Many families fortunate enough to call Fairfield County home are even more fortunate: They own second homes. From Vermont and Cape Cod to the Hamptons, Florida, and points in between and beyond, properties beyond our borders offer hard-working homeowners a chance to ski, surf, relax and get away without the hassles of booking hotels, finding restaurants and taking chances.
Of course, there are plenty of hassles involved with owning a second home. Everything from maintenance and security to crabgrass and ants is multiplied -- without even factoring in managing a second home from the first.
So how do you determine if owning a second home is the right option for you?
Many potential second home buyers rent first.
There are a number of reasons why:
• Becoming familiar with an area. You may have always dreamed of living in a certain place – but you never know what it’s really like until you spend time there. • No fixed costs. You don’t have to worry about a mortgage, property taxes, heating, garbage, lawn care – all of which you’ll pay for, whether you’re there or not. • More bang for your buck. With the money you save on fixed costs, you might be able to pay for a property you might not otherwise afford to buy.
Still, there are a number of reasons why renting might not work: • You’re at the mercy of the property owner. Many vacation homes are not available on the most desirable weeks or weekends. • You’re not building any equity. Every rent check you write is money out the window. • You’re in someone else’s house. You’re not just controlled by their schedule; you’re also at the mercy of their taste and style.
So why might you decide to buy a second home? • It’s yours. You can use it whenever you want. You can decorate it however you wish. It’s your (second) home sweet home. • You can enjoy intangible benefits too, like providing memories for your children and grandchildren. • There might be tax benefits too.
On the other hand, why might you decide against buying? • You’re taking out another mortgage. Enough said. • You’ll have to also pay property insurance, maintenance costs, perhaps even homeowner fees. • You’ll have to manage it all from afar.
The choice is yours. Every family is different.
But here’s another idea: Buy a second home. Then rent it out.
The possibilities are endless.
KMS Partners is happy to talk with you at any time about the pros and cons of buying a second home – or a first one. Contact us at 203.454.5411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.