Thinking of Buying a Second Home? Shop in These 4 States

Whether you have a favorite vacation destination, want to start an Airbnb or simply want a home away from home in a new locale, it may make sense for you to buy a second home. Not only may it make sense but also, you may finally be at the point where you can.

Second home sales have soared in recent years, which experts attribute to two main factors. The first is that interest rates are at record lows. Second, many first-time homeowners are finally getting to the point where they have enough equity in their first homes to afford a down payment on the second. If you have substantial equity built up in your home, now is the time to put it to use. The question is, though, where should you buy? Below are just a few states that offer affordability, desirability or both.

1. North Carolina

For its beautiful mountains, towering trees, unlimited natural resources and peaceful ambiance, North Carolina is becoming an increasingly popular vacation destination. While you can buy a second home just about anywhere in North Carolina for an affordable price — ambiance included — two of the top markets in the state are Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

For just under $200,000, you can purchase a second home in either town. The cost of living in both locales remains under the national average. Despite the low cost of living — or possibly because of it — property value gains over the past decade are slightly higher than 50%.

2. Texas

Everything is bigger in Texas, except, it seems, home prices. The average price of second homes in Laredo and El Paso, Texas, is between $162,000 to $165,000. The cost-of-living index rating is right around 80, meaning it is 20% less than the national average. Property crime rates in these locales are also low, at less than half that of the national crime rate.

In terms of what to do in Texas, there is no shortage. From historic sites such as the Alamo to national parks such as Big Bend, there is a lot of something for everyone sprinkled throughout the state. Top attractions include the San Antonio River Walk, Space Center Houston, Natural Bridge Caverns and The Fort Worth Stock Yards, to name a few.

3. California

While people are leaving California in droves, it may make sense for you to purchase a second home in the Golden State, especially if your goal in doing so is to either turn it into an Airbnb or to sit on it for a long-term investment. Two of the last remaining affordable cities in California include Bakersfield and Riverside. In the former, you can still purchase a home for little more than $300,000. In this desert town, the cost-of-living index is at a comfortable 91.8. The property value gain over the past 10 years is an impressive 115%.

In Riverside, just north of San Diego County, you can find a home for around $530,000. The cost of living is low, with an index of 82.1. Properties in the area have appreciated by more than 150% in the past decade. With proximities close to beaches, mountains and major metropolises, both cities make great second-home location choices.

4. Nevada

Another great location for an Airbnb or second home is Nevada — or, more specifically, North Las Vegas. Situated right outside of the hub of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas offers quiet and comfort without being too far from the heart of the city. The average home price is right around $325,000, with home gains an impressive 195.6% over the past decade. North Las Vegas is just a stone’s throw from the strip, minutes from the Las Vegas Speedway, an hour from Lake Mead and the Hoover Damn and hours from Sunny San Diego.

A home, whether it be your first or second, is a big investment. Make the most of it by shopping in the four states listed above.