What Do People Want In Second Home Real Estate?

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Value and a pretty darn good view — beachfront or mountain — that’s what people generally want when they seek second home real estate. After all, that’s the whole point of buying a second home, getting out of Dodge and enjoying peace, quiet and nature. But one thing has changed since the real estate bubble burst: folks want smaller second homes. (Do you blame them? Give me a one-vacuum-cleaner home on the range.) Two to three bedrooms max, creative living space, multi-function rooms. According to the E360‚Äôs 2nd Home Trend Report,¬† 45% of homeowners believe this year — maybe 2011, also — is the best time to buy a second home. No brain-killer here: timing, cheap interest rates, close-out pre-foreclosure sales; property characteristics, location, and price were the major preferences or influencing factors.

God, I hope they didn’t pay someone to dig up this earth-shattering news. Cut the consultants, just chop the price.Because guess what, the buyers are out there on the fence:

“More impressively, of the remaining 54% who indicated that now would not be a good time to buy 79% indicated that they would be likely or very likely to purchase in the next 2 years. Martin says ‚Äúthis is a strong indication that demand will continue to grow over the next two years and will strengthen the second home market‚Äù.

Why do second home buyers buy homes? 46% for lifestyle and leisure, 41% for investing, 11% for retirement. Maybe it’s only 11% for retirement because so few of us will be able to retire.¬† They really don’t want much space. One trend I saw at a lovely East Texas shared ownership and conservation development called Cross Pines Ranch was the porch dining room — second home buyers love large kitchens with eating areas but skip building a formal dining room. The large, screened-in porch can be a second dining or living area, especially if there is an outdoor fireplace. Screened-in means not air conditioned and heated which means, non-taxable square footage.

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Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

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  1. Kevin Hakan Bouvier says

    Knowledgable and funny. When you said “God, I hope they didn‚Äôt pay someone to dig up this earth-shattering news.” I went wee wee just a little bit. It’s like someone paying for statistical information on the fact the during the summer months St. Augustine should be groomed a minimum of once a week for a properties highest and best curb appeal. Several years into the worst real estate market our country has even seen means LIKE IT OR NOT to sell you are going to lower (slash) your prices – ergo – the people who could afford a second home now might be able to even get a third.

    My 5 year old nephew just told me that. Let’s pay him.

  2. Kevin Hakan Bouvier says

    Knowledgable and funny. When you said “God, I hope they didn‚Äôt pay someone to dig up this earth-shattering news.” I went wee wee just a little bit. It’s like someone paying for statistical information on the fact the during the summer months St. Augustine should be groomed a minimum of once a week for a properties highest and best curb appeal. Several years into the worst real estate market our country has even seen means LIKE IT OR NOT to sell you are going to lower (slash) your prices – ergo – the people who could afford a second home now might be able to even get a third.

    My 5 year old nephew just told me that. Let’s pay him.

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