If there’s one rule to financial success, it’s invest early and invest often. While most would assume that means putting funds into a 401K or stock, today’s reality paints a very different picture as to what investment means. Young, old, single, or married, people have recognized that real estate is king, and that your greatest return doesn’t just come down to the dollars and cents alone. It’s about finding a home that fits your needs now and the future that warrants it valuable.
While couples often downsize when the youngest heads off to college, there’s also a growing number looking to invest in a second home. Not for themselves, though, for their kids leaving the nest. With rental prices on the rise, especially in major metropolitan and university towns across Canada, paying a mortgage on a condo or townhome is often a more affordable and sensible alternative. Not to overlook the fact as well, that it provides an excellent opportunity for an additional stream of income, or profit from a resale after the kids have graduated.
What should your list of must-haves include?
Modern finishes | If you skimp on quality, you can expect costs from wear and tear will be higher than choosing the higher-end features upfront. And given that style and standards change over time, to get the ideal renter, what you’re offering has to compete with the new products on the market.
Location | If you’ve ever used Airbnb then you know that location is on the top of the list, and the price point in which it sits. Finding a home that’s near popular landmarks like a University, shops that are easily accessible by foot, and public transportation will guarantee your home makes the cut.
Size | Think ahead and be strategic when it comes to the size of the place. Even if you’re only buying a home for single use, if you have an opportunity to rent out a second bedroom, it’s a chance to offset immediate costs and make your home more appealing to a larger audience when you choose to sell it.
Affordable | Given it’s not a permanent residence, a smart approach is selecting a home that sits in the middle of the market when it comes to price – not too low, not too high, just right. If you plan to rent it out at a later date or sell, you want to be sure it’s within budget for a broader buyer.
You’ve reached a point in life where you have more time, money and freedom to finally enjoy a ‘second home’. And while it’s a purchase that needs to make financial sense, it’s a lifestyle choice that has to serve a purpose too – from a change in scenery, and a place to meet new people, to a chance to be lead a very different life for the other half of the year. Whether there are plans to make it a transitional home upon retirement later on, or to sell it to the highest bidder, just make sure you’ve considered features that make it the perfect getaway anyone could enjoy.
What top features should you consider?
Amenities | If you’re buying a second home, it better have more than just what’s offered on the inside – we’re talking amenities! Pool, gym, and nearby local attractions are a must, and if you’re lucky enough to have a lake, beach, winery, or golf course nearby to fuel that adventurer mindset then you’ve hit the jackpot.
Convenience | You need a little peace of mind that no matter how much time you choose to spend in your new place that it will be easy to come and go. From smart tech features that enable you to control your home from afar to little to no maintenance on the exterior, that lock it and leave it design is what makes it feel like you’re on holiday.
Spec tax-free | BC is a popular place to be, but with the recent introduction of additional property taxes, has swayed a few from committing. Why spend more than you need to, when there are so many options out there where the sale price is the final price. Choosing locations in BC that are spec-tax free, not only leaves you with more to spend elsewhere, it adds a level of appeal if and when you’re ready to put it on the market
That live with less motto isn’t just for the Millennials anymore. It’s a buying trend sweeping Canada for those at a later stage in life and want a right-size space that isn’t just a home it’s an experience. Whether you choose to spend half the year in one place or find a spot that answers your needs for every season, there are plenty of options to choose from. And while you should choose a home that suits your lifestyle, thinking ahead as to how that home will provide value to its next owners only reassures the investment decision.
Condos | If you’re tired of maintaining a yard, spend less time at home (maybe seasonally) and prefer to live in a place where everything you need is within walking distance, then condos should be at the top of your list. It’s a lifestyle that boasts little responsibility, money or long-term commitment with all of the perks. What’s even better, is it’s a style of home that has far more potential to rent or sell when you’re ready to move on.
Mid-size townhomes | Even if you’re ready to downsize from a sprawling 5 bedroom, family home, having enough space both inside and out without all of the maintenance, makes townhome living the ideal solution. Amenities and space aside, what makes townhomes a valuable choice is often that it features a garage for storage (handy for those extracurricular activities), as well as ample patio space to enjoy the changing seasons.
Single family homes | Rightsizing doesn’t have to mean reducing the size of a home, in some cases it is more about being part of a community that has an added layer of lifestyle. From pool, and private beach access, to boat slip, the value rests more in the resort-style luxuries than anything else.
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