Are you considering buying a vacation home?

If you’ve ever spent time searching for a place to stay on a holiday weekend, you may have thought about how much easier life would be if you had your own vacation home. If so, you’re not alone in that thought process. An estimated 1.13 million vacation homes were sold in the U.S. last year, with vacation home sales making up 21% of residential transactions.

 

Whether you’re ready purchase the vacation home you’ve been dreaming about or you’ve just started crunching the numbers, you’re probably wondering what it might take to invest in a vacation property. Here are three simple considerations to keep in mind:

 

Determine what you want: Get the ball rolling by deciding what it is you’re looking for in a vacation home. Do you want a place to get away from the city? Is a home nestled in the woods what you desire or are you looking for something on the beach? Be sure to also consider how much space you need. Will you bring additional family and friends with you on a regular basis? Whatever property you ultimately invest in, make sure it checks all the boxes for your lifestyle, both now and in the future.

 

Calculate the costs: Fully understanding the costs associated with owning a secondary property is extremely important. Start by contacting a lender to determine what you can afford. A lender can help you calculate the combined costs of your primary home and your new vacation home. Don’t forget to also budget any personal costs such as furnishing, HOAs/condo fees, utilities, landscaping, etc.

 

Maximize the off-time: If you purchase a vacation home, you’ll likely still have a primary residence where you’ll spend most of your time. This means you’ll need to determine how you’ll use the property when you’re not there. Will you head to your vacation home every weekend or maybe even spend the entire summer there? Will your visits be limited to special occasions or holidays? Whatever the frequency is, it might make sense to use the property as a rental when you’re not enjoying it. If your vacation home can be used as a commercial rental, it’s a great way to cover a portion of your mortgage, and the other costs you’ll encounter along the way.

 

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of a vacation home, I can answer any questions you have and/or help you get started when you’re ready to take the leap. Contact me today and let’s talk about how we can together make your vacation home dream a reality.

Retirement planning with a second home

Family_HomeIn the words of American businessman and author Robert Toru Kiyosaki, “Real estate investing, even on a small scale, remains a tried and true means of building an individual’s cash flow and wealth.”

And he isn’t alone in that thought. According to a recent survey by the Princeton Survey Research Associates International, real estate is the favorite long-term investment option of the respondents (27%), putting it ahead of cash investments (23%), the stock market (17%), and precious metals (14%).

Now if you’re considering real estate as an investment option, take it a step further. The National Institute on Retirement Security has reported that nearly 45% of the working-age households in the U.S. don’t have any type of retirement accounts. One way you can help better prepare yourself for retirement is with a sound real estate investment.

However, what do you do with the property until it’s time to make the move to retired status? Using a second home as a rental property until you are ready can provide an income stream when you and your family don’t need to use it. While this is a great way to jump start your retirement plans, you need to be aware of all the financial aspects of it, including the tax implications.

As of 2010, if you own a second home for personal use, you are allowed to rent it to another party for up to two weeks (14 nights) without reporting any of the income. On the flip side, a second home is considered an investment property if you spend less than two weeks in it and then attempt to rent it the rest of the time.

Savvy tax planning can make a difference in your return on the property so always consult with a tax professional or a specialist such as a national qualified intermediary for tax-deferred exchanges if you are considering buying a second home.

If you are interested in exploring investing in a second home as a way to plan for your retirement, I can help you get started. Contact me today to discuss what options are best for you.

One easy way to get ready for the Arizona heat

With one hundred degree weather coming soon every little bit helps when you’re trying to keep cool. One simple way someone could help with their electric bill is to turn their ceiling fans to “summer” mode. Not everyone knows this but, ceiling fans have a summer and winter mode to move air in different directions depending on the ambient temperature. Usually there is a switch located on the base of the fan that reverses the spin of the blades. This helps to push the cool air up and helps to make the room feel fresh. Doing so can make the ambient temperature feel about 4 degrees cooler according to consumerreports.org. In the hotter months of the year set your blades to spin in a counterclockwise rotation when looking directly up at it. Set the blades to spin in a clockwise direction in the winter winter to force the hot air down.

Market update April 2018

If you’re looking to put your home up for sale, here are some numbers you might find useful. In Arizona for the first quarter of 2018 it took about 71 days on average to sell a home. Some homes may have been on the market for a day and others may have sat for quite awhile but on average it looks like it would be about two and a half months to get something sold.
People also decided to list their homes for an average of $447,736. This is an increase of 8.65% over last year. The average sale price on the other hand is $314,287, this means that there may have been a few properties that had to adjust their prices in order to get their home sold. If you would like a no hassle home valuation to see what your home could go for on the market, feel free to give me an email at: Stephen@nexthomevalleywide.com and I will compare your property to others that have sold, are currently listed, and homes that are pending. This is the best way to get a good overall idea of what you can look forward to. If you would like an almost instant response feel free to click here and you can get a valuation in seconds!

Is your credit holding you back from buying a home?

Have you found yourself wanting to start looking for a new home but worried your credit score might not be up to the standard? Generally a credit score that is needed to get a home would start at 625. If you have a score below you may have a few of the following symptoms of the “credit blues”. Late payments, balances too high compared to credit limit, too many inquiries on your credit report, too much debt compared to your income, too many credit cards, or maybe you just haven’t had credit that long. Whatever the case may be there is a light at the end of the tunnel of your home buying dreams!

 

There are multiple ways to raise your credit score quickly. The easiest would be to become current on all of your cards and reduce the amount you owe on each account. This is usually a long process that can set you back months of waiting. Some people elect to open another card or get a big loan to put all of their debt in one place or “consolidate”. This may be a  good practice but it could entice you to put money right back on the cards you just paid off with your new loan or card. If you want results fast because you are tired of living at an apartment or with family then you might be interested to hear about credit repair companies.

 

Credit repair companies help by going through your credit report and fixing any errors they may find. This is important is because if you have an outstanding collection that you owe to a bank, they can sell your debt to another company and your credit shows that you have multiple late balances on the same debt. What a credit repair company will do is to contact the major credit reporting agencies and get them to correct your actual debts and to erase any multiple errors they may have. They can also figure out if you transfer some debt between your accounts you may have the same amount of overall debt but, your debt to credit ratio on each of your cards will be lower and this may raise your credit score quite quickly.  These are all things you can do yourself however, a credit repair company has trained professionals that scrub your credit and contact the credit reporting agencies in a quick and orderly fashion that saves you time and headaches.

 

If you are looking to purchase a home but need your credit score to be looked over, feel free to contact me and I can refer you to businesses that can help to put you on the right path!