Many years ago, I decided to buck the most important trend in real estate salesmanship. I decided that I didn’t like every single sale. Contrary to current mass email form, I also decided that I wouldn’t do my best to make it seem as though every sale was a sale that I personally handled. If you receive emails with “market updates”, you’ll notice that it looks like your particular agent sold every property they send you. This generally isn’t true, obviously. Either way, I’m a trend bucker, and I think that’s a good thing.
While I desperately do not like every single sale, I have to tip my hat in the direction that it should be tipped. Buyers buying vacation homes is always good, but buyers who close in the month of May deserve a little extra applause. If you buy a vacation home in June, that’s terrific! Same goes if you buy one in December, it’s still a good idea. But to buy in May is to experience the most immediate form of gratification. Buy in May, and on Memorial Day you’re grilling lakeside, which is the only place to grill, in the event that you have a choice. So May buyers, good job.
There were several sales this week of vacation homes, and they should be discussed. The flipper’s house on Geneva Oaks Trail closed for $1.2MM. I’m guessing the flipper made a couple hundred grand on that deal, which is nice for him. That property is one off the lake, so it’s a nice comp for lakefront homes in the entry level price range. It was a nice enough house, with a nice enough view so long as the lakefront home doesn’t switch from ranch model to colonial.
Two properties in Loramoor sold this week, both off-water homes with slips. The one house was an original carriage house for the estate, so it was old and strange, maybe stranger than old, but certainly a sizable house and an even larger project. $600k was the print price, and I’ll be curious to see what transpires there now that the property has closed. Will the home be torn down? Extensively renovated? Painted and moved into? Who knows? Not me, that’s why I’m guessing. The other house was of a standard type ranch home that had some nicely elevated finishes and a trade price of $655,000. That’s not a bad sale, not at all.
A small ranch in Cedar Point closed for $280k, so that’s nice. The home was sort of close to the lake, with a sort of view, and sort of a back yard, but really just a bit of grass and a fence. It was a market sale, with neither buyer nor seller winning. I’m sure when the buyer walks down to the lake this summer he’ll feel as though he won, but perhaps when he walks back up the significant hill to his new house he’ll feel otherwise. Time will tell.
The market remains active, and I see pockets of value that still exist. Two of the best value segments right now are both on the lakefront. The entry level lakefront market looked, a year ago, as though it was about to take off. Then came a glut of new inventory, and inventory pressures prices, which appear to be soft. I’d expect a few of these entry level offerings to sell right, and buyers would do well to pay attention. The same goes for the larger lakefront land buys, those properties with marginal homes but nice lots priced around $4MM. Expect one or more of those sellers to be willing to deal, and if there’s a buyer out there that wants to build a legacy type vacation home, that buyer should probably email me before he, or she, makes a great big mistake.