What to Consider When Buying a Vacation Home in Southwest Florida
Have you ever thought of how nice it would be to spend the winter in Florida? While our area has wonderful weather part of the year, many northern residents don’t want to live here year-round because of hot and humid summers. Do you have to settle for just a week vacation? Not when you have the professionals at The Beattie Realty Team at your disposal to help you find and buy the perfect vacation home. With our help, you can have a part-time residence that you can come and go as you please. .
There are many communities and home options in Southwest Florida that make fantastic second residences. Make sure the property you look to buy is within easy driving distance of everything that attracted you to Southwest Florida to begin with, like a condo on Naples Beach or a single-family home near Cape Harbor. Location isn’t the only thing to consider though. You’ll need to keep in mind the following:
#1 Make Sure You Can Afford It
It is extremely important to budget for having two mortgage payments unless you already totally own your primary home up north outright. Be aware that if you don’t, banks typically give second homes a higher mortgage payment. This is because they figure if one month you can only afford to make one mortgage payment, you’re more likely to make the payment on your primary home first. And don’t forget the down payment! This is part of the lending institution being absolutely sure that you can afford it.
Also, the cost of homeowners insurance on a second home will be higher. The Insurance Information Institute lists a few reasons for this, most notably that the property won’t be occupied consistently. This puts you at increased risk for theft, hurricane damage if no one is there to board up the windows, and more.
#2 Don’t Forget Occupancy Rules
Now that we’ve gone over the budgeting of getting a second home, let’s make sure we go over what qualifies your Southwest Florida residence as a “second home” in the eyes of your financial lender. In order to have this classification, you must spend a decent portion of the year there. Their exact rules will be unique to whichever lender you use, so be sure to ask. And yes, it needs to be you staying there, not guests. If you rent out the property for 15 days or more, it could be considered an investment property to them and subject to an even higher rate.
#3 Look into Handling Maintenance and Utilities
Since your second home will be unoccupied at least part of the time, consider how you might handle maintenance issues like lawn care, pool cleaning, and more. You can’t turn off the utilities even if you’re not going to be around the house for a significant period of time (like all summer), because the heat may cause mold growth and other foundational issues. Plus, you’ll probably want an alarm system that requires electricity, so it is best to keep it on and set the air conditioner up to a warm temperature.
Despite the costs, owning a second home in Naples, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, or Fort Myers Beach is such a great idea, thousands of people chose to do it each and every year. Beattie Development has recently expanded to include a new division, The Beattie Realty Team, who can help you find one that best fits you. Buying a second house is a huge financial decision and one that definitely shouldn’t be taken lightly, but with The Beattie Realty Team you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. Contact us today to get started by going to Beattiedev.com or by calling (239) 257-3295.