4 Questions to Consider When Buying a Second Home or a Vacation Home

June 5, 2019

Real Estate

4 Questions to Consider When Buying a Second Home or a Vacation Home

Whether you’re buying a second home while you rent out your first home or you’ve decided to invest in a vacation home in Mammoth Lakes, the financing can look a bit different. Thinking through these four questions will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

1. Do you have plenty of cash reserves?

When you get into second home buying, underwriters will want to see significant cash reserves before they approve the loan. Sometimes they’ll want to see enough in reserve to cover six months of payments on both properties. And if you’re not buying with all cash, you’ll probably have to do a 25-30% down payment rather than the standard 20% for first/primary homes.

2. Is your debt-to-income ratio low?

Debt isn’t a bad thing, but most lenders will want to see a modest debt-to-income ratio — ideally between 36 and 42 percent. If the second home you’re buying will produce rental income, your chance of getting approved is higher.

3. Are you prepared to pay higher interest rates?

Second mortgages are considered more risky, so lenders tend to charge higher interest rates. Banks will also be looking at your cash reserves to see if you can pay for maintenance in addition to the new mortgage. Add in higher interest rates and your second home is likely to be quite a bit more expensive than your first home.

4. Are you ready for the additional costs?

We’re not done quite yet — there are other additional costs that come with buying a second home or vacation home in Mammoth Lakes. For insurance, you’ll probably be paying about 20% more than a primary residence if you’re renting out the property at all. If you don’t live in Mammoth Lakes, you might also need to pay for someone to manage your property. Regardless, you’ll have added expenses like maintenance and utilities.

If you’re financially prepared for it, buying a vacation home or second home can be a dream come true.

Learn more about buying a vacation home in Mammoth Lakes in my Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide or contact me to chat more about vacation home financing.


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