More than 9 million Americans enjoy the freedom and opportunities that owning a second home can provide.
Some families own a vacation property, to provide the comforts of home and a break from busy hotels during precious vacation days.
Others use additional homes to allow them to work in multiple cities, or to work in one city but live elsewhere when they aren't at work. Still, more see having additional homes as an investment.
Whatever your reasons for doing so, if you're considering buying a second home in the majestic mountains of Colorado in Grand or Summit County, there are some things you should know.
Keep reading to learn our essential secrets about buying a second home
Do More Than Double Your Current Expenses
When you start to consider your finances and whether a second home is an option for you, it can be tempting to simply double your current home expenses.
But while this could be a way to begin talking about the possibility of affording another home, it won't be an accurate estimate. Things like utilities, water, garbage pick-up, and even cable and internet vary widely by state and region. They can even vary from one street or neighborhood to the next.
When you find an area that you think you'd like to buy a home in, research all of the local costs to decide whether you can afford it.
Consider Existing Homes Before You Think About Building
Many people who buy a second home see it as a way to get their dream home. Building from the ground up gives you the chance to choose the exact features and amenities that you want. But it also comes with plenty of unexpected costs.
These can add up quickly, and what you thought was an affordable purchase may become an overwhelming one.
If you decide that you do want to build, make sure that your budget allows for plenty of extras.
Know the Seasons in the Area You're Considering Buying in
If you're thinking about buying a vacation home, you likely have a single season in mind when you dream of spending time with your family there.
While you may not plan to visit outside of that season, you should still know what they're like.
Preparing for seasonal threats can cause lots of unexpected costs. They may also require you to purchase special insurance that you don't need at your current home.
If you currently live in a state that enjoys year-round warm temperatures, Summit County can be an excellent choice for a second house. You can use it as an escape during the hottest parts of the year, or enjoy skiing during Colorado's colder months.
While you may deal with hurricanes or heat-related threats in your current home, in Summit County you'll deal with snow, and lots of it. Be prepared for rough road conditions during or after snow storms, as well as the need to plow your driveway and prep your home for heavy snowfall.
Decide Whether an Investment is Your Top Priority
With the housing market steadily improving, now is a great time to buy an investment property.
But while a second home can be both an investment and a fun opportunity for your family, it won't be both in all locations.
If buying a home as an investment is your top priority, you need to choose the location that you'll buy in first, rather than choosing a spot that your family enjoys visiting.
You might be surprised to find that your family will enjoy vacationing in spots that aren't touristy. Beautiful locales like Summit County offer breathtaking views and plenty of recreational activities without the crowds and are a great investment.
Think About the Future
Unlike a primary home, you aren't likely to sell or move to a second home after retirement or other major life changes.
This makes it even more important to consider your future needs when buying or building another home.
If other family members are likely to move in with you in the future, you may need additional bedrooms. Consider whether you're likely to have grandchildren in the future that you'll need room for when they come to visit. Or whether your own parents or children are likely to come stay with you from time to time.
Consider Renting Your Second Property
You shouldn't invest in a home if you think that you'll have to depend entirely on income from renting it out in order to make your payments.
But if you're thinking of buying a second home in a popular tourist destination like Winter Park or Breckenridge, renting it out when you're not using it can be a great way to reduce your mortgage.
Summit County's popular ski season makes it ideal for homeowners looking to make money off of short-term rentals.
Renting out your property does come with added costs and responsibilities. You'll need to pay to have it cleaned, pay added insurance and taxes, and more.
If you won't be nearby, or if you'll be too busy to manage it, you may also want to consider hiring an agency to take care of renting your home out for you.
Research Local Rules
Before you consider buying or building in a location, make sure that you've looked into any local rules.
For older homes in historic areas, there may be strict rules about renovating or updating your property. Even newer housing developments might limit the work that can be done on a home.
These rules won't often be a major reason not to buy. But if you think that there are certain additions you would definitely want, like adding a patio or pool, this could be a deal breaker.
Work With a Local Agent You Can Trust
Whether it's your first home or your hundredth, buying a property is a major decision. That's what makes choosing the right Realtor so important.
Choosing a Realtor who is familiar with the area that you'd like to buy in can be a huge help. They'll know what homes are a good investment and which aren't, and can help you make a more informed decision.
Start the Search for Your Second Home Today!
Choosing to buy a second home is exciting. Whether it will be an investment or a fun vacation home for you and your family, it's a great opportunity to celebrate your accomplishments and plan for the future.
If you're considering buying your second home, contact us today.
With so many things to enjoy in the high country of Colorado, Grand County and Summit County are a great choice for all home buyers.
Our experienced Realtors can help you find the perfect mountain property for you and your family. Whether you're investing in property or choosing a luxury mountain getaway for your family to enjoy, we'll help you find the home that fits your wants and needs!
By Coldwell Banker