This past week my family I returned from the sunshine state where we vacationed in beautiful Fort Myers, Florida. For the 2nd year in a row, we utilized the website VRBO.com and rented a townhome in a master planned community. VRBO is an amazing website that let’s homeowners, investors, etc. rent their real estate to vacationers such as my family. The owner of our unit was also from Minnesota who owned the property as a vacation home and investment property.
Over the past year, the number of homes that have been completed in the Paseo development is astonishing; the real estate recovery is strong and improving fast in hot real estate markets such as Fort Myers. The National Association of Realtors just released the 2015 survey of vacation and 2nd home buyers and found that 21% of home buyers across the country purchased a vacation home; up from 13% one year prior. The report found that one-third of buyers plan to use for their own family while 37% plan to rent at least part of the year. The median sales price of a vacation home in 2014 was just under $200,000.
The Mullins Group projects that the vacation real estate market will continue to improve as most real estate markets across the country continue to show appreciation after the housing downturn and ensuing Great Recession. We recommend exploring vacation home ownership; not only as a home away from home; but as a potential retirement and investment strategy.