Haven’t we all vacationed in a beautiful location and thought about how wonderful it could be to own our own piece of paradise?
Before you make a decision to purchase a vacation home, there are some very practical things to consider:
How many times have you visited the area?
If you think you love it there, it might be wise to dedicate many vacations to the area you may purchase in, potentially even over a number of years. When you purchase a vacation home you may feel the pressure to take most of your vacations there because of the expense of owning the property. For vacation homes located in seasonal destinations or smaller towns, will you get bored? And will you get tired of the holiday traffic and influx of vacationers? Will you be ok with spending a lot of time in one spot?
Have you gone at different seasons throughout the year?Every destination has its prime times of the year, but how do you feel about it in the off seasons? You may want to consider a trip for each season of the year to explore the activities and the weather before jumping into a purchase. You might discover that what’s amazing in the summer is isolating and lonely in the winter.
What would be the time and travel costs to get there?
Many vacation home owners choose to buy something that is less than 200 miles away, allowing them to drive rather than fly to reduce travel expense. If you must fly to your dream destination, do your research ahead of time to determine your annual travel expense.
How will weather conditions impact maintenance?
When you are purchasing in a climate that has very definite seasons, and if this is something you are not used to, you will want to talk with local people to find out what utilities and overall seasonal maintenance factor will be.
Would you consider renting it out for a portion of the year to cover expenses?
For some people, turning their vacation home into a rental when they are not using it is a no brainer. For others it’s a difficult decision. Vacation rentals are a booming business, and many travelers prefer a home instead of a hotel stay.
Keep in mind you will need to be realistic about the number of days it may rent, the fact that the prime times you want to be there could also be your biggest money earning times, when renters want to be there too.
With all the negatives that could go along with renting out your vacation home, the positives can be enough revenue generated to cover expenses or even to fast track paying off the mortgage. Online rental sites can make it relatively easy to post your property and even supply for you the agreements and often insurance for your protection. You, however, will need to set the guidelines for fees you charge, who you will rent to, and the days of availability.
How much down payment will you need to purchase?
Lenders often have different underwriting guidelines for second homes, and may require that you put more money down. If you plan to rent the property out for a portion of the year, most lenders in resort markets will be familiar with this and yet will most likely be conservative on the potential rental amount they might estimate is possible.
Bottom line….owning a vacation home can be a dream of a lifetime, and can create a legacy property for many generations of your family to come. With all the factors to consider, it makes sense to find a local real estate agent who is an expert in the area and can give you a good education and broad perspective to market opportunities and information critical to making a wise purchase.
For a connection to a top quality agent in the area you are interested in, contact me at the number on this newsletter. Also, as a member of the Elite Agents Online Referral Network I can help you find a quality agent anywhere in North America who specializes in vacation home ownership….no cost for the service and absolutely no obligation, just free information!
Fall Events Happening This October at Smith Mountain Lake
This upcoming month, there are tons of exciting fall activities for you to enjoy with your friends and family right here at Smith Mountain Lake! Don’t miss out on these fantastic local events happening in our community this Fall!
October 3rd – Apple Picking Jamboree
October 8th – Owen Grogan Memorial Golf Tournament
October 10th – Osprey 10K & 5K
October 15th – 2020 SML Business Expo
October 17th – Apple Harvest Festival
October 17th – Dog Walk – Friends of the Animal Shelter
October 17th – A Night at the Races
October 24th – Blue Ridge Folklife Festival
October 24th – Centerfest in the Park
October 24th through 25th – Art Show
October 31st – Octoberfest
10 Steps to Add “Value” to Your Home
This commonsense checklist consists of steps to take to make your home not only more pleasant for your personal enjoyment but also more valuable.
Even though your home is not for sale, take a tour of your home pretending to be a potential buyer. Turn a critical eye to the small things you’ve learned to live with and make a list.
Most people are well-aware of “problem” areas in their homes. Whether yours is a garage that needs organizing or bathroom tile that needs re-grouting, take care of it. Do the smaller items first.
There are many excellent books and videos on how to make rooms look larger: effective lighting, easy window treatments and creating a strong visual appeal. Obtain some and analyze the impression your home makes on others.
How much storage space do you have? Is it neat, well organized and uncluttered? If not, consider some of the easy and inexpensive do-it-yourself closet systems available today.
Is the exterior of your dwelling all that it could be? If not, sometimes it is the little things that make a house look its best. Paint the trim, or just the front door. Add a bright new mailbox.
Speak to your local paint or wallpaper supplier. They are often willing to provide helpful information on selection and how to do it yourself.
Talk to your real estate advisor about what buyers like and don’t like about houses they see.
Pay attention to the foundation, walls, steps, railings, ceilings and ﬂoors. If they need repair, it can create an impression, even if false, that the house is not structurally sound.
Your yard is another area to look at critically. Are the plants overgrown? Cut them back. Is it bare? Most counties have agricultural offices that can offer advice on the best and quickest growing plants and trees for your climate.
When you’ve done all the little things that help make your home its most appealing, decide if there are major improvements. Ask your real estate advisor if those improvements will create return on investment, or will be worthy of your hard earned cash and valuable time.
Smith Mountain Lake’s Most Popular Event!
The Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival takes place the last weekend in September each year and regularly draws crowds of more than 11,000 to our beautiful lake.
In addition to nearly 30 Virginia wineries, SML Wine Festival visitors can peruse the booths of dozens of quality artisans, as well as craft and food vendors. Both days feature live music with plenty of room for dancing.
DATES: Sept. 26-27, 2020
TIMES: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
MUSIC SCHEDULE: TBD
LOCATION: Mariners Landing Resort
Vista Pointe is easy to spot by water, and on land it is located off of of 40 East, only 5 miles down Smith Mountain Road. This exclusive resort is bound to turn heads with its gorgeous panoramic views of the lake. The wide water and direct views of Smith Mountain, make Vista Pointe one of the most desirable options for condominium living. With amenities such as a sundeck, heated pool, tennis and basketball courts, and a private beach, residents are guaranteed a luxurious lifestyle on Smith Mountain Lake. Vista Pointe also has a premier clubhouse for extravagant social events for all the residents. With the maintenance-free living at Vista Pointe, you can be sure every day will be more relaxing than the last!
Contentment Island is located just off of 40 East, about 5 miles from the Whistle Stop. Here you will find 62 of the most luxurious townhomes and cottages on the lake! With walking trails, pools, and basketball and tennis courts available, you are guaranteed an enjoyable stay! The name was no coincidence; you will find true contentment on this serene island and have endless access to the crystal clear waters and stunning mountain views!