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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a 2nd Home

Beautiful Shoreline on Sanibel IslandCaptiva Island and Sanibel Island may very well be the perfect location for your 2nd home. With the pristine beaches and heartwarming sunsets, you will enjoy year-round along with the golfing, biking, snorkeling, swimming, fishing, boating, and friendly shopping you will probably never want to leave. But you can return whenever you like knowing your little piece of paradise is in your hands. Phaidra McDermott is a lifelong resident of the islands and is well positioned to assist you in locating and purchasing your perfect waterfront home or condo on Sanibel Island or Captiva Island, or finding that once in a lifetime building opportunity! There are a number of things to consider when buying a second home. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before buying a 2nd home. 

1. Will this bring my family happiness? Of course, it will! A vacation home on either of these beautiful Florida islands will greatly improve your quality of life. Your family and friends will look forward to the yearly island pilgrimage as they join you for the month-long party in your waterfront home on Sanibel or Captiva Island. Perhaps you will plan your vacations around hurricane swells and cold fronts during shoulder season to take advantage of surf-able waves for the annual family surf-off (and don’t forget to bring breakfast in bed to the designated officials…nepotism can’t exist when everyone is family, so you’ll want to take advantage of every possible angle when garnering favor with the judges). And of course, the yearly shelling competition, organized by grandma, will bring smiles to the grandchildren and aspiring marine biologists in the family. 

2. Can I afford this? Owning a second home is expensive. You will want to run the numbers. A higher down payment is required for a second home, and you will have to meet a debt to income ratio of 43% or less to qualify for a second mortgage with most lenders. 

3. Can I rent out my 2nd home? Renting out your vacation home is a great way to make the numbers work. Of course, there are things to consider, like bylaws when renting out a condominium and peak rental times. Sanibel and Captiva Island do offer something unique, it’s always a great time to visit. You will be able to rent your home all year long, though some seasons will command a higher income. The peak season is December to April, as the rest of the country is looking for a retreat to escape the winter cold to enjoy the 72º-75ºF average island temperatures. You can rent out some of the prime months of the year (and command the highest rental rate during the high season) and enjoy your home with family and friends for the rest of the year in low season and shoulder season. The surf’s up during shoulder season on the island, thanks to the hurricane swells, and you’ll be sitting pretty in the waves hanging ten. There are plenty of investment and rental property opportunities available on the islands. I am here to answer all your real estate questions. 

4. How will I manage my property? Working with a property management company can ease some of the daily operations when you plan to rent out your home. A property management company, such as Select Vacation Properties, can take care of marketing your home to renters and streamline the reservations, house cleaning, maintenance, and local bureaucratic regulations. 

5. How will this affect my taxes? If you purchase strictly as a 2nd home and do not rent the home, you will be able to deduct mortgage interest up to $750,000. The IRS will recognize your home as a rental property if you rent it out 14 days or more per year, and the interest paid on the mortgage can’t be deducted though there may be additional tax benefits (deducting property tax, deducting operating expenses). You will definitely want to discuss this with your accountant before moving forward. 

I look forward to helping you locate your perfect tropical vacation home on Sanibel or Captiva Island. Contact me today!

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