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How to Prepare Yourself for Owning a Dual Purpose Second Home

If you are thinking about buying a second home, you are not alone. A 1995 survey by the American Resort Development Association found that 60 percent of households surveyed feel they have a likely chance of purchasing a recreational property in the next ten years, a figure that rose 30% from the survey in 1990. The average age for the majority of vacation home buyers ranges from 40-50 years old. Qualifying as the baby boomer generation, this group of second home buyers consists of 80.5 million people out of the U.S. population of more than 260 million. Demand for vacation homes is rising as a result of consumers' increasing desire to capitalize on low interest rates, low unemployment rates and a strong real estate market offering many viable second home options.

When purchasing a second home, many baby boomers seek properties that offer access to recreational areas as well as amenities ideal for retirement living. Finding a fully functional dual purpose second home requires meeting a number of physical and emotional characteristics. A trained real estate professional can help you identify your short and long term needs as well as a home that provides the qualities you require.

When choosing the ideal vacation/retirement community, look for services and features which reduce the stress of owning a second home. Furthermore, finding a home with one floor living or limited stairs will be preferable as you age and as your home evolves from a recreational home to a permanent residence. For example, free standing homes require a lot of upkeep, so properties that include gardening services or rubbish removal such as condominiums or gated communities with town houses are an option worth investigating.

Once you and your broker have identified a second home, the following are tips to protect your second home investment:

  • Develop a trustworthy contact who lives near your new home, either a neighbor or a paid caretaker, to keep an eye on the property and collect mail that accumulates. Make sure this person has all of the necessary information to contact you.

  • To make the home appear to be fully occupied, ask your caretaker to park occasionally in your driveway. Timers are good for keeping lights on, but their schedule should be varied regularly.

  • Set up an answering machine. Change the message occasionally and check the messages often.

  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked and secure. Consider installing an alarm to protect your home when you are not there and to serve you when you live there in the future. A quality security system can be purchased through a reputable company.

  • Remove all keys hidden around the property.

  • Enjoy the time spent in your new second home, for vacation, recreation and ultimately for fulfilling retirement living.

I would be pleased to give you additional information about identifying both an area and home ideal for your fulfilling your second home needs.

About The Author

W. Troy Swezey is the author of "How to Prepare Yourself for Owning a Dual Purpose Second Home." As a Realtor at Century 21 Paul & Associates, he has helped many individuals with their real estate needs. Visit his web site to download his free e-book, "REAL ESTATE SECRETS EXPOSED." or

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