Escaping snow and frigid temperatures for constant sunshine and nearby beaches may be part of your winter plan. But you have to choose. Do you rent a place or buy a winter escape home? Of course it’s a personal decision. Here are some things to consider.
When to rent
If it’s your first escape to warmer climates, it’s best to rent. Renting a place for a long period of time allows you to explore the surrounding areas and get a feel for where you may want to possibly buy in the future. You may discover the charm of one place just isn’t what you thought it would be. So it’s a good idea to “audition” different places to find just the right area for you.
First, consider the housing market and its inevitable volatility. You also need to think about the price of upkeep when you buy a home. When you are renting a place, you always know how much the monthly rent will be and this provides consistency. It’s good to spend a couple seasons in your desired area before deciding to buy.
When to buy
When you feel ready to settle in rather than face another questionable temporary rental, it’s probably time to buy something. Finding an area that you absolutely love and that feels like home is a wonderful feeling. Coming home feels different than just going to your rental place. At least when you’re home, you have everything you want and need and it’s all decorated how you like it to be. Having a second home provides a nice legacy and a lovely place to invite your children and grandchildren.
Qualifying for a second mortgage can be an issue for some retirees. If you qualify, then it’s time to make some decisions. Buying a new place is about an emotional decision as well as a financial decision. Even if you think of this second home as just a winter place, the home buying process can be pretty involved. Something else to consider before buying: will you establish it as a rental property when you’re not using it?