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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Richardson - Mortgage Consultant

Are You Ready For a 2nd Home?

In today’s article, we’re going to talk about a popular real estate investing strategy - buying a second home or vacation home.

How do you decide on the perfect location for a second home?

The answer to this question depends entirely on what your goals are. If you want something you can use for your family, but you’re also interested in renting it out part-time to make a little bit of income - you should ask yourself, “Where do I like to vacation?”

Not every beach is going to command the same type of value or rental income as some others. For example, Myrtle Beach is going to have higher density, more rentals available. Therefore, the competition is fierce.

And always remember, not all second homes are created equal. They’re not all created equal and that is why it’s important to identify your primary goal. Is your goal to make an income, or is it to have a vacation home? Because you can’t always have both.

Second homes are not going to increase in value like your primary residence. So, keep that in your mind.

What unexpected costs or restrictions should people keep in mind with a second home, like a vacation home, versus say a primary?

If it’s your primary home, there are more daily costs you have to keep in mind because you are spending more time in the residence. For example, air conditioning, running water, and more.

Let’s say you have a mountain property. You might only be using it for a few weeks of the year. Mountain properties might need snow removal. They might need wood brought in and there might be issues with the view as trees grow up around the property.

Or, for example, let’s say you opt for a beach property. The salty air around the property can often cause a ton of damage to the home. To illustrate it, your HVAC in the Charlotte area might last you 10-12 years. On the beach, it might last 6-8 years. So you need to budget for those differences.

And if a storm comes, you have to have a property management company or someone to come to board up that house. That means, when you’re choosing a realtor for a vacation home, it’s really important to have somebody who has a lot of experience buying second homes.

When my husband and I decided to buy our first vacation home, we hired a broker who knew those rental properties inside and out, knew which condos had liens on them, which ones had issues with erosion from years ago, and more. Only someone with experience can help you with a lot of these issues.

Who is an ideal buyer for a second home purchase? When you first start to consider buying a vacation home, you need to talk to your mortgage broker.

An advantage of buying a second home is that your down payment can be as little as 10%. Keep in mind that even though they can be rented on a short-term basis, you’re still qualifying with that full mortgage payment. So, if you’re considering purchasing a vacation home, I hope that we’ve been able to give you some thoughts to consider as you’re evaluating your options and you see the value of having a qualified professional in your corner to help you evaluate your options and make the best decision.

If you’re ready to start talking about buying your second home, I’m here to support you. You can contact me by emailing ( or finding me on Instagram (

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