Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tips for Buying Coral Gables Vacation Property

The Florida real estate market has come back with a vengeance and is clipping along at a fantastic pace.  Prior to the market collapse, many were seriously considering buying vacation homes.  Those who bought at the time have already reaped the rewards of increased value to the property they purchased while others decided to wait.   For those who waited, the dream of owning a vacation home is back on this list of possibilities. 

If you are ready to dive into the home buying waters and considering a vacation home, here are several tips for buying Coral Gables vacation property to make sure you make an informed decision:

Decide How You Want to Use It.  The first thought that comes to mind when buying a vacation home is to decide how you want to use it.  Do you want to keep it strictly as a home for you to stay at your discretion (your friends too) or do you want to buy a vacation home as a rental investment?  In this part of Florida, there is a huge market for rental property especially during the winter when the “snowbirds” fly south to escape the cold – the past couple of winters in the winter have been brutal.   It is common for vacation home owners to only use their property for as little as a couple of months a year so the idea of using it as rental property may be a great way to make it more affordable.

Choose the Type of Property.  Prior to buying a vacation home, you need to choose the type of property you want – single-family or condominium.  Much of this is based on whether you want to use it as a vacation rental.  Coral Gables condominiums and single family homes are always appealing to second home buyers because of the rental potential.  There are several advantages to owning vacation property in condominiums including the ability to put your property in a vacation management pool within the condominium for greater rental possibilities and built-in amenities like a pool, a marina, reserved and valet parking and more. Single-family homes draw those who want more privacy and an atmosphere similar to being at home.

Rent First.  Before you buy a vacation home, be sure that you rent in the neighborhoods or condominiums in which you are interested.  You can speak firsthand about staying there to potential guests and decide if you will enjoy your time there.  Renting always helps you know your likes and dislikes.  

Ask About the Rental History.  If you are considering a second home for investment purposes, ask about the rental history.  You want to know what you are getting with your investment.  For properties that have not been used as rental property, you can look at comparable properties that do have rental histories to see the potential income.

Consider the Additional Financial Obligation.  A second home will have additional financial obligations especially at the beginning.  That is why it is important to know a general idea of the expenses that accompany your new home – initial expenses during the purchase as well as the monthly expenses that any homeowner pays, taxes and insurance.   Even if you buy a second home with an established rental history, rental income typically does not cover ALL of the expenses involved. 

Work with a Local, Experienced Realtor®.  Probably the best thing anyone thinking about buying Coral Gables vacation property is to work with a local, experienced and Florida licensed Realtor®.  A Realtor® that knows which neighborhoods or condominiums best meet your needs as a resident (and rental property owner) provide you with a wealth of information and knowledge to help you make an informed decision. 

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