10 Things to Consider When Buying a Second Home (Part 2)

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

Consider These 10 Things

When Buying a Second Home (Part 2)



Carlsbad bluffsBuyers desiring a second or vacation home have a number of important considerations before making a decision about where, when and how to buy that property. And what they specifically want and need for that second home is a critical discussion to have.



These issues may differ in important ways from decisions made for your primary home purchase. So give careful consideration to what these differences might be before you get too far along in the process.



Here’s what was discussed in Part 1:

  • Lifestyle issues (how might your second home lifestyle differ from the way you live now?)

  • Financial considerations (e.g., cash versus financing, the added costs of a second home)

  • Rentability (e.g., do you want to also rent the property, and can you?)

  • Maintenance (all the stuff you have to do as a homeowner – how will you handle this for your second home?)

  • Location (where do you want this home to be relative to where you now live; how far are you willing to drive? What about traffic?)



In Part 2 we tackle 5 additional issues to ponder as you go about your home search for that vacation property or second home.




The issue of security is an important matter to consider, and perhaps even more so than in your primary home, since you won’t be there full-time. The area itself where the property is located is always something to evaluate, of course, but it can become more complicated if you are not living there fulltime. Do you want or need someone to check on the property on a regular basis?


Do you feel a need for a security system? Do you prefer a lock-and-go type of condo building, or a gated community for enhanced security? Lastly, you will want to check on the particulars for homeowner’s insurance since you won’t be there all the time.



Basset HoundsPETS

If pets are an important part of your life, is your plan to have them with you when using your second home? There is, of course, the practical reality of transporting them – easy for a short car ride – but the other question to think about is if there are restrictions in the home owner’s association regarding type of pet, size, and how many you can have.


If your heart is set on having Fido accompany you all the time, you need to check that the HOA allows dogs. If you can’t take your pet, or simply prefer to not do so, one option some second home buyers consider is to have a pet or house sitter when away. In addition to have your pet taken care of, you have the reassurance that someone is watching your primary home when you are absent for an extended time.




Unless you buy a furnished second or vacation home, which may not be easy to do, you should consider additional costs and personal time for furnishing your home so you can use it. You might want to furnish your second home differently than how you do at home (e.g., do you want a completely furnished kitchen like at home or a pared-down one since you will be eating out more than cooking?). Do you need to buy all new furniture or can you, perhaps, use extra furniture from your primary home?


If you are planning to rent it out you may want to consider the quality of the furniture, and accessories that tenants might expect. Spending too much on expensive furnishings when you will be renting regularly could be a waste of money. Some second home buyers have a locked closet or storage area in the home to put away valuables and personal items when renting.



Messy houseCONDITION

As with a primary home purchase the condition of your second home, inside and out, is no doubt an important consideration. Are you looking for a home that is turn-key so you can start enjoying it immediately, or are you willing, and able, to deal with a fixer to get it to where you want it to be.


You will want to think about whether you want to be living with construction, or doing projects every time you are using the home. Given the property and location, however, it might be the right decision to put up with remodeling to get the house you like, at a price you are comfortable with, and make it your own.


While move-in ready might be your ideal, finding something completely turn-key that checks off all the boxes on your list of “must haves” may not be possible within your budget. Be willing to be flexible around doing some cosmetics to get the property that will work for you as a second home.




Searching for a second home can be a little different depending on where you are looking for the property, especially if it’s an area you don’t know as well as where you live. Another complication is when the area you desire is a distance from your home so you can’t readily explore the homes or communities in person without taking a trip. But to get the right house and neighborhood, it WILL be worth it.


Working with a knowledgeable agent who understands the local market conditions (inventory, pricing), the communities, and how to assist buyers from a distance works to your advantage. Market conditions and pricing may be very different from where you live, and you need to understand how these issues can impact your decision making, and budget.


If you are searching in another state the offer paperwork, and even the purchase process, may be somewhat different from what you are familiar with, so you need to understand those issues early on in the process. The right agent will provide the education you need and answer all of your questions.



I am happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have about purchasing a second home in the Carlsbad or North San Diego County area, especially along the coast. Please give me a call at (760) 840-1360 so we can discuss your particular needs and budget, and I can address any questions that you have before you get too far along in the process.




You can search for your second home in Carlsbad here, and elsewhere in North San Diego County by clicking on link below.






I can also create a custom search for you once we discuss your particular needs, budget and location interests.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Joyce Marsh 05/03/2018 11:14 PM
Home Buying
California San Diego County Carlsbad
Advice for Buyers
HyperLocal Neighborhood and Community Posts
how to buy a home
jeff dowler
buying a second home
buying a vacation home
home buying tips and advice
carlsbad real estate market
things buyers should know
buying a beach home

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Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jeff great advice, hope the second home buyers in your part of the world are reading, Endre

Sep 29, 2017 11:01 PM #1
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Jeff... part 1 was great and part 2 certainly did not disappoint!

Sep 30, 2017 12:33 AM #2
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Rogers, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Jeff.

I want to know how you got into my home and take a picture of our kitchen without me knowing about it.

Sep 30, 2017 03:36 AM #3
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

What I found interesting after furnishing my second home in Hawaii is all of the extra expenses you don't necessarily think about. Definitely security cameras with security. The cable company lets customers suspend service at reduced rates, too. You have to empty your icecubes while away so in case electricity goes out, you don't have a puddle on your kitchen floor.

Sep 30, 2017 08:38 AM #4
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hi there Jeff, important points you raise regarding the practicality of owning a second home. We've thought about one in the Denver area, and it makes sense, especially because our daughter and granddaughter are there - however, that market is too hot right now to make a smart purchase. D

Sep 30, 2017 08:44 AM #5
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Great list Jeff.....we do have snow birds...hard to say who/which is first or second ! 

Sep 30, 2017 11:24 AM #6
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jeff you pointed out a few things I had not thought of in purchasing a second home.  Thanks for the list.

Sep 30, 2017 02:36 PM #7
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Our poodle travels with us to our second home condo and the security is great and they allow one dog under 20 pounds per unit. 

Oct 01, 2017 12:41 PM #8
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Jeff, gosh this is EXCELLENT stuff!! I'm nodding my head, thinking to myself, I need to do something along these lines for my would-be buyers, too! 

I have a series that is based on the Ten Questions Buyers Ask and I'm almost done with that. Your approach to this vacation home ownership series is one I want to do as well. Yours is a bit different from what I deal with but you bring up some very valid points. 

Great job!!!

Oct 02, 2017 09:59 PM #9
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Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude
What's my Carlsbad CA Area Home Worth??
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