to guide you along the home selling journey.
Although there is no shortage of real estate agents at your disposal, it is important to note that not all real estate professionals are created equal. Therefore, it is essential to allocate the necessary time and resources to find a real estate agent who can help you achieve your home selling goals.
What does it take to find the right real estate agent to help you sell your residence? Here are three tips to ensure you can do just that.
1. Review the Current Housing Market
Take a look at homes that are currently available and the real estate agents who are associated with these properties. That way, you can find out which real estate agents are available in your area.
Also, don't forget to assess recently sold homes in your city or town. This will allow you to learn about the real estate agents who sold various houses and how long it took these housing market professionals to finalize the property sales.
You can always search the web for real estate agents in your area too. By doing so, you may be able to view client reviews that can help you determine whether a particular real estate professional is the right choice.
2. Consult with Friends and Family Members
Friends and family members sometimes can provide insights into their past home selling experiences. As a result, they may be able to connect you with a real estate professional who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you.
Furthermore, neighbors may prove to be great resources as you search for the perfect real estate agent. If a neighbor recently listed or sold his or her residence, you may be able to work with the same real estate agent.
3. Meet with Several Real Estate Agents
When it comes to finding a real estate agent, it never hurts to have a face-to-face conversation.
Set up meetings with several real estate professionals. This will allow you to learn about a real estate agent's background and expertise and decide whether you feel comfortable working with this individual.
In addition, try to get client references from real estate agents and reach out to past clients to find out what it was like to work with a particular real estate professional. As such, you'll be better equipped than ever before to make an informed decision.
The search for the right real estate agent often requires hard work and patience. With the right approach, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you accelerate the home selling journey and optimize the value of your residence.
Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble employing a top-notch real estate agent.
For those who want to sell a home sooner rather than later, there is no time like the present to start preparing for the home selling journey. Lucky for you, we're here to teach you about the home selling journey and ensure you can enjoy a fast, profitable house selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you put together a home selling strategy.
1. Learn About the Local Housing Market
The real estate market is in constant flux. Thus, a housing sector that favors buyers today may shift into seller's favor tomorrow, or vice-versa.
If you learn about the local housing sector, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. Then, you can map out your home selling plan accordingly.
Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. If you find that homes are selling at or above their initial asking prices, this may be a sign of a seller's market. Or, if houses are selling below their initial asking prices, the current real estate sector likely favors buyers.
Furthermore, examine how long houses stay available before they sell. If you discover that residences linger on the real estate market for many weeks or months before they sell, you will need to prepare to enter a buyer's market. On the other hand, if houses are selling as soon as they become available, a seller's market may be in place.
2. Find Out What Your House Is Worth
Conduct a house appraisal – you'll be glad you did. If you perform a property appraisal, you can obtain an accurate valuation of your house and price your residence appropriately.
Typically, a home appraiser will examine your residence both inside and out. This property expert also will evaluate assorted housing market data. After a home appraiser's work is complete, he or she will provide you with a property valuation.
With a property valuation in hand, you can establish an aggressive initial asking price for your residence. This price will help you stir up interest in your residence as soon as you list it.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
There is no need to work alone as you try to navigate the home selling journey. Thankfully, you can hire an expert real estate agent who can take the guesswork out of selling any house, at any time.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home in a buyer's or seller's market. He or she will help you establish an aggressive initial asking price for your house and promote your residence to dozens of potential buyers. Plus, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you assess this proposal and make an informed decision.
When it comes to getting ready to sell a home, there is no need to stress. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can craft an effective home selling strategy.
As a home seller, it is important to make your house a must-have for buyers. Otherwise, your home may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time. Worst of all, you may struggle to optimize your house sale earnings.
Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to make your house an attractive option to dozens of prospective buyers, including:
1. Upgrade Your Home's Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is crucial, particularly for a seller who wants to stir up significant interest in his or her residence. If you allocate time and resources to upgrade your house's curb appeal, you could help your residence stand out from other available homes.
It generally won't take long to improve a house's curb appeal. In some instances, a seller can mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform minor lawn care tasks to transform a house's exterior. Also, it may be beneficial to repair or replace any damaged home siding.
2. Eliminate Clutter
If your home is loaded with personal belongings, you may want to remove these items. That way, you can show off the full size of your home to buyers during showings and open house events.
To cut down on clutter, you can rent a storage unit and use it to hold various personal belongings until your residence sells. In addition, you can always donate any unwanted items to charity, give them to family members or friends or sell them as part of a yard sale.
3. Enhance Your Home's Interior
A neat, tidy home interior can make a world of difference in buyers' eyes. Thus, if you clean your residence from top to bottom, your house could impress buyers as soon as they walk through the front door.
Of course, if you need help with upgrading your house's interior, you can employ a home cleaning company. By shopping around for home cleaning companies in your city or town, you are sure to find a professional cleaning firm that offers the right combination of affordability and convenience.
As you get set to navigate the home selling journey, don't forget to hire a real estate agent, either. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive plenty of support as you try to generate buyers' interest in your house.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to promote a house to the right groups of prospective buyers. As such, he or she will craft a custom home selling strategy designed to help you showcase your residence to potential buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will host house showings and keep you up to date with buyer feedback. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you weigh the pros and cons of accepting this proposal.
Ready to sell your house? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can seamlessly navigate the home selling journey.