How Long Has This Home Been on the Market? Does it Really Matter?
Every once in awhile, a prospective buyer visiting our Madeline Island office asks me "how long has this home been on the market? In a primary home community, I'd consider that a valid question and one that agents expect to receive.
I typically reply by pointing out that a primary home (the place where we hang our hat, so to speak) is a necessity. A vacation home/second home is a discretionary purchase.
It's not uncommon for second homes to sit on the market for awhile. Market times are typically longer for vacation homes and the buyer audience for these homes, especially those in the top price brackets, is a relatively small segment of all potential buyers.
I've always believed that second home buyers take more time to make a decision about purchasing their vacation property. They tend to be more diligent, more thoughtful and they also usually do a significant amount of research into what the community is like, as well as what recreational opportunities are available.
A second home is a lifestyle choice. When you choose to buy on an Island, you're buying an affinity to the water. You may be a sailboat fanatic, or a powerboat owner, or you may be heavily into kayaking. An island on the Great Lakes is a bit different. Lake Superior is the ultimate "lake", which is more like an inland sea. It's a freshwater lake, which visitors from the east and west coasts find a bit startling. Fishing Lake Superior is a bit different too. The lake is cold and remarkably deep in spots.
At any rate, market times for second homes are heavily influenced by many factors, some of which do not enter into the decision to purchase a primary home. We see more investor buyers, more lifestyle buyers and more daydreamers who love to sail or cruise a formidable body of water. Other factors include the availability of financing (or cash on hand) and for some buyers, the potentially daunting task of building on an island.
So again, I caution buyers not to sweat the "time on market" factor too much. Remember to take into consideration the many factors that go into the decision to buy in our little corner of the world.