The Second Time Around: What To Know About Buying A Second Home

Once buyers have successfully purchased a home, they might want to do it again. Second homes make great sense any time but especially while interest rates are on the low side and borrowing is cheaper. For many, a second home is an investment with rental potential and for others, it's a great get-away place. For some tips to keep in mind about second homes, read on.

1. Most people expect to gain income from their second home investment, and that may be through a rental in a popular area or in a resort/vacation area. For example, some smart parents purchase a condo for their college kids to live in and then turn it into a rental property that is sure to bring income in for years to come. Others love vacationing in certain locations and purchase a home to ensure they always have a place to stay. While you are not living there, however, you can rent it out for short-term vacationers. Often, rental income not only pays the mortgage and other costs of home-ownership, but it also produces additional income.

2. Keep location in mind for the best rental potential. You might not mind walking a bit further to reach the beach, but choose your property with your future renters in mind too. Consider getting a home that is as close as possible to the water or other attractions. You might also consider adding in a golf cart for the use of the renter if the home is several blocks from the water. Some buyers want to really get away from it all and choose a cabin that is quiet and peaceful in location. This may be just what your renters want as well, but be sure you don't get so far out in the wilderness that it's difficult to locate or it takes hours to get some milk and bread.

3. It's important to know how much you can comfortably spend so that you are not too dependent on income from renters. You cannot predict how popular a place might be to others and you don't want to get in over your head by overspending. You may have two mortgages, two taxable properties, and two homeowner's insurance policies to cope with after your purchase. Make sure you speak to a lender about how much you can afford. Your first move should be to speak to a local real estate agent. You will need personal support in locating good properties, and a local agent will know the info about various communities, condo complexes, and neighborhoods.

Talk to a real estate agent for help with finding real estate for sale.