6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Vacation Home
6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Vacation Home
Have you and your family fallen in love with a vacation spot and you’re wondering whether it makes sense to buy there? Here are some key questions to ask yourself (And keep in mind that a great real estate agent can always help you talk through them!).
Do you really, really love the location?
It’s a good idea to visit the area during the low season. Do you still enjoy it when the ski slopes are green, or when those ocean breezes are too chilly for lounging on the sand?
How often can you get there?
Calculate how many times a year you’ll be able to use the home. Carefully consider the commute as well as your career and family commitments to determine how much time you realistically can spend there relative to the costs of owning and maintaining the property.
Have you talked to the locals?
Spend some quality time at the local coffee shop or microbrewery and chat with people who live in the area year-round. Ask them what they like, and don’t like, about living there – and about any cultural trends they’ve noticed.
Could you rent your place if you had to?
Renting out the home when you’re not there brings with it a host of other considerations. Does the HOA allow rentals? Would potential renters be interested in the property’s amenities, such as a fireplace in a ski town or an inviting deck or patio in a beach community?
What about the taxes?
Taxes for a second home can be more complicated than those for your primary residence. Talk to a tax pro and learn more about the tax implications for your specific situation, including taxes on rental income if you plan to rent out the place for part of the year.
What’s the tab when you’re not there?
Calculate the true, year-round cost of owning the home, including utilities and property management when the home isn’t occupied.
What a splendid dilemma! You’ve received several offers on your property. Which one should you choose? It’s not always the highest one.
Here are just some of the areas Nick & Cindy Davis could ask you to pay particularly close attention to as you’re weighing the options.
Do the math.
This goes beyond simply calculating the dollar difference between the various offer prices. Before you do that, be sure to do all the math. Subtract things like closing costs, fees and potential repairs to determine the net proceeds of each offer.
Consider the financing.
Can the buyer provide proof from the bank that there are funds to back the offer? Your agent can help verify this – and help you understand the terms of the buyer’s financing.
Do the buyers have a baby-sitting parent in the neighborhood? A new job just around the corner? Buyers with extra motivation to purchase your home are less likely to press for concessions and more likely to work harder to close the deal. Some buyers even include a personal letter with their offer to explain why they want the home. These letters can be particularly helpful in multiple-offer situations.
Note the closing date each offer proposes. You’ll want a closing date that best meets your needs. You can always counter a closing date, too, if the best offer doesn’t quite meet your timeline.
Weighing the pros and cons of each offer can be tricky. An experienced agent can help you clarify, calculate and secure the very best deal for you. Nick & Cindy Davis have proven track records when it comes to negotiating the best price for you. Visit www.TampaHomesSold.com or contact us directly at 813-300-7116 we are here to help.
An attractive outdoor space, even if it’s just big enough to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or evening cocktail, can be a major selling point for potential buyers. Here are a few suggestions for maximizing your outdoor living space.
Floor it. If you have a small outdoor area, it won’t break the bank to invest in higher quality tiles or stones. Snap-in deck tiles are another option for adding a touch of class.
When it comes to tables, go for glass-topped: It will help create the illusion of a larger space.
Watch your back.
Chairs and benches with more open backs don’t interrupt sight lines as much. They’ll keep your space feeling open, and looking larger.
Creating a focal point in a small space adds visual interest. A simple piece of garden art, a small flowering tree or a tiny water feature in a corner can add style and distract buyers from focusing on square footage.
The world’s largest outdoor chaise lounge may be a napper’s dream, but it won’t do much to help your patio or deck. Choose outdoor furniture scaled to set off your space, not smother it. You can even find fire pits in smaller sizes.
Wall gardens help add green without sacrificing space. Wall art made from succulent plants is another low-maintenance option for adding foliage, and drawing attention to the edges of your space, which helps visually enlarge it.
Don’t hide the grill.
A clean barbecue can help buyers imagine their own outdoor meals. Unless you have a grill or smoker large enough to hold the entire pig, or if your grill is in disrepair, keep it out.
Ready to show off your newly decorated deck or patio? Start by Contacting Nick & Cindy Davis with RE/MAX Premier Group here: Nick & Cindy Davis
Surveys show that first-time buyers aren’t aware of how much they need to save for a down payment. Many people believe that buying a home requires they put down at least 20 percent of the purchase price, but down payments aren’t as big of an obstacle as people think. For example, a loan through the Federal Housing Administration could require a down payment as low as 3.5 percent; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have similarly low requirements.
If you qualify for a loan with a low down payment but still have trouble coming up with the cash, here are a few of the many programs out there that can help. Do some research to find out what’s available in your area.
Help getting down
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gives community development block grants to states and local governments across the country to help revitalize certain areas. HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program(HOME) is one such program. States often have their own programs for down payment assistance, too.
Opening up options for closing
The Federal National Mortgage Association, a.k.a. Fannie Mae, designed the HomePath Ready Buyer program to attract new homebuyers to the market. Through the program, qualifying first-time homebuyers can get assistance of up to 3 percent of closing costs after they pass an online homeownership course.
Making ownership less taxing
Some state governments provide first-time buyers with a tax credit to boost homeownership.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loan Guaranty Servicehelps veterans or surviving spouses obtain better terms for their mortgage by guaranteeing a portion of the loan. Some VA mortgages require no down payment.
Perhaps you’re not feeling candy this year. Maybe you’ve experienced the wrath of an over-sugared six-year-old (or their parents). Maybe you can’t trust yourself to sit for hours by the front door with a massive quantity of chocolate without eating most of it yourself. Or maybe you’re a dentist. Don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can give trick-or-treaters instead of the sweet stuff. Here are a few:
Glow sticks Could there be a more perfect accessory for Halloween? Kids can light them up with a snap and wear them as bracelets, necklaces and crowns. Bonus: they make it easier for parents to keep their eyes on their kiddos.
Stickers Choose from the assortment of ghosts, witches and pumpkins available in stores in October or go with stickers with year-round appeal, like super heroes and animals.
Bubbles Hours – or at least a few minutes – of bubble-blowing entertainment in every little bottle.
Plastic spider rings The creepy-crawly bling kids love to wear.
Crazy straws Halloween-themed straws can easily be found in dollar stores.
Fake fangs These could also add a point of interest to your annual holiday photo card, if you’re so inclined.
Temporary tattoos What kid doesn’t want a cool spiderweb on their bicep?
Slime What exactly is the ooey-gooey stuff in the little cans? It remains a mystery, but kids definitely love to squish this classic toy.
Plastic jewelry Sparkly rings, bracelets, necklaces and cheap tiaras are not only fun for kids to wear, but you can dress like a pirate as you hand out your glittering treasures.
Bouncy ##### Beloved especially by kids who live in homes with hardwood floors.
Kazoos Parents may hate you, but kids can lead their own parades as they head to the next house.
Looking for a home in a trick-or-treater-friendly neighborhood? A buyer’s agent can help identify which ‘hoods are happy for Halloween and other kid-friendly occasions. Contact Nick & Cindy Davis here www.TampaHomesSold.com
Are you or someone you know looking to buy in the near future? Did you know according to a recent study by Google, more buyers are using their mobile device during the home search than ever before. In this month’s Item of Value you will find several apps you can download on your smartphone or tablet to help you during your home search.