June 07, 2012 // Franchising.com // PARSIPPANY, N.J. – As summer heats up, so do popular – and pricey – second home markets like Martha’s Vineyard and South Padre Island. Considering a second home but want to avoid sticker shock? Check out these under the radar vacation markets with all or many of the hotspot amenities, minus the lofty price tag.
A quick flight from Boston, Mass. and drivable from New York City, Rockland, Maine offers that comfortable New England vibe, including 14 local lighthouses, and numerous maritime activities, without the pricey home prices one would encounter in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
“Waterfront homes overlooking the harbor sell at an average sale price of $325,000,” according to broker Russell Wolfertz Jr., ERA Cousens Realty. “Riverfront condos sell at an average of $240,000 and second and seasonal homes in retirement communities are on average, selling at around $250,000. We have a great downtown area too and properties near the average sale price of $175,000 - 225,000. You often hear people boasting they want Martha’s Vineyard and those same buyers would be surprised to learn Rockland offers much of the same without the lofty price tag. It’s quite the bargain.”
Wisconsin’s Door County offers five state parks, 11 lighthouses, and 300 miles of shoreline, extending into Lake Michigan. Lake lovers can stroll along the water’s edge or explore one of 13 islands while skipping the more expensive Lake Minnetonka, Minn. market.
“The average residential sale price in 2011 was $219,200 and recently, sales have increased by 13 percent, indicating growing interest and increasing home values in Door County,” said broker Dennis Starr of ERA Starr Realty. “Uniquely, the market is comprised of various real estate options from hotel condo properties at an average sale price of $79,800 up to spectacular waterfront properties at an average sale price of $605,900 [in 2011]. Compared to the popular Lake Minnetonka, it is a great buy and you won’t miss any of the amenities; Door has them!”
Midway between Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore sits Sheridan, Wyo., home to Buffalo Bill and Little Bighorn Battlefield. Named a “Top Place to Live in the West “by American Cowboy magazine, Sheridan is affordable and offers many of the amenities boasted by Jackson Hole, Wyo.
“Currently, the average sale price of a residence is $210,638,” said broker Dixie See at ERA Carroll Realty. “And if buyers are looking for new construction, the average price is even less at $209,051. Sheridan is worth a try - it appeals to avid snowmobilers and is in close proximity to several national parks, driving summer tourism. Jackson Hole may be known as the place to go but Sheridan is just as enjoyable and much more affordable.”
North of the Mexican border, Brownsville, Texas is defined by the pristine Boca Chica beach, semi-tropical climates, shopping and nightlife at a lower cost than nearby South Padre Island, Texas.
“It is still a buyer’s market here,” said broker Nilo Ortiz of ERA Sunrise Realty. “Many waterfront condos are available for well under $200,000 and average sale prices are attractive. If, you’re thinking South Padre Island, give thought to Brownsville. You will save money and enjoy a very scenic and relaxed atmosphere.”
Less than an hour from the coast, Salem, Ore., the state’s capital, boasts more than 25 wineries and the Frank Lloyd Wright Gordon House –the acclaimed architect’s only building in Oregon. Similar to pricey Napa Valley, Calif., Salem offers the best in culture, tastes, and scenery at a very nice price.
“Salem appeals to many different tastes,” said broker Kari Peterson, ERA Northwest Professional Realty. “With average listing prices at around $244,000 and a favorable average sale price, prospective buyers would be wise to check out Salem as a home base because there are many affordable homes in this hidden gem.”
ERA Real Estate is an innovative franchising leader in the residential real estate industry with 40 years experience in developing consumer-oriented products and services. The ERA® network includes approximately 30,000 brokers and sales associates and approximately 2,400 offices throughout the United States and 35 countries and territories. Each office is independently owned and operated. ERA Real Estate is a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services. ERA Real Estate information is available at: ERA.com.