Listing Courtesy of JOE MAGGIO REALTY
In Rehoboth Beach real estate, there are happy words (“sold!”) and there are troubling words (“default”). Because of the associations they conjure up, some phrases just automatically make us happier. Two of the leaders in the positive category are the magical words, ‘vacation home.’ All by themselves, they can trigger a smile. Why not? “Home” is comforting; “vacation” is fun. Put them together in “vacation home” and you’ve got a double positive. It’s a real estate equivalent of Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise.
As the economy recovers, some American families are doing more than just smiling at the idea. The Wall Street Journal says that vacation home sales jumped more than 50% in 2014—up from 717,000 the year before. Quicken Loans reports a jump “in both the number and dollar volume of second home mortgage applications.”
To a Rehoboth Beach homeowner with sufficient wherewithal, there are some practical, real life incentives for moving the idea from daydream to the ‘to do’ list. The primary motivation is what comes first to mind. Just as a vacation is a welcome respite from the day-to-day, a vacation home needs to qualify as a destination that is pleasurable in itself. Where that could be differs for everyone, but whether it be the beach, desert, mountain, lake, cultural metropolis or outdoor sporting mecca, any Rehoboth Beach homeowner’s vacation home should be a haven inherently suited to relieving the stress of the workaday world. Although it would seem to be properly classified as a pure luxury expense, vacation homes can be more financially sensible than that.
The Kiplinger web site has a number of observations for vacation home buyers. It finds that some mortgage interest rates on second homes have lowered to first-home rates. Another alternative is the “favorite source” for all-cash purchases: a home equity line of credit. According to Kiplinger, “Mortgage interest on a second home is deductible on as much a $1 million in principal for both homes combined.” If lenders calculate eligibility via the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines, a borrower’s total debt payments should not exceed 36% of gross income…but if the second home is to be rented, that income can be part of the calculation.
Which brings up some other possibilities. A vacation home can not only cut down on vacation expenses (hotel and restaurant prices are rising, after all); if rented out some of the time, it can contribute offsets to its cost. To take advantage of IRS rules regarding personal versus rental classification, you should consult a tax expert. Since a quarter of vacation homes are rented out at least some of the year, it’s a tactic that deserves investigation.
Perhaps the advantage that’s talked about most for second home buyers is the contribution it can make toward retirement. If a retiree ultimately converts a vacation home to principal residence, profits from the former home can make a handsome contribution to the retirement nest egg. And if by retirement time that vacation home has been paid for in whole, it can make for an even more pleasing financial picture.
For an Rehoboth Beach resident with sufficient resources, purchasing a vacation home can be a practical as well as emotionally sustaining venture. If it sounds like an idea worth investigating further, talk it over with your financial advisor—and I’ll be standing by to help with any and all real estate considerations! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
Last week, those of us who were out and about during the increasingly short daylight hours could take in what looked like the regular number of Rehoboth Beachhomes decked out with the familiar Christmastime paraphernalia. When the weather cooperates, it can’t help but bring a smile to your face to spot the reindeer, Santas, giant candles, elves, menorahs—all the elements that help bring home the familiar feelings the season seldom fails to muster.
I bet it’s just that—the sheer familiarity—that explains a large part of why the magic of Christmas is no exaggeration. Sooner or later we feel it. It grabs us. It’s Christmastime again!
This usually starts (for me at least) with a valiant attempt to reject reality. Sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving, with the first department store ad or the first notes of a carol playing somewhere in the distance, we think “OH NO! – NOT ALREADY!!!” This is the part when the ‘magic’ part of Christmas is nowhere in prospect. The whole concept is at its most materialistic (the ‘material’ being that we haven’t started serious Christmas shopping, are too busy to even think about it, can’t recall whether the turkey pan was wrecked when last year’s gravy got burnt, etc. etc. etc.).
Immediately thereafter, in a truly magical disappearing-of-time act, it’s suddenly a couple of weeks before the big day, when all the preparations had better have been set into motion. It’s already holiday running-around time. This is when we are out and about, and can take in all the Sussex County homes belonging to Rehoboth Beachhomeowners who have the organizational skills that allowed them to erect the reindeer, Santas, giant candles, elves, menorahs, etc. It’s also the time of year when we may begin to experience some of the true magic of Christmas…especially if our running-around to get ready happens at night, when the Christmas lights are ablaze…
For some of us, there is something about those area homes decked out in lights, and the ornaments, and the carols, eggnog, cookies, turkey. Even the fruitcake. It’s the familiarity of the way all the trappings combine to bring back memories: images of our kids’ Christmases, or our parents, or dearest friends…and finally, of our own childhood.
In spite of all the running around, sooner or later, this most special, set-aside top of the year puts us in mind of how very much we treasure the ones who are dearest to us. If we’re lucky enough to have them gathered close, it’s pretty wonderful. If this year, that can’t happen—the memories will have to provide the magic. Sooner or later they usually do.
Whether this Yuletide brings you Christmas or Hanukkah gatherings (or both!), here’s wishing you and yours the happiest, most joyful of holiday celebrations—the kind that create future Christmas magic! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.