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Things to Consider When Buying a Second Home

Lake Chelan Homes for Sale

Owning a second home is a rare privilege few buyers enjoy. Count yourself as among the privileged and enjoy the perks of having a second home.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when making a purchase:

  1. Don’t buy on impulse
    It’s tempting to buy a second home when vacationing in Washington State – known for its gleaming lakes and scenic trails, the state is known for its natural beauty and rustic charm. But don’t buy a home without doing your research. Get to know the area and see what it’s like year-round. You might have to make a few more visits before deciding whether to buy a second home or not.
  2. Evaluate your long-term goals
    Determine what kind of second home will suit your lifestyle. If you want to go on quick weekend getaways, then it’s best to find a location within an hour’s drive of your primary residence. But if you’re willing to drive farther out, then feel free to buy a second home that you can use on a seasonal basis. This all depends on your current location and what your vacation habits are.
  3. Know the area
    You still need to conduct thorough research even if you’ve been vacationing in Washington State for years. You need to get to know the area from a non-tourist perspective. Befriend local residents and visit during the off-season to know what it’s really like. Read up on the housing market and reach out to buyers who’ve purchased second homes in the area.
  4. Work with a local expert
    Working with a local Realtor will help you uncover important information about the housing market. Ask questions about the home buying process, and let them show you the most in-demand areas for second homes in Washington State. They will guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions.
  5. Decide what kind of property is right for you
    Second homes come in the form of condos, townhomes, and single-family homes. The towns around Lake Chelan and Lake Wenatchee have an excellent selection of cabins for you to choose from. But before you make a purchase, decide which housing type best suits your needs. For instance, a condo may require less maintenance, but a single-family home can give you space and privacy you need.

    You can also buy vacant land and build your dream home from the ground up. This may take significantly more time and energy, but it lets you create a home that fits your criteria.

  6. Secure financing
    Shop around for a mortgage before buying a second home. Talking to more than one lender lets you sift through your options in the market, enabling you to make the best choice possible.

    Typically you will be required to make a 10% down payment on the home, meet general debt-to-ratio requirements and credit standards, and produce documents for income verification.

    If you’re still paying the mortgage on your primary residence, make sure you can afford a second mortgage. This means having enough cash reserves and making your debts more manageable.

  7. Mind the additional expenses
    Be sure to factor in any additional expenses such as maintenance costs and insurance. Shop around for multiple insurance quotes before making a final offer. When it comes to maintenance, it is generally advisable to set aside 2% of the home’s overall value for repairs and upkeep on a yearly basis.

Looking to buy or sell a home in Chelan, Manson, Orondo, Brewster, Pateros, Twisp, or Winthrop, or other nearby communities? Get in touch with Coldwell Banker Lake Chelan Properties at 509-682-7777, or send an email to info(at)cbchelan(dotted)com.