Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
How do you manage multiple homes, multiple states?
Old 05-30-2019, 01:18 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
Stonewalker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Pearland
Posts: 93
How do you manage multiple homes, multiple states?

We live in TX, but are working on purchasing a home in MI so I can be closer to my brother during the summers. I have no idea how to manage the other house while we are not there. What do y'all do?
__________________

__________________
Retired 2015. Jesus follower. Author, Husband, Dad, Futurist, Dreamer.
Stonewalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-30-2019, 01:33 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Koolau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Leeward Oahu
Posts: 3,619
We keep a place in two states. So far, we've found friends or relatives to keep things under control for the most part. It DOES cause problems having multi-state dwellings. What we have really struggled with is things like car tags and bank accounts. Some govt. entities and most banks will not allow mail to be forwarded. This becomes a real problem to those of us who still mail checks etc. We have to depend on others to deal with at least some of these issues (at least, for instance, putting the new tags on when we are gone.) There are other issues I'm not thinking of right now.

What we've found is that governments do not care about YOUR problem - they are YOUR problem, not the state's. YMMV
__________________

__________________
Ko'olau's Law -

Anything which can be used can be misused. Anything which can be misused will be.
Koolau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 02:01 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8,300
I think you need someone (friend, family or service) go to your house every few days and pick up any flyers, etc, off your porch so it doesn't look unoccupied. Easiest is a friendly next door neighbor. Hopefully when they get something, they'll go pull it from your porch too. Keep your grass cut.

A Ring doorbell helps with security, but if someone kicks in your front door anyway, or breaks a back window, you probably need a security system to detect that to keep animals and weather from getting in. A storm or accident could break a window too. Then you need someone to fix it for you, unless you want to immediately go back down yourself.

You probably want to monitor temps and water in your house. Wifi thermostats can help, and I'm pretty sure there are water monitors you can put on your floor to detect if a pipe has burst or something else is flooding your house.

So if you don't have a handy friend or neighbor, you probably need a service or at least a handyman who can get access to your house via a combo lockbox to fix any problems.

You should be able to change your address online or by phone for almost anything needed. Use mail forwarding to catch the rest. Try not to have checks or a new card being mailed to you in those few days of uncertainty. I would turn off mail forwarding a few days before I expected to return to the other place, so once I put the change of address in I knew any important mail would be sitting there for me on my return.
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 02:04 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,900
Go digital (paperless) with billings and payments as much as you can.
Look into web enabled thermostats, lights, doorbell cameras, etc so you can control things when you are away.
Always, always turn off the water at the place you are leaving. I've known too many people that return home to "water events."
The post offices in your areas may also offer a digital see what's in your mail service. We use it just to see what is there which is 99.9% of the time junk. The service is free.
COcheesehead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 10:33 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,001
Consider buying a condo in MI. A condo simplifies the problems involved considerably.
Scuba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 01:51 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: SoCal, SE Florida, Lausanne
Posts: 1,045
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonewalker View Post
We live in TX, but are working on purchasing a home in MI so I can be closer to my brother during the summers. I have no idea how to manage the other house while we are not there. What do y'all do?
We have been managing 3 homes for a long time. One is a condo in a highrise in Florida, our primary home in California, and one home out of country in Switzerland.

This is what I recommend:

1- Set yourself to pay monthly bills on all properties online. Have bill notifications sent via email instead of USPS.

2- Buy properties in safe areas

3- Set up surveillance cameras at all properties with internet access

4- Install Wifi sprinkler controllers with rain sensors, if you need to control irrigation.

5- Install Wifi thermostats to allow you to control your AC/Heating. This is especially important in highrise condos where they often service the cooling towers and frequently ask residents to reset their thermostats by shutting them off and on.

6- We cover our furniture when we leave to avoid dust accumulation.

7- Have a contact you can call in the event of an emergency.

8 - We shut off our water to our home when we leave and also the power bars to all non-essential electronics (TVs, PCs, Stereos). We also set up indoor surveillance cameras and activate them when we leave (FOSCAM Pan/tilt cameras).

9- Stop all mail deliveries while absent or forward them. If you dd step 1, there will be primarily junk mail deliveries coming to you which you can opt out of in many cases. Our condo allows us to stop junk mail deliveries into our mail box while we are absent.

10- We have a home security systems with monitoring for added security.

Hope that helps!
Freedom56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 03:59 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 2,639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom56 View Post
7- Have a contact you can call in the event of an emergency.

How did you setup this one?
Totoro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 04:55 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba View Post
Consider buying a condo in MI. A condo simplifies the problems involved considerably.
+1. And the HOA fees may be close to you paying neighbors to mow the lawn, etc.

Also, who wants to spend the first week or so at the second home cleaning up and trimming the exterior when you check in each year? Leave it to the HOA.
brucethebroker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 05:32 AM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A little ways southwest of Chicago
Posts: 11,248
Had a condo in Arizona for the past 17 years.

1. auto pay all bills
2. shut off water when not there / set hot water heater on vacation mode
3. Never had any mail delivered there - have first class mail forwarded to UPS mailbox during the winter when we are there
4. Have a house watching service visit once a month when we are not there
5. Set ac at 85 in summer when we are not there
6. Have a neighbor friend who we communicate with
__________________
The wilderness is calling and I must go.
Ronstar is offline   Reply With Quote
How do you manage multiple homes, multiple states?
Old 05-31-2019, 06:07 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,636
How do you manage multiple homes, multiple states?

We have a second home for 20 years..
1. Water off, electric off except heat. heat set to 55
2. Cameras prominently displayed (WYZE cameras)
3. Motion lights front and back
4. Vertical blinds make it difficult to see in

We were broken into about 15 years ago.. front door has a 2inch oak jam. If someone suggested a remote vacation home i would say dont do it.
rayinpenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 06:39 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Scrapr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Bend
Posts: 1,014
We had a vacation home for many years. Sold the big house & moved into it a few years ago. It was 3 hours away so not an airplane ride away. We always tried to make it look as if it was the nicest home on the block at least on the exterior. Lawn service that was very good. WiFi thermostats after a couple of "issues" with the heat off in a cold/very cold environment. After those episodes we paid up for annual service. One time I walked in & turned on the water.....nothing came out....for about 15 seconds. I was sweating that one. Frozen pipes. Neighbors that would check the house. They parked their summer car in our garage. And used our fridge & freezer for overflow. Nice trade off.

We now have Ring doorbell & camera. Very very helpful. Mi sounds like it might have snow fall. I'd have a snow service set up ahead of time. In our area landscapers switch to snow service in the Winter. Can your brother suggest some vendors?

We tried to be involved with the neighbors and volunteer for stuff when we were there. Just build up some goodwill
Scrapr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 07:49 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,447
One thing I don't see anyone mentioning is home insurance. Do you have one home listed as your main and another as a vacation home. I know people here who leave their main house empty for 4-5 months basically vacant. I always have this thought in the back of mind that if your pipes freeze solid and or your house burns down, you might get some pushback from you insurance company.
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 08:05 AM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 42,534
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonewalker View Post
We live in TX, but are working on purchasing a home in MI so I can be closer to my brother during the summers. I have no idea how to manage the other house while we are not there. What do y'all do?
I'm going to be the one dissenting view here, and ask: Why is purchasing a home necessary, simply in order to be closer to your brother during the summers? People vacation near their relatives all the time without purchasing a house in order to do it.

I'd just arrange a short term rental, or stay at an extended stay place when there. The amount you would be spending on purchasing and maintaining a second home (not to mention property taxes, insurance, and so on) will go a long way towards a short term rental.

Then like magic, all of your concerns about maintaining two homes will vanish.
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 08:15 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,447
W2R, we came to that conclusion over 10 years ago and don't regret it for a minute. and not to be a Debbie Downer, what if something happens to your DB, or you or your spouse are unable to travel, or on and on I could go.

We leave our home for 4-6 weeks in the dead of winter and even with my BIL living 2 miles away and checking our place daily, it's a real source of concern. That's just my personality.
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 08:22 AM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 816
Another advantage of a wifi thermostat is that you can set the temperature a few hours before you get to the house. If you have the temp set at say 50 when you're gone in the winter, it's nice to come home to a warm house rather than waiting a few hours for it to heat up after you arrive.
Which Roger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 08:34 AM   #16
Administrator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: lumpen slums of cyberspace
Posts: 29,843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom56 View Post
We have been managing 3 homes for a long time. One is a condo in a highrise in Florida, our primary home in California, and one home out of country in Switzerland.

This is what I recommend:

1- Set yourself to pay monthly bills on all properties online. Have bill notifications sent via email instead of USPS.

2- Buy properties in safe areas

3- Set up surveillance cameras at all properties with internet access

4- Install Wifi sprinkler controllers with rain sensors, if you need to control irrigation.

5- Install Wifi thermostats to allow you to control your AC/Heating. This is especially important in highrise condos where they often service the cooling towers and frequently ask residents to reset their thermostats by shutting them off and on.

6- We cover our furniture when we leave to avoid dust accumulation.

7- Have a contact you can call in the event of an emergency.

8 - We shut off our water to our home when we leave and also the power bars to all non-essential electronics (TVs, PCs, Stereos). We also set up indoor surveillance cameras and activate them when we leave (FOSCAM Pan/tilt cameras).

9- Stop all mail deliveries while absent or forward them. If you dd step 1, there will be primarily junk mail deliveries coming to you which you can opt out of in many cases. Our condo allows us to stop junk mail deliveries into our mail box while we are absent.

10- We have a home security systems with monitoring for added security.

Hope that helps!
This is a good list. I would add, insurance companies do not like to insure uninhabited homes. In our case we have affirmed that each home is checked at least once per month, and keep a record of visits. Cameras not only help with security, they also allow one to see there is a problem that requires one’s presence, such as water.
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 11:44 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 6,911
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
We have part-time property managers in each location; Have handled all billing issues electronically. Our only key issue is Corporate Action Notices which must be mailed and usually arrive after action is required. The default actions has been acceptable in all but two instances. Those two cost us in lack of tax deferrals.

We also keep our housekeepers year round to keep the places clean and when we are not there, to empty shelves and clean all glassware, knickknacks, etc.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 03:49 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: SoCal, SE Florida, Lausanne
Posts: 1,045
Quote:
Originally Posted by Totoro View Post
How did you setup this one?
Neighbors and relatives help out. We do the same for them when we are there and they are gone.
Freedom56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 04:24 PM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
beowulf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
Had a condo in Arizona for the past 17 years.

1. auto pay all bills
2. shut off water when not there / set hot water heater on vacation mode
3. Never had any mail delivered there - have first class mail forwarded to UPS mailbox during the winter when we are there
4. Have a house watching service visit once a month when we are not there
5. Set ac at 85 in summer when we are not there
6. Have a neighbor friend who we communicate with
Talk about a coincidence. We do the exact same thing for 5 to 6 months a year - condo in AZ. We do the mail forwarding, however, as we receive several magazines and the USPS will only forward them for 60 days, we just do an address change online. Works well. Not sure what the vacation mode is for the HW heater - ours has temp settings and the circuit breaker is on/off. We just turn it off. Many of our neighbors are from the greater Chicago area. Plus lots of Canadians.

We also keep the temp in AZ at 85 when we are not there. And the heat at home at 62. No problems with that. Our house watching service visits twice a month, turns the water on, checks everything and then turns all off. We have wifi timers on the lights that has worked well. Neighbors also keep watch - plus we have ADT.

The big issue is the 2600 mile drive each way. After 10 roundtrips it's getting old, though we do try to see lots of the US on the way. Eventually we will have to make a decision and that probably will mean selling the condo as it's too hot there in the summer for us.
__________________
Mission accomplished - not necessarily ER, but certainly R.
beowulf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 06:19 PM   #20
Moderator Emeritus
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A little ways southwest of Chicago
Posts: 11,248
Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulf View Post
Talk about a coincidence. We do the exact same thing for 5 to 6 months a year - condo in AZ. We do the mail forwarding, however, as we receive several magazines and the USPS will only forward them for 60 days, we just do an address change online. Works well. Not sure what the vacation mode is for the HW heater - ours has temp settings and the circuit breaker is on/off. We just turn it off. Many of our neighbors are from the greater Chicago area. Plus lots of Canadians.

We also keep the temp in AZ at 85 when we are not there. And the heat at home at 62. No problems with that. Our house watching service visits twice a month, turns the water on, checks everything and then turns all off. We have wifi timers on the lights that has worked well. Neighbors also keep watch - plus we have ADT.

The big issue is the 2600 mile drive each way. After 10 roundtrips it's getting old, though we do try to see lots of the US on the way. Eventually we will have to make a decision and that probably will mean selling the condo as it's too hot there in the summer for us.
Wow - Almost identical situation. As to the water heater - our condo water heater is natural gas - yours must be electric. We listed our condo for sale recently, got an offer and its under contract. Plan was to sell Illinois home also and move to a new house in Az. But family issues have this plan on hold.

I just got to the point where I only want 1 house.
__________________

__________________
The wilderness is calling and I must go.
Ronstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
529s in multiple states KenZ71 Other topics 1 05-23-2019 01:39 PM
Tax Software; Multiple States ExFlyBoy5 FIRE and Money 5 03-06-2019 05:52 PM
How to see current ACA HI premiums in multiple states? blueskyk Health and Early Retirement 7 11-07-2017 01:18 PM
Random thoughts on living in multiple homes 45th Birthday Life after FIRE 53 06-28-2015 03:02 PM
Living in Multiple States - Health Insurance inquisitive Health and Early Retirement 0 10-06-2014 02:28 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:56 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.