Second HomeHawaii? Nope. California? Nope. Florida? Nope. Where is the hottest second home market in the U.S.? Ocean City, New Jersey.

According to an analysis of second home purchases by SmartAsset, Ocean City rose to the top of the list thanks to a whopping 79.38 percent of its mortgages were for secondary residences. The coastal town has 2,865 mortgages for second homes and 744 for primary residences.

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AspenWhile the house itself may look a bit different from when John Denver and his wife Annie bought it in the 1970s, the Aspen estate still has the views that inspired him to write “Starwood in Aspen.”

The local couple that bought the home in 2016 put the home on the market last month, after doing extensive remodeling, telling the Denver Business Journal that they installed new floors, and replaced the windows and the roof. They took pains to save the fireplaces, stained-glass work, copper sinks and fixtures, and the cabinetry, which was refinished and, in places, repurposed.

Denver purchased the home, and expanded it while he lived there. (more…)

CharlestonEditor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 28th city on the list — Tampa, Florida. This week, we look at Charleston, South Carolina, and found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“You can live comfortably in Charleston on an income of around $55,000, and the median price of homes is about $250,000,” MoneyWise said. “In Charleston, you will have access to beaches, excellent restaurants, and plenty of outdoor fitness activities.”

“The summers can be hot, but winters are relatively tame. The city also boasts two hospitals and eight healthcare centers.”

Want to see examples of what you can find in Charleston? Let’s jump! (more…)

evansvilleEditor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 31st city on the list — Mobile, Alabama. This week, we look at Evansville, Indiana, and found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“This is a fairly small city with a population of approximately 120,000, and the cost of living is very low,” MoneyWise said. “An income of $35,000 will get you a comfortable lifestyle here. The climate is subtropical, meaning that summers are hot but winters are blissfully mild.”

“With more than 15 healthcare centers in the city, you’ll have peace of mind and all the doctors and hospitals you’ll need in your old age.”

Want to see examples of what you can find in Evansville? Let’s jump! (more…)

MobileEditor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 32nd city on the list — Overland Park, Kansas. This week, we look at Mobile, Alabama, and found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“Mobile offers inexpensive living and a mild, temperate climate. The median household income is $38,000,” MoneyWise wrote. “Winters are rainy and summers are hot and humid, making the town a perfect retirement getaway from snowier areas.”

“The city’s 18 major health care centers include a hospital and two nursing homes.”

Want to see examples of what you can find in Mobile? Jump with us, won’t you? (more…)

Our Vacation Home Week celebration on CandysDirt.com was such an amazing success. We got to feature incredible second homes and developments in some of our favorite locations. Luxury amenities and gorgeous design, each one of these homes has just what you want for a getaway and then some! And boy, let me tell you about location! Let’s run through our fabulous featured second home spots from Vacation Home Week!

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I found myself dreaming of being inside a cozy lodge, next to a fire, watching fresh snow fall outside. Immediately I decided to see if I could find the perfect ski cabin in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Here’s my top-5 list for this incredible winter destination!

1) Singing Trees

Singing Trees

I dare you not to fall in love with this incredible log home dubbed “Singing Trees.” Shaped by Gerry Spence, this amazing eight-bedroom, seven full and five half bath home has all the rustic touches you’d imagine — stone accents, antler chandeliers, Native American-style textiles, and oodles of leather — all designed to resemble the magnificent lodges built inside national parks during the 1920s. It’s listed for $18.9 million.

2) 8910 N. Deland Dr.

8910 N. Deland Dr.

A luxurious Jackson Hole estate, indeed. With six bedrooms, eight full baths and more than 13 acres, this gorgeous compound, complete with aerated pond, is a retreat that will dazzle anyone. Views of the Tetons and plenty of room for guests, this home is listed for $13.9 million.

3) Gorgeous Snake River Ranch Estate

Snake River Estate

Doesn’t that look like the perfect Christmas? Snow outside, stockings hung by the chimney, and I bet this Dutch colonial revival is super cozy when the fire is roaring. Located on the Snake River in one of the most scenic areas of Jackson Hole is this amazing 52-acre ranch. Just lovely! It’s on the market for $11.5 million.

4) Wild By Nature

Wild By Nature

Here’s another classic Jackson Hole lodge, dubbed “Wild By Nature.” This home has stone fireplaces, antler chandeliers, and decor that looks like any one of the well-curated showrooms at Anteks. It’s more modest, though, with five bedrooms, five full baths and three half baths. It’s on the market for $10.75 million.

5) Triple Creek Ranch

Triple Creek Ranch

Rounding out my top-5 Jackson Hole lodges is Triple Creek Ranch, a stunning and utterly classic log home that overlooks a placid creek and is hidden by trees and mountains. Beautiful and absolutely cozy inside, with picturesque views outside. Price is hush, hush, though, for this four-bedroom, four full and one half bath abode.

No. 3 Wailapa Road

What kind of nuts are we talking about, Jodi? Macadamia nuts? Brazil nuts? Definitely not peanuts, as you won’t find any vacation homes worth their salt going for that. Sure, the second home market is super hot, but let’s not get too carried away — slow growth is sustainable growth, and that’s what many economists are seeing in the vacation home market.

What I do like about Jodi Helmer’s piece in the Huffington Post is the four essential pieces of advice for vacation home shoppers (although I don’t necessarily agree with the fourth):

1) Location is king

2) Make sure its a viable rental

3) Make sure you see the real bottom line (maintenance and taxes) before signing on it

4) Before you make a bid, sleep on it

The fourth piece of advice is kind of problematic because, just like buying any property, someone else might want it more than you and if you follow Jodi’s rule and always sleep on it, well, you can lose out.

What do you think?