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Financing a Condotel Purchase : Grand Strand/Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

MORE PEOPLE THAN EVER before can now afford to purchase a vacation home in a resort destination. Thanks to companies such as Oceanfront Guru Real Estate Sales & Development in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and its relationship with nationally-renowned Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, owning a second home is not a privilege reserved for those with deep pockets. In fact, obtaining 95-percent financing for such a purchase is a possibility.

Whether you prefer golf on a championship course, dining on succulent seafood or lounging on white, sandy beaches-or all three-a second home in the Myrtle Beach area might be right for you. Condotel projects are being developed all along the Grand Strand, and families from New York to Florida are taking advantage of the opportunity to live on the coast for at least part of the year.

There are some important facts to consider before starting the search for your dream vacation home. First: Not every condotel project is eligible for 95-percent financing. Second: It is easier to obtain financing for a second home than for investment property that remains on the rental market throughout the year.

Owning a second home has many advantages over owning an investment property, according to Oceanfront Guru broker-in-charge Bradley Bennett. He says with a second home, you usually enjoy a better mortgage rate and more tax advantages, and you usually don-t have to put as much money down. The Internal Revenue Service defines a second home as one the owner uses for 14 or more days annually or for more than 10 percent of the total number of days annually that the home is rented out, whichever is longer.

To be classified as a second home, which increases the possibility that you will be able to obtain up to 95-percent financing, a condotel must have separate bedrooms and a full kitchen with a dishwasher, a stove and a refrigerator, according to Michael Buda, branch manager of Wells Fargo in Myrtle Beach. A room with a microwave and a couple hundred square feet of space will be deemed an investment property, says Buda. In this case, financing is more difficult to secure and will likely require a 20-percent down payment. "It is important to get with a lender who really knows the market in the area," Buda warns.

Oceanfront Guru has a selection of condotels for sale, as well as an in-house Wells Fargo loan officer to help buyers find the financing options that suit them best.

By Melissa Newsom



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