Skip to content

December 2023: Buying a Second Home

I’ve been in Key Largo for almost two weeks now and it has been amazing! From the perfect weather to the great views, I’m so happy to be here. On top of this, I’ve been eating very well. I had the opportunity to eat at a familiar restaurant, Ziggie & Mad Dog’s in Islamorada. The building dates to the 1930’s and the structure was originally built as an outbuilding on a pineapple plantation and later served as the sales office for the Pen Key Club.

It transformed into a restaurant in the 1950’s and in 1962, Ziggie Stocki purchased the property! The name “Mad Dog” came from Jim Mandich, who had an All-American career at the University of Michigan and was later selected in the 1970 NFL Draft. Mad Dog, and longtime business partner Randy Kassewitz, purchased Ziggie’s in 2005 and did renovations for 7 months which ultimately led to the new and improved Ziggie & Mad Dog’s.

Not only do they have an awesome story, but the food is equally as awesome! I had a bunch of small plates, but the highlight was the Shrimp Islamorada. This is a must have when visiting this restaurant and was my favorite dish. Other standouts were the Tuna Wakama which was so fresh and delicious! The broccoli and cheese is also a must get and when pairing this with the Lobster Bisque soup, you really can’t go wrong. I was lucky to visit when the Stone Crabs were available, and this did not disappoint and I would absolute recommend this as a main course. Everything is so fresh here and that’s what matter. It’s the fishing capital of the world and most restaurants will cook what you bring in, it’s that fresh. Ziggie’s won’t cook what you bring in, but everything is just as fresh. Honestly, just a fantastic restaurant. When you eat here, you don’t have room for desserts, even when you’re trying to create room, you don’t have it. FoodiePhil gives Ziggie & Mad Dog’s a 9.2! Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary or coming for a party, Ziggie & Mad Dog’s dominates in every way!

Where should I go next?! Send me your recommendations!

Banner (17)

In this week’s newsletter, we would like to discuss the ins and outs of purchasing your second home. Whether it be upgrading to a new primary residence, investment property or vacation, home you will want to focus on these three things before putting an offer in on a second home based on an article from Apartment Therapy.

1. Sell first, Buy Later

2. Home Sale Contingency

3. Fees Fees Fees

1. Sell First, Buy Later

When looking to get out of your started home and upgrade to a new primary residence, you will want to consider selling your current home before purchasing your dream home. If you do not do this, you will be carrying two mortgages at the same time, and this comes as a risk if you’re looking to purchase a new home, mainly because the debt-to-income ratio, which is heavily regarded in mortgages, will skyrocket. We recommend making easy upgrades to your home before putting it on the market, such as fresh paint and anything that seems outdated that could maximize value if updated. Additionally, do not overprice your home. We are in a competitive market these days, so there’s a strong chance that a prospective buyer can put an offer in above the asking price.

Family meeting real-estate agent to buy new home

2. Home Sale Contingency

If you’re looking to purchase a new home, but the mortgage is contingent on the sale of your current home, you will need to include a home sale contingency in your offer. This basically means that you cannot go through with the purchase of a new home until your current home gets sold. Unfortunately, a home sale contingency doesn’t have the best reputation, specifically when it comes to the sellers. Sellers want a nice, quick, and stress-free transaction and adding a home sale contingency is not the best way to win them over. As stated above, it would be best to sell your current home first to save everyone unneeded stress and potential drama. By doing this, you can likely lock in a closing date much easier since the purchase will not be contingent on the sale of your current home.

Close up of a man receiving a handshake and a key at the same time

3. Fees Fees Fees

Like all real estate transactions, the one thing most buyers unfortunately do not consider are the fees that are involved. If a condo is being purchased as a second home or investment property, these do not get much consideration. HOA dues generally get added to the monthly mortgage payment, and this is for tenants to enjoy great amenities, but keep in mind that these do add up when combined with mortgage payments, insurance premiums, and monthly taxes. Additionally, it would be beneficial to the buyer to make sure the Homeowners Association does not have any rules against tenants renting out their properties, especially if this purchase will be used primarily as an investment property. There could be certain restrictions regarding this, but each Condo Association has different rules for each property, so it is best to do research up front.

Young man using a laptop building online business making dollar bills cash falling down. Beginner IT entrepreneur under money rain. Success economy concept

The three points that were discussed in this newsletter are key to homebuyers purchasing a new primary residence, secondary home, or investment property. Selling your home first, learning how to stay on a seller’s good side, and doing research on what you are looking to purchase are two of the most important aspects that can benefit you in the home buying process, and if applied properly, it will make a huge difference in the home buying process.

Become a World's Most Trusted Realtor:


There are many factors to consider when getting into the home-buying process. It’s best to evaluate all options and to really make sure that now is the right time to buy a home. If you’re only focused on the purchase price and interest rate, you’re simply not ready to buy and need to evaluate more to make sure you are not wasting your own time. If you plan on expanding your family, do consider getting a home larger than you originally thought as it will pay dividends in the long run! If you would like to take part in a short interview for our next newsletter/blog please click here.

Are you a realtor, attorney, financial advisor, etc. looking to promote your services for FREE? Sign up here to be published on our website and get the chance to be featured in top publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Business Insider.

Join The Phil Ganz Newsletter









To learn more about the real estate market, check out our weekly newsletter where we talk about food, real estate, and mortgages! Got a question? Contact me today to chat with a financial advisor or discuss your next steps. 

Find The Right Mortgage

For more than 20 years, Phil have been helping customers achieve their home purchase and refinance goals by providing them with invaluable resources and support.

Schedule a FREE Consultation
Phil Ganz

Subscribe to Get Your First Time Homebuyer Checklist

Sign up for the weekly newsletter to stay up to date on the latest real estate market trends, loan news, and so much more!