Can You Afford a Second Home?

Can I Afford a Second Home?
A friend and I recently had a conversation about her buying a second home after she spent a relaxing week on the Cape. I thought about how many clients of mine have shown interest in purchasing a second home, but were unclear about the potential risks and rewards. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

Can I Afford It? As a current homeowner, you already understand that the cost of a home is more than just the price tag. You’ll need to factor in other expenses, like insurance and taxes, for example.

If you’re good with tools and plan to live there, then you’re fine. However, if this is a seasonal residence, you’ll need to figure out the costs involved in winterizing your home and perhaps hiring a local handyman to check on it from time to time, especially following harsh winter weather.

Will I Qualify? This is an important question, mainly because the requirements for buying a second home are more stringent. You won’t be able to rely on a government loan, so you’ll need a solid credit score along with the reserves to show you are a good candidate for a new mortgage.

Another Thing: The interest rate for a rental property is higher than the rate for a second home. When applying for the mortgage, the bank will only consider the rental income if you have a history of receiving rental income.

Confusing? It can be without the proper guidance. Don’t be discouraged. Second homes make for solid investments. If you have the money and want to further explore your options, give me a call at 617-965-1236.

September’s Home Value Improver

Spiders in My House: Good or Bad?

There are two types of people in the world: those who believe all bugs found in the home are the devil’s spawn and those who see a gigantic difference between a miserable, disgusting cockroach and a pretty little ladybug.

No matter which category you find yourself in, your opinion may change when it comes to spiders. Somewhere along the line we were told that spiders perform a very important function: They eliminate other insects. The non-ladybug kind, usually. They can trap and kill moths, mosquitos, ants, houseflies and more.

Fine, you say. They can cast a web in a corner of the garage and maybe, possibly, if I don’t think about it too much, I’ll allow one in the corner of the basement, somewhere near the dryer, where it’s mostly dark.

But if your basement and garage suddenly become free of creepy-crawlies, does that mean you’ll want ol’ spidey to set up shop in the kitchen pantry? How many webs is too much? What will the neighbors say?

Here’s something to consider: The bugs you see on occasion that scurry by from time to time are not the real problem. The spider only catches the occasional fly or beetle that walks into the wrong web at the wrong time.

The real problem–potentially, at least–are the the bugs you don’t see. Those can be roaches, termites, bedbugs and more. You’re better off calling an exterminator seasonally than betting everything on the little spider that moved in under the sink in the upstairs bathroom.

Send the local house spiders on their merry way. They can do a fine job keeping the insect population under control from a distance. Then call in a professional to inspect your home and take care of the extermination, if necessary.