Minden second-home mecca | RecordCourier.com

Minden second-home mecca

by Susie Vasquez

When it comes to desirable locations and “reasonably-priced” second homes, Minden ranks sixth in the nation, according to an article in the Dec. 6 issue of U.S. News and World Report.

“New crops of second-home communities are sprouting up around the country, as buyers cast their sights away from pricey traditional resorts and seek out up-and-coming communities that won’t deplete their savings,” the report said.

Retirees and baby-boomers make up the bulk of that market. Little-known spots like Big Lake, Alaska, Brunswick, Maine, and Talent, Ore., near Ashland, joined Minden on the list of up-and-coming properties in this category.

John Hamer, of Coldwell Banker Itildo, said his second-home sales have increased by roughly 25 to 30 percent in the Douglas County market. Most purchase larger upscale homes.

“This is a nice area. We have at least 300 days of sunshine here. Blue skies are a big selling factor,” Hamer said. “People feel safe here. Second-home buyers like the quality of life and they like being close to Lake Tahoe.”

Dan Edwards, owner of Nevada Home Finders Realty Group in Douglas County, said there’s a very real shortage of homes for sale here.

“This is a great place for a second home as long as the money keeps coming out of California,” he said. “What happens in California, happens here.”

County commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen said the U.S. News ranking could further escalate Douglas County’s skyrocketing real estate prices.

The quality of the homes being built here, together with land conservation efforts, could mean rapid appreciation in the years ahead, Etchegoyhen said.

“Just when you think the real estate market has got to settle down, we get ranked sixth out of the top 10 communities in the country,” he said.

“The focus is on preservation here. That’s what people want,” he said. “It’s a very difficult balancing act between quality and affordability in Douglas County, but it looks to me like the affordable housing could wind up in Silver Springs, not here.”

Legislation passed a couple of years ago authorizes the Bureau of Land Management to sell public land for development and use the proceeds to purchasing land for open space, or conservation.

An estimated $10 million is expected from the sale of 144 acres in north Douglas County, about a year ago. Another 300 acres of Bureau land is expected sell this year in north Douglas County, meaning more money earmarked for preservation.

When combined with this year’s upcoming sale, the money could mean another 2,000 to 4,000 acres of land preserved in Douglas County, Etchegoyhen said.

“The sale of this property going to garner a significant amount of money for land conservation, which is a viable alternative to development,” Etchegoyhen said. “It’s good business.”

— Susie Vasquez can be reached at svasquez@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 211.