If you hit retirement with more than enough to cover your lifestyle on a fixed income, you may be considering investing in a vacation home in Santa Cruz. It’s a great idea. A second home can be your warm-weather escape throughout the unbearable winter months. You can find a place closer to your grandkids and finally get to see them more often. Or perhaps you like the idea of a great Santa Cruz beach house you can rent for some extra passive income you can either enjoy now or leave behind for your family.

 

Whatever your reason for buying a vacation home in retirement, don’t get started without reading this crucial advice.

 

Searching for Your Second Home

 

Before you start looking at houses in Santa Cruz, you have to know where you want it to be. Ask yourself what your goals are with this property. Is it something you mainly want to use yourself, or are you hoping to rent it out? Do you want to be closer to family or find a place in a third location everyone loves visiting? Once you know your goals, it will be easier to narrow down the perfect area for your vacation home.

 

Once you have an idea for location, research vacation homes in the desired area. Check to see if it is a buyer’s market or a seller’s market right now. You can get also get an idea of how much you will end up spending and if it makes sense to look in a different area.

 

Important Santa Cruz Vacation Home Decisions

 

Owning multiple properties presents its share of challenges. If you take care of your home maintenance yourself in your main residence, you may need some time to adjust to outsourcing that work to someone else. If you don’t live there on a regular basis, you’ll be unable to take care of responsibilities including cleaning, lawn care, and pool maintenance yourself. There are a few second home services you’ll need to find:

 

      Housekeeping

      Landscaping

      Security

      Property management, if renting

      Pet sitting, if needed

 

When looking for a contractor, focus on finding someone who communicates well. They will have plenty of experience working with people in situations similar to yours. You can also take the time to ask neighbors about recommendations. Of course, you can also review online references, but there’s nothing better than a personal endorsement from someone whose opinion you trust.

 

Keeping Costs Down

 

When it comes to your vacation home in Santa Cruz, there are two main areas where you should focus on keeping the costs down: the utilities and insurance. You can help keep utility costs down by investing in environmentally friendly energy options. Not only will you save money on how much power you use, but you can also receive some substantial tax benefits with each Energy Star update you make.

 

You can keep home insurance costs down a few different ways. First of all, you need to shop around for the best rates and offers. Of course, it may make sense to stay with your current insurer. Ask your representative about bundle rates for things such as second homes. Finally, avoid investing in a high-risk area. The less you have to claim, the cheaper your insurance will be. Insurance is a safety net, not a payday.

 

A second home can be an escape from bad weather, a connection to your family, or a source of passive income. When looking for a house, consider what you want to use it for. Find an experienced real estate agent who can help you find the best house and refer you to people in the area for help. Finally, do extra work in the beginning, including updating to energy-conserving appliances and shopping around for insurance, so you can save money in the long run.