by Melanie McLane
Chair, 2012 NAR Resort and Second Home Real Estate Forum
It’s spring in North Central Pennsylvania. Fishing season opening day has been here already, and we’re busy getting our cabin ready for the summer. Across my region, this is when we return to camps and cabins for another season. A big portion of the real estate my husband and I sell are second homes used for fishing, hunting, hiking, snowmobiling, ATV riding, and just generally kicking back and enjoying life. This year, I’m reminded again of how special a second home is to so many families. Our first grandchild, Cayson, turns one in June. We had him at the cabin last year as an infant, but now he is walking and into everything. “Pap-Pap” (aka Jim) and I couldn’t resist getting three chairs for the creek bank–and one is Cayson-sized. Our old Adirondack chairs had finally given up the ghost. This is the spot we take our coffee in the morning and watch the mist rist from Kettle Creek and the fish taunt Jim (“You can’t catch us!”). Thisyear we had to have a place for Cayson–so whether he is there with us, his parents, or all of us, he has his own chair.
But the bigest part of why we love this place is what it means to our family. Cayson is the fourth generation of McLanes to come to “Forty Acres,” our place in the mountains of Pennsylvania, in Potter County. The original cabin was built by Jim’s dad and a team of his friends during the 1930s. Our son Clark, with some assistance, built a new cabin there in 2010. But the traditions and memories continue: smores on the campfire, card games at the old oak table, coffee in the morning along the creek, stream hiking on hot days and the absolute peace and stillness at dusk, as we watch the wildlife go to the creek.
Many buyers want second homes just for this reason–a place to enjoy with their families–a place to unwind and make memories. In our hectic lives, we can count on restoring ourselves with a trip to this special place. When I talk to those who have second homes–whether a cabin in the woods or a beach house, a ski chalet, or a condo in a tropical place–everyone cherishes the time and memoris they have there. One of the best parts of my job is helping people find a place to carve out time and make their own memories.
Hamlet of Roscoe ‘a laid-back community’
Snapshot: Roscoe is a hamlet in the Town of Rockland, in northwest Sullivan County. There were 20 single-family home sales in Rockland last year, up from 16 in 2008, according to the Sullivan County Board of Realtors. The median sale price last year was $144,000, up 17 percent from 2008′s median of $123,500. It’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from the statistics, because there were so few sales.
What you’ll find there: “It’s a real country setting with a laid-back community,” said Bob Lambrigger, broker/owner of Roscoe New York Realty. Roscoe is known for mountain views and world-class trout fishing — the season opened Thursday in the self-proclaimed “Trout Town USA.”
Roscoe features a range of homes, from $100,000 cabins to waterfront estates priced north of $500,000. “It’s a vacation home-site area, but people learn to love it and use it for retirement purposes down the road,” Lambrigger said.
The typical buyer: Roscoe is a second-home haven frequented by residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. “Sometimes people buy a small cabin, with anticipation of putting a nice home up later on,” Lambrigger said. A few celebrities use the area as a getaway, he added.
The commute: It’s not a round trip you’d want to make every day, but Short Line provides bus service from Roscoe to New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal.
The retail mix: There’s Catskill Grocers and a variety of small shops in town. Peck’s Market is a few miles away in Roscoe’s sister hamlet, Livingston Manor. And then there’s the famous Roscoe Diner.
“No matter where we go, we see bumper stickers for the Roscoe Diner,” Lambrigger said.