The season is upon us. What season, you ask? The season where folks start thinking about summer. Winter is terrific, I think we can all maybe, sorta, possibly agree. Or maybe we don’t, because we did agree at Christmastime, but the charm of winter fails to last as long as the winter itself. It’s like a bike ride. I’m super into riding bikes for perhaps the first mile, assuming the mile is mostly downhill. But after that? I’m still on the bike because Uber isn’t all that reliable in Lake Geneva, but I’m really quite done with the idea of the bike ride. We’ve reached the point of winter when nearly all of us have no further use for it, but if you take a look outside, there it is. All wintery and stuff.
The rental market at Lake Geneva is miserable. It’s light on inventory, and if you’re looking for something really nice, well then you might as well stop looking right now. The reason for this is simple. This market was never built on the pretense of rental income. Many vacation home markets are built this way, wherein the market participants consider the cost of their mortgage against the possibility of offsetting income. This is actually how most vacation home markets are built, and what a shaky foundation that is. Geneva isn’t built like this, it’s built by owners for owners. Looking to rent here? I hope you like hotels. If you’d like to dip your toe in the waters of our market and consider a summer rental before you buy, I would liken that to demanding a test drive in a new Turbo S. Did you think you weren’t going to like it?
If you take this discussion one step further and consider ownership in the different types of vacation home markets, imagine ownership in a vacation home market built on the back of seasonal rentals. If you buy a home there, you might enjoy such weekends as “bachelorette party weekend”, that one usually takes place in the summer, but is possible at any point of the year. Or another favorite, “guys who were friends in high school go golfing for the weekend”. That’s a good one, because they blast Blink 182 from the deck speakers. You could own a home in this sort of transient market, but why would you want to? I’m interested in vacation home markets populated by vacation home owners, and if you like market stability and fiscally strong ownership, you should feel the same way.