To the editor:

I have listened to one non-expert after another bemoan vacation rentals as sucking the valley dry of long term-rental housing. In a recent op-ed article Joe Castiglia voiced his opinion on vacation rentals and made quite a bold statement, “They bought up all the affordable homes strictly to make a profit and in doing so took away 600 homes that could have been rented by locals.”

Sorry Joe but “they” is not a malevolent corporation that swept in overnight to buy second homes but rather “they” are hard-working individuals who purchased, inherited or built a home in the mountains to have a place to get away to. Ideally “they” all hoped to profit from their home away from home through asset appreciation, secondary income, and saving by vacationing in their own home. “they” did not acquire these properties overnight but over decades, with some homes being handed down generation to generation.

Sorry Joe but these second homes are not good candidates for long-term rental housing, and “they” did not buy them up and render them unavailable for prospective long-term tenants.

A second home used also as a vacation rental would hardly qualify as a long-term rental. Primarily because it would not be a second home, it would be an investment property. As an investment property, a single-family home rarely makes for a good investment as the cost to own, operate, and manage it far exceeds the possible income.

Why is there a shortage of long-term rental housing? Quite simply the demand outstrips supply and new rental units are not being built at a rate needed for the valley. Existing homes that make great second and subsequently possible vacation rentals were never going to be long-term rental housing.

Rick Girardin

North Conway

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(1) comment

DavefromConway

Exactly right. These homes would never be rentals. The folks complaining about lack of affordable housing are looking in the wrong place. Housing all over the country is at premium prices. Until things change, the town leaders should find a way to build affordable rental properties. Give tax incentives, interest free loans, whatever.

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