Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/29/2015

Are you looking for a deal when buying your next home? Buying a fixer-upper home just might be the way to go but there are some important things to know before you buy. These helpful hints can help you save time, money and a lot of headaches when buying a fixer-upper. Set a budget: You need to know how much money you can afford to spend. You will want to factor in the price of the property plus the cost of the renovations. Remember to plan for the unknown, add at least 10% to it for "overruns". Most projects never seem to go as planned. Plan ahead: Buying a fixer-upper requires more planning. When looking at potential homes you will want to make a list of renovations. Try to come up with an estimated cost of the renovations. You will also want to identify whether or not you have the expertise to do the renovations or if you will need to hire a contractor. Get a home inspection: There are some things that are unseen to the untrained eye. A good home inspection will be able to tell you all of the needed repairs and potential pitfalls. Remember buying a fixer-upper is an investment. Follow the tips on this list and you will be prepared for the project of buying, renovating and owning a fixer-upper.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/6/2012

If you have been dreaming of owning a vacation home now may be the time to buy. Home prices and mortgage rates continue to fall and there are some great deals for buyers looking for a second home. Here are five things you need to know before taking the leap. 1. Prices are at all-time lows In many second-home hot spots, prices are still close to their five-year lows. When the real-estate bubble burst, some of the hardest-hit markets were vacation destinations. Many vacation home areas experienced overgrowth and may now be suffering from foreclosures. 2. Think ROI Consider the possible return on your investment. Whether or not you decide to rent the home out, you will want to consider buying a place that has good rent potential. That's because a home's rent ability can affect its resale value. Before you bid on a house, make sure the homeowners association or township allows short-term rentals. 3. Don't count on rental income If you are planning on counting on rental income to cover the costs beware. According to HomeAway.com, a typical second home property rents out just 17 weeks a year. Make sure to account for the weeks the home won't rent. Plus, you'll need to pay for cleaning, maintenance, insurance, and maybe management fees. Make sure to plan on the maintenance costs of the property being at least 15% of the income. 4. Your mortgage rate depends on how you use the home How you use the home depends on the mortgage rate you will receive. If you plan to use the property primarily as a second home and you'll pay about the same mortgage rate as you would on a primary residence. If your plans are to use the home for rental income and need that income to qualify for the loan, you'll need to have as much as 25% for the down payment and pay up to one percentage point more in interest. 5. Take advantage of tax benefits Talk to your tax guy before you buy. If you rent the home out for two weeks or less you won't have to report a cent of income to the IRS. The good news here, you can still deduct property taxes and mortgage interest. On the flipside, if you stay there for less than two weeks or 10% of rental days, you can deduct operating costs in addition to interest and property tax. But where should you buy? According to CNBC here are the top places to buy a second home. If you are thinking about buying a second home I can help you find a professional agent in that area.