Five Essential Tips for Buying the Right Vacation Home in Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is one of the West’s most prized natural wonders. From the beauty of the crystal-clear lake to the breathtaking heights of the Sierra Nevadas, there’s no lack of natural beauty or great investment property in the area. If you’re considering buying a vacation home in Lake Tahoe, take some time to familiarize yourself with best practices for making a real estate purchase in the region. Use the five following tips as a guide while you shop for your vacation home. Of course, working with a qualified, local mortgage banker is the best way to ensure that you make the best purchase possible given your needs and budget.
Rent Before You Buy
If you’re considering buying vacation property in Lake Tahoe but haven’t spent much time in the area, it’s important to spend some time renting homes and exploring the town. Make notes about what you like and dislike about your rental home so that your real estate agent will have a good idea of the types of property that you’d like to buy. Talk to homeowners in the area about seasonal rental prospects.
Carefully Budget Total, Ongoing Property Costs
It’s important to budget in the cost of insurance, utilities, maintenance, taxes and other incidentals any time you buy a property. However, it’s especially important when buying a vacation home or second property. Real estate is not a liquid investment, meaning that it can take time to sell a vacation home if you decide you can no longer afford it. Work with a financial advisor to be sure that you’re ready for the fiscal responsibility of owning a second home.
Be Sure That You Can Rent Out Your Vacation Home
Many families who buy vacation homes in Lake Tahoe rent them out during other times of the year. Because Tahoe offers year-round outdoor recreation opportunities, most property owners are able to find renters no matter the season. However, the location of your home will make a big difference when it comes to rentals. Talk with your mortgage banker and real estate agent about the neighborhoods that will be best given your yearly vacation and rental plans.
Work with a Local Real Estate Agent and Mortgage Banker
Nothing is more important when buying a vacation home than working with local real estate and mortgage professionals. You want to be sure that the agent showing you homes has depth of knowledge about the Lake Tahoe area and can provide you with good insights about the advantages and drawbacks of each property. Your local mortgage banker understands the market in the area and will be able to help you find the right financing for your needs.
Spend Your Time Evaluating Location
Everyone knows that nothing is more important when buying real estate than location, and this is certainly the case in Lake Tahoe. Depending on the types of leisure activities that your family enjoys, you may prefer to live in a nearby town such as Truckee or Incline Village. Your agent and mortgage banker can guide you to locations that will suit your family. As you evaluate location, you should also pay close attention to whether or not a community association or homeowners association (HOA) governs the neighborhood where you want to buy. HOAs can control everything from what color you paint your home to whether or not you can rent it out to vacationers. Know what type of covenant you’ll need to sign before you decide to buy.
Of course, the key to making a good Lake Tahoe vacation home purchasing decision is taking your time. Evaluate your property options carefully. Talk with your mortgage banker about financing options to ensure that your family can enjoy leisurely vacations in Tahoe and you can rest assured that you’ve made a good investment.