If you’ve ever had the chance to visit Massachusetts, you know that it has so much to offer: the vibrancy and culture of historic Boston; the peace and tranquility of island living on Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard; the natural beauty of the Berkshires in the fall; the quaint coastal communities of Cape Cod — there’s something for everyone.
These characteristics make the Bay State a popular tourist destination, and for some, the ideal area to purchase a vacation property. But before purchasing a vacation home in Massachusetts make sure to consider the following 10 pieces of advice!
Tips for Purchasing a Vacation Home in Massachusetts
1) Have a budget and recognize your financial limitations.
This is likely the most crucial consideration when planning to acquire a vacation property in Massachusetts. Review your financial situation and establish a budget for your future house. The cost of vacation house ownership includes not just the purchase price, but also:
- HOA Fees
- Condominium Fees
You must also consider other vacation necessities, such as furniture or seasonal equipment. There is no point in viewing many properties with price tags that exceed your budget, just to find out that you do not qualify for the purchase if you intend to finance the acquisition.
If you need assistance establishing a budget, speak with a Dovetail Mortgage broker who can help you find fantastic lending programs, interest rates, and determine what works best for your given situation.
2) Know your desired destination.
When you dream about your ideal vacation home in Massachusetts what do you have in mind? Do you dream of a place with few neighbors where your privacy is a major priority? Or are you interested in being close to a bustling downtown, restaurants, and nightlife? Do you require boat access, a boat slip, or a dock?
“Location, location, location!” is a crucial consideration in this decision-making process because you cannot move the property once you purchase it! Choose a location that you will frequent and enjoy.
3) Remember the Journey To Get There
How simple or challenging would it be to reach your vacation home? Are we referring to a brief drive up the highway, or will you arrive via the nearby airport? Is rail or water access required? Are you willing to endure a traffic bottleneck, and will the destination be well worth the trouble? These are essential questions to ask before deciding on purchasing a vacation home in Massachusetts.
4) Ensure that the type of vacation property you choose suits your lifestyle.
If you feel more at home in a little quaint cottage than in a luxurious multi-unit high-rise condo, then you should restrict your search to the types of homes that best fit you.
Ensure that you have the creature pleasures you require, such as valet parking and a backup generator in the event of a power outage.
5) Plan to unwind.
It may seem foolish, but selecting the dates throughout the year when you may use your new vacation property might help you relax and appreciate it more. Additionally, it gives you something to anticipate.
How will you utilize this temporary residence? Do you anticipate using it several times per year, or perhaps every weekend? Will this eventually serve as your retirement residence? Do you intend to rent out the property during your absence? This topic is elaborated upon in the following section.
6) Don’t assume you can rent out your vacation house.
If you intend to purchase a vacation home as an investment and intend to rent it out while you’re away, this may have financing issues. If you are financing the property and not paying cash, you will need to address this with your mortgage specialist.
A lender may ask you to seek an investor loan as opposed to a traditional mortgage. This may also apply to some condo unit types in neighborhoods with a high rental rate. Although you may not want to rent out your unit, the lender may view this as a rental community.
Additionally, it is essential to check with the community, neighborhood, municipality, and state for any prohibitions on renting out the property. A real estate specialist can assist you in obtaining all the necessary information to make an informed decision.
7) Be practical regarding rental income.
If you intend to rent out your holiday home, you should research the rental rates in the area where you plan to buy it. Numerous factors affect rental rates, and you don’t want to fall short if you’re dependent on that income to cover the property’s expenses.
Consider fees such as advertising and property management when deciding to rent out your property. During your tenant’s long-awaited vacation, if the refrigerator or air conditioner breaks down, you may not be around to fix it, but it will need to be taken care of immediately.
8) Safeguard your investment.
There will be occasions when you will be unable to travel to your holiday home. It is never a good idea to leave your temporary residence unattended for extended periods of time. A security or surveillance system or property manager may provide you with peace of mind while you are gone.
A frozen pipe or leaking toilet can cause significant damage in a short period of time. Who will plow or shovel the driveway if it is in a snowy region? It is also beneficial to make trustworthy neighbors your friends so they can keep an eye on things.
9) Taxes are unavoidable.
You will undoubtedly owe taxes on your holiday house, so why not be ready? Review with your mortgage specialist or real estate agent what to expect in terms of property tax, but also consider consulting a certified public accountant for any additional tax difficulties pertaining to your holiday home, such as selling it if you reside in a different state. Some states impose a conveyance tax on buyers and/or sellers when a property is sold by or to an out-of-state resident.
10) Be ready for guests!
Often, the classic cliché concerning vacation homes holds true. After closing on your holiday property, you may discover that you have more friends and relatives than you previously realized.
Be ready to adopt an open-door policy or to impose restrictions on visitor visits, and have a courteous manner of saying not prepared. Also consider the size of appliances such as a refrigerator, barbecue grill, or washer/dryer, as well as the stocking of the pantry, when preparing for a large number of guests.