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Old 01-01-2009, 09:44 AM   #21
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Thank you all...We will definitely give careful consideration to the concerns that everyone has raised. When we thought about the "two of everything," we somehow assumed the "second" home would be considerably cheaper to maintain, since it would be smaller, and costs are generally lower in the South (or so we thought). Maybe that is a faulty assumption.

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Right now you can purchase condos in my area of Florida in the $150,000 range but taxes would probably run you $3,000 or more and homeowners insurance adds another $1,600 plus maintenance fees . Food prices are the same in Florida as else where. Utilities are not cheap but restaurants are so depending on where you live now Florida can be cheaper or a lot more expensive .
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:54 AM   #22
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Brewer, if your parents were retired and able to stay longer than just the weekends, it would not be the bad PITA.

About condos, I often thought about that option as a 2nd home. However, the recent thread by Oldbabe on condos got me realized that, never owning a condo, there are things I need to educate myself on.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:01 AM   #23
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I have a house in Il and a small condo in Az. I dont think I could maintain 2 houses. Condo maintenance is easy once utilities, etc are set up.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:45 AM   #24
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Yesterday I saw a Home Depot ad on TV. Some guy was learning to do something or other on his house. It reminded me of how I got into that stuff so fully when I was raising a family.

My thought was this is part of a nesting urge. I believe that men do this stuff to attract and hold women for the most part. If you no longer want a woman living in your house, not many men want a house, let alone the chores that come with it.

Two houses? Is that for two women? Or one woman who is so desirable that she can convince a guy to work twice as hard keeping twice as many houses from reverting to compost?

Life is such a mystery.

Ha
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:48 AM   #25
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My parents had home in Oregon and a condo in HI for many years. It worked well for them.. but flying back and forth for the holidays wasn't cheap. Visiting was a practical impossibility for us kids once we started having children.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:51 AM   #26
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Houses in the dry desert do not need maintenance like elsewhere. My place in the mountain is only 3 yr old, yet already needs exterior stain. Deck is already restained! It does not rain, nor snow much like elsewhere, but the usual clear sky and the high elevation mean intense sunlight.

I don't know about places where it rains dogs and cats, or has snow drift of 10 ft, but it seems worse than my high-country AZ place. Perhaps I should stick with what I know as an Arizonan.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:55 AM   #27
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Yesterday I saw a Home Depot ad on TV. Some guy was learning to do something or other on his house. It reminded me of how I got into that stuff so fully when I was raising a family.

My thought was this is part of a nesting urge. I believe that men do this stuff to attract and hold women for the most part. If you no longer want a woman living in your house, not many men want a house, let alone the chores that come with it.

Two houses? Is that for two women? Or one woman who is so desirable that she can convince a guy to work twice as hard keeping twice as many houses from reverting to compost?

Life is such a mystery.

Ha
Very perceptive observation. I have thought that by myself, all I would need is one of those Tumbleweed houses. Will they let me put that on a premium lot in the Puget Sound?
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:19 PM   #28
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Thanks, I am getting the benefit of many points of view here. Keep 'em coming! Thanks for any helpful web-site suggestions, too. I will look up that thread on condo's that NW-bound mentioned. No doubt, there are plenty of issues we never thought of. Seasonal furnished rentals seemed costly to us, but now I wonder if it would be a bargain compared with cost of owning. We thought about buying now, while prices are low, but what would we do with the property while I'm still working full time? Much to consider.

I agree about the inconvenience of traveling back and forth. Our idea was to escape to the condo/second home in December, and not come back till April 1st.

Unclemick, it must be great to have relatives who can be "imposed on" as you put it. How clever of you to have placed them strategically near places you want to visit

Amethyst
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:51 PM   #29
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Unclemick, it must be great to have relatives who can be "imposed on" as you put it. How clever of you to have placed them strategically near places you want to visit

Amethyst
Yep - God Bless the US Military and all her ships at sea. No Alaska or Hawaii yet - maybe I should send the Pentagon a post card.

heh heh heh heh heh heh -
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:08 PM   #30
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Some of these responses make me think having two places would be a great bother, but I know my parents, my sister, my grandmother, two aunts and uncles, all maintain two houses in retirement and don't seem to have any problems with it. All are in different states. One is a kind of home base where they used to work and raise their family, so have lots of contacts there. The other is either a summer or winter home, where they love to be in that season and are putting down roots and building friendships. Most of them have talked about making the second house the ultimate retirement house, but none of them has ever pulled up stakes in the original homestead and done that. They just move back and forth throughout the year.

On the other hand, none of them has said they had problems with keeping two places up. They've used a variety of methods - kids living there part-time in off season, asking neighbors to watch the place, hiring a once in a while handyman to look in, using HOA services to maintain the place; but none of them had a problem with it.
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:15 PM   #31
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I have two places, but the vacation one is a fractional ownership. It's hassle free and cost effective; the only disadvantage is that I have a use schedule.
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:10 PM   #32
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I lived most of my life halfway between 2 residences, one home for the week days and one for the week-ends / holidays. I see no problem with it. Actually, now that I have only one home, I do miss it. In retirement I am definitely planning on having 2 homes (ideally 2 low-maintenance condos) and alternate between the two every six months or so.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:02 AM   #33
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Amethyst

My original (circa 1984 or so) plan was to live 6+ months or so in Hawaii (with HI state residence) and the other 6- months back at the old homestead in the midwest. HI exempts SS and Pension income from state tax. By the time we moved to HI in late '07 we planned to spend, maybe 3 summer months in MW.

Turned out we spent a couple of months in MW for a wedding and to clear out more of our old lives from the homestead. We're keeping our options open in case we decide we don't want to live out our lives in HI, but since we're leaning that way, it seems prudent to get rid of the place in MW. We plan to make that decision within a year.

It's much less practical than I thought to travel back and forth. It's not just the cost of travel or even the cost of keeping up two places. The shear hassle of travel is daunting. It's essentially an 18-hour day of hard traveling (9 hours in the air plus security and layover time plus airport to destination travel.) We've thought about breaking up the trip with a stop in, say CA, but that just adds to the hassles (find hotel, get there, unpack, repack, etc., etc.)

Travel by car (for you - not us, heh, heh) might be even worse.

Right now, we have a pretty sweet deal with the homestead. Cost is relatively low and we have fairly constant monitoring by family that we left behind. But I can see the costs going up and the straining of family bonds at some point in the future.

I'm beginning to think, that for us, we need to pick a spot and then stay put. Visits will then be just that - and not living in two places. I think the best advise you've received is to rent for a while in the "new" location(s?) you're thinking about. That didn't apply to us 'cause we've visited HI over a dozen times previously and already purchased a place and rented it out in the interim.

Honestly, right now at least, the only reason I ever want to return to MW is for family and friends. It doesn't sound like that is your consideration at all (maybe I misread). It sounds like you want two rather distinctly different sets of scenery and climate. We just wanted to keep one toe in our old lives.

Best of luck with your decision. Whatever it is, you will find a way to work it out. And don't forget: YMMV
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:53 PM   #34
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Haha wrote, My thought was this [home acquisition and improvement] is part of a nesting urge. I believe that men do this stuff to attract and hold women for the most part. If you no longer want a woman living in your house, not many men want a house, let alone the chores that come with it.

I considered moving this to "Other," but decided it has a bearing on "Hi, I am." (Moderators, I defer to your judgment).

I asked my husband for his opinion on Haha's statement, while we were out shopping today for a new kitchen faucet He suspects it may be true of many men (and women) who live alone.


However, one of the things that brought us together is we're confirmed "nesters." Each of us was of that mind-set before we met each other. A nice home, containing beautiful things, set on an attractive property, is very important to us and we each tried to achieve that, to the best of our individual ability, when we were on our own. As a couple, we have always LBOM about some things (cars, electronic toys, entertainment, travel - all minimal), so we can live a bit AOM in regards to the home. Or home(s), if we can swing it!

True, there is a lot of work, much of it hard and dirty, involved in keeping up a house and sizeable property. Neither of us could manage it alone, and our LBOM mindset doesn't allow us to pay someone else to do housecleaning and yardwork. Alone, we'd each still want to live in a nice place but it would be smaller.

(Then again, there is that recurring fantasy about us living in a cave, with piles of animal skins on the floor and a big rock rolled against the door...but wait a minute, that belongs in another "forum" altogether )
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:43 PM   #35
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Watching my sister, who lives in two places, I see it as very inefficient and bothersome to live in two places. Besides the moving back and forth expenses, you have to purchase and maintain two of everything (or at least two of most things). Two sets of furniture, two sets of kitchen stuff, etc. Then you have twice as much home maintenance. Two phone companies, water companies, cable companies, garbage companies. You're always turning on or off service or paying for service you don't use. You've got stuff in the fridge that goes bad.

There are other things I'd rather spend my money on.
But you live in Cali.

There is a lot more incentive to do this if you are not on the west coast.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:53 PM   #36
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I can't picture assuming the costs of two homes. I'll just borrow someone else's 2nd home for a little while. Maybe yours!
My plan is to continue to use the NY home (all paid for) for 3/4 of the year, then escape during the colder months (Dec-Mar) to somewhere warmer on a weekly or monthly rental basis. Our weather without snow is actually quite enjoyable, low humidity, cool nights, no hurricanes or droughts. There are a lot of weather related and critter (2, 4 and 6 legged ) problems we don't have to deal with here out in East Nowhere, NY. A lot of people dream of a retirement home in the country away from all the hustle and bustle. I already have that.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:17 PM   #37
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... one of the things that brought us together is we're confirmed "nesters." Each of us was of that mind-set before we met each other. A nice home, containing beautiful things, set on an attractive property, is very important to us and we each tried to achieve that, to the best of our individual ability, when we were on our own.
...
My wife and I are both homebodies (and yet we both love to travel). Still, my concept of a "nice home" without my wife is quite a bit different than our joint idea. I think that without me, she would also downgrade, but certainly not to the rustic level of mine.

I am actually the one who pushed for the 2nd home, wanting to buy it in the Puget Sound to get away from the low-desert AZ summer. My wife talked me out of such a remote 2nd home, and we settled for our current mountain home. She was correct that our then situation with me still working and the children attending in-state college and staying at home would not allow us to spend much time in our 2nd home.

The 2nd home isn't just for her. It is for us. But without her, I would be OK with a Tumbleweed house.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:17 PM   #38
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I have noticed that when a couple buys a retirement residence and the husband dies most wives sell the place and move near family. Maybe it would be wiser to plan on renting in retirement if you are moving away from family.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:24 PM   #39
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If I am alone, I'll still love spring/summer/fall and hate winter, and will still want to live in 2 places. Seasonal renting does sound less risky than owning, though. Lots to investigate....

What does duck bjorn mean? Is it something to eat?
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:30 PM   #40
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If I am alone, I'll still love spring/summer/fall and hate winter, and will still want to live in 2 places. Seasonal renting does sound less risky than owning, though. Lots to investigate....

What does duck bjorn mean? Is it something to eat?
Most of the time it wouldn't matter much. But if a person is suddenly alone and wants to move, if only to be in a more populated area, a real estate slowdown like today can be a real difficulty. You might be nailed to the spot, and unhappy. My brother lost his wife, and in spite of having a nice home in a nice neighborhood, he wants to move. There are too many memeories in the home that he shared with his wife; and he needs an area where there are more single people.

I used to live in an area with a lot of affluent retired people. The house turnover was high, often but not only because one partner got sick, became incapacitated, or died. This fairly small community supported a throng of realtors.

Ha
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