Your Second Home: Rent or Buy?

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 203-295-4375 or