Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor®
Philadelphia Main Line Homes and Real Estate
Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties
Relocation Specialist
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Subject: A Vacation Home May Be the Right Move

If you had the chance to turn the vacation spot of your dreams into a vacation home for a lifetime, would you take it? Well that chance is available to more individuals than may realize it. With a vacation home, it's not just the location, it's the lifestyle. It's the place you'd be tomorrow if you could find a way to make it happen. Well, owning a resort property and enjoying the lifestyle that comes with it may start as a dream, but for many it has become a reality. And it could be your reality.

Achieving balance in your life. If you're like the 80 million baby boomers now entering their middle years, you may be feeling a strong emotional pull to lead a more balanced life. You want a get-away place. A place to spend more time with your family. That's why a resort property may make more sense than ever.

Thanks to technology and advances in transportation, resort properties are now more than just a place to vacation. They're becoming a place to live and even work part time now, and a place to enjoy later in your retirement.

According to a survey by a prominent marketing and public opinion research firm, a vacation home has become the number one status symbol among Americans. Almost 70% of those asked say they consider owning a second home a symbol of achievement.

The resort property segment of the real estate industry gives every indication of outpacing traditional residential sales in the years to come. Having a retreat in Key West, Mackinaw Island, Vail or Maui isn't necessarily something people can't live without. But it's certainly something most people can see themselves living with and enjoying for years to come.

Determining a location. According to most experts, the demographic center of the United States will continue to gravitate toward the South and the West. Sunbelt states will continue to experience increased population into the first decade of the next century. Currently, nearly half of all vacation homes are located in the South, while one in five is in the West, followed by the Northeast and Midwest. So if you're looking to be where the action is heading, either the South or the West seems to be a good choice. But remember, the best place to look is where you envision yourself living the lifestyle you'll enjoy most. A weekend resort should be easy to get to while a home to spend the winter or summer vacations may be at a greater distance from your primary residence.

Choosing the right property. Choosing the right property depends on the lifestyle you prefer. Do you enjoy golf, tennis, snow skiing, sailing or camping? You should be looking at areas that fit your lifestyle choices. If you are looking for a vacation home, you may want to start with a local real estate professional who can help you search online and refer you to opportunities within the real estate network to which they belong. You should ask whether or not they can access a network of real estate professionals specializing in resort properties. This will enable your local office to better prepare you to consider specific communities and resort destinations.

And you'll be able to consider and compare properties in "parallel" markets if you choose. Your real estate professional should be able to help you make the choice that's right for you.

Timing your purchase. Today, the appreciation in many resort areas is better than in major metropolitan areas. So it's a perfect time to seriously consider investing in a resort property that you can appreciate now and for years to come. The time to start making your move is now, before the Baby Boomers inflate the prices of vacation homes even further.

Making the move that can turn the vacation spot of your dreams into a vacation home for a lifetime may be easier than you think. Each year thousands of transactions are closed in resort markets throughout North America. With careful consideration, a resort property could become an important part of your financial plan and a great enhancement to your way of life.

"Real Service in Real Estate." For a personal consultation on buying or selling real estate, Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor® can be reached at (610) 642-3744, e-mail: jp4re@pahomes.com. Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors® is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.

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