(NAPSI)óWith home values rising, mortgage rates low and rental demand strong, purchasing a second home may seem like a good investment.

Many would agree. According to the National Association of Realtorsí (NAR) annual Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, over 2 million vacation and investment properties were purchased in 2015.

If youíre considering buying a second home for leisure, rental income or future retirement, here are four suggestions that may help.

1. Seek help from a Realtor. The survey found that recent vacation buyers typically purchased a second home 200 miles from their primary residence. Even if youíve visited your targeted search area, chances are you arenít privy to local market conditions, such as current demand levels and future resale value.

A Realtor, a member of NAR, can be your expert professional when it comes to buying a home. He or she can help you find the property that fits your budget, and will negotiate on your behalf at the closing table so you get the best deal.

2. Know the rules if you plan to rent it out. Whether itís occasionally or all the time, many second-home owners rent out their home to earn extra income.

Even if itís only a few weekends a year, it is absolutely crucial to know all ordinances related to allowing tenants into your home. Laws can vary from one town, neighborhood and condo building to the next.

A Realtor can familiarize you with the rules and laws of a property before you decide to make an offer. That way, you wonít be caught in a situation where restrictions limit your ability to earn rental income, especially if this money is needed to help pay your mortgage.

3. Be ready to make your case to lenders. Getting a mortgage today takes some diligence.

This is especially true with second-home buyers, as adding another mortgage to an existing one is going to stretch your debt-to-income ratio and youíll likely need to make a significant down payment on any second-home purchase to get the most favorable terms.

4. Grab a pen and do some paperwork. As with all home purchases, itís important to be patient and flexible, and to stick to your budget during your search. If you have a Realtor at your side and the means and wherewithal to do it right, that second home can be in reach either as a solid investment or a place in which to make lifelong memoriesóor both.

Learn More

For further facts, including how to reach a Realtor near where you want to buy, go to www.realtor.com/GetRealtor.

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)