Thinking of buying a vacation home in Wilmington, NC? Considering using that home as a rental while you’re not visiting? Here are some important considerations before you start searching vacation homes for sale.
Make Sure You Can Afford It
Before you start home shopping, take a good look at your budget and your monthly expenses, including your current income, mortgage, and other expenses. Find out how much you’ve got to spend—comfortably—every month based on your current income.
Calculate All the Costs of a Rental Home
Sure, there’s the cost of the house, and that might be plenty affordable. But don’t leave out the rest of the expenses that come along with a house—property taxes, insurance, HOA or condo fees. And make sure you add in some of the extras, like the cost of furnishing a second home (right down to the dishes and linens), as well as the maintenance and repairs on another home.
If you’re planning on renting out the home, remember to factor in additional expenses like cleaning and repairs between tenants, advertising, and possibly property management fees.
Set Realistic Rental Income Expectations
Don’t expect to have renters flocking to your home and lining your pockets. You’re going to have to do a little leg work to find qualified tenants who will pay on time and won’t do excessive damage to your home or furniture. It may be beneficial to work with a local property management company to help you out.
Have a Rental Business Plan
Will you be finding your own renters (via sites like AirBnb or VRBO) or working with a property manager? How will you get the word out? Will you have high-quality photos taken? Who will handle maintenance and repairs as they arise? How will renters get in (i.e. how will you get them a key)? Who’s your “target market”—short-term summer renters? Students? Retirees and snow birds?
Know Your Target Market
The nice thing about the Wilmington area, is that you do have a lot of options. Summertime rentals can be be very popular for families and other short-term beachgoers. And unlike many other beach cities, you don’t necessarily have an “off season” since UNC Wilmington students look for longer leasing options during the fall, winter, and spring months, and the area is also popular for retirees and snowbirds from farther north.
Estimate How Often You’ll Visit
You definitely don’t want your home sitting unoccupied for long periods of time, but you also don’t want to have renters in the house when you’re trying to visit. If you plan on making one week-long trip down per year, it might not be too hard to schedule in. But if you want a home to pop down to on the weekends, that might not work with trying to have it regularly rented.
Thinking of Buying a Vacation Rental Home in Wilmington?
If you’re planning on buying a home in Wilmington, NC, then it’s time to contact Mike Bain Realty. As your guides to all things real estate, retirement, and lifestyle throughout the Wilmington area, we’re here to help you explore the area, learn more about buying a home, discover the perfect community, and truly find the perfect vacation home for sale.