Agent

Second homes languish as shadow inventory looms

3 key factors holding back buyers

I continually find myself tempering the exuberance of homeowners who are absolutely dead set on the idea that all home values will soon appreciate. The latest example occurred on a long bicycle ride around one of my favorite mountain lakes. I try to make the trip a few times a summer, but the weather and writing deadlines often get in the way. This past week, I was aware of a rising number of for-sale signs (both national firms and for sale by owner) on lakefront homes. One particular home had been on the market at least two years, and a "price reduced" label hung from the bottom of the sign. As I approached the driveway, the owner shut down the motor of his power trimmer. After we exchanged pleasantries, he launched into his hopeful pitch. "I'm pretty sure it'll sell this summer," the owner said. "We reduced the price again and things are looking better as far as the economy is concerned. I'm sure the worst is finally behind us. Prices will be goin...