Listing Courtesy of JACK LINGO LEWES
With fall newly arrived, it’s a time of year when Leweshomeowners can breathe a sigh of relief; relax and take it easy. With summer behind us, most gardens require less attention. The demands harsh winter weather will make are off in the distant future— or are they?
This year it might be prudent for Leweshomeowners to mentally remove a month or two from their home maintenance timetables. The reason comes in two familiar words (and they aren’t English): El Niño.
According to the government’s NOAA climate forecasters, there is “an approximately 95% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-2016…” Since that is definitely our area’s hemisphere, they’re speaking to us. They answer the question, “How strong is this El Niño now?” with, “it’s pretty strong.” In August, it ranked second all-time (behind August 1997) in the Equatorial Southern Oscillation Index, which is one way of measuring its power. El Niño is the condition where weather shifts occur due to a change in warm ocean currents in the Pacific.
What this means to Leweshomeowners is as unpredictable as…well, as the weather! What is acknowledged is that normal patterns can be disrupted to varying degrees. The reason we can never get much clarity about how it’s going to affect us is that (unsatisfying though this answer may be), winter could be markedly more—or markedly less—stormy than usual. Since the maximum effect is expected in late fall through December (hence the Christmas allusion of the ‘El Niño’ name), Leweshomeowners might consider getting on with their winter maintenance preparations earlier rather than later.
So here—a bit earlier than usual—are some regular fall maintenance heads-ups:
As a check of comments on the weather sites confirms, local homeowners have differing memories of how previous El Niños have affected them. But since we are now officially in an El Niño year—it can’t be a bad idea to prepare ahead of time (and if you have Lewesreal estate plans in the offing, now would also be a good time to give me a call)! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
People approach the whole idea of owning a second home from a hundred different perspectives simply because a second home can answer so many different purposes. If you are an Sussex County homeowner at the stage in life where making retirement plans is becoming a more immediate imperative, you might want to buy a second home as a vacation destination—but one which is also a tryout for your family’s future center of operations. Those who have spent a good part of their lives in cities sometimes seek a second home in the mountains or at the shore as a restorative refuge. People living in less crowded environs might crave a pied-à-terrefor proximity to a city’s cultural riches. There really can be a hundred different reasons (and that’s not even counting all the financial ones)!
Once you begin to seriously entertain the notion, it becomes evident that deciding on which of many possible directions to pursue will involve weighing the tradeoffs each presents. In addition to an opening a conversation with the Sussex County real estate professional whose advice you’ve come to trust the most, some of the main points you will want to consider—
· If the second home is going to serve even temporarily as a weekend getaway spot, then buying within reasonable driving distance may be more important than you might assume. Keep in mind that the drive (or flight) will grow steadily less interesting as time passes.
· In most instances, a second home will be occupied by members of your family only on a part-time basis. This brings up a number of issues—among them, insurance. Vacant properties present a different profile to insurers than do homes that are occupied most of the time. Hazard insurance tariffs could also differ from what you are used to (especially in flood-prone areas). Investigating insurance coverage and costs early on in your search will help you to avoid surprises.
· You should consult your tax expert for details, but as a general rule, if the home is not rented out as a business proposition, you’ll likely find that you are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes on your Federal tax return. Then again, if you are thinking of renting the house out for more than 14 days per year, rental income is taxable. In that case, though, you’ll be able to use deductions for expenses, such as insurance, maintenance, professional fees, and sometimes even depreciation. Each situation will be different—again, your tax professional will have the relevant answers.
· Financing a second home is similar to financing your main residence. You are likely to need a down payment of 10% to as much as 30% in some cases. If you will be drawing on the equity in your current home, it’s only prudent to be able to retain a reasonable amount of reserves for unforeseen emergencies.
Many people buy a second home in anticipation of retirement. If that is the case, think of factoring in the availability of quality medical and support services in your search areas. A remote cabin in the woods may seem appealing now, but as a retirement venue, maybe not so much! Thinking about the long range is never more important than when you are entertaining the purchase of a second home. I’m here to help clarify those issues, as with all your other Sussex County real estate need.