Forget what you’ve heard about owning a vacation home. Sunday River Real Estate is here to debunk the myths and help you find your Happy Place.
1. I will need a minimum of 20 percent down to purchase a second home.
According to one of our lending partners, Chad Fletcher with Blue Water Mortgage, you can buy a vacation home with as little as 10 percent down. You may also be able to deduct mortgage interest in the same way you would on your primary home. Be sure to consult with a tax professional who can explain relevant tax implications.
2. I will incur costly property management services.
Property management services don’t need to be expensive, and may not even be necessary, depending on what your needs are and your own comfort level. Take advantage of smart home technology, such as programmable thermostats that allow you to check and control the temperature in your house and receive notifications if there is a problem with your furnace. I also recommend that clients establish a relationship with a fuel delivery company that provides 24-hour on-call service and request automated fuel delivery so that you don’t run the risk of running out of fuel. With that in mind, you may also want to consider having a programmable keypad or a lockbox at your home so that you can easily provide entry to service providers when you aren’t there.
For an added level of security, having a security alarm system provides 24/7 monitoring through motion detectors and window decals.
We live in snow country, and you will want to line up someone to plow your driveway, shovel your deck and walkways. If you are located in a subdivision, most homeowners will hire the same company that plows the roads for their subdivision to plow their driveway for the assurance of timely and reliable service.
If after taking these small steps, you still would like to hire a property manager, most can offer services customized to meet your needs. For example, a property manager can do a monthly check on your vacation home for as little as $25 per month.
3. Handling home repairs and improvements will be hard.
Even though the Sunday River Area is a small rural Maine town, we are fortunate to have a lot of excellent contractors in our area. Looking for recommendations? Start here at Sunday River Real Estate. We have all been living and working in the area for a number of years and can provide you with the names and contact information for several experienced and reputable contractors. It may surprise you to know that we also have a large local building supply company called Western Maine Supply where you can find everything you need from flooring, kitchen cabinetry, hardware, paint and stain, masonry, lawn care products and much more. Finally, don’t forget that most of the local contractors are used to working for second homeowner’s and understand that you will probably welcome their recommendation and suggestions.
4. I won’t use my property enough to make it worthwhile.
Over the years I have found that many vacation homeowners often end up enjoying their vacation getaway even more than they anticipated. As the stressors of work and the daily grind get to be too much, it is easy to hop in the car and get to your familiar home away from home. Many vacation homeowners start to explore the area in the off-season and often find even more to love about our area. Whether it be hiking in Grafton Notch State Park, floating down the Androscoggin River, or partaking in one of the local festivals on the town common, there is a lot to enjoy. I jokingly tell people that I find out more about what is going on in my own little town from past clients than I know myself!
As you contemplate whether or not to take the plunge and buy your special vacation home, keep in mind that places stir memories of people, relationships, and good times. A second home gives you and your family the opportunity to build even more memories and have roots in another community. Your vacation home can be a special place to gather with friends and family, create new traditions, or give you a peaceful haven when you want to get away. Your children will benefit too from new experiences and friendships, giving them a treasure box full of memories to look back on when they are older.
Are you ready to start your vacation home search? View our current listings, or stop by the Sunday River Real Estate offices in South Ridge Lodge. We’re available every day from 9am-4pm.