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2017-02-23 06:24:02
Buying a second home

Investing in a second home can be the perfect way to have your own home away from home. Your second home could be situated in one of your favorite vacation spots away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life, so you can retreat there, into your own self-made paradise. Your second home could even turn into a business venture for you if you choose your property wisely enough.

Before you sign on the dotted line, here are four important questions to ask yourself to make sure you're making the right choice.

1. Do I want a second home, or a place for weekend escapes?

The length for which you intend to use your second home will inevitably have an impact on the property you pick. If you prefer short weekend sojourns, for example, you'll want to pick an apartment somewhere easy to reach. Whether you take a short haul flight or you drive a couple of hours, you won't want to be traveling six hours or more at the start and end of your relaxing weekend. If you plan to live in your second home day-in, day-out for a month or so at a time, you'll probably value cozy features over quick convenience. You might eat out every night on a week-long holiday, but if you're living in your second home for a month, cooking for yourself and eating in will be more likely on the agenda. Spacious cooking and dining areas are much higher on your criteria list for this type of property. You'll also be willing to travel further afield, opening up your options.

2. Will I rent it out?

One of the major benefits of having a second home is the potential to rent it out when you aren't there. Renting out your second home can be managed remotely and the income can be surprisingly lucrative once you've set everything up. If you're thinking of investing in a second home to rent out, this might impact the location and type of property you consider. Proximity to airports, restaurants and attractions will appeal to vacationers, for example. It's time to balance your needs with theirs. You will also need to check whether city ordinances or HOAs prohibit rentals.

3. Is it a sound investment?

Even beyond the extra income you stand to gain from renting your second home out, a second home can be a sound investment. If an increase in value is important to you, be on the lookout for emerging markets or project properties. In many parts of the world, property prices are tied closely to the health of the tourism trade. Pick out an up-and-coming vacation destination and you could well see the value of your second home soar.

4. Is it low-maintenance?

A second home should be a source of joy, not frustration. That's why it pays to invest in a second home which is relatively low-maintenance, and to make sure that you have someone on hand to help maintain it for you. If your property is in a different country, its better if you don't need to constantly travel backwards and forwards to check in on your investment.

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