Most of us have dreamt of having a vacation home. It could be on the beach in New England, somewhere tropical, or even somewhere foreign. Many consumers don’t realize that with the proper research, their dream vacation home might actually be in reach. Instead of visualizing how relaxing vacations and weekend getaways could be, why not try to make your second home a reality?
The first step to purchasing a second home is organizing your finances to make sure you can afford it without compromising the security of your other assets.
These tips can help you assess whether or not you are ready to invest in a second home.
1. Figure out what you can reasonably afford by looking closely at your income, savings, and spending habits. Future expenses need to be factored into your budget, such as the likelihood of replacing a car or adding to your family.
2. Check each of your three credit reports well before you start looking at houses or shopping for lenders. If your credit score needs improvement contact a credit counseling agency or ask your mortgage company for advice.
3. Create a budget. A budget not only clarifies your current financial situation, but it also helps you identify places where you might cut back to save for a down payment.
4. Consider tax implications. Purchasing a second home has its benefits, but you should make sure you consider funds for property taxes on the second home as well as additional income tax if your home will be rented out. You should research the area’s property taxes because some locations have significantly higher or lower property taxes.
If your research proves you are not quite ready to start looking for your vacation home, try not to get discouraged. It’s better to wait than to put your financial security at risk. If you feel that you are financially stable enough to take on a second mortgage, now is a better time than ever because interest rates are extremely low. Good luck!