Thinking of buying a second home on the Crystal Coast this summer season? If you’ve never bought a vacation or investment home before, you’ve probably got some questions about what the home search-and-buy process looks like, and you might even be wondering if now is the right time to buy.
Here are some tips for buying a second home during the vacation season.
Rent First, Then Buy
If you’re new to the Crystal Coast area, you’ll probably want to rent a home (or two) first. Renting gives you a “test drive” of the area, so you can determine whether you’re in the right location or if you need to be closer to the beach/boat ramp/grocery store/etc.
Renting first also gives you an idea of what kind of home you might want to buy. Is a single-family home just too big and too much work? Is a condo too small for all your guests?
Find Out What the Rental Market is Like
If you’re buying a vacation home for yourself, you’re likely only going to be in the home for a few weeks out of the year. During those other months, you have the option of either letting the home sit empty or renting it out. For most second-home owners, it’s a pretty easy choice.
However, if you have any plans to rent your home out, you’ve got to make sure it’s going to be an easy and profitable rental. This applies to the house, but even more to the area. In other words, homes near amenities or attractions (think: the beach, good boating/fishing spots, Downtown Morehead) are going to be easier to rent than homes further away.
Choose Your Location First
Taking your preferences and the rental market into consideration, carefully select a location that’s going to work best for your home. Are you more of a downtown-fun kind of person? A boater? A beach bum? Your lifestyle will dictate your location—but don’t forget you’ve got to think about what renters will want, too!
Need recommendations on a great location for a Crystal Coast vacation home? Just ask us!
Buy Under Budget
When buying a primary home, it’s often advised to buy at the higher end of your budget so you can grow in to your new home. It’s not the same with a vacation home! Before you even start searching, you’ll want to determine exactly how much you can afford on a second home every month.
Keep in mind this cost will include not only your mortgage, but also homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes, as well as utilities, maintenance, HOA fees, and any other regular costs of homeownership. Since you won’t be living there regularly, you may also need to pay for landscaping or other regular maintenance.
Don’t Get Caught Up in the Summer Competition
Spring and summer bring beautiful weather to the Crystal Coast, but they also bring home buyers. On the one hand, that’s great, because it usually brings sellers (and more homes), too. But on the flip side, competition for homes can get a little aggressive.
As a buyer, it’s important not to get caught up in the competition—offering more than you can afford in a bidding war, making an offer on a home too quickly, foregoing contingencies to make your offer more appealing. Know your criteria, know your budget, and know when you should walk away.
Be Ready to Close ASAP
While you shouldn’t get caught up in the heat of summer buying, you should be ready to close. That means having your financing well-organized, whether that’s proof of a cash offer or mortgage preapproval. It means having a reasonable closing date and contingencies. It means being ready and able to present a solid offer when you see a home you like.
Work with an Experienced Crystal Coast Agent
The single most important thing you can do when buying any home at any time of year is to work with the right agent. Choose an agent or team based on their experience in the area, their communication and responsiveness, and the resources they have to offer you as a buyer.
Buying a vacation home in the Crystal Coast this summer? Linda Rike Real Estate is here to help! Give us a call to learn more about the area, explore its lovely communities, and find the perfect home for you.