Tips for Buying a Second Home in Lake George NY

If you’ve ever vacationed in the Southern Adirondacks, Lake George or Bolton Landing, you’ve probably considered buying a second home here. Maybe you’ve even dreamed about retiring here or moving to Lake George permanently. After all, that’s exactly what I did almost a decade ago.

Before you take the leap, follow these four tips to ensure a Lake George vacation home is right for you.

Make Sure You Can Afford a Second Home

To qualify for a second-mortgage, your debt should not exceed 40% of your gross income. You should also be prepared to make a down payment of at least 10-20% on your Lake George vacation home. To offset the cost, consider pooling resources with friends or family and sharing a property, or renting out your second home when you aren’t using it. Just remember that you’ll have to pay taxes on rental income if you rent it out for more than 14 days a year.

Think About How Your Will Use Your Second Home

If you’re envisioning weekend getaways, you’ll probably want to keep your search within a 3-4 hour drive of your primary residence. So for those who live in New York City, Boston or Montreal, a Lake George vacation home makes sense. Lake George also offers access to quality healthcare and part-time work, both of which are important if you think you might like to retire in your second home one day.

Get to Know the Area Before You Buy

Even if you’ve been vacationing in Lake George for years, it’s a good idea to get to know the area from a non-tourist perspective before you buy. Talk to the locals and visit during the off-season. You might even consider a month-long rental first. While Lake George is most popular in the summer, many visitors are amazed at the abundance of year-round things to do, as well as the fact that many of our businesses and restaurants stay open during the off-season.

Hire a Local Real Estate Agent

Residential real estate is extremely localized, so I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that you find a Lake George real estate agent who lives and works in the area, preferably with several years of experience. Not only do I specialize in Lake George real estate, but I have lived right here in Bolton Landing since 2006. I have first-hand knowledge of the area, its local restaurants, parks, beaches, attractions and real estate market. I love where I live and enjoy helping people discover all that the Southern Adirondacks have to offer.

Start Your Search for a Lake George Vacation Home

I recommend that my clients attend several Lake George open houses and private home tours, as opposed to only taking virtual tours online. I also suggest that we look at a wide variety of houses, both above and below what you can afford, to truly compare the price that you’re paying and the value you’re getting for that price. If you are ready to start your search for a Lake George vacation home, please contact me online, or give me a call at (518) 321-1870.