Listing Courtesy of LONG AND FOSTER-REHOBOTH
People approach the whole idea of owning a second home from a hundred different perspectives simply because a second home can answer so many different purposes. If you are an Rehoboth Beach homeowner at the stage in life where making retirement plans is becoming a more immediate imperative, you might want to buy a second home as a vacation destination—but one which is also a tryout for your family’s future center of operations. Those who have spent a good part of their lives in cities sometimes seek a second home in the mountains or at the shore as a restorative refuge. People living in less crowded environs might crave a pied-à-terrefor proximity to a city’s cultural riches. There really can be a hundred different reasons (and that’s not even counting all the financial ones)!
Once you begin to seriously entertain the notion, it becomes evident that deciding on which of many possible directions to pursue will involve weighing the tradeoffs each presents. In addition to an opening a conversation with the Rehoboth Beach real estate professional whose advice you’ve come to trust the most, some of the main points you will want to consider—
· If the second home is going to serve even temporarily as a weekend getaway spot, then buying within reasonable driving distance may be more important than you might assume. Keep in mind that the drive (or flight) will grow steadily less interesting as time passes.
· In most instances, a second home will be occupied by members of your family only on a part-time basis. This brings up a number of issues—among them, insurance. Vacant properties present a different profile to insurers than do homes that are occupied most of the time. Hazard insurance tariffs could also differ from what you are used to (especially in flood-prone areas). Investigating insurance coverage and costs early on in your search will help you to avoid surprises.
· You should consult your tax expert for details, but as a general rule, if the home is not rented out as a business proposition, you’ll likely find that you are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes on your Federal tax return. Then again, if you are thinking of renting the house out for more than 14 days per year, rental income is taxable. In that case, though, you’ll be able to use deductions for expenses, such as insurance, maintenance, professional fees, and sometimes even depreciation. Each situation will be different—again, your tax professional will have the relevant answers.
· Financing a second home is similar to financing your main residence. You are likely to need a down payment of 10% to as much as 30% in some cases. If you will be drawing on the equity in your current home, it’s only prudent to be able to retain a reasonable amount of reserves for unforeseen emergencies.
Many people buy a second home in anticipation of retirement. If that is the case, think of factoring in the availability of quality medical and support services in your search areas. A remote cabin in the woods may seem appealing now, but as a retirement venue, maybe not so much! Thinking about the long range is never more important than when you are entertaining the purchase of a second home. I’m here to help clarify those issues, as with all your other Rehoboth Beach real estate need.
A property search in Delaware just ain’t what it used to be.
Young adults grew up with computers, so to them the advent of the connected world—the Internet—brought fewer startling lifestyle changes than it did for their parents and grandparents. But for anyone who thought the emergence of the Web would be the most lifestyle-changing technical innovation to happen in our lifetimes: SURPRISE! Now the whole circus has gone mobile—migrated into phones and tablets and who-knows-what other kinds of devices—all bluetoothed and wirelessed everywhere!
The Wired World brought information into our offices and homes (to the dismay of encyclopedia and dictionary salesmen everywhere); now the Wireless World brings information to wherever we are at any moment (to the dismay of mapmakers and newspaper publishers everywhere).
Yikes! One of the most head-spinning results is the transformation of Delaware property searches. Astoundingly, the NAR tells us that 62% percent of those who buy homes today view them first online! No wonder—the Internet has sped up our already busy lives, so our overloaded schedules make it all but mandatory to look for properties online first—before creating the list of properties we want to view in person.
One of the things you’ll notice immediately when you begin an Delaware property search is the sheer number of results that can come up. That makes it all too easy to find yourself spending more search time than you’d like—sometimes even becoming overwhelmed. To make sure that doesn’t happen, there are a few shortcuts you can take to get the most out of every Delaware online property search.
A good first step is offline: before you click anywhere, make a list of all of the things that are absolute “must-haves” for your Delaware home. This list will provide the basis for all your searches, and weed out time-wasters. Next, create a list of “nice to haves.” If your first list yields too many candidates, use this second one to narrow the field (if your in-person tours don’t pay off, you can always return to List One).
Narrow the Area
If you already know the general neighborhood you’d like to live in, use that to limit the search results. You don’t need to know the area intimately since many sites allow you to search by map or by radius from a specific location (like a school or workplace).
Use Several Sites
There are literally hundreds of real estate search sites, so make it a point to look at those using SCAOR’s MLS (multiple listing service). They have the broadest assemblage of properties regardless of the listing agent. Online sites like Zillow.com and Trulia.com can also be useful in widening your Delaware property search, frequently including homes that are for sale by owner—often not listed by the MLS service (though if you want a buyer agent’s help, you should make sure the owner is willing to work with your agent).
Ready to start your property search here in Delaware? Give me a call—I can send you new listings that meet your criteria the instant they come online!