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Tips for Buying a Mountain Home


From the Smoky Mountains to the Uwharries, it’s hard to find anyone in our area who hasn’t vacationed in a mountain home with friends or family at least once.

Living near the beautiful Appalachians, who could blame them? But while buying a second home can be one of the most exciting purchases you’ll ever make, it isn’t quite the same as buying your primary dwelling.

Be sure to consider the following first, whether your perfect mountain top spot is here in the Southeast or elsewhere.

What are your goals?

This seems simple, but don’t make any moves before setting the goals you would like to attain.

Will you be buying this home solely for a second residence (recreation, vacation)? Or is the main goal to purchase property that will appreciate and can be sold for profit? Do you want a home you can easily access, or is only a short drive from your current residence? Would you like a palace fit for a king and queen, or a fixer-upper?

Decide what you are generally interested in and what your goals are before settling on any course of action.

Is this the right time?

Timing really can be everything in the housing market. Do some research on how the market is doing.

Is this a seller’s market or a buyer’s market? In a buyer’s market, experts think buyers are getting better deals than sellers. This can be especially important for those wishing to turn a profit on this home someday.

Take your time. Never rush into a serious purchase, and certainly don’t deal with anyone who is making you feel hurried.

What is included in this purchase?

You’ve heard of location, location, location, but the point to be made here is cost, cost, cost.

Have you considered every expense? Taxes? Water access? Road access? Weather and seasonal issues? Are you prepared for the inevitable power outages or inclement weather any mountain home is sure to run into? Have you checked to see if other property in the area has been increasing in value?

Make sure nothing catches you by surprise, no matter how small.

What’s the word on the street?

Since rural mountain communities tend to be smaller, it’s especially important to get the local scoop when purchasing property. Simply put, there are significantly more environmental and even legal concerns when dealing with rural property.

A local agent will know about inclement weather that is common in an area, or if the local utilities and government are particularly responsive (or not!) to certain obstacles you might face.

Be sure to visit the area and get a good feel for the locals. Are there political or community considerations you might need to think about, especially if you plan to rent?

Are you ready for this natural environment?

Though it might seem obvious when buying a mountain home, don’t forget that you will be purchasing property within, or at least very near to, wildlife and wilderness areas.

Predators such as coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and even black bears are common in nearly every mountain range in the United States, and although they may seem less dangerous, animals like skunks, deer, groundhogs, mice, and bats can cause quite the nuisance if they find a way into (or under) your home.

Your mountain home will no doubt be part of a pristine landscape, and you’ll want to be as respectful and thoroughly educated as possible.

Work with a local mortgage specialist

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