Winter Home | Buy or Lease?
Winter is coming. With summer at its end, many people are considering where to spend their winters, and how. And if you’re fleeing for warmer climates, you have to figure out how you’re going to do it. The question is simple, but does not have a simple answer: Should you buy or lease your winter home? There are many benefits to both solutions, but there is an equal number of drawbacks. Buying a house from out of state is more difficult than buying a car from out of state, for example. Some people find the whole thing so complicated they ignore it, and spend the whole year in their home. But if you have the chance for a change of climate, why not take it? Have yourself a beach vacation – in December! Ignore the doom and gloom of heavy, snow-filled clouds, and trade them for lounging in a sunny spot, daiquiri in hand.
You have to decide exactly what you want out of your winter home experience. Then, you have to pursue it. Of course, depending on what you want, some cons can be pros and vice versa. For some people, a downside of buying a winter home is that you have to go to the same place every year. For others, that’s actually an upside, because they’ll have stability and a community to return to. A lot of things depend on perspective. Of course, some people just move for retirement somewhere sunny and call it a day.
Buy or lease your winter home – the financials
Both sides have costs. However, you have to lay them all out on the table, to make sure no hidden fees sneak up on you. For example, while a mortgage would be a fixed rate, there are other things to worry about. You need to remember property taxes, fees, and maintenance. Not to mention potential security problems! After all, you should know the costs before moving home! And while renting might seem cheaper at first, rent isn’t fixed. It can rise if the area becomes more in demand. And you need to ask the property owner if there are any costs on top of the rent. Plus, usually, you can’t know for absolute certain that you’ll land the home until you actually do. What if someone rents it before you?
The consequences of renting your winter home
For one, you can go anywhere! You could have a different experience every year if you really wanted to. There are a lot of websites to help. However, competition can be very stiff. You might find your dream spot snatched under your nose. You might find that you can’t pack all of your stuff, and since you’re renting, you have to bring all of your stuff with you. Not to mention the various costs of utilities! That’s the trade-off for the flexibility of picking a place!
There is another problem, however: availability. Many homeowners associations and municipalities oppose short-term renters. And it makes sense from their point of view, right? They don’t know anything about you! So, they pass laws forbidding short-term leasing. And yes, that’s legal. So, you have to either stay there for longer than you normally would or split with another couple where you both stay there half the time. Depending on the couple, that might be a great idea, or you might get badly burned. But, if you go about it the right way, sharing a place might be a great way to go about things! One couple stays one half of the duration, the other couple stays there the other half. The rent will be cheaper, and you don’t have to commit.
Have you considered the logistics of the yearly packing?
Plus, there’s the problem of bringing everything you need. You will need to pack everything up and drive or fly it to your rental. It’s different if it was your actual house that you owned because then you could just keep the things you need for your winter vacation year-round. You wouldn’t have to carry all your summer clothes and beach accessories, for example. This is not the case with leasing properties. Not to mention, if you’re going there for the first time, you won’t even know the state of the house!
The consequences of buying your winter home
You have a lot more options once you buy the house. Okay, first of all, you’re in it for the long haul. You’ll have somewhere to go for years, even decades. You’ll be able to go whenever you want, and stay however long you wish. Your winter plans will never hinge on speed and availability of other people. You won’t have to pack like a maniac since you can easily leave whatever you want in the house. If you don’t feel like going there one year, you might even consider renting it yourself! And if you decide you like it more than your old place, well, what’s stopping you from moving there full-time? If you can’t move on your own, moving companies like High Level Movers Toronto are more than happy to assist you.
- However, if you buy your winter home, you will be responsible for maintaining it. And as any homeowner knows, maintenances keep on piling up!
- You’re stuck with that neighborhood, for better or worse. That’s awesome if you get along with your neighbors, but if your neighbors are noisy and loud, that might pose a problem.
- You’re stuck going to the same destination. If that’s your dream destination, no problem! But if it isn’t, traveling is an extra expense.
- Buying a home can be difficult.
- If you can’t decide if you should buy or lease your winter home, try renting the place you want to purchase first.