Spring in central Wisconsin has been coming slowly, but Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes property sales are off to a very fast start!
The Remax Lyons Real Estate team – Steve Huhta and Maryann Jenner have already helped waterfront buyers close on two properties and they have two more buyers with Chain properties under contract ready to close soon. In the Remax Lyons Real Estate office one more Chain property is under contract, and rumor has it that other agencies in town have two additional properties under contract.
The increased amount of sales is unusual – buyers agreeing to buy while the ice is still on the lakes! The temperatures are cool, but chain property sales are hot Hot HOT!
Our local waterfront real estate pattern seems to be following a national trend as reported by RIS Media. The article says, in summary, that as the market continues to shift, vacation home sales are making continuous and stronger waves.
With low prices, stable prices and low mortgage rates in most parts of the country, affluent buyers—or those who have always dreamed of a cabin on a lake—are making their move and purchasing second homes in exotic locations to be used as vacation getaways.
According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), sales of investment and vacation homes jumped in 2011, with the combined market share rising to the highest level since 2005!
NAR’s 2012 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, which covers existing and newly built home’s sales in 2011, shows vacation home sales rose 7 percent that year.
Some highlights of the RIS Media article go on to explain why the vacation home market is on the rebound: In 2011, there was an 8.8 percent rise in U.S. travel expenditures, and according to the October 2012 Traveler Sentiment Index™, traveler sentiment neared pre-recession levels, within 0.7 points of the October 2007 pre-recession high of 91.1.
People are getting away again, and as the economy stabilizes, many see a standing vacation spot as being a wise investment. Here are statistics on vacation-home buyers, according to the 2012 NAR survey:
• In 2011, 42 percent of vacation-home buyers paid in cash, and 39 percent purchased distressed properties.
• Vacation-home sales accounted for 11 percent of all transactions in 2011, up from 10 percent in 2010.
• The typical vacation-home buyer was 50 years old, with a median household income of $88,600.
• Purchased vacation homes were located a median of 305 miles from the buyer’s primary residence. Thirty-five percent of vacation homes were within 100 miles, and 37 percent were more than 500 miles.
• Typical buyers plan to own their recreational property for a median of 10 years.
“There are lots of investors buying rental properties and second homes right now,” says Goran Forss, a broker in Temecula, California, whose company has had a consistently strong base of investors over the past several years—approximately one-third of all buyers—and has copious amounts of vacation rentals. In Forss’ market, a myriad of investors keeps the inventory scant.
NAR’s national survey showed that 91 percent of vacation-home buyers planned to rent their new home out within the next 12 months for at least part of the season.
Of this 91 percent, 40 percent plan to rent the home between one and eight weeks of the year, possibly to make a little extra money during the time they won’t be using the property. Thirty-two percent plan to rent their properties between nine and 26 weeks per year, and 27 percent plan to rent their homes between 27 and 52 weeks per year.
“Those (vacation properties) have become more and more popular for the savvy investor and stay booked year round due to our moderate temperature and abundance of sunny days,” explains Forss. In Wisconsin however, the winter snow can be just as strong of a draw for vacationers who want to go ice fishing, snowmobiling or cross country skiing.
U.S. vacation home seekers aren’t solely staying within the country, either. The trend seems to be percolating worldwide. Shannon P. Murree, a real estate professional in Barrie, Canada, says she has seen an increase in U.S buyers looking for additional properties in her market as confidence in the economy grows.
“People are looking at (vacation homes) for their own use, and renting them out weekly during the times they won’t be using them, as well,” says Murree, who notes that she has seen an increase in this trend as of late.
When _ looking for a vacation home, it’s important to understand that lending is different for properties that are not a primary residence. _Lenders are more strict with vacation home mortgages than those for traditional homes, so _ buyers must have immaculate credit—often 720 or greater—and be up-to-date with their primary mortgage.
Additionally, many lenders have been giving out “jumbo” mortgages for vacation and investment properties. Unfortunately, new mortgage guidelines put out by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will go into effect in 2014 and may put an end to these popular loans. This is something to consider if you had planned to finance a second home this way.
If you’re interested in purchasing a Chain O’ Lakes property to use as a rental vacation home, even if it’s rented out part-time, remember you can trust me as the savviest agent in the area when it comes to waterfront property. My team and I have many years of experience living in and playing on the lakes year round, and we will ensure a smooth transaction, providing you with a wealth of information regarding your new investment venture! Currently we manage chain rentals for out-of-town owners, we have the number one Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes vacation rental web site.