Friday, October 2, 2009

Buying a Second Home

Joaquin Miller "Poet of the Sierras"Image by dbking via Flickr

So I thought I would start by outlining a few things to keep in mind when buying a Second Home. Here are some quick pointers:-

1. Buy close to the city that you live in. By close I mean not more than an hours flight or else a 3-4 hour drive away. This will ensure that you are able to make ample use of the home and also visit it fairly often during the time when it is being built.

2. Try and live in the area before buying. Go out and live in the closest budget hotel, or try and meet some of the other people in the vicinity and pay them and live there for at least a few days. This will expose you to the lifestyle and some of the flip sides to make a decision as to whether you would be able to handle them. It will also help you avoid fly by night operators and the more unethical brokers.

3. Try and buy a 2 or 3 Bed Room house (with an attendant's room) and nothing bigger. If you are constructing your own place, ensure that you build a room for a housekeeper. You will need it. Ensure that this room is self contained and the rest of the property can be isolated from the room.

4. Try and buy close to some commonly needed amenities - Road access, a newspaper / kirana shop, a bus stop etc. would rank high in my list of wants. This is important from the standpoint of security as well as being able to send peons or helpers to your property and needing to guide them to the location without going there yourself.

5. Be very clear about your temperature preferences and buy appropriately. It would be sad if you were a beach person and bought a mountain home and vice versa.

6. Cultivate habits that will keep you happy as you spend time in your second home - Gardening, Jogging, Reading, Watersports, Arts, Music are all great ways to spend vacation time.

7. Put in personal and family effort into your home. Ensure that all family members are involved both in the decision to buy a second home, where to buy and in going there regularly and decorating the home. It always shows!!

8. Ensure clear paperwork and get a lawyer who is familiar with having done deals in the same area. A city lawyer is bound to be unclear about the rules and regulations.

9. Ensure some comforts are easily accessible - e.g. a decent restaurant, bar, a club house if possible, a clinic. Believe me, living away from everyone does have its benefits but there are times when boredom does set in.

10. Use Solar and Rainwater harvesting to your benefit.

11. Plant fruit trees the year your buy your plot ;-)
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