The housing crisis has taken hold across the country in very different ways, and for those fortunate buyers with the resources to purchase vacation homes in this economy, discounts are bountiful. But with more affordably priced markets to choose from comes the daunting task of deciding where to plant roots. That's why ERA Real Estate decided to create a list of five lesser-known vacation hot spots to rival some of the more popular (read: overpriced) markets in the nation. Click through the gallery below to discover five surprising alternative spots you should be buying in.
Buy Here! Not There!
Vacation Homes: Buy Here, Not There
Advantages: Homebuyers in this county are seeing prices that are lower than the market peaks six years ago, along with historically low interest rates and diverse selection of inventory. A wonderful vacation home location with close access to Yellowstone National Park, skiing, downtown shopping and museums.
Disadvantages: Consumer goods and services run about 57 percent higher on island than the national average. In addition, housing is 96 percent higher than the national average and 13 percent higher than nearby Boston. Also, the island is only accessible by plane or ferry.
Advantages: The region offers a wide variety of home prices, with options varying from lakeside and vineyard-side, to the shores of Lake Erie. Wine and nature lovers unite! Area attractions include local wineries, fresh water beaches – all within a drivable distance of Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
Advantages: Home choices range from gracious multi-acre country estates to restored Old Florida homes in downtown neighborhoods and high-rise condos with water views. The median price for a single-family home in the county was $165,000 in 2009. Deemed as having the “World’s Finest White Sand,” this quaint town is the perfect location for a second home.
Advantages: With the benefits of being a resort town and the convenience of a big city, Virginia Beach is experiencing a rise in vacation home rentals -- a great investment return. It is a family friendly and activity driven town with miles of beaches, lovely shopping, golfing, fishing and boating. A potentially great retirement location.
Disadvantages: Along with the long drive across Long Island, the affluent towns are experiencing a decline of 22 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to last year. The prices in this ultra-rich summer destination are spiraling downward, which may raise a long-term investment concern -- retreaters may be going elsewhere.