While we think that the Delaware and Maryland beaches make a fantastic location for living 12 months a year, there are thousands of people who only reside in the area during the warmer summer months.
These are individuals and families who have main homes in nearby metropolitan areas, like Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and even Wilmington. But when the sun is high in the sky and the thermometer is reading in the high double digits, they’re at the beaches.
And if having a second home in Delaware and Maryland’s coastal region appeals to you, we have some tips today on how you can make that dream a reality. There are a whole of advantages to doing so, but also some things to watch out for.
So let’s not beat around the bush! Let’s get right into today’s blog and give you a few tips and ideas on how you can own a second home at the Delaware and Maryland beaches, as well as some questions you may want to ask yourself.
Make sure you choose the location that’s right for you
You’ve no doubt heard many times that “location, location and location” are the three most important factors when it comes to buying real estate. And that’s just as true for second homes as it is for any other type of real estate purchase.
This may not be a home you’re going to be using 12 months of the year, but it should still be in a location that allows you to be in, or at least near, the main area that interests you. If you like Bethany Beach, for instance, buying a home in Lewes wouldn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.
In regards to a good investment, you want to be certain that the community where you’re buying a home has appreciating real estate values. This is where hiring the right Realtor is extremely important, as he or she can provide you with years worth of financial information on the town and/or community that’s caught your eye.
Make sure you can afford it
This is advice that comes in handy during all sorts of different life experiences. But when it comes to one of the largest purchases you’re likely ever going to make, this is something you want to pay close attention to.
You should put together a budget and see what you feel you and your family can afford on a second home. You can also go through the process of being pre-approved for a mortgage so you know, in writing, how much you can spend on a second home at the Delaware and Maryland beaches.
It’s also a good idea to speak with an accountant or tax attorney, as second homes often come with unexpected tax implications. This will also need to be considered when determining what kind of vacation property you’ll realistically be able to purchase.
Are you going to rent it out when not using it?
If the answer to this question is no, then you can proceed to the next question on our list. But if the answer is yes, then there are a number of things you need to be aware of before purchasing a second home at the beach.
The first thing you’ll want to do is check the rules on rental properties in your area, particularly if the community has a homeowners association. You don’t want to find out after you’ve bought a property that it’s forbidden to rent the home when you’re not using it.
You’ll also want to determine what months of the year you will and won’t be using the home and also determine if you’ll be using a Realtor or other local person to handle the specifics for you.
Will you be able to take care of it if you’re not there all year?
If you can’t take care of it yourself, you’ll need to find someone who can. Of course, if you only plan on using the home during the summer months and it will be vacant during the winter, then you can simply winterize the home and it will be ready for you to use again the following year.
But if that isn’t the case, you’ll need to find someone who can look out for the home and perform maintenance as needed. If you’re close by, you may be able to do this yourself. But if you’re not, you need to get to work on finding a trustworthy person to do these tasks for you.
Every property needs regular maintenance and this includes vacation and second homes.
Are you going to be able to use it enough to warrant the purchase?
The answer to this question is going to be subjective and different for every person who’s contemplating purchasing a second home. Is it going to be worth it for us?
You need to be realistic in your answer and determine exactly how much time you think you’re actually going to be spending at the property. And whether or not you’re going to rent it out to make a little extra cash on the side.
Too many people buy a second home with the best of intentions, but then never really get around to using it as often as they thought they would. So make these determinations ahead of time and then decide, as a family, if this is the right purchase for you at the current time.
At the Oldfather Group, we’ve made a lot of people’s dreams of owning a second home at the beach come true over the last several years. And we’d like to make that dream come true for you as well!
So give us a ring at 302-260-2000 and speak to a member of our top selling real estate sales team. We’d love to introduce ourselves and show you first hand how great a life at the Delaware and Maryland beaches can be.