Thinking of making the plunge for that getaway home? Reasons for buying a second home vary, from recreation and vacation enjoyment to investment and development to retirement planning. Around New England these secondary or seasonal homes are often on lakes, at the ocean, by mountains or rivers or some other place near nature.
If you’re considering the purchase of a vacation home or a second residence, there are a lot of things to consider and plan for:
- Make sure your heart is set on buying the secondary home:
- Ask yourself if the amount of enjoyment you plan to get from it will meet your expectations.
- Think about how often you expect to be able to visit the home and weight the price in relation to the enjoyment.
- Decide if it’s the right time to buy:
- Access your goals
- Consider the market conditions, your personal finances and the affordability of the property.
- Focus on areas with steady appreciation rates.
- Be sure to include extra expenses included in buying a second home:
- Consider maintenance costs, taxes, association fees, lawn care, garbage collection, and other fees that may arise.
- With a seasonal residence, you will have to put time aside to open and close it down for the season, or pay someone else to do it for you.
- Be realistic about the additional work involved with purchasing a seasonal home.
- Take a good look at your income, debt, credit score, and down payment amount if you’re planning to take out a mortgage:
- Know your debt-to-income ratio, or how much you owe in relation to how much you earn; it is an important factor that banks will evaluate.
- Evaluate how much you can save on your down payment:
- This will help you determine the affordable price range of the second property.
- Lenders have become more cautious about loan practices, especially with loans for a secondary residence.
- The New York Times recently reported that most lenders require a higher down payment for a second home.
- Consider your insurance options:
- Umbrella insurance- acts as a secondary liability insurance in case a claim or lawsuit exceeds your homeowners protection and threatens your assets.
- Be prepared with enough coverage- be covered in the case of a fire, pipe burst or burglary.
- Have enough dwelling coverage when you don’t know what’s going on in your extended property.
- There are many unique risks that come with a second home and it is important to shop for the right coverage. Make sure your agent understands how you will be using the home so they can best assess the risks from an insurance perspective.
Call us today if you have an additional questions on insuring your secondary or seasonal home. Feel free to reach us at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.