The benefits of owning a second home are numerous. To begin with, it provides two locations for you to travel between (making life more interesting).
Furthermore, it enables you to simultaneously increase the equity in two properties (your residence and your investment property). Additionally, it can function as a cash-flowing asset when rented out temporarily.
But owning a home in a city or state other than your own presents some difficulties as well. Maintaining a second home so that it endures the test of time is one of the hardest parts of having one.
If you’re fortunate enough to own a second home, you’re aware of how difficult it can be to maintain it. Additionally, it gets harder the further away you are from the property. You must develop a strategy to safeguard your investment and make sure it keeps giving you and your family the most value possible.
Tip #1: Look for a “low-maintenance” second home
The amount of care required for secondary home maintenance varies from property to property. It’s often a good idea to look for a second home that is low maintenance and doesn’t come with costly issues – especially if you plan to do the work yourself.
Tip #2: Think about seasonal home maintenance
Another thing to consider is seasonal home maintenance! Depending on where it is located, your second home might experience hot summers, stormy falls, or cold and snowy winters. This has a big impact on the types of maintenance you’ll need to consider.
Because you can use it for family vacations, rent it out for passive income, and so much more, purchasing a second home can be a great investment.
Before making the purchase, there are a number of things to consider, such as how much maintenance it will require. You might also have to deal with problems like frozen pipes, landscaping, snow removal, and a ton of other things, in addition to the obvious difficulty of maintaining a second home from a distance.
Tip #3: Make smart security investments
There are many measures you can take to keep your second home secure when you aren’t present, regardless of how frequently you visit it. Among the most crucial ones?
Investing in cutting-edge home security systems.
Security systems can alert the authorities in the event of other emergencies, such as when a fire alarm goes off, making them one of the best deterrents for thieves.
While some homeowners prefer a more DIY approach and install smart security products that can be monitored from a laptop or smartphone, others prefer professionally monitored security systems.
Home security is also about defending your house from both internal and external threats, such as fire, carbon monoxide, and water damage.
Fortunately, this is yet another situation where smart technology can be useful. Look for tools that will give you 24/7 alerts for things like temperature changes, opening doors and windows, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms sounding, and more.
As a result, even when you’re not actually there, you can respond more quickly to potential emergencies. By addressing issues before they become expensive disasters, IoT technology also enables homeowners to be more proactive.
You can prevent leaks from happening or from causing any damage by installing sensors on piping close to your water heater rather than just responding to a flooded basement after it has happened.
Invest in the equipment you require to keep your home and belongings secure to “smartify” it!
Tip #4: Use your homeowners’ association
A well-run homeowners’ association (HOA) could help you save a ton of time and effort on maintenance if you decide to purchase a second home in such a community.
Your HOA may provide “complete” maintenance of the property, both internally and externally, depending on the neighborhood, or they may only supervise and manage common areas.
Tip #5: Invest in a home warranty
For your second home, it might be a good idea to purchase a home warranty, which can lessen some of the costs you might incur when major systems or appliances malfunction. These warranties typically include plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and large appliances.
Typically, they don’t cover flooring, windows, doors, or structural elements. Home warranties differ from home insurance in several ways.
A home warranty is intended to address particular components of the home that may deteriorate or break over time as opposed to insurance, which protects you against loss or damage from serious problems like fire, flooding, and natural disasters.
If you’re buying a previously owned home, you might want to consider getting a home warranty, and one from a reputable company, especially if your home inspection finds that a number of the home’s systems and appliances are getting close to the end of their useful lives.
Be sure you comprehend the home warranty’s terms and conditions, the duration of the coverage, and what it will and will not cover.
Tip #6: Employ an estate manager
If the property is intended to be rented out, it’s smart to hire a reputable property management company to look after the investment and assist with tasks like tenant vetting, creating lease agreements, collecting rent, planning repairs, etc.
Consider “fit” when choosing a property manager.
Various property management firms have different areas of expertise, such as luxury properties or vacation rentals.
Make the right decision for the best service! A good property management company should be present in the neighborhood.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to consider how long they’ve been in operation and what additional services they offer. Having a “one-stop shop” for all of your real estate needs has some advantages.
Tip #7: Establish local connections
Even with a property management company, having “boots on the ground” is beneficial. Try your best to establish connections with locals, including your neighborhood neighbors, who can watch over your house when you’re away and let you know if anything suspicious is happening.
Tip #8: Make preventive maintenance investments
Never take for granted the benefit of preventive maintenance. Even if you have a home warranty provider, investing in preventive maintenance can help you stay away from malfunctions, deterioration, and costly future repairs.
It’s crucial to spend money on preventive maintenance for systems and appliances (like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical).
Tip #9: Make frequent trips
Routine visits offer the opportunity to put your own eyes on the property and make sure it’s in good working order, even though you’ll be in pretty good shape with a reputable property manager and other local connections.
If there isn’t a long-term tenant residing in the property, you should schedule regular visits there, at least once every few months.
You’ll have a much better sense of the situation after spending the night on the property.
Bringing everything together
Having a second home gives you a number of special advantages. And, while you may decide to hire a property manager in the future, until then you can handle many of the duties yourself and avoid expenses that might be incurred if a professional were involved.
It does, however, demand your discipline, focus, and attention. You cannot take care of the property only when guests are present. You must consistently act as a good steward. To take proactive action, make use of some of the above-mentioned suggestions.