With travel costs on the rise and a continued attitude of uncertainty regarding the economy, it’s not surprising that more vacation home buyers are looking to purchase closer to their primary residences. It’s actually a great time to buy, as prices are becoming more attractive and interest rates are at historic lows. But why are so many home shoppers foregoing homes in exotic locations and purchasing those that are a car ride away?
For many, it makes more sense to buy a vacation home they will actually use more often. It’s expensive to purchase plane tickets for everyone in the family, and then load them up and travel. With a vacation community that’s nearby, you can grocery shop at home, pack up the car, and hit the road for the cost of a tank of gas. Also, many see the benefits of being able to maintain their own vacation homes versus paying for landscapers, property management companies, and so on. A nearby vacation home means that other family and friends can also use it, helping to maintain the home’s longevity and just keep an eye on it in general.
HomeAway.com, a website that lists vacation rentals, found that the most popular markets for vacationers are those that can be reached within a four-hour drive from a person’s primary residence. And NAR corroborates that assertion. They found that median distance declined 19% between a buyer’s primary residence and his vacation home during 2010 to 2011. What this says is that it’s financially more prudent for buyers to look for a vacation home nearby versus purchasing something out-of-state that’s expensive and difficult to reach.
Many vacation home buyers are retirees who are looking to bridge the gap between owning a primary residence and moving into a retirement home. They are still interested in locations that have temperate climates year-round, like Florida and Nevada, and these two states in particular are attracting more buyers from nearby states and within their own borders.
With prices continuing to fall, now is a great time to consider purchasing a vacation home. Whether it’s down the road or a plane ride away, in the U.S., the median sales price of homes has declined 19% according to NAR, which is a good signal that now is the time to buy.