Second Home
Washington DC property is a prime spot for residential houses as well vacation homes. Not only is the District of Columbia a hotbed of real estate, but the turnover here is pretty quick when it comes to rentals or actual home purchases. If you already have a house in DC or in another state, you’re probably thinking of getting a second home for vacations or emergencies. Before doing so, think about the few factors involved to make this experience as stress-free as possible.
1.       Consider the need for a second home. Sit down and really assess the current situation if a second home would indeed be worthwhile. Owning more than one abode could be expensive and unsuitable for some – so never buy these on a whim! Carefully list the pros and cons if you have to; include financial and emotional factors as well as long-term goals and expectations.

2.       Inspect the location. There are people who fall in love with their favorite vacation spots and end up buying a home in that area. Although most of these stories end up happily, it’s not a good idea to quickly jump at this decision. Try visiting the place during off-peak season and talk to the locals. Familiarize yourself with the community, and imagine living there for long periods of time.

3.       Get a local agent. You may house-shop on your own, but it’s advisable to hire a local real estate agent – one who’s keen on the location and has been doing business there for years. This is an important step since it will be quite challenging to buy a house in foreign territory. Know the market and do extra research.

4.       Think about house types. Condominiums would be ideal for people who prefer low year-round maintenance with the assurance of fine accommodations. But for those who prefer privacy, a single family home or cottage might be best. Also, decide on the house location: will it be right smack in the middle of the city, or beside a peaceful lake?

5.       Ensure financing. Budget is a key factor in owning a second home – so be prepared for mortgage and tax expenses. Shop around for loans and plans to help you achieve your dream. Pool resources from family and friends who might be willing to split costs (and ownership) with you. Most properties are affordable, condos in particular, so include various choices along with additional costs when making the final budget.

6.       Reflect on renting. There are tax benefits when a second is rented out for a certain number of days (check local and/or national tax laws regarding this). Typically, there’s no need to pay taxes when it’s rented for fourteen days or less, and the remaining days are considered private ownership. Consult a finance expert before making any final decisions; but renting out your flat is a good option to get extra income to be used for upkeep or maintenance of your second home.

As long as you’re happy with your purchase, a second home could be as rewarding to own as your primary abode. Simply remember these tips and don’t be afraid to look into the market!

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