When to Buy a Second House: Plus Should You Sell the First One?

Have you outgrown your current home? Or do you want to make some extra cash with a rental? Click here to learn if you should buy a second house!

Buying your first home is a very big decision. It’s a milestone in a person’s life and for many people represents the most solid cornerstone of the American dream. However, some people don’t stop there, and once you’ve owned your property for many years, you might be considering purchasing a second home.

If you’re going to buy a second house, there’s a lot that you need to get familiar with. There are a lot of considerations to make, like if you should hold on to your current home, rent it, or sell it on the market. 

When do you know if it is the right time to buy a second home and what do you need to have in place? Read on and we’ll walk you through everything that you need to know.

Important Considerations

If you’re looking to buy a new house or upgrade your home, you need to give yourself a good amount of time to really think through this decision before signing on any kind of dotted line.

There’s a lot to love about having a second home, of course, whether you make it your new mainstay or visit it for weekend vacations.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to rush into this kind of decision. It will serve you much better to make sure you’re making the right decision before going through with your purchase of a new home.

Financial Concerns

It goes without saying that one of the biggest things you’ll need to consider when purchasing a second home is the cost of said home.

Unless you’re able to afford a house in cash, you’ll be taking out a second mortgage, which is a serious financial responsibility. Before even considering a second home, you need to make sure your monthly budget will allow for such a cost.

Remember, it isn’t just the mortgage that you’ll need to pay for, it’s also the additional utility bills, insurance, and taxes. You can use your current home models as an expectation of what you might end up paying, but remember that no two homes are alike and you might be facing different costs at this new location. 

Thinking of what you’re going to do with your current home will play a big role in your decision-making process as well. If you’re going to sell your home or use it as a rental property, that will make the process much easier. 

If you can sell your house fast for cash, you can use the money to invest in your new mortgage. 

Occupancy Laws

If you don’t think you’ll sell your home but are planning on using one or the other as a rental or vacation property, you’ll need to get familiar with a few laws.

Yes, it is tempting to use your second home as a rental property, after all, there’s money right there waiting to be made. However, if you do rent out your home more often than the law allows, that will make your property legally an investment property.

That means you’ll have to face up to different kinds of requirements and you might not even be able to get a mortgage from the same kind of lenders. It’s important to make this distinction ahead of time. 

Also, if you rent your new place out for more than two weeks time during a year, you’ll be required to report that income to the IRS and pay the applicable taxes. This is all-important to get familiar with if you’re going to buy that second property.


Buying that beach house or lake house might sound like a fantastic idea, but you need to be realistic about location as well. Does your current lifestyle allow you to escape to these locations as much as you’d like? 

If the answer is no, it might not be worth the investment you’re going to make in the property. Ensure the property is located close enough to your current home that going to spend time there isn’t going to be a hassle. 

You’ll thank yourself later.

Should I Sell My Current Home?

Have your eyes set on the perfect second home and not sure what to do with your current one? It can be a had to decide to make.

At the end of the day, you’ll need to set some time aside to think about what you want your life to look like and what the realities of your current position are.

If you’re looking for a new home because your current one isn’t living up to your hopes or your needs, it might make sense to just sell it and upgrade to a home that might.

However, if you love your current home and are just looking for additional opportunities to enjoy yourself or make some money, selling might not need to be considered.

At the end of the day, no one besides yourself can make this important decision. You have the power to say if you want to make the sale or not — just make sure to take the time to think it through ahead of time.

When To Buy a Second House

If you’re considering making the move to pick up additional property, there’s likely a lot on your mind. Making the move to buy a second house is a big one, but one that can offer a lot of benefits. The above information can help remind you of the considerations to work through when making this big purchase.

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