Tag Archives: How to buy a second home
I almost did not post this foreclosure, and while I have some issues with the kitchen — what in bejesus were they thinking with those wood cabinets, all beach house kitchens need to be white! — and the master bath looks like it might get you a good bash on the head if you get in after a few too many Mojitos, I will fix said issues for that Bay view right from the porch. (Not giving up the Top Shelf.) Mix me up a pitcher of anything with booze in it, rustle up some cheese and Carr’s wafers, and let’s enjoy the sunset. One acre, across from beach, 2420 square feet, three bedrooms, two baths, garage and bonus room with bath. Bank-owned at $252,000.
All I want for Christmas is a beach home in Florida. Seems I’m not alone. Elin Nordegren Woods is also on the lookout, but she has a slightly higher budget than I do — about $4,000,000. And she is looking, I hear, on Jupiter Island, a sleepy little quiet island with 516 condos and only 18 buildings. And guess who lives there, too? (Like 20 minutes away.) Prices on Jupiter, I’m told, are not as soft as they are in Miami, Naples and God’s Got-Too-Much-Sun-Waiting Room, Fort Meyers. Elin is looking at one of the newer buildings on the island, built in 1998, with just 24 homeowners and a staff that pampers like the Ritz. It’s called the Carlyle.
This post in Brick Underground got me thinking and of course, I’ve emailed it to my Manhattan-dwelling son who is coming home this weekend without, I sincerely hope, any critters in his luggage. He is upset that I bought him one of those canvas-cooker deals to kill off any bedbugs that might stick to his shoes or a backpack/briefcase. (Upset because he has no room in his studio apartment for it.) I’ve been freaking about bedbugs ever since he and I attended a movie near Times Square July 31 and the theater closed shortly thereafter due to bed bug infestation. People in New York are being told to not use their beds to store guest coats or purses during holiday parties, even the minks!
In Roatan and in La Paz, Mojitos. I am a huge Mojito girl, and love them best made with fresh mint and lime. I thought Victor’s muddled Mojitos were the best I’d ever tasted, created at Bite on the Beach in West Bay, Roatan –great restaurant — and he sent me home with the recipe and a bag of Honduran pure cane sugar. (Carrying a bag of white powder home from Central America did make me a little nervous, have to admit, but never come between a girl and her Mojitos.) But at Costa Baja in La Paz, I had another delicious Mojito and learned they pureed fresh pineapple in with the mint, lime and sugar. What do you like to drink when you relax at home? Anyone making homemade eggnog this year?
Have you ever in your real estate life had clients zero in on an item in a home that sold the home faster than you could think? I am always looking for a unique real estate story, especially anything about selling a home faster for the most in this market. (This vacation home advertises the Duxiana to pull in renters.) I met Serena Cole, owner of Duxiana Dallas, over in my favorite neighborhood haunt of Preston Center, and she told me that a Duxiana bed actually, truthfully, recently sold a house in 75230.
A 14 year old boy — a child — was arrested by Mexican authorities for beheading and cutting the genitalia off several cartel victims on behalf of the drug cartels. And he was heading for the U.S., arrested while boarding a bus for Tijuana, en route to visiting his mother in San Diego.
1. Second home trends: Affluent Baby Boomers will retire later and downsize from their large McMansions for which utilities and taxes have become prohibitive, to smaller homes, maybe condos, in the city and a second home — in the cheaper boonies, or in another city. Just last night a reader emailed me that his biggest dream is to own a second home condo in Quebec! Cripes, even Disney is getting into this market.
I’ve never really told you why I started a blog called SecondShelters. Truth is, I wanted to call it SecondHomes, but the URL was already taken. I like the word “shelter” because that is the purpose a home serves — it is really a shelter from the elements, from the big, bad world. As a real estate reporter, blogger and now agent, I saw several trends emerging that I thought would serve such a highly-focused blog well. (And I know a little about blogging.) Ultimately, I hope to serve up mainly Second Home House Porn and information here once I find a place for my “Dallas Dirt”. And my husband has put in a request for a tab on boats and yachts — apparently the prices are way down now due to the higher cost of petrol? But the trends I found were conceived from what you see going on in this photograph taken after my daughter’s wedding in September, 2009. This is the porch of the family beach house in Maine that my husband’s grandfather bought for his family to enjoy back in 1947. Today, it’s like a family timeshare that has spawned so many wonderful memories and gatherings being there is instant comfort and has spoiled me hopelessly to what the perfect beach should be. Second home ownership, you see, is not new. It has been around for ages in America as people escaped the heat and “summered” on the shore — Long Island, the Cape, Maine. In Europe, the gentry lived in the city and escaped to the country on long, restful weekends. We visited summer homes — and palaces –in Japan. With the advent of air conditioning, some perhaps thought this trend would end — people would stay put in their Bauhaus, egalitarian, 1500 square foot homes year ’round. (Of course, comrad!) Second homes in the 1950′s and 1960′s were lake cabins, or Winnebagos or Airstreams. But then came the developers who decided to “fractionalize” ski resort home ownership to get more paying bodies out on the slopes. If one family owned a chalet, but only skied a few times a year, the lifts were pretty sparsely populated. Fractionalize that chalet, bring in warm, credit-card carrying new ski bodies each week, and that resort revenue started looking fine.
Thanksgiving is over and for most of us, those turkeys from last Thursday are going to make excellent sandwiches for a few days. But the inspiration for this post truly came from an article I came across on the BBC: is squirrel the perfect austerity food? I mean, we are trying to make ends meat meet (pardon my pun) in the U.S., and this story points out that squirrel is really a very American food. In fact, it could even be more red-blooded American than turkey?
Second home buyers are a lot younger than you might expect, and they are not all affluent. Where do they want to have second homes? The beach, like Florida, which is no longer God’s waiting room but foreclosure central; Arizona, where it’s arid and there are so many foreclosed properties to choose from you can get dizzy shopping; the Colorado mountains, the rivers and ski ways of Montana, and North Carolina, a growing hotbed of second home coastal communities. Believe it or not, the bubble bursting in real estate has made owning a second home a reality for many because pricing has been slashed and dashed. And people are buying.