Should You Buy a Beach House?

One of my dreams is to spend more time travelling after I get out of debt. I already have a wish-list of places I want to visit and things I want to do. I’ve even dreamed about what my budget will look like once I’m debt free. (Hint: I’m not going to need nearly as much income every month as I have to earn now to cover my living expenses and debt payments.)

Even though I want to travel and I won’t have debt to worry about anymore, I still want to save money wherever I can. One of the most common travel tips to help you save money is to rent a villa, condo, or house when you go on vacation instead of staying at a hotel.

Renting one of these places usually has a cheaper price tag, more space for you and your guests, and they usually have a full-sized kitchen you can use to prepare meals so you don’t have to eat out for every meal of the day. This alone can save you tons of money on a multi-day trip.

But should you ever buy a beach or vacation house?

I’ve looked at (and dreamed about) some houses for sale in Perth via Lend Lease. Some of them are quite beautiful and appear to be affordable. They might be even cheaper to own than to rent from someone else. But buying a beach or vacation house has downsides too.

Maintenance

When you are calculating the cost of buying a beach house, don’t forget about the cost of maintenance and repairs. You have more to pay for than the monthly mortgage when you buy a house, especially one by the beach. Saltwater is known to cause more wear and tear on a property, so you need to take that into account if you buy a beach house.

How Much You’ll Use It

If you haven’t done a lot of travelling it’s safe to say that buying a beach or vacation house probably isn’t the best idea. For one you likely don’t have a place in mind that you’d want to visit multiple times throughout the year. If that’s the case, you probably shouldn’t buy property there unless you plan to rent it out to other visitors to help you make the mortgage payments and pay for the property maintenance costs.

Renting your beach house to visitors could be lucrative, but you’ll probably need to consider the additional costs too, like paying someone to manage it for you if you don’t live close by, and paying a cleaning crew to tidy the place up between renters. Also many beach communities have a busy season and a slow season. It might be difficult to rent out your beach house during the slow season, and you might find yourself reluctant to stay at the beach house yourself during the busy season when rental demand for your property is high.

These are all things that need to be considered before you decide to invest in a beach or vacation house. Buying such a property could be a good investment and a way to save money on your vacations, but it could end up being very costly to you too.

Do you plan to buy a beach or vacation house?

5 Reasons to Buy California Real Estate Today

2The California housing market is hot, and people across the country are always clamoring to move to the sunshine state. That’s precisely what makes competition a bit heavy and often times bidding wars ensue. Outside of New York, California is known as one of the priciest areas to buy real estate in the country. It’s often said that you are paying for the weather. In reality, you are paying for the weather, the ocean, the beach, the mountains, Hollywood, wine country, and many more things I don’t have time to list. There are quite a few reasons why today is the perfect time to purchase your first house in California!

The housing meltdown hit the entire country, and probably California the hardest. If only we had a crystal ball back then to see how the market was going to drastically improve so quickly. Now we know the market bounced back blazingly fast, and the prices are still far below the peak of the mid-2000’s. You can’t quite snag the deals that were available a couple years ago, but rest assured the market is going to continue to rise and pricing will only get higher. Just remember, the closer you get to the ocean the more the housing will cost. So if you are looking for something a bit more affordable then you should probably look further inland.

First time homebuyers are usually the ones that have a difficult time buying a house. The reason is that they don’t have the benefit of home equity from selling a previous home, which is usually what current homeowners benefit from when transitioning houses. The California Housing Financing Agency (CalHFA) has recognized this hardship and instituted a new program. The CalPLUS Conventional Loan with Zip Extra is designed to help first time home buyers with down payment assistance. This program allows you to receive 3% of the purchase price plus an additional $6,500 as upfront monies to use as down payment assistance or for closing costs. The loan program promotes responsible lending, as such it comes with some contingencies. For example, only borrowers with minimum credit scores ranging from 640 to 680 are eligible, you are required to purchase a first year home warranty, and attend a first time buyers educational course so that you know what to expect when owning a home. To apply for the loan, please contact a CalHFA preferred loan officer that can answer all of your questions, or call CalHFA directly at 877.9.CALHFA to ask about the loan. They have also provided a helpful video that can answer a lot of your questions as well.

Interests are another great reason why now is the time to buy. We are probably about a year off from the all time lowest historic rates. That doesn’t mean that the rates available today are all that bad. Today you can take advantage of fantastic rates with the security of knowing that the housing market, and the economy as a whole, is on the rebound. The generation before us were used to paying double digit interest rates on housing, making our price ranges virtually unaffordable for just about everyone back then. The most important thing to understand is that the interest rates have nowhere to go but up now. Nobody can predict interest rates, but I can safely say that aren’t going to get any lower than they are now. Consider what it took for interest rates to get to all time lows. We had to experience a financial meltdown, severe recession, and a burst housing bubble the likes of which this country had never seen before. Trust me, we don’t want to experience lower interest rates than we have now.

The housing supply is finally starting to open up. The past couple years, if we wanted to take advantage of rock bottom home prices and historically low interest rates, then we were forced to settle on a house. There were so few on the market because current homeowners were typically underwater on their mortgages and couldn’t afford to sell. Now the market is becoming much more robust with several more options available. You actually have the chance of finding your dream home in today’s market, there is no need to settle, and interest rates are still there for the taking.

Last, and certainly not least, the economy is generally more stable than it has been in nearly a decade. Unemployment is starting to creep back to normalcy, and job creation in general is starting to grow. This is usually the best sign for the housing market because people need jobs and stability in order to buy a house! Consumer confidence is actually at all time highs and the GDP is growing at a steady and healthy rate. These are the economic indicators that are most important to a growing real estate market.



Tips for Saving Money on Your Honeymoon

Your honeymoon is supposed to be a memory that you cherish for many, many years. It’s a memory that you’ll want to share with your children and their children. Your honeymoon should be just as romantic as the story you tell of how the two of you first met and fell and love, and how the proposal took place. But sometimes money can get in the way of things, slowly stripping away your ideals of what you wanted you honeymoon to be like initially. To help you save money for a memorable honeymoon, follow these tips.

Look for Last-Minute Deals

If you’re not aware of the last-minute deals that are offered for cruises, then you are definitely missing out. Those who would like to spend their honeymoon on a gorgeous cruise line can afford to do so if they don’t mind waiting until the last minute (which is typically weeks away from departure date) to book their tickets. Also, the room you get won’t likely have a view, but at least you get to enjoy all of the same things that everyone else does!

Book Your Travel through a Deal Site

You can find deals on hotels, rental cars and even airline tickets by using travel sites like Hotwire.com. By booking everything in one place, you save the headache of keeping track of everything. This type of site also allows you to shop for the best rates, so that you can go as cheap as you want, without sacrificing quality.

Take a Road Trip

If you don’t mind hitting the road with your new spouse, you can plan for a road trip getaway, rather than flying across the nation or world. Depending on where you live, the two of you can head to the mid-west or to the coast to enjoy beautiful beaches.

 

Your honeymoon is what you make of it. So keep in mind that it’s not about where you go, but who you’re going with — and that’s the love of your life. Enjoy your trip and nothing else will matter. To find further discounts for hotwire.com and other travel businesses, visit Groupon Coupons to browse through over 50,000 coupons.