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5 Tips for Buying a Second Home in Longboat Key

January 2, 2023

Blog

5 Tips for Buying a Second Home in Longboat Key

There are several reasons to consider buying a second home, all of which impact your home search and buying process. Buyers should research different areas, as well as find professional help, to ensure they’re making the decision that’s right for them. Before going over these five tips to help you buy a second home in Longboat Key, here’s what you need to know about the local market.

Longboat Key is a beautiful barrier island, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Sarasota Bay to the east. Those looking for luxury properties in the area can count on its waterfront location, breathtaking ocean views, and plenty of outdoor recreation. Currently, homes in the area have a median list price of $2.9 million, an increase compared to three months ago. Buyers will benefit from increasing days on the market but may face some competition with increasing home sales.

1. Understand why you’re buying


Before searching for homes in the area, take the time to understand why you want a second home. You may be interested in using a second property as a vacation home that serves as a reliable and regular spot to enjoy by yourself or with family. A vacation home can also become a home where you retire. Searching for a second home that you plan on moving into while keeping your old home to rent out is also an option.

Buyers searching for Longboat Key houses for sale may also be searching for a real estate investment, whether that means renting the property out or flipping it to sell later. By being clear on your goals, you’ll be better equipped to guide your search. A buyer looking for a vacation home may be interested in a location with plenty to do and that’s easy to maintain, while a buyer looking for an investment property will have to search for an area appealing to the renter or buyer demand in the area.

2. Review additional costs


Photo courtesy of Pexels
 
A buyer should also review the additional costs beyond a down payment and a mortgage before purchasing Longboat Key luxury real estate. Homeowners insurance is one of these costs, which is typically more expensive than insurance on a first or primary residence. The type of insurance also depends on how often you occupy your second property and rental property type. If Longboat Key is far away from your primary residence, also factor in travel time and expenses.

Also, plan for maintenance costs related to a second home. If used only as a vacation property without renting out, if you live in a property with an HOA, you may still need to upkeep your front yard. If you regularly rent out, be prepared for maintenance due to accidents or normal wear and tear. Utilities will also be an added cost unless you use your property as a long-term rental and renters cover the expense.

3. Research the location


When you’re sure about buying a second home, research the area’s location to see if it fits your needs. Buyers interested in a beachside location with plenty of recreation will love Longboat Key. Also, research factors like the local real estate market and different neighborhoods in the area. Every piece of information can help you make a decision you can enjoy in the long term.

There are plenty of parks and recreation spots for buyers interested in Longboat Key houses for sale. The Quick Point Nature Preserve features wetlands, and mangroves residents can explore and enjoy. This preserve also has a man-made lagoon and a natural lagoon hosting a variety of native species. Other areas like the Bayfront Park are great locations to enjoy Sarasota Bay and offer residents amenities like its indoor recreation center, pickleball, and tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, and more.

Given its popularity as a vacation destination, as well as its seasonal population, those interested in renting out their property in between personal use may be in a good position to do so. Although the percentage of renters is low in the area, the average market rent is high at $5,027 per month. Those searching to rent out short-term will benefit from this average.

4. Partner with an agent


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
 
To help guide your search for Longboat Key luxury real estate, partner with a local real estate agent. An agent will have a deep understanding of local market trends and can help you time and price your offer correctly. They’ll also have broader access to home listings in the area and will actively search out properties that align with your goals and needs. They’ll know the particulars about different areas on the barrier island and can explain these differences to you.

Additionally, they’ll be able to guide you through the differences between buying a second home as it pertains to stricter mortgages, local regulations for rental properties, and more. They’ll have a network of connections to tap into if you need help finding services like a local lender, a home inspector, or a home appraiser. They’ll also negotiate on your behalf with the seller, working with your goals in mind.

5. Explore financing options


Lastly, explore the financing options available to you in a second home purchase. If you aren’t making a cash offer, be prepared for stricter mortgage requirements, as second properties are considered riskier investments. Borrowers using a mortgage should expect a down payment between 10-25% and should have a debt-to-income ratio that’s 43% or lower and a minimum credit score of 620. It’s also smart to have savings that will cover two to six months of mortgage payments on your primary and secondary residence. Renters can expect stricter requirements for loan qualifications.

Ready to search in Longboat Key?


When starting your second home search in Longboat Key, be sure to consider these five tips. If you’re ready to begin looking in the area, contact local agent Judy Kepecz-Hays to guide you through the process.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock




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Work With The Judy Kepecz-Hays Team

Dive into luxury with the Kepecz-Hays Team, renowned realtors for Florida's Central West Coast, emphasizing Longboat Key, Lido Key, and Sarasota. With an impressive $2.4 billion in career sales, our team combines an expansive international network with expert marketing strategies. For buyers, we offer a select range of premier properties and private viewings. Experience the best of Sarasota County — its pristine beaches, arts, paddle sports, and shopping. From insightful neighborhood guides to tips for seamless buying and selling, we're your key to Florida's elite real estate. Choose Kepecz-Hays Team for unparalleled excellence.