Time to think about vacation home

May 05, 1991|By James M. Woodward | James M. Woodward,Copley News Service

It's about time to seriously plan that family summer vacation at a favorite mountain or lakeside cabin or condominium. And that often leads to renewed thoughts about buying a vacation residence.

If you're in the market for such a property, this is a particularly good time to go for it. The same economic factors that create the current "window of opportunity" for buyers of primary homes also apply to vacation property buyers.

Prices have lowered over the past few years. Mortgage funds are plentiful and interest rates are low. But as the market becomes increasingly active, that opportunity window may close to a wee crack.

Prices of individual vacation homes have declined by nearly 15 percent over the past 18 months or so, according to industry analysts. Condominium prices have dropped by about 50 percent.

Falling real estate values have made pre-retirement homeowners less inclined to sell their long-established home and buy a resort residence, it was noted in a report from the research firm of Ragatz Associates. This has resulted in a general market slowdown.

"On the other hand, there's a strong feeling that this is one of the very best times in a long time to buy real estate. Prices are the lowest they've been in years," the report stated. That positive view certainly applies to vacation properties.

Most families who are considering the purchase of a vacation home focus on one of the following types:

* A detached cabin or house.

* A full-ownership condominium unit.

* A time-share interest in a vacation condo or house.

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