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New home sales: 'Really good news'

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Sales of newly constructed single-family homes spiked 11% in June to an annualized rate of 384,000 homes, according to a report released Monday.

The gain over May was much greater than expected. A consensus of housing industry analysts had forecast seasonally adjusted sales of 352,000, according to Breifing.com.

However, sales are still 21% below the levels of a year ago, when new homes sold in June at an annualized rate of 488,000, according to the report released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Four years ago, during the height of the housing boom, the sales rate for June was 1,374,000, nearly three-and-a-half times higher than last month.

Still, the report was very positive, according to Peter Morici, an economics professor at the University of Maryland who had forecast June sales to be at the 350,000 level. "That is really good news. Considering what's going on in existing home sales, with all the foreclosure activity sending down home prices, for new homes to jump like that is a good indicator that the economy is bottoming out."
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Vacation Home Blog and News

April 9, 2009

Vacation Home Trends

I’m by no means an expert when it comes to home decorating, but after years of writing marketing copy for vacation homes and primary homes, you begin to notice that the main difference (in most cases) between the two is location. It’s the neighborhood that really sets them apart. Interestingly, interior features seem to parallel each other.

For instance, a decade or so ago,  it was trendy cabinetry, jacuzzi tubs, and a master suite that typified the highly prized items in a home or vacation home. Typically, most walls were white, there was generally a gas or wood fireplace, and a deck or patio. Homes and condos were moderately sized.

Now, stainless appliances, granite counters, hardwood floors, a hot tub room, and trendy colored walls are all the rage. And the homes/vacation homes are huge. This has been the standard  setup for about 10 years now. Stainless appliances are much more expensive, and it makes you wonder what made these so popular. Was it because they were used in the homes of the wealthy, where professional cooks were often employed for parties, get-togethers, or even on a regular basis? Do we really need a 6-burner Viking stove to cook our meals? And, are they on their way out with a new economy model based on frugality?

0-sectional-patio-furnitureGranite counters, though appealing and useful, are very expensive, and somewhat out of kilter with the new economy. Hardwood floors have also been viewed as a huge plus. But at one time, most of these were carpeted over because they were difficult to maintain, scratched easily, were targets for shoe scuffs, and weren’t comfortable to walk or sit on for any length of time. Colors over the last few decades have trended from pastels to solid white, to bold colors.

All of this has to make you wonder: When will everything you treasure now suddenly seem as dated as shag carpeting or vinyl covered cabinets? And, most of all, what are the next trends likely to be? It seems many are related to outdoor living space. That’s a huge expansion area. They’re even coming out with outdoor sectional furniture and appliances. But what’s the inside of your home going to look like in the next few years? It seems as though we’re on the cusp of major changes, doesn’t it?


November 15, 2008

What’s Your Idea of a Vacation Home?

Filed under: Choosing a Vacation Home — Tags: , — Jim Marks @ 7:00 am

Most people think of a vacation home as something for the rich. Absolutely not true. In fact, most vacation home owners earn an average yearly household income, or just above. Sure, many people want that luxury seaside mansion in the Hamptons, or a luxury home on a groomed ski trail, but for many people, it’s a small cottage to fix up and get away on vacations and weekends… or just a parcel of land to camp on.

Some people like the idea of buying a large piece of wilderness, perhaps on a mountain, or by a stream. From there, they could build their own vacation home, furniture and all. Something the family builds and everyone has a hand in. You camp out for the first year or so, and gradually move into your vacation home, then expand it.

Another option is to buy a resort condo, perhaps with just one or two bedrooms. Many places have affordable condos (not timeshares), with onsite rental programs. When the market’s good, these are the first properties to appreciate, so if you want to move up, catch the beginning of a seller’s market. Condos usually have little maintenance, and often generate income to pay for condo fees, taxes, and whatever mortgage you might have. Typically, onsite rental programs split the rental fee with the owner.

You could also sell your current home, move to where you like to vacation, and find employment there. That way, you’re already living in the area you enjoy most, and vacations are spent outside your door.

What’s your idea of a vacation home, and how do you plan to accomplish your goal?


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