Just like vacation seasons, vacation homes come and go

Vacation Homes Come and Go

When you think about it, all homes are actually seasonal properties. Whether it’s a primary residence or a vacation home, it will be in your life for only a season.

King Solomon, who was famed for his wisdom, spoke about the seasonal nature of life, saying: “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…”

Similarly, there’s a time to buy a second home for vacations, a season for ownership, and a time to sell. It’s as natural and inevitable as the transition from summer into fall.

Seasons of life change. Vacation homes can become a source of frustration instead of relaxation when leisure time isn’t as plentiful as it once was, for example, or family gatherings are no longer as practical as they once were, or life moves you too far away to get to the Lakes Region with any frequency.

On the other hand, the season of carrying costs never ends. Even if you escape mortgage payments, there are ongoing insurance premiums, maintenance costs, heating fuel or winterization expenses, the fourth-highest property tax rates of any U.S. state, and electricity rates 57 percent greater than the national average.

Despite these facts, I know letting go can be scary. It’s a little like jumping off a high spot above the lake while clutching a rope swing. In both cases it’s critical to let go at just the right time.

But let me calm your fears. If you’ve been holding onto a second home in Lakes Region towns like Laconia, Gilford, Meredith, Center Harbor, Holderness, Sandwich or Moultonborough, now might be the perfect time to let go and list.

The demand for Lakes Region homes right now reminds me of those video clips of Black Friday sales… only in this case the mobs are rushing to buy the building, not the stuff inside, and they’re often competing to pay full price—or more—not less.

Let me give you some examples. I did a quick scan of year-to-date home sales in Meredith and found some interesting facts:

  • 64 percent of the homes sold so far this year closed at or above full list price, with an average ‘sold price’ that was 102 percent of list.
  • the median 2021 sold price is a record, 31 percent higher than sales for the same period in 2020.
  • the median ‘days on market’ for 2021 is six (compared to 45 days on market for the same period in 2020). That means half the properties were under agreement in less than six days. That’s a fraction of the normal days on market, and a blistering fast pace indicating strong demand.

If the season for your vacation home has passed or is passing, you might be sitting on a gold mine. Why not trade carrying costs for cash? If you’re curious what your vacation home might worth to someone who’s entering their season to buy, contact me for an accurate but aggressive analysis. You might be amazed.

Like the author Herman Hesse once said, “Some of us think holding on makes us strong but sometimes it is letting go.”

Brent Metzger is a Realtor® with Roche Realty Group in Meredith. He may be reached at (603) 229-8322 or brent@rocherealty.com. To learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market visit www.RocheRealty.com.

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