Q: “Denise, I work in a rural area that has a fair trickle of vacation home traffic this time of year, but I am shocked at the pace of this market. It seems like as soon as something comes on the market, it is under contract in a crazy short number of days. I thought it would be a quiet year due to COVID and the economy, but the opposite seems to be true. What is going on and should I be doing something to take advantage of all these buyers?”
A: There are indeed a number of “vacation” areas that are experiencing a strong surge of buyers right now and it is due to COVID. Despite the economic uncertainty, let’s look at what the vacation home market currently has going for it:
- Historically-low interest rates, even though vacation homes traditionally have a higher interest rate than their primary residence counterparts.
- In certain areas and industries, employees have been told they can work from home for the next several months, some until the end of 2021, and some permanently.
- Homeowners would sell locally…if they could find another property to buy. Instead, some have given up on searching for a home that will improve their lifestyle at their primary home and are looking for other ways to enhance their lifestyle.
- People have more disposable time on their hands than any time in recent memory. With events cancelled left and right, people have more time to go to a vacation home.
- For families, if schooling is beginning online, that allows kids to attend from their living room…or from the lake or even on a mountain top. As long as there is internet, online learning can happen.Increasing prices have given more homeowners peace of mind…and equity. Some are using that equity to buy a vacation property and refinancing at the same time.
In terms of opportunities, I wouldn’t be focusing on buyers unless you have relationships with agents in areas that buyers may come from. In that case, you can set yourself up for a good referral. Instead, focus on finding sellers. That will give you way more control of your time.