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A second home?
Old 05-23-2014, 06:07 PM   #1
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A second home?

No right or wrong to this one. Just a general survey to see what you think about having a second home... a place to go for whatever reaon, but a home in the sense that it's a place where you can go, and leave your "stuff", and not have to haul it with you back and forth.
It wouldn't even matter if you own the "home"... but a place that is yours, as opposed to a rental, where you'd have to empty it our when you leave. example: in our Florida community we have people who permanently rent, for years, and have exlusive rights to be there.

It would be interesting to know the whys for having a second "home", as well as the reasoning "why not"... or even the "used to, but have decided it's not for me/us".

To start it off, DW and I have a regular home in Illinois, a Mobile home in a senior community in Florida, and an owned campsite with park model in a campground here in Il, about 25 miles from our permanent home.

The campground and Florida community were our summer/winter homes right after we retired and sold our former Chicago suburb home... It was inexpensive housing during the early "iffy" years, when we weren't sure we'd make it in early retirement. We kept them because they continue to be relatively inexpensive to maintain, and because we like the people and the communities. We figure the annual cost for both, to be less than the cost of a ten day cruise.

A part of the reasoning for keeping the homes, is that we don't travel, and are not into the entertainment scene. In short, local parties, pot lucks etc and we avoid the most common entertainment expenses of going out to eat, to the movies or other events. Our lives are spent within the communities. We have put down roots. The travel lust, such as it was, was satisfied in the early years, before age 60. Now we cherish the comfort of friends.

Would you care to share your own situation, or plans for the future? It seems that we have a wide ranging variety of opinions on this. The good and the bad may be interesting to those who have not yet retired, but are in the in-betweeen, decision period.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
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Just a general survey to see what you think about having a second home... a place to go for whatever reaon, but a home in the sense that it's a place where you can go, and leave your "stuff", and not have to haul it with you back and forth.
We have a second home (on wheels) and we always haul our "stuff" with us back and forth - in the RV.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:13 PM   #3
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We don't want a second home. One is more than enough work to take care of.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:17 PM   #4
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yeah... forgot the RV part... We did that in our Westphalia and later in our conversion van... for fifteen years, before retiring. Wouldn't trade that for anything.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:21 PM   #5
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Each to his own, of course, but in the past a second home has had zero appeal for me. No, I'm wrong, that would be less than zero appeal. Never had one, and never wanted one. I cringe at the idea of twice the upkeep and twice the expenses. I like feeling settled in one place. If I had a second home, I'd feel obligated/required to go to that place whether I wanted to or not, just to check on the house if nothing else.

Lately I have become a little more open minded about the possibility of getting a small, high security lock-n-leave condo somewhere, so that we could just go and live there during hurricane season and get away from the drama. But I really have no idea where, and probably this idea will never come to fruition.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:24 PM   #6
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Always owned one house but I am considering buying a 2nd home (would be retirement home, vacation home until RE) while I have a megacorp job (can afford the extra money to carry a 2nd home). Once RE'd, I intend to sell the 1st home. I am hoping owning a 2nd home that I really love will help get rid of my OMY syndrome. Wishful thinking? Dumb strategy?
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:32 PM   #7
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I have a second home. If I have to do it all over again, I would have to say no to a second home. Why? Duplicate of almost everything that you have in your 1st home, double your utility costs, insurance and taxes. And then add the travel expenses between the two houses. Maintenance for two houses which takes up your time.

I am glad I bought the place very close to my retirement or I would not have been able to retire.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:00 PM   #8
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We are a year from pulling plug........and have posted before.......

We have home in FL for "south house", have cabin property in WI and current home in remote Chicago.

Plan is to sell CHi next year, expand WI and buy RV (trade TT) to migrate.

This is our "dream plan" and on track for that. If things/market falls apart, we will consolidate to one of the properties. DW wants south and I would prefer north....will see. We have no kids so have some flexibility.

Our FL place is just south of imoldernu.

I will think about the whys and post later...
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:13 PM   #9
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My husband grew up spending summers at the shared family cottage at the Jersey Shore. He came very close to buying something near this house. The advantages at the time (1950's and 60's) was it was cooler at the shore than in north east Philly. Summers the mom and aunts would head down with the kids - and the dad and uncles would join them on weekends. Even after my MIL started working full time, she'd still send the kids down under the aunts' care.

In some ways I wish we had that option for our kids... but I do NOT want the expense.

I was going to answer in a snarky way at first - say we have 2 homes, our primary and a smaller one in our backyard. This is technically true. But not really the point and our paying tenant probably wouldn't like it if we barged in and started hanging out in her living room.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:05 PM   #10
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Im working on this issue now with my wife. We own a home outright on Cape Cod and have a long-term rental in AZ (for the winter months, naturally). My wife would like us to buy a second home down in AZ, so were trying to figure out the least painful way to go about the process.

Understand, a second home may well entail duplicating what you have in your initial (primary) residence. For us, that means having two cars in AZ, two in MA, among other things.

Sooner or later well pull the pin and just move down to AZ, but for the moment were doing the two place dance.

Rich
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:10 PM   #11
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I wouldn't want a second house. Double the work. There's enough work around our one house that keeps busy. And that's not even considering the expenses. Sometimes I think renting or owning a condo would be a better option.

Plus, if you owned a second house, you'd feel obligated to visit more often. I'd get bored going back to the same place over and over. I'd rather pack up and visit somewhere new.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:23 PM   #12
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We have two homes in AZ, separated by a 2.5-hr drive and an elevation difference of 5,500 ft (and the corresponding temperature difference). It is enough work to maintain 2 homes even with this close distance, and I really cannot handle a 2nd home thousands of miles away. Good thing I did not buy that 2nd home in the Puget Sound.

And I also have a 25' motorhome towing a dinghy. Ah, road trips are so much more fun when you have your "home" with you.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:39 PM   #13
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We owned two homes from 2005 to 2011. Ultimately moved into the lake house full-time and sold our main home. Will probably snowbird to somewhere warm in the winter but rent. May ultimately buy if we find an area we really like.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:55 PM   #14
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We have had 2 homes for just over 10 years. We are in the Midwest where things are more modestly priced. Our lake home is where we spend much of our time, and is the retirement place we wanted. We sold our primary home last month, as it was larger than needed, and yard maintenance and winter shoveling got to be a pain. However, we have family there, and both have mothers there that need some assistance. We are in the process of building a smaller home that is a patio home (one story on a slab) with a home owners association that will take care of lawn and shoveling.

For us, it is a nice get away "up north" and something my husband did growing up. Love having DD, SIL and DGD visiting there as well. We will continue this way, and hopefully pass the land to the 3rd generation in time.
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:09 AM   #15
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We've had a second home for about 15 years. The first was in another country. That didn't work out as planned. The second is in another part of the country, and we spend our time equally between the two.

A second home is a significant expense, and in one way much like global warming - something we can't do much about right now but is still a concern that never goes away. There are legitimate reasons for having a second home and it can be something to enjoy, but should not be taken lightly.
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:20 AM   #16
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We sold the expensive acreage and 5000' home in 1995 and rent a penthouse (3300 sq.ft). In 2007, we bought a snowbird property (1750 sq.ft condo in PV MX) and we spend 6 months there. We also do home swaps or VRBO rentals in Europe for a month. Been retired since 2003 and have no desire to add maintenance to my job description again.

(We sublet our penthouse for the winter so our budget has declined by 30% since before 2007.)
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:28 AM   #17
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Negative. I don't even want one house. Thirsty boots Ed
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:17 AM   #18
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Have had second homes since 1992. First in Colorado ski country and now in Arizona. I prefer having my own place as opposed to renting and if you can afford it why not? Both homes had/get extensive use. Never felt as though it limited my ability to go to other locations. Is it more expensive...yes, but I felt it was worth it to not have to pack/unpack, etc.

We are in the process of getting down to just one house in Arizona. We will bolt the desert when the heat gets unbearable. However, with family grown and gone we will just rent for the month or two we are gone from the main house. As I get older it is not so much the cost of maintaining two homes as it is the going back and forth between the two. Saving a few $$$'s will be nice but I'm sure we'll blow that on summer escapes from the desert.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:49 AM   #19
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No. I would not want the cost or the work. It is enough trouble keeping up with 1 house. I personally think that having a lock and leave condo, instead of a house sounds nice. It has been many years since we have rented or lived with shared walls, so it might not be quite as nice as I think. We will probably keep our house until the end and rent when we decide to do the snowbird thing.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:15 AM   #20
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.... As I get older it is not so much the cost of maintaining two homes as it is the going back and forth between the two....
We do 1/2 & 1/2 with an 1100 mile drive between. While my fantasy involves grabbing a toothbrush, extra pair of socks, and getting in the car we seem incapable of driving back and forth with the family truckster loaded solid. I insist on a 5" window of space below the headliner so I can divine what is behind us. We have spare cars north and south which hardly get any use, but they are good as backup drivers.
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