Asheville Mountain Real Estate Blog

Asheville, NC real estate for sale. Information for buyers, sellers and mountain homeowners, without pressure. Rich content for those who are far away about what it is like to live here through the generous use of media. And some nostalgia with our, "Baby Boomers' Fun Stuff", Thanks for stopping by.

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Location: Mars Hill, NC, United States

A small, highly personalized real estate firm specializing in mountain homes and land in greater Asheville.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Buying or Selling a Vacation Home: Matters of Timing

07/20/07

When is the best time to buy or sell a second home? Perhaps the answer derives from a couple of old sayings. First, real estate is cyclical, and second, real estate is local. Both statements have lessons for buyers and sellers in second home resort markets, such as greater Asheville and Wolf Laurel.

Sales of second homes or vacation property in Asheville follow the national cycle, for sure, but there are additional seasonal and local cycles in all resort markets. Amy Gunderson, second home specialist at The NY Times, often cited by us, uses these words about second home markets: (Registration Likely Required).
(locations)... with a predominance of second homeowners have seasonal quirks to their real estate markets. Sales activity is driven not only by the time of year when most visitors descend, but also by the season when potential buyers hope to get the most use out of their homes. Pinpointing when demand ebbs and flows is the first step in deciding when to put a vacation home on the market.
Therefore, to cite just one example, during the summers in Asheville or Wolf Laurel, one would see a fair number of golf course homes listed, and a corresponding rise in the number of golf course home buyers. In fall and winter, the same correlation applies, but the emphasis moves perhaps to ski properties. We give Amy no argument there, and indeed, these patterns are what one would expect intuitively.

What this means is, the selection will be best for buyers, when the seasonal utility of the home is at its peak, and for sellers, the greatest demand will occur at the same time. Seems a bit like stating the obvious, but yes, real estate is local and cyclical.

While these local seasonal patterns are real, at the same time we live under the larger influence of a national, even a global economy. Therefore, the actual number of buyers and sellers, the manner in which they interact, and the volume of sales, are also influenced by these fundamental economic indicators. So real estate is more than local. It seems to me, the details of these broad economic indexes are a lengthy matter, and best left for future postings here.

Additional Resources
These outbound links contain insights for both parties in a transaction.

From The Real Estate Insiders: Very general thoughts about factors influencing the choice of a second home.

From The Wall Street Journal: Second home archives, quite a number of articles. Although the content does not change very quickly, it contains a number of primers and occasional tax information.

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