Considerations for Buying a Second Home

Considerations for Buying a Second Home

Whether you have paid off your first home or just have extra money to spend, buying a second home could be your next big real estate move. Before you commit to owning a second home, whether as a vacation home or income property, there are several things to consider in order to make a responsible decision. Take time to do your research on both potential properties and your own short and long-term financial goals before you begin to browse what is available. 

Can I Afford a Second Home? 

Before you even begin to daydream about a second property, ask yourself if you can truly afford it. Many people decide to purchase their second homes right before or at the beginning of retirement, while others choose to buy a new home while they are still actively working. In any case, knowing you are financially stable enough to afford an additional home is paramount, as if you fall into too much debt, it can be next to impossible to recover financially.

Work with your financial advisor to determine if you can take on an additional mortgage payment, along with homeowner insurance and utilities. If it is going to be a big stretch or have a major impact on your current lifestyle, you might want to save up for a few more years before purchasing that second home.

Know All the Costs

If you do have the money available to responsibly purchase a second property, ensure you know the primary purpose of your purchase. For example, will you be using this property as an income property to rent out to others? If so, make sure you know the ins and outs of renting before you make the purchase. Or, if you are purchasing a vacation home, make sure you plan for any short-stay renters via AirBnB if you are planning on going that route. 

It’s important to be aware that most mortgage rates for second homes can run a bit higher than your first, unless you are paying cash or have a sizeable cash down payment. You should also look into additional costs that can come with purchasing in a different state, including insurance costs associated with hurricanes or flooding. Finally, be prepared to learn more about HOA regulations and requirements if you are looking at a second home within a developed neighborhood. 

If you have found yourself lucky enough to be in the position to consider buying the perfect second home, you want to make sure you do it right. Understanding landlord laws and property taxes for a home across the country can be a daunting task. There is no better time to reach out to Bell Law, as their knowledgeable real estate attorneys can help navigate you through the buying process to ensure your best interests are at the center of every decision.

Preparing Your Property for a 2020 Sale

Preparing Your Property for a 2020 Sale

It is common for homeowners to postpone putting their property up for sale during the holiday season. Between the hustle and bustle of the month of December, it is nearly impossible for buyers or sellers to coordinate showings and closings. However, December can be the ideal month to prepare your home to put on the market in the new year. Here are a few ways you can begin this process without adding extra stress this month.


Plan Your Timeline

While you can’t be sure how long your home will be on the market, the real estate environment is relatively healthy throughout the Chicagoland area right now. The average time a home sits on the market anywhere from 2 weeks (25% of Chicagoland homes sold in 2 weeks in 2019) to 6 months (50% of homes were sold within this time from in 2019). Before you can put your home on the market in the new year, you should take the time to plan out your desired timeline. For example, if you don’t want to move until the summer of 2020, perhaps you can wait a few months into the new year before putting your home officially on the market.


Make a Project List

Your home is probably not in perfect selling condition, and that’s okay! Take the time to walk around the interior and exterior of your home and develop a project list. Prioritize the tasks you need to get done before selling and which ones can wait until you have the extra time or money. Then, start making calls to professionals who can make the changes for you or begin your projects yourself if you are more of a DIYer.


Start to Look Around Your Neighborhood

Begin looking at homes that are for sale in your neighborhood as well as those homes that have sold recently. This can help you value your home appropriately as well as determine what home buyers are looking for.


Make Your Team

Finally, if you are planning on putting your home up for sale in 2020, begin making your support team now. Find a Realtor you want to work with as well as an experienced real estate attorney. The team here at Bell Law has experienced attorneys who are ready to work with you during your sale process. We will advocate for your best interests all the way through the closing process.


Call us today to get started!


How Is the Chicagoland Real Estate Market?

How Is the Chicagoland Real Estate Market?

When you consider putting your home or commercial property on the market, or when you are considering purchasing a new property, it can feel overwhelming. You aren’t sure if your property will sell or if you will be able to find a reasonably priced property to purchase. So much of your real estate transaction depends on the fluctuating market, and here in Chicagoland, the market can change from year to year or season to season. 

If you are wondering how the real estate market is in Chicago so far this year, here are a few things you should know.

Home Prices Remain High

According to Chicago Magazine, property prices are high and have been since the beginning of 2019. This is great news for sellers, but maybe not so great for buyers. However, there are more and more homes going on the market which could mean a more competitive market in certain areas or neighborhoods. This rising inventory is favorable news for buyers.

Some Suburbs are Strong

Chicago Business reports that while the overall real estate market may have drooped earlier this year, certain suburbs were strong enough to beat it.  Suburbs like Addison, Alsip, Riverside and Park Forest are excellent first-time buyer areas thanks to their low median prices.

No Matter the Market, You Still Need a Team

Whether the market is strong or weak, balanced or more favorable to a certain population, you still need a team of professionals to make your experience easier and to advocate for your best interests. Find yourself a real estate agent that will listen to you and be a guide for the process, as well as an experienced real estate attorney like any from the team at Bell Law. For years, we have worked with buyers and sellers of residential and commercial property, assuring the process is easy and stress-free. With us in your corner, you can be confident you are getting the best service from inspection through closing.

Learn more about our firm and contact us for a consultation today. We are ready to serve you and assure you have a favorable outcome during your transaction.

Considerations Before Purchasing a Rental Property

Considerations Before Purchasing a Rental Property

If you are considering investing in a property that you will rent to tenants, whether a home or business, you may be feeling a mix of emotions. You can feel excited about this new endeavor while still feeling anxious about your investment or overwhelmed with the to-do list before purchasing. Purchasing a rental property can be a great investment, and you should do your research before putting in an offer. Here are a few things to consider as you start your search.

Know the Purpose
Are you searching for a property to rent office space to clients? Or are you looking to purchase a property that will become home to your renters? It is important to choose if you will be seeking commercial or home properties. Commercial properties are typically much more expensive, but if you want to work with business renters, this is the way to go. Homes can be less expensive but come with their own potential aggravations.

Get the Word Out
Before you put an offer on a property, have your marketing plan ready to go. How will you get the word out about the property to let potential tenants know it is available? Don’t wait until closing to develop your marketing strategy.

Location Matters
Choosing a property is a hard task, but starting with location can help you narrow down your search quickly. You want a property that has an ideal location for your potential tenants, as well as for yourself. If you will be heavily involved with the maintenance and upkeep of the property, consider purchasing within a reasonable commute from your own home.

Get an Attorney
Just as with purchasing your own home, it is crucial to work with an experienced real estate attorney when investing in a rental property. The team at Bell Lawis just the group you want looking out for your best interests. We can take care of a lot of your paperwork and will be sure to advocate for your preferences all along the way.

Congratulations on your upcoming rental property investment! Cut out the extra worry and headaches by choosing to work with the attorneys at Bell Law. We will give you the expertise and confidence you need to make a sound investment.

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