Boomers: Vacation Homes



Climbing Sales
Who wouldn’t like to spend the golden years listening to waves rolling in on a beach or gazing over snow-covered mountains? For previous generations these have only been dreams; however, the baby boomers are breaking sales records with the purchases of vacation homes. Since 2013, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has reported healthy sales of vacation homes.

Baby boomers at or near retirement continue to propel the demand for second homes, although headwinds softened the overall volume of vacation sales last year,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a release. Boomers consider vacation home options as investments, a place for families and grandchildren to create memories and traditions, and the fulfillment of lifelong dreams and goals. Many will move to these homes permanently after retirement — couples like Jay and Glenna Callarman, who purchased their Colorado property early in their marriage. After paying off the land and slowly building the home themselves, they retired from Texas to Colorado when Jay achieved full retirement from the oil industry. It took an early commitment to their goals and disciplined budgeting.

Mandy Van Steepen has worked in marketing for over 30 years. She joined Legacy International, specifically for the McCombs Properties, last year. She has several years of working in real estate between California and Texas. She says, “Our target market across all of our communities is primarily the baby boomers. At Palmilla Beach, I would say 50 percent are in the baby boomer age range, and at Reserve St. Charles Bay, they are the primary buyer.”

Van Steepen recommends purchasing a home for a long-term investment over renting, though renting might be the less expensive option. “Port Aransas especially allows for a huge investment opportunity,” she says. “When not using the home, a homeowner can place it into the rental pool, and Texas is one of the hottest rental markets in the country. The rental numbers are incredible and make the second home ownership option very attractive and simple.”

Lee Ann Peters, sales director of Cinnamon Shores on Mustang Island, said there are typically three main reasons to own a beach home. “Investment in your family is the first,” she says. She loves to see families where the children will return to the home even after going off to college and beginning their own lives. Secondly, the purchase is a wise investment for a real estate portfolio with appreciation and rental revenues. “According to our owners,” she says. “the rental revenues come close to paying for the property. We agree. Why not let others pay for your beach home? It is a win/win situation.”

Boomers need to take care when shopping for these homes. Van Steepen cautions to watch out for reverse mortgage options, taking too much out of retirement funds for the purchase or developments that do not allow the buyer to sell the home within a specific amount of time. Boomers often need the flexibility to sell at any moment. “Most important,” she said. “is not to overspend your retirement budget.”

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