Kate Stefano 8/22/19

Whether you’re looking to dig your toes in the sand and sip an ice-cold cocktail or strap on your hiking boots, having a place to escape the hustle and bustle of life is a great investment. 

Consider these tips before investing in a second home:

  • Do not impulse buy. We all take fabulous vacations from time to time, but that doesn’t mean you should have a new set of house keys on your way back home from your trip. Before you undertake a second home, ensure you can afford a second property.
  • Consider additional expenses that might pop up. For example, if your water heater breaks at your primary residence and then a leaky pipe appears out of nowhere in your second home, you’ll have 2 extra expenses to pay off. Make sure you are ready for the extra responsibility before taking the plunge. 
  • Hire a local real estate agent. Investing in a vacation home far from your current, primary home can be tricky due to residential real estate being highly localized. An agent who is familiar with the area is better-suited to finding you the right home since they will have extensive knowledge of the market. 
  • Planning on renting out your property? Get familiar with the rules and regulations. Renting is a great way to finance your property, but with that comes laws that vary by state, city and sometimes even neighborhood. Be sure to educate yourself on these laws before spending a pretty penny on a second home.
  • Explore tax benefits. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a vacation home is either a personal residence or rental property. It’s a personal residence if you rent out your home fewer than 14 days a year, and you cannot write off any rental expenses. If it’s more than 14 days, it’s a rental property, which means you’ll have to report your income. On the bright side, you’ll be able to deduct maintenance and cleaning. 

Charleston, SC 

Median home value: $316,000

Image source: https://www.kapwing.com/

If you want to invest in a second home in a place that truly has it all, direct your attention to the dreamy city of Charleston, SC. Take a stroll down the charming, palm tree-lined streets; pop into award-winning restaurants; or feed your shopping addiction at the shops that line King Street, the “main drag” of the city. Need a body of water nearby? Folly Beach is just a 15-minute drive from downtown Charleston. Still not convinced? Condé Nast Traveler magazine has named Charleston the most popular city in the United States for the past 8 years! 

Big history buff? The city of Charleston was founded in 1670. Therefore, many homes in this magical city have an abundance of history. From sprawling porches to lush gardens, you truly can’t go wrong when picking a home in Charleston. As an added bonus, the weather is mild year-round, so if you're planning on renting out your future adobe, you can bank on a steady stream of tourists visiting throughout the year. 

Start browsing homes in Charleston before they hit the market here.

Gatlinburg, TN 

Median home value: $185,000