So you’re taking the plunge! Your vacation trips to the Berkshires have convinced you to plant roots here, and now you are on the hunt for a part-time place you can call your own (which, in our experience with our clients, often becomes a full-time residence). Where to begin?
Start with the basics: money and budget. Once you determine your budget for a second home, other decisions can flow from that framework. Your budget will influence where you buy, how big or small, how much you can afford to spend on improvements, and how much you may need for routine, year-round maintenance. Some towns are more expensive than others; the taxes in some towns are lower, while others are higher. A good real estate broker can help you sift through these details.
Unless you are paying cash for your new home, your strength as a buyer will be improved if you are pre-approved for a mortgage before you start shopping – or early in your process. Pre-approval means you have an actual bank commitment, and sellers appreciate that indicator of financial commitment (“pre-qualification” is far less formal).
Next, explore your geographical options. You may already be in love with a particular town, neighborhood or condo development. Or you may be weighing whether to live on a quiet backroad or in a neighborhood, or close to a town center. Take a drive, take a walk, explore your options.
We have lots of questions for vacation home buyers: Do you have kids/grandkids who will be visiting? How much space do you envision? Do you need a first-floor bedroom suite and laundry? A big yard and garden where you can spend hours, or a smaller outdoor space that’s easy to maintain? Do you want a pool? Outdoor entertainment areas? Do you want a turnkey property, or something you can renovate to suit your style? Do you expect to live here full-time someday?
Once these questions are answered, we will make efficient use of your house-hunting effort -- after all, you don’t live here full-time yet and your time to house-shop may be limited. Once you’ve found your ideal property, we can refer you to resources for local financing and closing attorneys, movers, landscapers and more.
Finally, our connection with you doesn’t stop at the closing table. We want you to feel at home once you move here, so we can offer resources and ideas to help you to indulge your interests, hobbies, outdoor activities, cultural curiosities and more. There are countless ways to get involved, and for many newcomers, the real estate office is the first local connection they make. We are happy to help, so call us here at Berkshire Property Agents, 413-528-6800.