Do you live outside of Florida, but find that you visit there often? Perhaps you have friends and family there. Maybe to stay during the winter months to escape northern cold.
After making the trek and checking into a hotel or rental property again and again, have you ever considered purchasing a second home in Florida? Don’t dismiss the idea as fantasy too hastily! A vacation home in Florida can actually be a great option for a lot of people who visit regularly.
If you are wondering if a vacation home in Florida is right for you, there are a few basic things to know:
That it is the right decision – As attractive as living in Florida is, buying a second home there is not for everybody. If you only visit briefly once a year, purchasing a vacation home might not be the wisest choice. On the other hand, if you are spending a significant portion of each year in Florida, then it can make financial sense. Another factor to consider is if you usually visit the same area of Florida or you tend to move around the area.
Where to look for a mortgage – Once you’ve made the decision to buy a vacation home, you will probably need to start thinking about a mortgage. Not only will you need someone licensed to work in the state of Florida, you will want someone who is knowledgeable about the local neighborhood and can serve your needs best.
The perfect location – Buying a new home is a big commitment, so make sure to choose a house in an area that you know and love. If there is a house for sale in a neighborhood that looks great on paper, try to get to know the area first. Ideally, you should be able to experience the area at different times of year to really know the true character outside of the peak seasons. The perfect holiday attractions and perfect places to live are not always the same.
To rent or not to rent – What can you do with the home when you’re not occupying it? It is important to think about the possibility of renting out your vacation home before you finalize your choice. Are short-term rentals allowed in the town and neighborhood? You will need to weigh your personal priorities and desires with the factors that boost a home’s rental potential.
Your price range and the cost of the home – Two crucial pieces of information to know are: how much you can afford to spend and how much the house will actually cost. Do you already have a mortgage on your primary residence? If so, can you demonstrate to your mortgage broker that you can handle both payments? Don’t forget to consider the cost of renovations, repairs and insurance for your new property. Luckily, if you are planning to rent out your house when you are away, this can help offset some of these costs.
Jonathan Baker is working as a consultant for finance and education at Ontario. He keeps himself constantly updated about the latest news and trends in finance world through reading and also shares his insights and about these topics through his blogs. He lives with his wife in Toronto. He can be followed on twitter.