Out Now: Buying A Second Home

According to the National Association of Realtors, as many as 40 percent of current home sales are second homes. That includes houses and condominiums purchased as investment rentals, for short-term getaways and for future retirement use. Buying a Second Home begins by asking the reader: “What is your main reason for buying a second home?” It then explains the seven steps for a successful second-home purchase.

The author explains the details of finding and financing second homes, usually in different states. He cautions buyers about the possible pitfalls of renting far-away properties to tenants and why it is important to hire a professional management company to find short- or long-term quality tenants.

bookAbout a third of the book is devoted to the financial aspects of owning a second home. The author explains why mortgages can be difficult to obtain on a second home and why lenders usually charge higher interest rates on these higher-risk loans.

Much of the book is devoted to classic “how to buy a home” details, such as using a buyer’s agent to shop for a home, avoiding mortgage junk fees, and anticipating home-ownership costs for repairs – especially if the property will be rented to tenants. He expounds the benefits of working with realty agents, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and real estate attorneys, rather than being a do-it-yourself buyer.

The chapter about “buying straight from the seller” is interesting because it warns of the pitfalls of dealing direct with a seller and he recommends using a buyer’s agent to negotiate with sellers.

“Buying a Second Home,” by Craig Venezia (Nolo Press, Berkeley, Calif.), 2007, $24.99.

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