Is it better to buy a house or a condo for a second home?

Asked by Joan, 34292 Tue Feb 8, 2011

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Don Maclary, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Condo's are atractive if you only plan to live there for vacationing or a small part of the year. As outside is maintained for you. Finding financing on a condo may be a chalange but finding a great deal should be easy.
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Tue Feb 8, 2011

I see you are posting your question from the Venice area. This largely depends on your personal needs but there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

With condo many condo home owner's associations do not allow pets, in many there is a lack of space, the fees can be excessive, and rules and guidelines that can seem to be enforced by anyone.

On the positive side part timers can easily close up shop and return north with a feeling that your interests are being tended to. There are activities and amenities that often bring people together for social experiences.

Single family homes are a little more difficult to be away from and require owners to make specific arrangements to have maintenance and security covered in their absence. There are many communities that do not have a manditory HOA and therefore rules and guidelines are of no consequence, nor are pets.

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you in more specific terms if you feel this would be helpful.
Hope you find this information helpful.

With best regards,

Bill Eckler

Michael Saunders & Company
1 vote
Kirsten Cono…, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Tue Feb 8, 2011
That's really up to you and the location and lifestyle that you want for your second home. I have several clients who own a single family home as their primary residence-- they love the "lock and go" lifestyle of owning a condo--that way they're only responsible for maintenance, yard work,etc. on one home! Of course, the trade off is the monthly homeowner's dues. But especially if you won't be there that often, I would pick a complex that has a concierge, etc., so that your investment will be secure when you're not there.
Another question to ask is whether you'll be renting this home when you're not using it. Many condo associations have strict rules about rentals (only a certain percetage of rentals are allowed--if the complex is already at their "cap", the only way you'd be allowed to rent is to get on a list for a "hardship rental.) If you buy in a newer building, they will not be at their "cap" yet, but you'll generally have to notify them that you plan to rent the unit.
Best of luck on your purchase--for those with the funds, there's never been a better time to make an investment in another home!
1 vote
Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Mon Apr 25, 2011
It is really a matter of preference and what you can afford.

Buying a second home in Southwest Florida
If you are thinking of buying a second home in Southwest Florida, now is the time. You can purchase a home at a reasonable price with a low interest rate. You can purchase the home as a vacation home that later can be used as a retirement home or purchase it as a winter retreat. If you buy a second home, you also can definitely rent it out but you need to be aware of the tax consequences because it will be considered an investment home.

Some reasons to buy a second home in Southwest Florida:
1. The weather is always warm.
2. The golfing is world class.
3. The beaches are pristine.
4. There are plenty of places to eat.
5. The fishing is one of the best.
6. There is lots of shopping.
7. It is a wise investment.

Buying a second home is not something you should rush into. You need to make decisions about how to care for the home when you are not here. It requires additional expenses such as maintenance and utilities. Are the additional costs worth it and can you afford it?

There are several options for purchasing a second home that you may want to look into such as purchasing the home with family/friends, renting out the second home, using the equity from your first home, getting a mortgage, or paying cash. Depending on your financial situation, you choose the option that is best for you.
0 votes
Robert Earl -…, , Sarasota, FL
Thu Feb 10, 2011

I see that your question was focused on the Venice Florida area.

The key is not really the type of property as much as it is the type of Lifestyle that you are looking for and then working with a partner that can help you acheive that choice.

Point one: Are you looking to pay an ongoing, monthly fee for the entire time that you own a property. If you do not mind this, then a condo might be right for you.

Point two: When you are going to your sesond home, are you looking to get away from it all or are you get going to another location. The condo may be a bit crowded for your liking as compared to a detached house. The house may have more maintenence issues and concerns than a condo. This is totally up to you and the choices that you wan to make.

I could go on with points, and they only allow us so much space to answer questions here.

If you would like to take the time to explore your choices, feel free to give us a call - 941-375-4030 - no pressure, just information or you can visit our website and set up a free search of the MLS system to see all of the properties that are available to assist you with your choices.
0 votes
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Hi Joan,

Also, unless you have ALL CASH you may have difficulty buying a condo with a mortgage.

0 votes
Mitch Larriv…, , Orlando, FL
Tue Feb 8, 2011
I personally prefer a condo as a second home. That way, all the maintenance is taken care of.. You can't really leave a single-family residence alone for 6 months without hiring someone to mow the lawn and take care of the pool..
0 votes
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