Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, June 8, 2018

Dreaming of a vacation home?

With the onset of summer and vacation travels, you might be dreaming of buying a vacation home. The beauty of a second home is that it’s a great get-away, as well as a good long-term investment.

To begin the process of finding just the right vacation home, look where you’ve vacationed before. Or, if you’re considering a new geographic region, rent a home for a season to make sure it suits you.

Think about what sort of vacation home you want. Perhaps you’d like a cabin, house or condo. Condos come with homeowners’ associations, which have certain rules and fees but also offer many benefits that are often attractive to owners who aren’t always on the premises.

NAR’s “2017 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey” states the typical vacation property is located 200 miles from the buyers’ primary residence. Investors typically purchase a second home within 20 miles of their primary residence. Despite inventory challenges in recent years, vacation home buyers have been active.

Regarding the reasons buyers purchased a vacation home, 42 percent plan to use their property for vacations or as a family retreat, 18 percent plan to convert their vacation home into their primary residence for retirement and 12 percent (because of low real estate prices and the buyer) simply found a good deal they couldn’t resist.

Among investors, 37 percent purchased a second home to generate income through renting the property, 16 percent are hoping the home will increase in value and 15 percent wanted to take advantage of low real estate prices.

Once you have a general idea of the area and type of vacation home you want, contact a Realtor here to learn whether they also list in other markets. If they don’t, perhaps they’ll refer you to a peer in your desired market.

Once you settle on a Realtor, ask how many vacation home listings they have, how many years they’ve worked in the business and about any particular specialties.

A Realtor can help you determine how much you can afford and will coach you through the personal and financial data you will need to apply for a loan. Additionally, a Realtor will be familiar with current real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities and zoning laws that might affect your property.

Ask your Realtor about renting your vacation home to others. He or she can advise you on potential restrictions, advantages and disadvantages and offer tips for making your vacation home a premium investment, as well as fun get-away.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is “The Voice for Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of some 1,300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia.

Information: www.gcar.net; 423 698-8001