Dual Home Tips For Pet Owners
Whether you live in Florida or Arizona as a snowbird part of the year or own a business and bounce back and forth between states, there are unique challenges that come with owning two homes, especially when you have pets in tow. Fortunately, there are also many solutions, and today’s blog, which is brought to you by R&R Real Estate Partners, can help you manage.
Stock Up Early
One of the first things you should do when you buy a second home is to ensure that both houses are fully stocked for your animals’ needs. Your animal crate, food and water bowls, or scratching post probably won’t travel well between locations. Keep in mind here that you want to read product review sites that offer insight from animal experts so that you’re not wasting money on “cheap” alternatives for your secondary residence.
Establish a Relationship with a Veterinarian in Each Hometown
You want your pet to have access to the best health care possible, and their veterinarian is who provides it. Make sure that your animal has a dedicated doctor in both states. PetsBest Health Insurance recommends confirming that your clinics have licensed personnel and emergency after hours available.
Save Money Where You Can
Saving money is paramount when you have two sets of bills and only one set of belongings. Consider being budget-minded when furnishing both homes. You might also consider sticking to a single mortgage by utilizing the equity in your larger home to buy the smaller outright. U.S. News & World Report notes that a cash-only purchase is the least expensive. Other options include investing in streaming services or 5G internet over cable or fiber-optic and freezing some staple food items. You can also purchase your auto, health, and pet insurance in the state with cheaper rates.
Decide Between Owning a Vehicle in Each State or Using Public Transportation
One of the great things about owning two homes is that you don’t have to have the same type of property in each state. For one, you may enjoy a beach view. On the other hand, you might like city living. Decide early on whether you will choose to drive back and forth and own one vehicle, have two cars, or fly and use public transportation. If you’re using public transportation, keep in mind that some of the best cities for mass transit include Washington, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago, according to SmartAsset.
Get to Know the Cost of Living
No matter where your primary residence is, you have options in all 50 states for your secondary home. Before you commit to any, you should know the cost of living in your respective states. A few things to keep watch on here include:
- Self-storage. These can vary according to size and location but expect to pay between $50 per month for a smaller storage unit to around $150 a month for a larger one.
- Housing cost. California has the third highest cost of living in the United States, and that’s only been made worse by rising interest rates. If you’re planning to buy, buy soon before rates and housing prices skyrocket again.
- Food costs vary per state and by family. In Augusta, Maine, for example, you can expect to spend $4.75 for a pound of chicken versus $7.02 for the same in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Private school. If you plan to live in one location during the school year, you’ll have to know the cost, particularly if you have kids going to private school. In Wyoming, you may spend up to $14,425 on private high school education.
- When you drive, you should know how much to expect to put in your tank each week. As of August 15, 2022, that’s $4.27 per gallon in Chicago compared to the national average of $3.95. Of course, this will change, but most large cities are more expensive than smaller towns.
Owning two homes gives you lots of freedoms, but with freedom comes responsibility. Make sure that you take steps, such as having pet products in both homes and knowing the local cost of everything from storage units to private education. One final tip: partner with a realtor in each state that has knowledge of the area and can help you get more for your money.
R&R Real Estate Partners bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise about buying and selling real estate in the Albuquerque area. Call 505-280-6365.
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