Friday, July 28, 2006

A Sleeper From Sunset

McCall, Idaho? Never heard of it? That's why it's a sleeper. Sunset magazine has chosen it as one of its top choices for a second home. The mag calls it "an alternative to better-known and more expensive Sun Valley." It should be noted that McCall is also nowhere near Sun Valley. Specifically mentioned: Blackhawk, an "an environmentally aware development situated along the Payette River" which has home sites starting at less than $200,000.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Water: Most Popular Geographic Amenity

I'm not sure what HomePages is. But it did a recent survey on second homes and came up with this, according to Realtrends newsletter: "A quarter (25 percent) of respondents said they are considering a second home for investment purposes, while 22 percent said they wanted one for 'enjoyment' such as weekend getaways, vacations and family use. In terms of proximity to geographic features, 40 percent of respondents said features such as water or mountains would not be a factor because 'it's an investment property.' Among those who do consider geography an important factor in where they buy, 36 percent listed proximity to water as key, followed by mountains (17 percent), golf courses (5 percent) and the desert (2 percent). "


Friday, July 14, 2006

Chic Sheikh: Aspen Palace for Sale

For a sum that equals the GNP of a small country, you can spend weekends trying out one of the 16 bathrooms in an Aspen suburban cabin. As the Wall Street Journal reports today, "Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., listed his Aspen-area mansion for $135 million. The price is thought to be the highest ever for a single-family home in the U.S., surpassing the $125 million asking price for an oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach, Fla. Built in 1990, the prince's 95-acre estate includes a main residence that measures 56,000 square feet with 15 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, an indoor swimming pool, an elevator and dumbwaiters." For those who know Aspen, you also probably know that this bulbous retreat on the mesa overlooking the Aspen Airport has been the target of endless jokes. Luxury B&B, anyone?

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Selling Your Vacation Home a Month at a Time

You know the market is slowing when articles start appearing about seller financing. Nevertheless, becoming your own mortgage company does bring in money on a place that you're no longer using. Here's what Inman News says: "If you no longer choose to nurse a rental or vacation cabin and want to sell it, you can spread any resulting capital gains tax over time by 'playing the back' and providing seller financing. And, you can save the new buyer, perhaps a young family that has shown interest in your getaway community, the costs of a conventional loan while negotiating a favorable interest rate for both sides."

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Monday, July 03, 2006

The Next Summer Sizzle

So you thought there were no more beach resorts suitable for smart investors or second-home hunters? Think again. EscapeHomes, the popoular Web site, spotlights a bunch of them, including Door County, WI, Holden Beach, NC, and Long Beach Island, NJ. Each has properties for sale at prices that wouldn't buy a closet in the Hamptons or Miami Beach.

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