Realistic planning of future expenses is very important to keep your second home an escape from the stress of your day-to-day life. Who needs a huge financial obligation that wrecks retirement plans or adds worry to our lives?
This post will include a list of expenses we have encountered in maintaining our home. (Yes, I can be a drag sometimes.)
Each homeowner will have different expenses depending on the part of the country they live in, whether it is a condo or single-family home, etc. But here is our list, which can help you start your planning process:
- Homeowner’s Insurance is a big one and can be higher than your primary home insurance. Our home in Southwest Florida requires three types of insurance: dwelling x-wind, flood insurance and wind insurance. Find out what is required in your area.
“5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Vacation Home” by Melissa Neiman discusses factors that affect insurance rates.
Real Estate Taxes. Check to see if rates are different for state residents and non-resident homeowners.
- Utilities. Telephone, cable TV, Internet, electricity, water, sewer, etc.
- Homeowner’s Association Fees. Yard maintenance may be additional for single-family homes.
- Furnishings. Furniture, Dishes, Linens, etc.
- Surprises (large and small.) Appliances will need repair and replacement. Then there are the really fun ones like roof leaks and bursting pipes.
Since you won’t be occupying your second home all year, there may be expenses that you don’t have at your primary home:
- Home watch service. A good idea and sometimes required by mortgage companies.
- Contracts for pest control, air conditioning, and heating maintenance.
- We choose to offset some expenses by renting our home part-time. We find it convenient to use a rental agent, which leads to a 20% commission and small monthly marketing fee.
Despite the expenses, we’ve enjoyed our new home. One way to keep expenses down is to avoid buying an expensive trophy home. After all, if you are on vacation, you want to be outside enjoying yourself anyway.
Please enjoy some photographs from Sanibel, Captiva, and Useppa Islands in Southwestern Florida.
In our last post , we talked about the quality of life issues that Baby Boomers should consider when purchasing a second home. “Lifestyle Considerations When Buying a Second Home”