Second or Vacation Home Ownership
For this month’s article, I would like to discuss second or vacation home ownership and what the future holds. You possibly purchased the home during the pandemic, or you may have already owned it prior to. Whichever circumstance applies, second homes provided many with a much-needed outlet when finding themselves working from home fulltime for the first time. Maybe it provided room for a dedicated home office (or perhaps two), more living space or more outside entertainment space on a lake, in the mountains or at the beach. These types of homes became highly desirable during the stay-at-home mandates because families could group together, have some fun and feel safe. They were indeed purchased as second homes for most people, with the buyers not intending to give up their primary residences close to work, friends and family.
Now that people are moving back to their offices either full or part time, and children are required to physically attend school, owners of second homes may find themselves wondering what to do. For those who are confident they will still be able to make use of their second home on weekends or for a family get-away enough to warrant the expenses of a second home, then holding on to the property makes good sense. A great option to supplement that decision may be to place the property on AirBnB or VRBO and gain some income for the down time that you would not use it as a family. Other families will continue to look for safe ways to vacation for the foreseeable future and your second home may well fit that need.
For those of you who are wondering if you made a sound investment by purchasing, here is the answer. While sales of primary residences increased approximately 9% across the country in the last year, sales of second homes increased in the realm of 27%, and since we are still in a time where we have an incredibly low supply of homes. Buyers are still out there ready, willing and able to purchase and the market for a second home is still strong. Prices have increased and selling now and cashing in on your profit may make perfect sense.
The final scenario is for those who find their new normal for work, allows them to be permanently remote from the office. In this circumstance maybe this is the time to make a new life in the second home as your primary residence living the dream on a lake, in the mountains or at the beach. This may certainly be an attractive option for empty nesters who do not have the complications of changing school systems for kids. It could be especially attractive if you purchased the property as a potential retirement home as this allows you to accelerate your plans and transition earlier while profiting from the sale of your original primary residence instead.
So, the good news is that regardless of when or why you bought your second home it may well have been a great investment!!
Joanie Heighes is a Real Estate Advisor with Engel & Volkers Jacksonville, with over 18 years of Real Estate Experience. Joanie is currently ranked #8 in Jacksonville by the Jacksonville Business Journal out of over 10,000 Realtors. As always, if you have questions, or suggestions for future articles, please feel free to reach out.