Why Buying a Vacation Home Beats Renting One This Summer
For many of us, visiting the same vacation spot every year is a summer tradition that’s fun, relaxing, and restful. If that sounds like you, now’s the time to think about your plans and determine if buying a vacation home this year makes more sense than renting one again. According to Forbes:
“. . . if the idea of vacationing at the same place every year makes you feel instantaneously relaxed, buying a vacation home might be a wise move.”
To help you decide if making a move like this is right for you, let’s explore why you may want to consider purchasing a vacation home today.
Benefits of Owning Your Vacation Home
You don’t have to worry about finding a place to stay. It can be a challenge to find a rental where you want, when you want. Some summer vacation destinations are more popular than others, meaning your favorite place may be booked up in advance. Bankrate explains why owning your vacation home means you don’t have to worry about that sort of inconvenience:
“. . . a second home can offer a place to have quality time with your family and ensures that you always have a vacation destination.”
It’s an investment. Home values typically appreciate over the long haul. That holds true for your vacation home as well, especially if it’s in an area with growing market demand. This can help grow your net worth with time.
Vacation homes may provide tax benefits. If you own a vacation home, you may be eligible for tax deductions based on where it is. However, before buying, you’ll want to consult with a tax professional to discuss first as taxes can vary by location.
It could potentially turn into a retirement location. If you love the location of your vacation home, you could potentially sell your primary residence and retire there in the future.
How a Pro Can Help You Find Your Perfect Match
As you’re preparing for summer vacation, remember, you could potentially visit your second home instead of another rental unit or hotel. If that sounds appealing to you, a
local real estate agent is your best resource. They have the knowledge and resources to help you understand the area and what vacation homes are available in your budget. Plus, these agents can explain the perks of how owning a second home can benefit you.
If any of these reasons for owning a vacation home resonate with you, let’s connect. You still have time to enjoy spending the summer in your vacation home.
How Homeowners Win When They Downsize
Downsizing has long been a popular option when homeowners reach retirement age. But there are plenty of other life changes that could make downsizing worthwhile. Homeowners who have experienced a change in their lives or no longer feel like their house fits their needs may benefit from downsizing too. U.S. News explains:
“Downsizing is somewhat common among older people and retirees who no longer have children living at home. But these days, younger people are also looking to downsize to save money on housing . . .”
And when inflation has made most things significantly more expensive, saving money where you can has a lot of appeal. So, if you’re thinking about ways to budget differently, it could be worthwhile to take your home into consideration.
When you think about cutting down on your spending, odds are you think of frequent purchases, like groceries and other goods. But when you downsize your house, you often end up downsizing the bills that come with it, like your mortgage payment, energy costs, and maintenance requirements. Realtor.com shares:
“A smaller home typically means lower bills and less upkeep. Then there’s the potential windfall that comes from selling your larger home and buying something smaller.”
That windfall is thanks to your home equity. If you’ve been in your house for a while, odds are you’ve developed a considerable amount of equity. Your home equity is an asset you can use to help you buy a home that better suits your needs today.
And when you’re ready to make a move, your team of real estate experts will be your guides through every step of the process. That includes setting the right price for your house when you sell, finding the best location and size for your next home, and understanding what you can afford at today’s mortgage rate.
What This Means for You
If you’re thinking about downsizing, ask yourself these questions:
- Do the original reasons I bought my current house still stand, or have my needs changed since then?
- Do I really need and want the space I have right now, or could somewhere smaller be a better fit?
- What are my housing expenses right now, and how much do I want to try to save by downsizing?
Once you know the answers to these questions, meet with a real estate advisor to get an answer to this one: What are my options in the market right now? A local housing market professional can walk you through how much equity you have in your house and how it positions you to win when you downsize.
If you’re looking to save money, downsizing your home could be a great help toward your goal. Let’s connect to talk about your goals in the housing market this year.
What’s the Difference Between a Home Inspection and an Appraisal?
If you’re planning to buy a home, an inspection is an important step in the process. It assesses the condition of the home before you finalize the transaction. It’s also a different step in the process from an appraisal, which is a professional evaluation of the market value of the home you’d like to buy. In most cases, an appraisal is ordered by the lender to confirm or verify the value of the home prior to lending a buyer money for the purchase. Here’s the breakdown of each one and why they’re both important when buying a home.
Here’s the key difference between an inspection and an appraisal. Bankrate says:
“In short, while an appraisal helps you understand a home’s value, inspections help you understand a home’s condition.”
The home inspection is a way to determine the current state, safety, and condition of the home before you finalize the sale. If anything is questionable in the inspection process – like the age of the roof, the state of the HVAC system, or just about anything else – you as a buyer have the option to discuss and negotiate any potential issues or repairs with the seller before the transaction is final. Your real estate agent is a key expert to help you through this part of the process.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:
“A home purchase is typically the largest investment someone will make. Protect yourself by getting your investment appraised! An appraiser will observe the property, analyze the data, and report their findings to their client. For the typical home purchase transaction, the lender usually orders the appraisal to assist in the lender’s decision to provide funds for a mortgage.”
When you apply for a mortgage, an unbiased appraisal (which is required by the lender) is the best way to confirm the value of the home based on the sale price. Regardless of what you’re willing to pay for a house, if you’ll be using a mortgage to fund your purchase, the appraisal will help make sure the bank doesn’t loan you more than what the home is worth.
This is especially critical in today’s sellers’ market where low inventory is driving an increase in bidding wars, which can push home prices upward. When sellers are in a strong position like this, they tend to believe they can set whatever price they want for their house under the assumption that competing buyers will be willing to pay more.
However, the lender will only allow the buyer to borrow based on the value of the home. This is what helps keep home prices in check. If there’s ever any confusion or discrepancy between the appraisal and the sale price, your trusted real estate professional will help you navigate any additional negotiations in the buying process.
The inspection and the appraisal are critical steps when buying a home, and you don’t need to manage them by yourself. Let’s connect today so you have the expert guidance you need to navigate the entire homebuying process.
The Power of Pre-Approval
If you’re buying a home this spring, today’s housing market can feel like a challenge. With so few homes on the market right now, plus higher mortgage rates, it’s essential to have a firm grasp on your homebuying budget. You’ll also need a sense of determination to find the right house and act quickly when you go to put in an offer. One thing you can do to help you prepare is to get pre-approved.
To understand why it’s such an important step, you need to know what pre-approval is. As part of the process, a lender looks at your finances to determine what they’d be willing to loan you. From there, your lender will give you a pre-approval letter to help you understand how much money you can borrow.
Freddie Mac explains it like this:
“A pre-approval is an indication from your lender that they are willing to lend you a certain amount of money to buy your future home. . . . Keep in mind that the loan amount in the pre-approval letter is the lender’s maximum offer. Ultimately, you should only borrow an amount you are comfortable repaying.”
Basically, pre-approval gives you critical information about the homebuying process that’ll help you understand how much you may be able to borrow so you have a stronger grasp of your options. And with higher mortgage rates impacting affordability for many buyers today, a solid understanding of your numbers is even more important.
Pre-Approval Helps Show You’re a Serious Buyer
That’s not the only thing pre-approval can do. Another added benefit is it can help a seller feel more confident in your offer because it shows you’re serious about buying their house. And, with sellers seeing a slight increase in the number of offers again this spring, making a strong offer when you find the perfect house is key.
As a recent article from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says:
“If you plan to use a mortgage for your home purchase, preapproval should be among the first steps in your search process. Not only can getting preapproved help you zero in on the right price range, but it can give you a leg up on other buyers, too.”
Getting pre-approved is an important first step when you’re buying a home. It lets you know what you can borrow for your loan and shows sellers you’re serious. Connect with a local real estate professional and a trusted lender so you have the tools you need to purchase a home in today’s market.
What Are the Experts Saying About the Spring Housing Market?
The housing market’s been going through a lot of change lately, and there’s been uncertainty surrounding what will happen this spring. You may be wondering if more homes will go on the market, what’s next with home prices and mortgage rates, or what the best advice is for someone in your position right now.
Here’s what industry experts are saying right now about the spring housing market and what it means for you:
Selma Hepp, Chief Economist, CoreLogic:
“We see more competition among buyers . . . Housing supply also tends to grow during the spring months. And this is also the time of year when relatively more migration happens, as people graduate and move elsewhere looking for jobs.”
Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst, Bankrate:
“I don’t expect big moves in prices in the span of a month, but like the flower buds of spring, the housing market is showing signs of improvement. A pick up in activity with inventory still low does bode well for home prices.”
Rick Sharga, Founder and CEO, CJ Patrick Company:
“If you can find a home you love and can afford at today’s prices, don’t wait. Home prices in most of the country are unlikely to crash, and mortgage rates will only come down very gradually if they decline at all this year.”
Jeff Tucker, Senior Economist, Zillow:
“The market is still much friendlier this spring for buyers who can overcome affordability hurdles, but buyers are going to see more competition than they might expect because there are not many homes on the market to go around. New listings are increasing, which they almost always do this time of year, but not nearly as quickly as usual.”
If you’re thinking about selling your house, this spring’s a great time to do so while inventory is still so low. And if you’re in a good position to buy, lean on your team of expert advisors for the best advice. Whatever your plans, let’s connect to make sure you’re able to navigate the spring housing market with confidence.