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Buying a vacation home is an important goal and milestone for many Americans who want to make the most of their holidays and plan for retirement.
Vacation properties needn’t be lavish or expensive to still be a perfect way to enjoy the winter months at your home away from home. Furthermore, owning a vacation home can prove to be an excellent financial asset that increases in value over time, as more people seek to scoop up properties in your area.
In today’s post, I’m going to talk about some of the most important things to look for in a vacation home to help you kick off your search. Whether you’re months away from buying a home or the idea of a second home is still a far-off dream, this article is for you.
1. Consider locations
The most important aspect of any vacation home is that it’s located in the perfect place for you to enjoy. Whether that’s a remote getaway in the mountains or a beachfront property in Florida, your plans for the home should be your number one priority.
If it’s your ultimate goal to retire and move into your vacation home someday, consider what it would be like living in that location full time. Is it close to amenities like grocery stores? Or, if you’re moving to a coastal area, will the traffic drive you crazy?
On the other hand, if you don’t intend to ever move into your vacation home full-time, it might be wiser to choose a location that will suit your family’s vacation needs while remaining a great asset to sell down the road.
2. Spend a week at your destination before buying
Some homeowners have a dream of buying a vacation home in a place they’ve always wanted to visit or have simply heard is a great place to own a vacation home in. The problem with this is that you might find, once you arrive, that you don’t want to spend several weeks or months there after all.
It might get too crowded during vacation season or you might decide that there isn’t enough to do that will keep you busy for extended stays.
To prevent buyer’s remorse, spend a week or two in your planned vacation home destination to make sure it really is the best spot for you.
3. If you plan on renting, know what to expect
Many Americans purchase a vacation home with the intention of renting it out while they aren’t using it to earn extra income. While this can be a great way to generate income, you will need to be prepared for becoming a landlord.
Look up local rental laws in the area to make sure you understand your responsibilities. Furthermore, understand that renting out a property part-time takes work; you’ll interact with prospective renters, filter out those that you think aren’t suited for your home, and handle problems with the property as they arrive.
If you keep these three things in mind, you should be able to find the perfect vacation home for you and your family.
In your search for a home, there’s one option that you may be overlooking. That is the act of sharing a home with others. It can help you to divide the expenses of homeownership and even put you on a faster path to homeownership. When you do decide to share the cost of homeownership with others, there’s a few things that you should know.
There’s so many different advantages to co-buying a home with a relative, even as a married couple. You do need to make sure that the arrangement is well thought out and planned ahead of time.
When you buy a house, you receive what’s called a title. In the case of co-ownership, it explains how the buyers are sharing the title. The way the title is set up could have consequences down the road, especially when it comes to one person exiting the house, and parting ways with the agreement.
When Sharing A Property With A Non-Spouse
When you’re sharing the property with a non-spouse, you have a few options. These include:
Tenant In Common
With this option, there’s no need for a 50/50 split. Buyers are allowed to own unequal interests in the property. If one of the co-owners were to pass away, their ownership would be transferred to one of their beneficiaries. For this reason, tenant in common is the most popular way that buyers who are not related agree in guying a property together and take on the title.
Joint Tenants With Right Of Survivorship
With this option, co-buyers have no option but to own equal interests in the property at hand as a 50/50 split. If you bought a home with two other people, you’d each have one-third interest in the home, and so on. If one tenant passes away, the remaining owners gain the deceased owner’s percentage of interest in the property. There’s no need for a court proceeding or probate, this happens automatically. Even if the deceased owner has a will designating their portion of the property be given to someone else, the request is null and will generally be refused.
Both of these co-ownership options allow for an undivided interest in a property. All owners are co-owners as a part of the entire piece of property. If one owner wants to sell, for example, they would be selling their tenancy or part interest in the property.
Important Things To Do:
- Create a co-ownership agreement
- Clarify who owns what percentage
- Decide who pays the ongoing expenses
- Give options if any owners want out in the future
You could draft one of these agreements with a qualified attorney. It’s a good idea to sit with everyone before the purchase of the property is made to talk and lay out all of the expectations. Everyone should have one of these agreements in writing, however.
While sharing a property purchase can reduce your debt, it’s important to make smart agreements and understand whether the decision makes sense for you and all parties involved.
If you plan to sell a house, it can be easy to try to rush through the home selling cycle. However, doing so may do more harm than good, particularly for home sellers who want to maximize their profits.
Ultimately, a wait and see approach can be beneficial for a home seller. Some of the key reasons to consider taking a wait and see approach to selling a house include:
1. You can clean your house from top to bottom.
A messy home is unlikely to generate interest from large groups of homebuyers. Comparatively, a neat, tidy and pristine home is sure to stir up plenty of interest once it reaches the real estate market.
If you spend some time enhancing your house's interior and exterior, the benefits can be substantial. In addition to making your residence more attractive to homebuyers, you may be able to raise your chances of receiving offers at or above your initial asking price.
To clean your house's interior, you should spend some time mopping the floors, wiping down walls and ceilings and doing whatever you can to make each room look great. Meanwhile, to improve your house's exterior, you may want to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and do everything possible to ensure your house has plenty of curb appeal.
2. You can conduct a comprehensive home appraisal.
A home seller who immediately adds a residence to the real estate market might not understand what his or her house is worth based on the current housing market's conditions. As such, this home seller risks pricing his or her house too high or too low.
Conversely, if you perform a home appraisal, you can set a competitive price for your residence from day one. This appraisal also will enable you to identify your home's strengths and weaknesses and find ways to transform assorted weaknesses into strengths.
Employ an experienced home appraiser to evaluate your house – you'll be glad you did. With a top-notch home appraiser at your side, you can receive the expert insights that you need to price your house appropriately.
3. You can discover the right real estate agent.
When it comes to selling a house, why should you be forced to work with an inferior real estate agent? Unfortunately, if you rush to add your residence to the real estate market, you may select the first real estate agent that you meet. And in this scenario, you risk making a poor choice.
On the other hand, a home seller who takes a wait and see approach can spend some time evaluating many real estate agents. Then, this home seller can make an informed selection and increase his or her chances of enjoying a successful home selling experience.
There is no reason to hurry through the home selling journey. Instead, deploy a wait and see approach, and you should have no trouble remaining patient and capitalizing on the right opportunities to maximize the value of your house.
It goes without saying that buying a home is time-consuming.
First, there’s the financial planning to determine when you’re ready to buy a home. Then you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage and start looking for homes. After viewing several homes you finally find the perfect home. Then comes the difficult process of making an offer and negotiating the cost of the home. If all goes well, your offer is accepted and you get to enter the lengthy mortgage closing process. However, your work is not yet done. You’ll have to move out of your current residence and into your new home. All of this while juggling your work and social life.
After all of this, it might seem like the only thing left to do is relax in your new home. While it may be true that you certainly deserve a break, there are some things you should do sooner rather than later when you move into your new home.
In this article, we’ll cover ten things you should do right away once you move into your new home.
1. Home security
Your chief consideration when moving into your new home should be making sure it’s safe. The best first step to take is to change all of the locks on your house. In spite of how trustworthy the previous homeowner may have seemed, you can never be 100% sure who had spare keys to their home. Changing locks is quick and inexpensive, especially considering what’s at stake.
Another important step in home security is to put new batteries in and test all smoke detectors, make sure fire extinguishers are up-to-date, and ensure air filters are cleaned.
2. Set up your utilities
One of the first things you have to do when moving into a new home is to call your utility companies and transfer services into your name. Make a list of the services you’ll need to set up (electricity, water, garbage removal, internet, home security, heating, etc.). This is also a good time to set up online accounts and autopay for these services. It will save you time each month and make it easier to keep track of your bills if you simplify this process from the get-go.
You should have already had the home inspected by a professional prior to closing on the house. However, things can change in the time that someone moves all of their belongings out of a home and you move all of yours in. Wiring can be damaged, pipes banged, windows cracked, and so on. Do a thorough inspection of your home to check for leaks, broken wires, and fire hazards to be sure that your home is in good condition.
4. Deep clean
It might be tempting to just move your belongings into their new places once you arrive at your new home. However, the best time to clean a room is when it’s empty. Before you set up your furniture or fill your cabinets, give them a thorough cleaning.
5. Familiarize yourself with circuit breaker and water valves
When disaster strikes, you’ll want to be ready for it. Get to know your circuit box before the first power outage. Store flashlights in easily accessible places and make sure they have fresh batteries. Similarly, familiarize yourself with the main water shutoff valve in case you have a pipe burst. If the former homeowner lived alone and you have a large family, there’s a chance that the sudden surge in power and water usage could reveal issues with plumbing and wiring that the former owner wasn’t aware of.
You know that you want to buy a house, but you also don't want to break your day-to-day budget to acquire a residence. As such, you're in the market for inexpensive housing – something that can be tough to find in any real estate sector, at any time.
Buying a house can be difficult, especially if you're operating on a tight budget. Fortunately, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of finding an inexpensive house that matches or exceeds your expectations.
Let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline your search for an affordable residence.
1. Evaluate How Long a Home Has Been Available
When it comes to finding an affordable house, it pays to check out how long a residence has been available. By doing so, you may be able to discover a bargain, even in a highly competitive real estate market.
If a home that has been available for many weeks or months, a seller may be more motivated than ever before to accept an offer that falls below his or her initial expectations. Thus, if you submit an offer below a seller's initial asking price, the seller may accept your proposal in the hopes of getting rid of his or her residence quickly.
Of course, you should always ensure that a home offer is competitive based on a house's age and condition, along with the current state of the real estate market. Because if you submit a "lowball" proposal, a seller likely will respond with an immediate "No" to your offer.
2. Look at Fixer-Uppers
A fixer-upper is unlikely to have everything that you want in your dream house. On the other hand, a fixer-upper likely is more cost-effective in comparison to a new house.
If you're on the lookout for affordable housing, you should consider fixer-uppers. These houses may require some work, but buyers who are willing to allocate the necessary time and resources to perform myriad home repairs can transform these properties into dream homes.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
For homebuyers who want to acquire a house without spending too much, it usually helps to hire a real estate agent. In fact, by working with a real estate agent, a homebuyer can streamline the process of acquiring an affordable residence.
A real estate agent first will meet with a homebuyer and learn about his or her homebuying goals. Then, this housing market professional can tailor a home search to complement a buyer's budget.
Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and do whatever it takes to help you purchase an inexpensive house.
Ready to find a cost-effective house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can accelerate the process of discovering an affordable home that you can enjoy for years to come.