Home Sweet Second Home

Home Sweet Second Home

Sometimes a vacation can be so good that it makes you want to move to your vacation destination permanently — or at least visit more often. If your recent getaway has you thinking about buying a second home, consider these pointers from Frontdoor.com and CNN Money before taking the plunge.

Ultimately, your lifestyle will determine the kind of second home you buy. How much time will you spend in your second home? A few weeks a year? Are you looking for a weekend getaway? Be realistic: Consider how long it takes to travel there and how often you’ll really be using it.

Will you rent it out when you’re not there? Homeowners who rent out their home for fewer than 15 days a year don’t have to pay taxes on rental income — rental expenses, how- ever, aren’t deductible (and vice versa). Whether or not you choose to rent it out, it’s important to add in extra costs, such as maintenance and insurance — which will be higher in risky weather areas, such as beach proper- ties — and then decide whether the upkeep and costs still fit within your budget.

Know the rules of renting. Some towns don’t allow short-term rentals, so make sure your chosen locale does, and read up on landlord laws for tenants. If your home will be primarily for rental income, opt for a family-friendly home in a popular location with easy access to airports or other modes of transportation for a more desirable rental option.

Last, consider long-term goals when choosing a second home. If you’re thinking of the home as a good place to retire, it’s important to check out local hospitals and other resources, and factor in costs associated with making a home compatible with senior living.

CRS Your Home Newsletter – July, 2012

Tammy Fadler