by David Ellis
on Thursday, June 7th, 2018 at 1:55pm.
Buying a vacation home is a little different from purchasing a primary residence. There are just as many if not more things to consider besides location and space. If you don't think of everything before jumping into a 30-year commitment, it could affect your future negatively.
But where do you start? Knowing where you want to buy is the first step. And, of course, you'll need to know what you can afford.
Beyond the basics, however, are some things that you may not think of on your own. All of these factors combined should be entertained so that you can make the best choice for you and your family.
If you want to know more about how to find vacation homes for sale in St George then you've come to the right place. In this article, we're discussing a few tips to get you started on your journey to purchasing a dream come true. Keep reading to learn more.
Just because you've spent time somewhere and enjoyed it, doesn't mean you'll love it for your second home. It's a good idea to consider renting a place a few times before deciding on an area that's suitable for you and your family. You'll also want to think about the activities offered in the area that you and your family enjoy. Southern Utah offers many outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, biking, golfing, boating, rock climbing, and many more.
Beyond area and recreation, a good thing to consider is how each characteristic of a specific neighborhood will grow with your family. Do you plan to retire here? Or use it as a home for family gatherings? St George has beautiful weather year round which makes it a wonderful retirement community. When buying a vacation home here, you may want to know the areas that are 55+ retirement communities vs family-friendly neighborhoods.
Ultimately, how you intend to use the home will factor into your decision-making process. Make sure you do your research before deciding that any home is right for you.
Know Your Budget
It may seem obvious, but it's important to know what you'll be paying for up front. A second home, especially a vacation home, is supposed to be a relaxing place to visit. Don't make it stressful by overstretching your budget. There is a huge price range of homes in St George, anywhere from low $100k to luxurious, million-dollar homes which makes it easy to find a home that fits your budget.
Renting your vacation home is another thing to consider. If you plan to rent the home out, you'll need to budget for a rental agency. There may be additional fees associated with renting in certain areas and there may be some areas that completely restrict renting altogether. You can talk to your realtor about specific rules and regulations.
Open Floor Plans and Flex Space
No matter what you'll be using the home for, maximizing your space is always a good idea.
Look for open floor plans that will allow everyone to move around comfortably. Remember, this is your vacation spot, you don't want to feel crowded and stressed out.
You can also consider flex space, space that can be utilized for additional arrangements, such as sleeping quarters. Make sure there's room for pull-out sofas or air mattresses to gain the most function from your space.
Prepare for Maintenance Costs
Property management companies can take care of landscaping and minor repairs but it's also a good idea to prepare for larger expenses, like leaky roofs or busted pipes. Beyond your initial budget costs, you should also set aside about 1% of your home's value each year for maintenance expenses. You don't want the home to fall into disrepair or it will cost you even more in the long run.
Also, be prepared to visit the property at least twice per year outside of your vacation time. You'll likely need to spend some time making sure everything is working properly, like appliances and electrical fixtures.
Check Crime Rates
It's always a good idea to check the crime rates in neighborhoods where you're considering making a home purchase. Look for statistics that might indicate whether the neighborhood is safe and if it will stay that way. Knowing your surroundings will make you feel more confident and secure with your purchase.
This isn't as relevant here because St George boasts low crime rates. St George is a very family-friendly, safe place to live and visit.
Take into consideration how far you want to travel from your primary residence to your vacation home in St George. Will you drive or fly? Is this the most convenient option for you?
It's not likely that you're going to visit your second home very often if you have to do a lot of traveling to get there. Consider the location for your second home carefully before making a purchase. You don't want it to turn into a second mortgage that you rarely benefit from.
To Rent or Not to Rent
Remember that it's important to find out if the neighborhood where you'll be buying your second home allows renting. That's the first step. Otherwise, you need to weigh your options when it comes to renting to ensure that you'll see real benefits.
You can use rental income to offset your mortgage payment, but you'll also need to keep in mind that you could be renting it during peak seasons. That could mean you'll have to forfeit your own vacation time to satisfy rental demand. Check with your realtor if you plan to rent your second property to learn how to best maximize your investment and use the property when you want to.
Be Prepared for Tax Season
Of course, rental income is taxable. But there are other tax rules and regulations to follow when it comes to purchasing a second home. It's a good idea to have a tax professional look over your potential investment before making a purchase.
You'll need to be sure that you're prepared to pay additional taxes, as secondary properties don't allow for the same write-offs as primary residences. There are still deductions, but they can be complicated.
Vacation Homes For Sale in St George
Deciding how to buy homes for sale in St George shouldn't be overwhelming and stressful. Just remember to keep these tips in mind as you select a realtor and proceed through the loan process.
It's also a good idea to consider working with a broker instead of directly with a lender so that you can weigh all your buying options. A good realtor/broker team can help you walk through the necessary steps with ease. They can even help you find insurance estimates and factor other costs before you commit to a purchase.
If you need help finding vacation homes for sale in St George, or if you have questions, feel free to contact us. Our team is dedicated to helping you search for the perfect getaway.