4 Tips for Buying a Vacation Home

 

Tip #1: Make sure it’s in your budget. Many people buy a vacation home with the intentions of renting it out to cover the costs. Before buying a home with this intent, be sure to check the market and be sure that you can rent your home enough to cover the costs that you will need to have covered. Remember that real estate is not a liquid investment and when the market changes you could be at risk of having to sell your home for a much, much lower price than you paid for it.

Tip #2: Know the Rules before you buy the property. Sometimes HOAs, cities and other institutions will put requirements on which homes can be used as a rental property and may have certain standards in order to do so. Sometimes hotels and resorts can require you to operate your rental through them. It is important that you look into any rental restrictions before you purchase your home.

Tip #3: Be realistic with the amount that you expect to make from renting your property. Remember to be realistic about what costs are going to be required to maintain your property, such as cleaning between guests, HOA fees, and utilities. Also consider how much it is going to cost in order to completely furnish your home. With all these costs, it is important to be realistic about the amount that you expect to make in profit from your rental.

Tip #4: Pick a vacation spot that you can go to regularly. Damages can cost a lot more when they are left unattended. It is important to pick a vacation spot that you intend to and can realistically visit often in order to be able to check on your vacation property and ensure that any needed repairs are done in a timely matter to keep costs down, especially if you do not intend to rent your vacation property.

For all of your real estate needs, please contact the Hornburg Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Realty at DallasFtWorthHomeSearch.net or (817) 264-7087.

Flipping Grandview: Week ???

I seem to have lost track of what week it is… maybe it’s denial that we are more than 4 weeks past the initial goal that makes me want to bury my head in the sand?!? It’s actually week 12 and we have flooring! Hooray! Forward movement is progress and I am happy to have it!

The next hurdles are getting the granite & back splash in, refinishing the shower tile, getting appliances in & completing trim out work & the punch list so far. There is still some touch up painting to do as well.

They did get the exterior painted and the workshop painted red, too, since our last update.

We are over on holding costs putting us $5,000 behind on budget currently which we are adding to our other $1,500 of overage expenses. That has us $6,500 in the red on our budget. We will likely be over budget an additional $6,000 In holding costs & odds, ends that will need to be done. We aren’t going to turn the profit that we had hoped on this one and that’s why it’s important to flip multiple at a time! As always, we are learning great lessons on this one and will do the next one differently.  It is coming together though and looking good!

 

Flipping Grandview: Week 4 & 5

A new week, a new unexpected expense.  Upon further inspection, the water heater that we thought serviced the whole home did not.  The one that does is in need of repair.  Instead of waiting for it to flag on the future buyer’s inspection report, we will go ahead and replace it to ensure it’s up to code before construction is complete.  That will be an additional $1,000 bringing our unexpected total up to $1,500.

Our contractor did see some other unusual items and is going to get them repaired within the original bid which is great!  We are already over budget since we purchased all of the appliances, fixtures, lights, faucets, etc.  We know we will have some electrical work to do once the renovation is done as well so we are really trying to limit our costs.  The holding costs definitely add up quickly, too.  We are getting ready to make our first mortgage payment.

This week, we got the colors right and additional coats of paint on went on.  The progress is visible and that’s exciting.  The contractors believe they will be done around March 23 so our plan is to have the home on the market by the end of the month!

 

Flipping Grandview: Week 3

This week saw our first unexpected expense for additional tile work.  The bathtub didn’t come out as easily as the contractors had planned so we will have to get some matching tiles and install those so when we glaze them, they all look consistent!

They did get the tub out though and the new one in will be put in next week.  This week, after all the priming of last week, the walls saw their first bit of color and the trim got painted as well!  The cabinets are now primed too which is exciting! It’s exciting to see some tangible change!

Flipping Grandview: Week 2

This week saw some big items being taken care of like a new HVAC system, drywall prepped and repaired for paint, completing some detailed demo to prepare for the new look!

Follow along as we flip Homes in the Dallas / Fort Worth area!

Homeowners Insurance

One feature you will more than like decide to invest in is homeowners insurance. Legally, you can own your home without having insurance. However, most lenders will not allow you to finance your home through them without having insurance. If you live in a condominium, the board could also require you to have homeowners insurance. Considering this, understanding homeowner’s insurance is very important.

Homeowners insurance protects the owner from fires, floods, and unforeseen circumstances. There are eight different levels of home insurance depending on factors like how old the home is and if the home is being lease. By contacting an insurance company, an insurance agent will be able to match you with the appropriate level of insurance for your need.
It is important to complete an up to date and accurate home inventory so that if there is a loss or damage to the property, the policy can account for it and it will be easily reflected in your tax records. Create a list and take photos of all expensive and/ or valuable items. Make a copy of the list and store one copy in a safety deposit box  for safe keeping and the other on a digital file for your convenience. This way you will have a record and will be able to be reimbursed for your personal items in the house.

 

For all of your real estate needs, please contact the Hornburg Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Realty at DallasFtWorthHomeSearch.net or (817) 264-7087.

Planning a Family Vacation to the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

In January, I tend to plan and book all of our vacations for the year and even some for the following year.   I rely heavily on other amazing Moms (& Dads) to blog about their own family adventures so I can base our plans on what I believe will be the best fit for our family.   Not all of our vacations are “winners”.  Although our kids are always grateful for them, there are some that stand out as amazing memories for us all.

In planning our trips for this year, I realized that I never to contribute to the blog world about the “winning” vacations we’ve had so I thought I would go back and share about the family vacation we took to the Grand Canyon in 2016.  It was definitely one of those where all the kids had fun and we made fun memories!

For a little background, we have 5 kids ranging in age at this time from 17 to 6 months.  We live in the Dallas / Fort Worth area so we decided to fly from DFW to Phoenix, Arizona.  I read about some cool water park hotels that I thought would be fun for the kids to play at before we embarked to the Grand Canyon.  While there are a lot of wonderful places to stay in Phoenix, due to our family size we generally need at least 2 hotel rooms or an entire place.  Our budget didn’t allow us for to stay at the really cool one so we compromised and ended up at Pointe Hilton Sqauw Peak Resort.  In retrospect, this worked out beautifully since we were able to stay in our own town home in the resort, essentially, with a 2-car garage.  We loved it and we loved their prices!

We rented a mini-van, which our kids thought was SUPER cool because I drive a large SUV at home, so we could comfortable make the drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon.

We stayed two nights at the resort and while we were there we did a lot of swimming in their large pool that also has a water slide for the kids.  They do have a “lazy river” as well which the kids loved!  While we were in town, they were having an abnormal heat wave where the temperatures were over 110 degrees.  Being from Texas, we are used to dry, hot air but this weather was exceptionally and literally breathtaking.  We did manage to play through the mini-golf course but a few kids pooped out before we ended the game due to the heat.  Overall, we enjoyed our time at this resort and would absolutely recommend it to others.  I think often about the beautiful setting with the palm trees backed by the mountains and plateaus under the clear blue sky.  The resort and area were beautiful.

My only caution is that, depending on the time of year you go, all of their restaurants and amenities may not be open so you’ll want to call ahead if that’s important to you.  There was one night where I hoped we could have a nice dinner by the pool area but the restaurant wasn’t open.  We saved money and made dinner so it wasn’t a problem but the lazy, on-vacation Mom in me would have loved that!

The third morning, we left out for the Grand Canyon.  We had booked ourselves at the Yavapai Lodge in the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.   When I called 7 months in advance to book, I was surprised to find that it was my only option.  I would recommend booking your stay inside the park well in advance.

The hotel itself was prefect since we merely rested and re-grouped there.  We had two rooms, side by side for 3 nights.  We started by visiting the “Welcome Center” at the South Rim as so many blogging parents had recommended.  We were able to check in on any park ranger expeditions and also found out that they were having a star-gazing party while we were there where local astronomy buffs with telescopes would come set up all over the parking lot and we could view many of the planets with the naked eye as well as many constellations that we can’t see at home.  We did participate in this, free event and absolutely loved it!  Our kids still talk about it.

We also picked up maps and information on the park.  At the visitor’s center there is a movie playing continuously with interesting information that is 1. air conditioned and 2. free!  I would recommend hanging around for the next showing of it!

The kids were anxious to hike the Grand Canyon so we decided after the long trip, we would make the #1 priority of the following day.  We went to the local lodge for dinner and that quickly became the kid’s “go to” place due to the selections for them.

The next morning we set out on a “hike” which was essentially just walking the trails.  About 1 mile in, the kids tried to quit and we hadn’t even gotten to the views yet!  We encouraged them to keep going, even stopping by the adorable and FREE library in the park!  They have board games you can check out as well.

Once rested, we headed down the trail to take in all of the views.  Although my husband and I have been there a few times before, it is always as breathtaking as the last time.  The kids enjoyed the views, reading the historical and scientific markers, taking photos & guessing what kind of tracks we were coming across along the trails.

We took the free bus ride over to view the sunset from the “perfect” spot which was pretty awesome.  By the time the sun had set, the kids were exhausted and grouchy.   I would recommend bringing lots of snacks with you as the lines for the return buses is quite long!

The next day we hiked over to the Desert View Museum as it is, once again, free and offers air-conditioned, gorgeous views over the canyon.  There were also a lot of interactive and fun learning lessons throughout the museum for the kids.

We also went into the gift shops because, as you can imagine, all of our children love souvenirs.  Surprisingly, most everyone opted to get their souvenir in Las Vegas.  The lone souvenir from the Grand Canyon was a book about animal droppings to identify what species the poop in the park is from. (We have 4 sons so you can imagine, they all liked this one.)

Things to know about the park with kids:

-Keep them away from the edges!  Very few are protected.

-Bring lots of Chapstick with SPF! It’s hot and dry so you’ll be glad you did!

-Make sure everyone is wearing sunblock before you leave the hotel

-Pack refillable water containers.  There are water fountains throughout the park for filling.

-Bring healthy snacks!  You’re at a high-altitude and it’s hot during the day, cool at nights.  You’ll want to be prepared for snacks as there’s not much in between the trails by foot.

-Prepare your kids for coming into contact with wildlife.  There are beautiful creatures throughout the park so prepare them in case they’re afraid of the large animals.  (We had the opposite problem with our ornery bunch.)

-Visit the Welcome Center! They’re a wonderful resource for all that’s happening in the park & answering questions.

-Although our jogging stroller is bulky, we are so glad that we brought it instead of a lightweight stroller!  Definitely worth lugging around.

-There’s a lot to do within the park for free once you’re in!

-Bring warm clothes!  It gets cold at night. at least to us Texans!

On our 6th day, we headed out of the Grand Canyon to the Hoover Dam.  We didn’t think we would be back out this way with the kids for awhile and we found the dam to be fascinating years before so we thought we’d head west and fly out of Las Vegas back home.

Tickets to the dam cannot be purchased online so we left pretty early to get there in time to grab tickets and I’m glad we did!  There is a little cafe on-site if you need to grab something to eat before your tour.  Please note that it’s very basic and very crowded.

The kids enjoyed the tour and were “wowed” by the technology of it all being done so long ago.  They liked it and were ready to get to Las Vegas!

I know you’re thinking kids in Las Vegas!? Yeah, I know.  The goal was to show them the strip nice and early before questionable things or outfits become a regularity.  We had to the M&M store as well as the Coca-Cola store for novelty reasons (kids!).  Then we ate at El Diablo’s Cantina since my husband and I love to eat there any time we’re in town.  After the kids there, we both said we wouldn’t do that again.  There were many questions from our bible-belt children about the devils inside, questionable acts at the bar, etc.  We ate, we left and we all learned great life lessons!

We wanted to stay off the strip for those very reasons so we had booked ourselves at South Pointe.  It had great reviews from other families.  It also has an on-site bowling alley and movie theater with spacious sleeping rooms.  And, of course, a great swimming pool!  Although, by the time we got here and after a few games of bowling the kids were exhausted.  We ended our trip with a trip to the casino buffet.  This was definitely the highlight of the trip with the kids!  They loved being able to try so many different things and then not be in trouble if they didn’t eat them.  It was a nice ending to a really fun vacation.

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I hope this helped you with planning your vacation!  Leave me a comment or like, if so!  That will let me know I am not doing this in vain! 🙂

 

Flipping Grandview: Week 1

Well, here we are after Week 1 and we’ve made good progress!  The contractors did a great job of hauling off the remaining items as well as demolishing what’s not staying!  Dare I say it looks better already?!

This week also saw the new roof being put on

FOLLOW OUR (1)the house and the small shed behind it.  The wood rot was repaired and replaced and the entire outside of the house was sealed up from critters! (Welcome to the country!)

Where we had hoped to open a wall and create a larger arch to stay with the original details of the home, as it turns out, we will not be able to make the arch due to the support beam being load bearing! (As it turns out, this is not HGTV. Just kidding, just kidding!)  Plan B is moving along nicely for what we plan to do with the beam: Problem solved (pictured below).

All of the items we ordered are taking over our living room so I am anxious to get those down to the house soon.  We have an entire 7-days worth of rain this week so the crew has moved to the inside in an effort to keep the progress going!

Flipping Grandview: Closing Time!

FOLLOW OUR (1)

Let’s switch gears a little bit here into our house flipping business.  There was so much excitement over the photos we posted on Facebook so I thought I would blog a little bit about each house as we move along!

We close on the Grandview house on February 9.  You can take a look at the original photos below.  We found some cool stuff that the seller had left behind which we promptly listed on eBay.  The boys thought it was a really cool adventure to rummage through the items left in the house and the barn.  Mason was most excited about finding a working Polaroid camera only to be very disappointed in the cost of film.  I welcomed him to my childhood dilemma and reminded him about his Christmas money.

Cash found some cool antlers, an antique chair & a really neat bird house that we’re going to hang in their tree house.

The house has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with just over 2,000 SF.  It’s located on 2.71 acres in Grandview, Texas which is a little further out than we’d like to be but we do love Grandview!  The house is really cool and will be a beautiful home for it’s next owners when we’re finished!

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Exterior of the house from the road.

 

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This is the workshop that the seller used for his wood working.  It will make a great hobby cave!

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This is a nice little shed that’s in great shape behind the house.  The seller has a loafing shed behind it which we’ll keep.  We anticipate the future buyers will either have horses or want horses so this will be a benefit for them!

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As you can see, there’s quite a bit of wood rot around the trim on the house so we’ll have some replacing to do when the new roof goes on!

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I love the beams in the living room and the rock fireplace!  I have big plans for this room!

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The carpet, originally a bright orange, looks to be original to the home.  This room will have a drastic change coming up soon!

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The kitchen will see a complete makeover and I’m excited for it!

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Although the counter tops match the appliances beautifully, they’ll both be heading to the dumpster.

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I love what this view is going to become! (That’s a charming wallpaper mural in the distance.)

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I love the character of the front windows of the house!  You just don’t see these often any more!

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We lovingly dubbed this bathroom the “SpongeBob” bathroom.  Although comical to the home buyer now, the work done in here was quite admirable in person.  The seller had a true talent for wood working. I almost felt bad removing it all.

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Here is one of the secondary bedrooms.

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I love this front porch!  The arches add so much charm!

 

Stay tuned for updates as we progress along!

What is the Fair Housing Act?

The Fair Housing Act of 1974 is a national policy of fair housing throughout the US. The act makes it illegal to discriminate in the sale, lease, or rental of housing. The owner or landlord also can not make housing unavailable because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, or national origin. No matter who you are in the home buying process, you are affected by it. If you are the home buyer and you feel as if you are discriminated, you can file a housing discrimination claim. The claim will be sent to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Fair Housing Act is something that will always be there for you when you are adventuring through the home buying process. In the end the home buying process can be stressful, but remember to stay calm and that the realtor is always there to help you.

For all of your real estate needs, please contact the Hornburg Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Realty at DallasFtWorthHomeSearch.net or (817) 264-7087.