How to Combine Local Knowledge and Tech to Find Your Second Home

Being able to buy a primary residence is many people’s major goal in life. Investors take the next step, and seek a second property.

With two properties, your equity growth doubles. People may receive rental income off one of the homes, as well. The financial benefits can be substantial, from tax deductions to wealth growth.

Many people look for a second home in a different state, such as sunny California or Florida. Purchasing a home from long distance is not as hard as it used to be. Between local Realtors and the Internet, homeowners have a chance to find the perfect vacation or retirement home without having to do a lot of travel.

Consider a seasonal rental

Homeowners looking for a great second home in a different region are starting from a blind position. They don’t see the area on a daily basis and may not be familiar with the local neighborhood culture.

One of the smartest ways to start your search for a second home is to rent a seasonal property. Spend a summer at the rental and visit the local neighborhoods.

You may find your perception of the area was significantly different from its reality. Another listing may catch your eye, and enable you to experience the neighborhood before committing to a property there.

Hire a local Realtor

Find a local Realtor to track down the second home. Use the Internet or take advantage of a summer rental to interview agents.

A local representative is critical to finding the right property. They understand architectural details and amenities that can be different from one area to another.

You could be looking for a single-story ranch house in a neighborhood that has only two-story condominiums, for example. Realtors can take the homeowner’s needs and match them perfectly to a community.

The Internet is your friend

Once you find a local Realtor, stay in touch through the Internet. Facebook, Twitter, and personal web pages make connecting easy across the miles.

Look up the Realtor’s listings once a week. You may discover your idal home is up for sale. Pictures, videos, and descriptions of homes are all built to be advertisements. You’ll need to tread carefully with camera angles online. A home that appears like a perfect choice could look entirely different in person.

Ask the Realtor questions about particular properties to verify the size and amenities. As a local contact, the Realtor can relay accurate perceptions of the home so you aren’t misled.

View it before purchasing

Though you might have visited a potential second-home community once, it is crucial to be physically present for open houses, inspections, and closing day. The property may need some repairs completed by the seller, for example.

Being on site during any major inspection or transaction allows you to check for any lingering problems. Once the paperwork is signed, remember, the new homeowners are responsible for any repairs.

Combining local Realtor knowledge and Internet research can enable you to find the perfect second home that’s far from your primary residence. Properly chosen, the second home could become the perfect retreat during summer or retirement.

Anna Johansson
Anna is a freelance writer and researcher from the Olympia, WA area who loves to obsess about weird topics and then write about them. When she isn't writing, she is outside on her bike and comtemplating her eventual trip to graduate school.

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