Tough times and bargain pricing has hiked vacation home sales 7.9 percent to 553,000 nationally in 2009 from 513,000 in 2008, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The jump in vacation home sales is the direct result of a dramatic dip in prices and desperate homeowners no longer able to afford to maintain a second mortgage.
Chu said compared to conventional homes, selling vacation homes often requires expertise in areas that include water wells and septic tanks.
“You want to be fairly knowledgeable in that area before you start steering your client,” he said.
Terri Cantrell, a Realtor at Century 21 M&M in Oakdale, has sold vacation properties at Lake Tulloch for more than 25 years. She has been stunned that owners of Tulloch’s exclusive waterfront properties were impacted by the downturn.
“Those people were so solid they didn’t lose them,” she said. “I would say a dozen have been foreclosed. That’s unheard of.”
Also unheard of is the dramatic drop in the price of waterfront properties. Cantrell said listings that are selling, range from $450,000 to $1 million. There are property listings that top $2 million.
“I would say prices are absolutely 50 percent from the high,” she said. “It has been 20 years since you could buy something on the water for $450,000.”
Cantrell said nearby Copperopolis also is popular for vacation homes. She has a Los Gatos client that has offered $255,000 for a Copperopolis home with a view of Lake Tulloch. The house, which was used by the owners as a second home and is now bank owned, sold for $460,000 in 2003.
Cantrell, who recently relocated from Copperopolis to Oakdale, said she was prepared to sell conventional homes and properties after the move.
“I came to Oakdale, but I keep getting drawn up there (Copperopolis) because I had so many clients,” she said.
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