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Why Now Is A Great Time To Invest In Resort Real Estate When Headlines Don't Match The Real Data Real estate, like life, follows a series of cycles. Whether you consider it locally, nationally, or globally it's an eternal exercise in ebb and flow, but one that over time tracks continually upwards. While the mainstream media is currently focused on eye-catching headlines reporting supposedly dire real estate economic conditions, it fails to recognize - and certainly fails to report - the differences between national, regional and local data, as well as the vast chasm between the primary vs. The vacation/secondary home market. Current news trends amplify the real estate woes of only a handful of areas in the U.S., where speculating by 'flippers' and sub-prime loans to primary homebuyers have, admittedly, caused significant real estate downturns. However, while these issues affect perhaps 10% of the States in this country, markets in a large portion of the other 45 states are experiencing everything from a modest gain to a near-record high real estate environment. One of the strongest segments of those rising market areas is the resort or vacation/second home market. Because of the nature of this market - where buyers are generally well-funded and financially capable of pursuing vacation or possibly future retirement area options - this real estate segment is typically less volatile than primary or investor-driven markets. Highly-leveraged buyers, those that help create volatility, represent only a small fraction of the resort/vacation/second home markets. As a result, the economic forecast for this portion of the market continues on an upward swing. In 2006, vacation home sales accounted for 14% of all the nation's home sales - according to the National Association of Realtors (a 2% increase over 2005). And even in the current economic climate, it is anticipated that 2007 statistics will continue to hold strong. In fact, according to real estate market analysts such as renowned economist Harry Dent, the success of the resort/vacation/second home arena is truly nothing more than a simple 'numbers' game -- driven by the sheer volume of Baby Boomers venturing ever closer to the retirement horizon. "Rising Baby Boom birth trends...show a rising wave of peak vacation-home buyers from 2000 into 2024," according to The Next Great Bubble Boom (H. S. Dent, 2006). Indeed, the combination of the financial resources of the post-WWII generation, coupled with the continual rise of technological advances indicate a profound reinforcement of this prediction. No longer tied to the physical constraints of living in the city to remain commercially productive - Boomers are now recognizing their ability to live where they can play.......and rely on technology to maintain their career connection. As indicated by the chart below, the next great migration wave is off to the small towns and resort communities.........and that's precisely where the resort/vacation lifestyle is to be found. All of these statistics and forecasts for the future of resort real estate, however, seem to fly in the face of what can only be considered by the news media: a "Great Bad News" reporting event. So it's not surprising that the data of the past, current and future trends that investing in resort/vacation properties is well-supported - specifically those resorts located in the Rocky Mountains - is rarely


seen. In the more well-known and long-established ski resort areas - such as Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge, and Telluride Colorado - during the past 10 years, the value of resort properties purchased in these markets has risen from 23-28% annually. 2006 saw record results, with 2007 on track to break even those records. Condominiums typically lead this market with homes in a close second position -- and as the Rocky Mountain lifestyle lends itself to year-round enjoyment of these second-home and resort properties - these statistics should really come as no surprise. But the truth is - you won't see them making headlines anytime soon. Perhaps for the savvy real estate buyer, though -- that's good news. Few things are more satisfying than having done your own research, which leads you to making an advantageous and unique real estate investment. The Rocky Mountains cut a wide swath through the western U.S., and offers some of the most spectacular recreation, landscape, and lifestyles imaginable. Look for resort areas that are earlier in the growth curve, and have a large, financially secure entity that supports massive infrastructure and community amenity improvements. These may include government supported improvements (roads, utilities, airport upgrades, etc.) or amenities (new ski lifts, golf courses, conference facilities and waterparks) that are developed by well-funded companies with a proven track record for quality. Whistler, British Columbia is one example of a location that had both strong government and corporate support twenty years ago, and real estate values have more than tripled there over the last decade. While resorts like Aspen, Vail, Sun Valley and Jackson Hole are in their "maturing" stage, look towards those areas that have just recently "hit the radar screen", like Central Oregon (Bend), Couer d'Alene, ID, Whitefish, MT and Kellogg, ID. By purchasing in one of these "up and coming" resort areas, a smart buyer can still stumble into a ground-floor opportunity - similar to those seen in Vail and Aspen twenty years ago. It's simply a matter of reading between the headlines. Long Beach Island Real Estate


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