Page 47 - Garrett County Visitors Guide - 2018
P. 47

The general upturn in the U.S. economy, coupled with still-low interest rates and reasonable prices, has warmed up the county’s second-home market with much of the activity around Deep Creek Lake and McHenry. “Prospective buyers are more comfortable investing in a vacation home,” Weissgerber said.
“We have a want-based market,” said Ferguson. “People want vacation homes; they don’t need them.”
Although vacation homes do make up the bulk of the market, some sales reflect changing lifestyles as well. “I’m dealing with more and more people who are moving up here to telecommute,” he observed. Retirees or those planning for retirement also are a growing sector of the market.
Many second-home buyers are looking for an investment — a property to rent full-time or one they can occupy part of the year, renting it the rest of the time to recoup expenses.
Ferguson said there are about 5,000 vacation homes in the county and at any one time about 20 percent of them are licensed vacation rentals.
Condominiums have a special appeal to the second-home buyer because much of the maintenance is covered, so that weekends and vacations can be more leisurely.
My Deep Creek Experience
I ORIGINALLY VISITED THE DEEP CREEK LAKE AREA while on a Boy Scout trip in the early 1990s. We had a great trip! The following year, I convinced my parents that we needed to skip our annual family beach vacation to Ocean City and check out the lake. My mom pushed back on the idea — she loves the beach — but my dad and I were excited to camp and fish.
In the spring of the following year, my dad hooked up our Wellcraft to his F-150 and we trailered it out to experience Western Maryland together for the very first time. The lake was beautiful, the weather was great and we were all very happy with our choice to vacation at Deep Creek. On that trip, we ended up camping on our boat while tied up to the docks at Johnny’s Bait Shop. What an awesome trip!
During my senior year of high school, my mom accepted a job to become the principal of Southern Garrett High School in Oakland. We were all excited — we were moving to the lake! After renting a house in Oakland for a year, she and my father purchased a home from Railey Realty on Penn Cove Road, where they still live today. Needless to say, I came to visit them a lot during college and spent the summers living on the lake.
After graduating from Towson University in 2000, I moved to Deep Creek. In 2005, I began selling real estate full time.
I met my wife Noelle, who is a guidance counselor at a local school, during graduate school at Frostburg State University. We now live in a lakefront house in the Blakeslee Community with our two daughters, Natalie and Molly. The girls and I are on the lake a lot in the summer and we all ski and snowboard during the winter. We are blessed to live in and be part of such a great community. I may not have been born here, but Deep Creek will always be my home!
Jon Bell, Owner, Railey Realty  45

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