Purchasing a vacation home is a sign of status, a badge of prestige. But it is not an easy transaction to get through. More often than not, the property rests in a market buyers are not familiar with, comes with costs that may not be readily foreseen and requires abidance by local real estate laws home seekers need to learn. It is because of these subtleties that an experienced real estate agent can be a buyer’s greatest asset when seeking a second or even a third residence to visit several moths out of the year.
Haute Residence talked to Dante DiSabato, a Naples, Florida-based real estate professional with William Raveis Real Estate, about the intricacies of acquiring and marinating a second home.
What considerations should agents address with out-of-town clients looking to purchase a vacation home?
Location. Location. Location. Always try to focus on the long term value, which always stems from location. The goal is to create a relationship with the customer not just to sell them this home but to sell ALL of their homes in the market. Usually people move every 3-5 years here. Quality is also a good characteristic as well and a focus on what fits their lifestyle.
What are some of the major issues that could go wrong when buying a second home? How can an agent help clients anticipate them and avoid them?
There really are no unforeseen issues when buying a second home if you are working with a good agent. Make sure that your customer knows all of their estimated costs of the home per year as well as what they would need to do if there was a storm or natural event. This lays out all of the possible issues that could happen however most of the owners here in Naples are 2nd, 3rd, or 4th owners and are seasoned veterans when buying homes. This helps, however, I would also make sure they know the ins and outs of their home and or have a home watch person.
How many of Naples home purchases are for vacation homes? What makes the city a good destination to own a second home in?
I would say around 80 percent of our purchases are purchased for vacation homes. We were rated happiest and healthiest city in country for the 3rd year in a row. We have world class shopping, dining, beaches and weather. We are the golf capital of the world with more holes per capita than anywhere else. And being on the Gulf of Mexico we have spectacular boating and fishing. And the sunsets are mesmerizing every night.
What could be some of the costs of owning a vacation home that clients may not be familiar with when they start looking for a property?
Other than your normal house costs, such as taxes, insurance, utilities, you might have a home watch person for your home, which could be a cost to run the water, check the property, make sure everything is ok during the months that people are not there.
What are the vacation property rental rules in Naples? Can a vacation homeowner rent the residence when it is not occupied?
There are different rules and regulations when renting in Naples. There are many rentals, however, home owner associations sometimes will limit the amount of rentals per year to cut back on traffic in a certain neighborhood or location. However, rentals are getting harder and harder to come by due to an increase of people who want to be down here and try the market before they buy.
How can homeowners protect their newly purchased second home when it is vacant?
Hire a home watch person, increase security with cameras, locks and make sure to have hurricane windows.