Making Cents: The stay-cation boom

US Wealth Napolitano |

By: John P. Napolitano, CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST

Since COVID-19 has governed our social lives for many months now, it seems as if the American people have taken matters into their own hands. Whether it’s getting on a plane, sharing an elevator or pool or a family vacation that has happened for years, the public has spoken and travel is out. Stay-cations, however, are in. The possibilities of creating your own stay-cation space may currently be on hold due to backed up contractors and demand that has exceeded the supply of qualified workers to help you out.

If you were thinking a backyard pool, a home addition or even a water sprinkler system to pretty up the yard, good luck. Most contractors tell me that their summer is fully booked and that they’re hoping to get all of their work done before next year’s winter makes outdoor work very difficult. 

Please remember this. Trends change, supply and demand vary, and the object and services you’re willing to pay big bucks for right now may not boost your homes selling price by another nickel when you later try to sell it along with many others who acted rashly and invested their savings in expensive luxury items.

Two other examples of luxury items having a surge in demand are boats and RVs. I know friends who are selling their boats today for the same price they paid for them 10 years ago. To me, that isn’t a surprise. While the recession of 2008-2009 may now be in the rear view mirror, for long term use assets such as boats and RVs, we have seen both sides of the market in the last decade. 10 years ago, these assets were inexpensive compared to the price that buyers paid when they bought brand new. The economy was tanking, and people were selling scared with few buyers in sight. Today it’s the opposite. Boat and RV manufacturers can’t make the stuff soon enough and they’re fetching top dollar for their prized toys. I’m not saying that today is a bad time to buy, after all it’s your recreational money that you’re spending.

But what I am saying is that if you are stretching yourself to buy these toys and may have to sell in a few years, do not expect to recoup your entire investment. With so many first time owners of luxury toys, there is likely to be a time in the near future where these toys again fall out of favor and the price drops.    

Luxury homes, which typically take longer to sell than starter or more modest homes are also a hot commodity today. Just like toys, don’t buy a home at the top of the price range in your neighborhood expecting to profit from it in the short term. Buy it because you love it and want to stay there for a long time, and not because you feel that you can profit from a short term growth spurt.


John P. Napolitano CFP®, CPA is CEO of US Wealth Management in Braintree, MA. Visit JohnPNapolitano on LinkedIn or The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. John Napolitano is a registered principal with and securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through US Financial Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor. US Financial Advisors and US Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL Financial. He can be reached at 781-849-9200.