By Coulby Dunn, REALTOR/OWNER, Mountain View Realty & Mountain View Homes

  There are many factors that go into purchasing the perfect vacation home - Pricing, easy access, recreational opportunities, investment value, security, future retirement plans, tax implications...just to mention a few. One thing is certain - there is no better time than NOW to purchase a second home.

Pricing: The most critical aspect of purchasing a second home is not over spending for it. Make sure your purchase doesn't handcuff your finances, where the home is a burden. Purchasing a vacation home is about a lifestyle.... and being able to afford it comfortably. After all, vacation homes are about recreation - relaxation, boating, hiking, skiing & snowboarding, fishing, wildlife, cycling, river rafting, running the rapids, kayaking, visiting waterfalls and historic sites, dining fine restaurants.

Easy Access: The great thing about the Pocono Mountains.... it's called "The Near Country." Never venture too far away from home to purchase a vacation home. Traveling as far as 5 or 6 hours away to New Hampshire or Vermont is too far away. The Pocono Mountains is just a 2 or 3 hour drive from anywhere in the New York metropolitan area or Philadelphia for that matter. Surveys have shown that two-thirds of second homes are located within 150 miles of an owners primary residence. If your vacation home is too far, or too expensive to get to, you won't use it.

Recreational Opportunities: The Pocono Mountains offer more four season recreational opportunities than any other region within a four hour drive from metropolitan New York/New Jersey/Connecticut/Philadelphia/Maryland area. Lake Wallenpaupack is a 5,700 acre lake that offers unlimited recreational opportunities. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area is a 70,000 acre park that has more than 6,000,000 visitors every year. There are many ski areas, waterfalls, rivers and streams.... and so much more.

Investment Value: Every homebuyer wants to purchase a home with exceptional investment value. Making the right purchase comes down to doing your homework and choosing the right realtor and real estate company. It's important to get the best financial arrangements and interest rate possible, to understand all comparative sales in the area, to get full inspections so there are no surprises, and to price out any additional work you may want done.

Security: Security is always an issue when purchasing a vacation home. Security means buying a home in a safe neighborhood that is crime-free, without worrying about personal safety. Every family wants a place where their kids can run free and know they are safe. For homeowners, safety is right at the top of the list. Security is not about alarm systems, it's about safe neighborhoods.

Retirement: Many vacation home buyers in the Poconos think retirement. They purchase a vacation home with the intention of retiring there someday in the future. Many buyers eventually sell their primary home in the city or suburbs and then move to their vacation home in the Poconos. By the time they retire, their goal is to have their vacation home paid off and pocket the cash they've made selling their primary home.

Tax implications: There are many positive tax implications when purchasing a vacation home. All interest is tax deductible up to $1 million for a primary and vacation home. If you sell your primary residence you can take up to a $500,000 capital gains exclusion, then move into your vacation home, live there for the next five years, and then qualify for another capital gains exclusion for up to $500,000. Many vacation home buyers also can take advantage of a 1031 tax free exchange, where you can sell one property and exchange it for a vacation home and defer all the capital gains on profits. Many people are sitting on a lot of equity and want to avoid paying taxes on that equity, so they are using the tax exchange as incentive.


Yes - the vacation home market will be strong for decades!




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