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Is this the time for you to buy a second home?

Disclaimer: I’m not a financial advisor or real estate agent.  I’m simply sharing information that worked for our family.

Have you considered buying a second home?  Whether it’s a cottage at a lake, a beach house, or a retirement condo in Florida, this might be the right time to buy a second home.  Only you can decide, so we’ve put together some things to think about.

Here are a few pros:

1. Mortgage rates remain low.

According to USA Today, the nationwide average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.35%.

If you can swing it, the average 15-year fixed mortgage is at 2.61%, slightly higher than the record low just two weeks ago.  It’s worth looking into a shorter-term mortgage.  The sooner you can repay the mortgage, the less interest you’ll pay the bank.

2. Banks aren’t paying much interest on savings accounts. (If you can find anything above 1%, please let us know.)

3. Are we nearing the end of a buyer’s market in the housing market?

For a while it has been a buyer’s market.  There were houses on the market, and not enough buyers.  This trend is starting to change in some locations.

Back in February, the National Association of Realtors announced that it is becoming a seller’s market.

This week, CNN Money cited that we are in a housing boom, with home prices rebounding.

So this could be the time to buy, before it becomes a true seller’s market, and home prices continue to increase.

Things to consider:

  • Do you have a good down payment?
  • Can you afford the monthly payments, property taxes and insurance?
  • Once you have the home, can you afford to furnish it?
  • How much upkeep is required?  Will you have time to clean and care for the home?
  • Will you have money to cover repairs, such as a new roof or furnace?

After talking about it for some time, we determined that 2012 was the right year for us to purchase a second home.  It’s a small piece of property, that’s easy to maintain inside and out.  There’s a furnace, so we can go there year round.  We have access to a private beach on a lake, as well as the town beaches.

Stay tuned.  On Friday, we’ll reveal some pictures of our vacation house at the lake.