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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The plight of the second homeless

There’s an awful lot of real estate for sale around me these days. Many of the places on the lake are second homes. I can only assume the local market for second homes has pretty much disappeared. Waterfront property never used to stay on the market very long.

A handful of hearty souls did what I did. We turned a summer home into a year round home. A fair percentage of those people put up their homes for sale within a year or two. Often the guys loved it, but winter isolation drove most of the wives a bit crazy. Currently, only a handful of families are year round residents. It’s still basically a seasonal area.

Another factor against owning a place here is the lack of jobs. Combine that with high fuel prices, bad roads, and long distance commutes, and the pool of potential buyers gets smaller.

Financing is pretty tough these days too. The place right next to mine had a sale pending sign on it for months. That’s been replaced with a regular for sale sign. The loan fell through. I don’t think there’s a lot of extra money floating around. What Federal loan programs are available are geared toward primary residences.

My guess is that these second homes are priced too high. At one time, a fair number of them were owned by working class people. Most weren’t fancy places; that came later, but people could afford them. Now we don’t have camps around the lake. It’s “cottages.” Fancier word. Fancier construction. Fancier price tag. The middle class was forced out as their wages stagnated and real estate prices went crazy. Now it seems the area is too rich for most local people but too isolated and not fancy enough for the rich.

I used to joke that most of my neighbors were seasonal. Now we are even losing them. Good thing I like it quiet.



  1. I'm with you. The less people around you the better off you are (most of the time). If left to a free market, prices will adjust themselves. If govenment steps in, all hell brakes loose.

  2. amazing how one can sell overpriced lots to a gullible market as an investment...

    maybe you will get some squatters as new nieghbors?

    as for the housing market... it killed itself for a long time yet to come..

    there is a market for tent cities and homeless shanties...


  3. Shame you can't purchase a couple for yourself and rent them.