Thursday, November 30, 2006

Still Going Up: NC, Texas, Montana

Smile if you are selling a vacation home in North Carolina. The National Association of Realtors reports that's where the biggest total sales increase was for the third quarter. Existing-home sales rose 9.7 percent compared with the third quarter of 2005. In Texas the third-quarter resale pace rose 8.6 percent from a year earlier, while Montana experienced the third strongest gain, up 6.4 percent.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

'Wealth Gap' Hits Florida West Coast

Naples, Florida is typical of second-home communities suffering from the "wealth gap." Says an article in USA Today, "investors and vacation-home buyers helped drive up the median home price to $446,900, second-highest in Florida after the Keys." Prices are dropping but not enough for people who work in the region. More than 80% of the workforce is employed in the four lowest-paying industries: construction, retail, agriculture and services (pool cleaners, for instance, and golf instructors). Median income for a family of four: $66,100. That would qualify you for only about a $350,000 house, nearly $100,000 below the median.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Portofino: First Two-Tiered Destinations Club

The universe of ultra-luxe "destination clubs" changed today as two clubs -- Portofino and Signature -- merged. According to a press release, the newly named "Portofino Destinations Club" will be the first residence club with two tiers and will "provide its members access to high-end homes all over the world: the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Italy, France and the United Kingdom."

Membership for the Portofino properties cost as much as $250,000, plus annual membership dues of up to $19,800. Signature membership costs as much as $150,000, with dues of up to $11,500. Each has a core of members in a particular region: Signature is based in Colorado while Portofino's focus is the Pacific northwest.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Vacation Home Slowdown? Not in Aspen

The bubble may be deflating elsewhere, but it's still aloft in Aspen, where the Residences at The Little Nell have set a new records for fractional purchases, According to a press release. The owners say 4-bedroom units are now going for around $2.5 million, while 3-BRs now sell for $1.475 million. That's for a 1/8 share, which guarantees 4 weeks of use, two in winter prime season and two in summer prime. Owners also may reserve two additional weeks on a first-come-first-serve basis, and may extend their stays on a space-available basis.

Got some loose change you need to spend? Visit RLN's Web site and shop for your very own unit. Don't book your flights just yet, though; the condos are still under construction adn the owners hope they'll be done in time for the 2007-2008 ski season.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dissed By Your Home Insurance Company?

That's the way some folks in southwest Florida feel. Citizens Insurance Company has sent out thousands of letters to policy holders with coastal property demanding that they prove their home is their primary residence.

It's because of a change in the law, says an article in of Fort Myers. The background:

"In the spring, the Legislature passed new laws that treat second-home owners different from Citizens policyholders who insure their primary residences through the state-run insurer of last resort.

"Starting with new policies and renewal notices that go out after March 1, owners of vacation homes, rentals and other non-homestead property will be kicked out of Citizens and forced to try to buy their insurance again on the private market."

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