Real Estate Investing

Buying in the Poconos - Real Estate Links

The Vacation Home as an Investment Strategy

The Poconos is a unique area for many reasons but, fortunately for those of us who buy, sell, own, and make our living from real estate, property remains uniquely in demand despite major market meltdowns elsewhere. This is not to say that things haven't slowed down this past year, but I consider this a mere blip in the overall picture of a vibrant real estate market.

There are three key factors which feed the market here: 1) The proximity to New York and New Jersey via I 80 and I 78 attracts commuters looking for a better, more affordable quality of life; 2) The population growth of the area, especially Monroe County, has beckoned to investors from far and wide bringing lots of commercial development; and 3) The time-honored tradition of the Poconos as a year-round resort area, recently rejuvenated by new attractions like Great Wolf Lodge and the Mount Airy Casino.

It is this last sector of the market that my favorite mortgage broker has chosen to address in his latest guest post. ~L

From the Desk of:Lake_in_the_fall

Abacus Regional Mortgage

It may not have occurred to the regular Pocono resort visitor that their yearly vacations here could be making them money, or to the real estate investor that a vacation home can be a lucrative way to round out their portfolio.

Because the Poconos is classified as a resort area, the purchase of a vacation home or second home and renting it out for weekend and weekly rentals has more than just the obvious financial benefits. Yes, cash flow is maximized by structuring your offering as a short term rental rather than  as a long term (monthly or yearly) lease, but there are two major advantages to purchasing your investment as a second home as opposed to the more common investment property scenario:

  • The purchaser qualifies for a mortgage as a 2nd-home buyer rather than as an investor, allowing her to qualify for a better interest rate. Investor rates are normally 1/2% higher or more.
  • If the investor spends two weeks but only two weeks in the property annually, he gains numerous financial advantages. The two week occupancy allows the owner to write off all the expenses on their Schedule E, which takes advantage of deductions like depreciation and mortgage interest in order to save on the investor’s income taxes. If the property shows a loss, and the investor earns less than $ 150,000 in income, they can write it off as a loss on their income tax returns.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an accountant and this is only my understanding of the tax advantages. Always seek professional advice from an accountant to fully weigh the advantages or disadvantages of this kind of scenario.

The ability to treat the property as a rental for income and tax purposes, while still getting the best available interest rate to finance the purchase, makes buying a vacation home in the Poconos a no-brainer. The 2nd home market in any of the many amenity communities in the Poconos is perfect for weekly rentals, and you can have your very own getaway spot reserved for your favorite weeks of the year.

For information on the best rates and programs available for your vacation home purchase, please call me at 610.837.1600. I will provide a complimentary consultation and mortgage advice you can count on!

Cheap Land in Stroud Township!

Land_in_stroudsburgReal pretty building lot in Stroud Township (18360) is ideal for a modest ranch or cape, or even a modular home, as these are the types of houses nearby. The neighborhood is generally well kept and very convenient to both Stroudsburgs and all major routes (I80 and Routes 611, 191, 447 & 209).

Stroudsburg School District in the vicinity of Stokes Avenue.

Public water and sewer available at the street.


Oct_2007_002_2Property next door with mobile home and big garage (which has heat, water & electricity) is also available for sale separately at $75,000.

Download survey.pdf (98.2K)

Real Estate Investment Blog

I've been a semi-faithful reader of the BiggerPockets Blog for a few months...meaning, when I have time I check it out. It has been on my list of to-write-abouts for about the same length of time. This morning this video came into my feed reader and moved it to the top of my list immediately. Anything that can get ME to giggle before 10am is golden!

Some examples of the info you will find on BiggerPockets:

Managing Tenants Part 3: Written Criteria For Tenant Selection
Getting Started In Rehab Real Estate
The Mortgage Crisis Has A Silver Lining (...and other truths you won't hear on cable news this week)

For advice and information on investing in real estate here in the Poconos, stay tuned to the Poconos Real Estate Blog or email your favorite local real estate expert!