The Lake Havasu real estate market and snowbirds have had a long history together. What are "snowbirds"? They're the older generation of folks that flee the cold winters they experience in their regular home elsewhere across the country for the warmer temperatures Havasu offers. I mean, can you blame them? Who wants to shovel several inches/feet of snow just to go to the grocery store? Since they relocate for only a few months out of the year, many Havasu snowbirds rent a place instead of purchasing one. But is that really the best way to go? It depends on the situation.
Renting vs Buying for Havasu Snowbirds
Havasu Snowbirds: When Renting Makes Sense
You might have been told that renting is like throwing your money away. But that isn't necessarily the case. For Havasu snowbirds, renting makes sense if they've never been to Lake Havasu City before. You want to test the waters, so to speak, before you commit to diving in. Take the time while you're renting to check out what's available for sale on the Lake Havasu real estate market. Ask around to see how the local market is doing right now. An unstable market makes it difficult to sell quickly if the need arises. Fortunately, we're in the midst of a seller's market right now. Of course, the real estate market always fluctuates. How it's performing now isn't necessarily how it will always be. And, if maintenance is a concern, renting may be the best option for you. Still, you could choose a condo instead of single-family home to lower the time and money necessary to maintain your property.
Havasu Snowbirds: When Buying Makes Sense
On the other hand, some Havasu snowbirds may decide that buying a home makes much more sense than renting one. After all, lugging suitcases back and forth and having to find a new place to settle down as well as stocking up your rental with necessities tends to get old after a while. Wouldn't it be nice to open the door knowing that your home is furnished to your taste and has all the amenities you need? Also, what about inviting the kids out for the holidays? Grandkids, too. Owning a property instead of renting gives you roots in the community for years to come. It also might be something to pass down to your children eventually. But the most important thing is to make sure that you can qualify, especially if you currently have a mortgage on your other home.
You Decided to Buy. Now What?
First, Havasu snowbirds need to talk to their bank to see about getting pre-approved for the mortgage on a second home. With a pre-approval letter in hand, you're ready to put in an offer when you do find the perfect Havasu home. Next, interview several Lake Havasu REALTORS®. Every agent is different. You need to find one that understands your needs and wants and makes you feel comfortable with the process. Then, find out if you can rent the property out when you're not using it. This helps offset the cost of your second home. In a place like Lake Havasu, thousands of tourists look for places to rent almost year-round. It would be a shame to not take advantage of the opportunity. Ask your REALTOR® if they can recommend a good property management company to take care of finding renters as well as taking care of your property for you. It's worth the small fee they require.
Sometimes, renting a home makes more sense for Havasu snowbirds. Other times, buying a second home seems to be a better option. It all depends on your situation. Contact me if you have any questions or would like to take a look at what's available while you're here.