With many people still struggling to afford their first home, it might seem like the days of owning a second home are long gone. However, more than 1.5 million people in the UK own another property in the UK, and another 1 million own homes in different countries. As many first-time buyers will agree, purchasing a house is an incredibly stressful process that most people do not want to have to repeat in the near future. However, purchasing your second home is always easier thanks to the benefit of experience and a solid credit history, and the following tips will help you buy and manage a second property without stretching yourself or your finances.
Gauge The Market
Before plunging into the housing market for a second time, make sure you do a little research beforehand. Unless you bought your first home within the last few years, the market will have changed considerably along with inflation and mortgage rates. According to International Business Times, now is an excellent time to buy thanks to a low interest rate from the Bank of England, competitive mortgage rates, and stamp duty reforms. House prices are also set to increase over the next 25 years meaning you could end up making an excellent return on your investment. Lenders are also much more likely to offer the best deals to those that already own a property especially if you have built up a large amount of equity in your first home.
Choose The Right House
One of the biggest mistakes many people make is purchasing a second home that is too far away from their primary residence. Even if you love the location, having to drive several hours, board a plane and then take a taxi to get there means you will not get to spend a lot of time in your house. Aim for a two-hour drive between your properties so you can easily drive there for a weekend away whenever possible. Purchasing a second home close to you will also make it easier for you to maintain the property and deal with any emergencies. For help finding the ideal second home, an experienced estate agent such as Taylors can guide you through the process, and you can contact their webpage TaylorsEstateagents.co.uk for more details.
Treat Your Home Like An Investment
Buying and maintaining two homes can be an expensive task, so consider off-setting some of the cost of your second property by renting it out for short-term lets. If you buy a house close to a popular vacation spot such as a beach or ski resort, then you can advertise your home as a holiday rental. Houses close to popular attractions also increase in value over time meaning you could make a substantial profit if you ever decide to sell the house.
Organize Your Property Portfolio
Trying to remember to pay all of the bills on time for two separate properties is an impossible task, so you will need to organize yourself to ensure everything is up to date. You can choose to write out all of your bills by hand and record the date they are due or make a note on your calendar to help you remember. If you prefer to organize everything electronically, then Excel is a useful tool for creating a spreadsheet with all the information organised into columns. There are also a number of different apps such as Bill Monitor that can help you keep track of bills and easily search for any unpaid or overdue bills. You will also need to dedicate a fair amount of time to the care and maintenance of your second home to keep it in perfect condition. Landscaping, weather proofing and pool maintenance all requires a lot of time and effort, so you may want to consider using a property management service if you are unable to take care of all the tasks yourself.
Owning a second home allows you the freedom to go on holiday whenever you like without having to worry about booking accommodation. If you should decide to rent your second home out full time, you can use this money to pay off your mortgage or as a second income. Owning a second property also entitles you to certain tax breaks. The biggest advantage of owning a second home is undoubtedly increasing your net worth with a tangible asset that you can pass down to your children in the future.
Bradley Goddard works as part of a property management team and always enjoys sharing his tips and ideas with an online audience. He is a regular contributor for several online resources.