So you’re thinking of buying a second home, and no, it’s not about being tired of where you live now and wanting to move to a better
Before you pull out that checkbook—actually before you even start seriously looking—there are a few important things to consider. The first question—why?—is crucial and will affect all your other considerations. Failing to truly define your objectives for your second home could result in your making the wrong decision.
Reasons for owning a second home
The classic second home is the
One other reason to purchase a second home is almost the precise opposite. Perhaps you are quite comfortable living in your existing home but wish to have a refuge, somewhere to go to when you want to relax. So you might want a country home or a vacation home.
If you are buying for investment, you will want to take into account resale value and attractiveness as rental property. For rental, you will generally look for something that is centrally located.
You could also require a second home (or a third and fourth) because you truly live a multi-location life. Perhaps your husband works in Singapore and you work in Hong Kong, and you have a daughter who goes to school in New York and another who goes to school in Manila. Another sort of multi-location life is a family with business interests in several cities. A second home might also be
Once it’s clear what you want out of your second home, it is time to create your specifications, which should consider four crucial factors: location, activity, storage and budget.
You will wish to take into account accessibility—both for travel from your main home to your second home as well as its accessibility to facilities. For a
If you are buying for investment, you will want to take into account resale value and attractiveness as
When choosing the actual home, much like planning your own home, you will want to consider the two basics of activity and storage. Your second home must be able to accommodate all of the family activities you expect to take place in it as well as those you do not wish to engage in. There must also be enough space for what you need to store. For example, you might wish your vacation home to be a place for your extended family to gather. This means you will want large open spaces for gatherings and the capacity to sleep crowds. If you are a moody writer and mean for your second home to be a place where you can get away from it all but know you will need to share it with other members of the family, you will want to be able to create a quiet nook, secreted from the rest of the household. Remember that you may not spend a lot of time in your second home and you might not wish to spend too much time maintaining or even cooking in it.
Finally, you will need to consider a budget so be ready to compromise a little on your specifications. Condominium units in the central areas of Metro Manila usually cost 70,000 to 150,000 per square meter. There will be some exceptions, but prices will normally
If you fall in love with something and money is no object, you might even want to put in a bid for a house even when it is not on the market.
Also, part of the budget should be the expenses of owning—annual taxes, maintenance and repair, and the costs of operating the house. For example, will you need a full-time staff to run the house? If you are buying for rental, consider the cost of compliance—e.g., income taxes and registrations.
Where to look
Armed with your specifications, you are ready to begin looking. Narrow down your search by researching—surf the Net, talk to friends, read up on real estate deals. Once you have zeroed in on the possibilities, you are ready to visit your top locations.
The beautiful thing about new developments is that these put you in touch with the developer who will walk you through a model unit. Larger developers like Ayala have sales people who point you to all of the Ayala developments and will probably keep you in mind for future developments. In fact, if you are earnestly looking and don’t mind e-mail messages and letters, it is a good idea to give your business card to reputable realtors and representatives of developers.
For existing condominium units, the lobby guard, receptionist or the building administrator is a good bet for leads on which units might be for sale. For houses, the subdivision guards are always a good bet for knowing which houses are on sale. Besides scouring the real estate ads, you might want to cruise down the streets of your chosen location. If you fall in love with something and money is no object, you might even want to put in a bid for a house even when it is not on the market.
Before entering serious negotiations, make sure you have a specialist look over the house to check for structural damage.
Before you begin to negotiate for the house of your choice, make sure that you have narrowed down to a
It helps to have some sort of
1. Basic specifications. Who are the people who will use this home and what do they need? Is it accessible and is it someplace you would love to live in?
2. Budget considerations. Make sure to draw an up-front budget (available cash and available credit) and an ongoing expense budget (dues, maintenance and taxes).
3. Information per property. Get to know the immediate development vicinity. Check out the developer’s history. Inspect as thoroughly as you can for accessibility to roads and public transportation, facilities, available space, ambient noise and
4. Repairs and renovations. Before entering serious negotiations, make sure you have a specialist look
5. Legalities and compliance. Clarify all of your legal obligations. You will want to verify the status of the property. Have all taxes been paid? Is the property mortgaged? You will need to make sure that all legal attachment is cleared. Are you taking over the mortgage or are you paying in cash?
6. Expense forecast. At this