Buying a Second Home in Another State

Last Edited

Hey Taylor: I’m thinking of buying a second home and I’m a little overwhelmed by the options. I live in Florida and think I want a property in another state, as an investment/vacation spot. Any specific regions you think I should target? - Josh

Hey Josh: This is a pretty exciting time to be investing in real estate, especially if you’re comfortable enough to have lots of options. It’s going to come down to where you want to spend time and what kind of red tape you’re willing to deal with, but there’s no shortage of places to look.

1. Either coast. A year ago, it would have been hard to advise anyone to buy property in New York or San Francisco because the cost was so ridiculous. It’s not like things are cheap there now, but the pandemic has made city living less appealing to lots of people and caused some properties to stay on the market that otherwise would have been swept up in seconds. If you want to own a nice rental in a major market that will probably become astronomically expensive again in a few years, this could be the time to pounce.

2. Emerging markets. We’re seeing a lot of new tech hubs pop up around the country, and the rise of remote working means you can buy in a pretty wide radius and not have to worry too much about finding a renter. Cities like Denver, Boise, Spokane, and Missoula don’t have the name recognition (or price tag) you’d find in the country’s biggest cities, but the industry is there to support a blossoming real estate market. The places might not jump out at you as top choices for a vacation home, but the surrounding lands and national parks are pretty spectacular. Growing hubs like this provide relatively safe investments with lots of potential for booming prices.

3. Land. Maybe it’s just the Texan in me, but you can’t do too much better than a big, beautiful ranch. If you don’t have super specific plans for your investment and aren’t dependent on rental income, think about buying a large, affordable plot of land in an area you like. You could buy acres of rolling hills in Texas, a swath of forest land in the Pacific Northwest, or maybe a couple miles of beachfront property down in Mexico. If you aren’t picky, you have the chance to buy cheap land that will be incredibly valuable down the road as the population grows and more areas develop.

Since you have so much to choose from, I’m sure this feels a little overwhelming. Trust your gut and go with the property you want to own. Enjoy the search!