How to buy a second home in Sterling

How toNovember 27, 2022

Buying a second home can be exciting and at the same time, you can feel uncertain. However, there is no reason to feel insecure. What is crucial is not to procrastinate with the decision. People have various reasons why they want to buy a second home. Some of them want a vacation getaway, some of them are seeking rental and some want a fixer-upper for retirement years. No matter what your reason is our highly-rated moving and storage Sterling VA company will give you tips on how to buy a second home in Sterling.

About Sterling

Sterling is a census-designated place located in Loudon County, Virginia. It is the home of around 30,000 people. It is also a Washington DC suburb, and that is one of the main reasons people decide to move here with residential movers Northern Virginia and buy a property. Many people wish to be close to the nation’s capital since it provides so many great opportunities for jobs and housing. Maybe you only wish to buy your second home to have an escape from your current surroundings, and Sterling might be just the right place for that. It has a dense suburban feel and 74% of people there own their homes instead of renting. The median home price there is $379,921. It has great public schools and a low crime rate, so your second home in Sterling might become your permanent one.

Monument in Washington
Many people decide to buy a second home in Sterling as it is very close to the nation’s capital

The cost of living index in Sterling is 130, which means its residents have to pay about 30% more for things like groceries and utilities than the average American. However, the median household income is double the state’s average. It is $151,800 in Sterling, while Virginia’s average is $76,456. So while it’s a somewhat expensive place, it is still affordable for its residents. You can also be sure that most people there have hired the best moving companies Sterling VA has to offer to help them relocate. Since you are planning on buying a second home there, make sure to give us a call. However you decide to use your second home, we will assist you in any way we can.

Understanding the use of your second home in Sterling

First of all, what is important is to understand what is the purpose of the second home. So what do you plan to do with the second home as a family? The intention is very important. You as the buyer must have exclusive use of the property. It can not be shared property or rental property. Then you are not getting income from that property. Property control is crucial whether it is a second house or not.

Do you plan to move to the second house and rent the previous one? Do you want to buy it only to rent it and earn passive income? Will it be a vacation getaway for you and your family? Whatever your choice is, you must be absolutely sure about it. Don’t buy a second house just for the sake of buying it! You can create financial problems for you and your family if you don’t plan this out properly. Whatever you decide to do, feel free to contact our military movers if you are or were in the army, or use any of our other moving services that fit your needs.

The second home in Sterling can be a family getaway

One of the most common reasons to buy a second home in Sterling is for your family’s purposes. Depending on where you live right now, having a house in Sterling can be a good opportunity for you to change locations during the weekends or holidays and just relax. If you work remotely, having a second home is a great way to switch your daily routine up a bit. While working from home has its benefits, sometimes it can get pretty monotonous.

If you have a kid in college or you simply need some space to think and decompress, a second home can offer a quiet place to study, reflect, think, write, and so on. All in all, owning a second home can be a luxury with many great upsides. Just don’t force yourself into buying one if you are not 100% sure you can afford it. If you plan on moving some of the items from your current home to a new one make sure to hire local movers Northern Virginia. Professionals will ensure a smooth and safe transfer of your items. 

two girls hugging while guys talk about how to buy a second home in Sterling
A second home can be a great place to organize family events for the holidays or any other festive occasion

You can rent your home and earn passive income

A fairly frequent reason why people buy second homes is so they can rent them out. It is a great strategy to earn passive income, no doubt about it. But it’s not as simple as it looks from the outside. First of all, the agreed price of the home you wish to buy may not be your only expense regarding the house itself! Quite often will people decide to either redecorate or renovate a home after they’ve bought it. It can happen even after liking the home’s original state but you just decide the next day you have to change it. Those changes can cost a lot of money. Maybe you will find out there are certain things in the house that need to be repaired only after you’ve bought them. If there’s something faulty inside, you can’t rent it that way! Inspect the home thoroughly before buying!

If you buy a home that you would like to rent but have a lot of things you want to get rid of, it would be smart to use Sterling storage units. They are a very convenient resource where you can keep any unwanted items indefinitely until you either find a use for them or sell and donate them to get rid of unnecessary clutter.

A house in Sterling for rent
After they buy a second home in Sterling, most people decide to give it up for rent so they can earn passive income

You can fix and flip it if you want a return on your investment quickly

Another good way to earn money is by fixing and flipping the home. That means buying homes, oftentimes the ones with a lower price tag due to their less-than-desirable state, repairing them, and subsequently selling them. The price you would want to put in that newly renovated home should cover all costs and investments while giving you a hefty profit in return. If you have the means for this, absolutely go for it! But just be sure to understand that it’s no easy task and that can make you lose money if not done properly!

Make a list of possible expenses if you want to buy a second home in Sterling

Now that we covered what use you could have out of your second home, let’s get into the money aspect of things. You should have a clear budget in mind, where every possible expense is included. This is also extremely important to do. Add up all the likely expenses of owning a home. Think about if you can fit those expenses into your budget. Owning a second home should not trap you in debt every month. It is supposed to be something you will benefit from greatly, one way or the other. Here are some likely expenses to consider:

  • Property taxes. They are different from state to state.
  • Basic utilities. Utilities can be lower if no one lives in the house, but you must not neglect them.
  • Upgrading and upkeep expenses. A house is something that you are constantly investing in, so don’t neglect these costs either.

Property taxes

The taxpayers of Loudon County pay some of the highest property taxes in the state. The average effective property tax rate here is 1.08%, which is 0.8% above the state average. Here is a practical example: if you own a home in Sterling that is worth $352,600, you will have to pay $3,524 in property tax each year. But to really calculate the exact amount of property tax you would owe you have to consider a few things first. Typically there are multiple rates in any given area, because your county, state, local schools, and emergency responders receive funding partly through these taxes.

a person writing notes
You need to calculate every possible expense if you want to buy a second home in Sterling without issues

State assessors usually measure property values every two to four years. Under Virginia state law, cities need to do evaluation assessments every two years, while at the county level it is updated every four years. This is done because the reassessment measures a property’s fair market price. That means how much would a certain home cost and be sold for in the current market. Be aware of this because the fair market value isn’t always the same amount you paid for a property! It can be lower, but it can also be higher.

Basic utilities

The good news about utilities in Sterling is that they are in line with the average utility costs in the US. Basic utilities in Sterling are about 2% cheaper than in other places in Virginia or the country, so that shouldn’t be a problem for your budget. However, it is still important to factor this in when creating your second home purchasing budget.

Upgrading and upkeep expenses

It is crucial you really assess your second home before committing to purchasing it. Inspect the home thoroughly, write down everything you see and think should be repaired, and count in the costs for decorating on top of any potential repairs and renovations. If you skip that part, you may find yourself in trouble. Without enough funds to invest in these things, you risk not being able to rent that home or move into it until those things are taken care of. If the house has some furniture or appliances inside you want to get rid of, at least permanently, rent the best climate controlled storage Northern Virginia has to offer. This way you will keep those items intact while you focus on upgrading the home.

Ways to buy a second home in Sterling

There are three ways to buy a second home in Sterling. The first option is buying the home for cash. If you managed to save enough money to pay for that house in cash, you will spare yourself a lot of trouble. The only problem of course is to actually save enough money for a home purchase. It’s definitely not impossible, so if you are in a position to do it, by all means, go for it. The second option is a home equity loan. You would place a mortgage on your current home and in return get a cash loan. The problem with this option is that lenders hesitate more and more to approve home equity loans. That’s because the housing market is currently a little bit unstable, and a loan of this type could drain too much equity out of the principal home.

two people shaking hands after one decided to buy a second home in Sterling
Only buy a second home in Sterling if you are absolutely sure you can pull it off financially and know its purpose

The final option is a conventional loan. The only downside to this option is that you would have to pay a much larger downpayment, pay higher interest rates, and meet tighter timelines and guidelines. Typically, banks would ask for at least a 20% downpayment for a second home, but some lenders may raise that to 30% or even 35%. Of course, you would first have to qualify for a loan on a second home by meeting a higher credit score. As you can see, all options have their benefits and drawbacks. It’s up to you to evaluate all these options and decide which move is the wisest one. There are no right or wrong answers. Each case is different, and only you know your own financial situation and capabilities.

Evaluate the housing market carefully

Check the market methodically before choosing a home. Are houses now cheaper or more expensive than last year?  Talk to several real estate agents about the prices of homes. They will most likely ask you what type of home you want, and what would you like to be included in that home. Size, number of rooms, garden, pool, backyard, all of those things affect the price of a home so share all the necessary information with real estate agents. This way you will come much closer to finding the perfect second home in Sterling. Of course, you have to tell them what your budget is first! That way they will be able to narrow down the list of homes that are affordable to you while still having at least some of those things you asked for.

a blue house
Hire a real estate agent to help you find a second home in Sterling

We hope we helped you in your wish to buy a second home in Sterling. If you need any assistance to move some of your things into your second home, reach out to us! On top of having some of the most trustworthy movers in the DMV area, we also provide the best portable storage Northern Virginia has to offer. Our portable containers can be parked anywhere you want them. This makes the loading and unloading of items much easier. If you wish for us to keep that container in a secure location, we will bring it to our warehouse where it will wait for you.


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