Listing Courtesy of RE/MAX REALTY GROUP REHOBOTH
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
Energy costs may not be skyrocketing as quickly as some other costs, but Sussex County property owners continue to watch incoming utility bills with a wary eye. It’s only natural: they remember sudden energy price leaps in the past.
One of the ripple effects of high energy prices is the possible impact on anyone planning a future sale of their own property in Sussex County. Canny prospects are likely to demand to examine past utility bills — sometimes going back for a year or two. As we encounter cooler weather, that’s why it’s doubly important to keep a lid on gas and electricity bills.
Some of these steps you can take are easy to accomplish…and all too easy to forget!
Most experts recommend setting the water heater thermostat between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, with the exact setting dependent upon your area’s microclimate, local property type, and your particular household’s requirements. The goal here is to avoid sustaining temperatures above the 140-degree mark — which would be sure to add digits to this winter’s energy bill.
Now is the time to take an inspection walk around your property on the lookout for leaks, be they toilets, pipes or faucets. It’s easy to do a double-check, too: just keep an eye on your meter over a two-hour period when there is no water use (this idea comes from Mark LeChevallier of American Water). If you spot activity, you may need to do more active detective work.
Clogged air filters are more serious than most would think: they can burden mechanical systems — not only boosting energy costs, but eventually damaging the mechanicals behind them. Failing to replace filters causes dryers, heaters, AC units, etc., to run longer. It’s easy to picture what the impact on the monthly energy tab can be.
Being able to produce low energy bills is just one way to help prospective buyers see the wisdom of buying your Sussex County property. If you are considering selling your own property in Sussex County anytime in the future, now is the time to make a few changes. Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.