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Guide to buying a second home

Victorian homes along a scenic beach in Ocean Grove, New Jersey near Asbury Park

Have you ever dreamed of buying a getaway property on the Jersey Shore? Now is a good time to do it. There have been quite a few changes in this beachfront region since Hurricane Sandy, with homes being built or renovated to the latest safety standards.

There’s been a resurgence of community spirit as well, with property owners, local investors, and the local government intent on completely turning the area around and making it safer and more livable.

Think it’s time to invest in a vacation home on the Jersey Shore? Buying a second home is different from buying a primary home in many ways. Here’s a list of some of the things you need to consider.

 

  • How often do you plan to use the home?

 

Consider the activities you and your family do on weekends and holidays, or your schedule at work, and estimate how much time you can realistically spend at your secondary home. Keep in mind that even on days when you’re away, your home will need maintenance. You may have to pay a homeowners’ association or an independent contractor for this. If you don’t see yourself using the home often, renting might be the better option for you.

 

  • Do you plan to rent out the property?

 

This can have significant effects on your taxes, depending on how often you’ll have the home rented out. If it’s less than 14 days, you don’t need to pay taxes on your rental income. If you rent out your property for more than 14 days, the income will be taxed but you can deduct your rental operating expenses.

Other things you need to consider include listing your home and keeping it maintained. Working with a property manager can be the solution to both needs, but you may also opt to list the property through a real estate agent and hire a professional property manager to look after the property’s upkeep, deal with tenants, and handle other operational needs.

Additionally, if renting out the property is included in your plans, this has to be factored in choosing a home. Some homeowners’ associations do not allow their members to rent out their properties. You also need to look into a property’s desirability, including its proximity to the area’s attractions and amenities.

 

  • How will you finance the purchase?

 

It is typically more difficult to get financing for a secondary property, and often, the down payment requirement is higher than in primary homes. Get help from an experienced real estate agent who can connect you with the right lender.

In crunching the numbers, consider insurance costs, as well, particularly flood insurance, which is important in the Jersey Shore area.

It would be best if you can cover the purchase cost without mostly relying on rental income. Secondary property buyers often make the mistake of overestimating their home’s income potential and end up disappointed. Rental income is a big help in mortgage payments but it won’t be wise to rely on it.

A secondary home in the Jersey Shore can give you and your family countless memorable moments. Invest in the right one, work with the experienced Realtors at Glenmary Real Estate to get the expert guidance you need. Call 732-630-3000 or email info@glenmary.com today.