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Old 01-18-2011, 04:22 PM   #21
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Own 2 that we are trying to live in - La Quinta Cal and Independence Ore. They are 1000 miles apart, so 2 long driving days. Trying to work out the best and least expensive way to have homes with all the water/sewer/electricity/gas/phone/internet/satellite tv ready to wake up and use within an hour or so while not paying to leave both places on all the time - a little scary leaving water under pressure or pilot lights burning. OTOH, tricky weatherizing to prevent freeze damage in an unheated space.

Then there is the issue of mowing and leaf raking in Oregon and watering and pool cleaning in La Quinta when we aren't there.

And traveling back and forth with a cat.

and needing the grinder and chop saw up in Oregon to do some really quick little jobs here in La Quinta. Instead I'm out at the sidewalk trying to shrink the width of some metal strap by stroking it on the concrete. Need my tools!

Double furnishings. double cookware. what to do with refrigerator contents when leaving for 6 months?

Changing addresses at financial institutions so we get our tax statements - not everybody has them on line. Doing the forward or hold postal dance at both places. Trying to do business without moving every paper file. Trying to keep Quicken and documents and pictures all synced up with several different computers left in two locations and not on all the time.

I tell you - mo money, mo problems!
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Old 01-18-2011, 04:52 PM   #22
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We own two, our main home and a lake house that we live at during the summer (about 25 min away from our main home). Currently renovating the lake house and plan to move there year round and sell the current main home.

Then when ER (2011 I think) we will probably snowbird to somewhere warmer in the winter (SC or FL or TX) and either rent or buy a 2 bdrm condo or small house for Jan to March.

Main problem of two homes is it seems that the tool that I need right now is always at the other place!
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:06 PM   #23
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Agree it's not for everyone. Second/third homes can be expensive. We hire maintenance help at the non condo places. But if we sold them and then spent 4% of the proceeds plus the maintenance costs, we could not travel for the number of days(200) we spend at those places. So in that respect it makes some sense.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:25 PM   #24
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I currently own 2.08 homes (the 0.08 (home C) is a fractional vacation home). Planning to move from home A to home B this year, sell home A (no mortgage) and pay off HELOC on home B.

Also have 3 rental properties managed professionally. So I suppose you could say I have 5.08 homes!
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:41 PM   #25
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I have one home in the US and one place in Europe.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:59 PM   #26
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A broker 30 years ago always said the key to gaining wealth and retiring is the "Rule of One":
- One wife (no divorces)
- One house (no second homes)
- One company (work at one company for career)
- One broker (jokingly)

The "one company" is dated - years ago, it was advantageous pension-wise to spend 30 years at one company, versus two 15 year jobs at 2 different companies.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:02 PM   #27
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We have: - Primary home with about 3 years left until free and clear of the bank
- Office that looks like a house 40 minutes away for my husbands CPA
practice. The upstairs is an apartment he uses for naps and sleepovers
during tax season. Still has a commercial mortgage.
- Own 20% of real estate associated with a light manufacturing family
business (warehouses, production areas, office areas...etc.)
- Sold 1/4 interest in an ocean front beach cottage 4 or 5 years ago
because of the headaches with shared ownership, upkeep, renters
and maintenance cost.

So while we technically do not have what I would call 2 homes, we have all the real estate assets I care to have. If there was one place we absolutely loved and wanted to go all the time, perhaps we would buy a place. For now, we like the freedom and flexibility of going where we want, when we want....while someone else does all the upkeep.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:26 PM   #28
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At one point during my working career, we contemplated buying a weekend/vacation home, but decided instead to upgrade to a more expensive home in a desirable location. We figured we would get year-round enjoyment in the larger home and not have the expense/headache of having to have someone caretake the second home while we weren't there. This also didn't tie us down to one location for vacations.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:33 PM   #29
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My spouse are struggling over the two house issue now. I just retired in Sept of 2010. No debt, we own our home on Cape Cod. Great place to be from late April through November, otherwise not so hot. We found an area in Arizona we like (Green Valley, just south of Tucson). Prices of homes there have plummeted these last few years. However, my spouse has yet to see a home she would consider for under $250,000 dollars, even with the current depressed prices out there. We can rent an unfurnished home for around $1,100 dollars a month (long term lease – no less then 12 months). I’m inclined to rent. Seasonal rentals are around $2,500 dollars a month for the high season. So, if we want to stay for four months, that’s $10,000 dollars. For a few dollars more we can have all our stuff there, come and go as we please, and not worry about the “big stuff” of home maintenance and taxes.

Seems like the way to go with me.

Rich
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:54 AM   #30
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Two homes in California, one to live in, and one held for eventual sale when we leave Japan, where we live in a company provided apartment. We count the home held for sale in our portfolio, but do not count the other one we use when we are in the States. We may eventually buy a small condo, or condotel in Hawaii. We don't anticipate ever living there full time, but it is conceivable that we may want to live there several weeks to a few months at a time, 2-3 times per year, sometime down the road. Living in Japan, we have the issue of what to do with fridge leftovers several times a year when we stay in Cali. Time will tell how this all works out.

R
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:19 AM   #31
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I can't imagine the responsibility of owning a vacation home. The insurance, care of vacant property, and other issues would drive me nuts. As another poster mentioned, rental condos are cheap & ubiquitous.
It is a hassle. When my mother died, I inherited her small retirement home on Cape Cod. At the time I was living in Maryland. At first I thought I'd keep it as a vacation home, but the distance between MD and CC was too great to get much use out of it. Then I closed the house up and let it sit for a while. I was trying to decide whether to get into the rental business and, if so, whether to rent it by the week/month as a summer place or year-'round. You can actually make more money renting it for 12 - 15 weeks during the summer and fall but then you have to find tenants, worry about the cleaning between tenants, worry about the fact that people on vacation don't necessarily place a high priority on using your house gently, etc. Before I could make up my mind, I was approached by the proverbial "little old lady" who had previously lived with her ancient mother in a rental on the same street. They had moved to Florida for a couple of years, the mother had died and the lady wanted to move back to CC. We worked out an amicable deal where she got a decent price on the rent, I still made a little money, I was able to keep some of my stuff in the basement and garage. She also rented the house furnished with my mother's old furniture, so I was able to defer a decision on what to do with the stuff. Besides, there were neighbors - old friends of my parents - who would call me if they saw anything amiss. The lady paid her rent on time and any time I was on the Cape I would stop by and look the house over. Definitely a win-win. Then the little old lady died and I decided I would be unlikely to find a similar situation again. I held a big garage sale to get rid of my mother's old stuff and put a sign up that said the house might be for sale in the near future. Several months later when I was finally ready to sell, I called the people who signed the list I left by the for-sale sign and ended up selling it to one of them. Although I sometimes get a nostalgic twang and think I should have held onto it, the feeling of relief in not owning a distant property quickly overwhelms the nostalgia.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:22 AM   #32
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I think the key might be to have a relatively low proportion of your total assets in personal use real estate regardless of how many places you own. Maybe around 10-15% might provide balance to your lifestyle.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:31 AM   #33
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We have too many...
1) My townhouse in Alexandria, VA, where we live
2) My SO's condo, which is being lived in by SO's cousin right now (3 blocks from my townhouse)
3) A log cabin in the mountains in WV, which we just bought last summer.

We are early 40s, still working, and I won't retire until I am 57 (need the Fed health bennies). So, we have a lot of time, but this is our general status/plan:

The condo is underwater, so we can't sell it. We'd like to rent it out, but that's a whole different story (the cousin is paying partial rent).

I bought my townhouse 10 years ago, and it is worth much more than I paid for it, even after the downturn. We decided we could buy the cabin now and still retire as planned (once my plans changed when I got realistic about the need to wait for the Fed health bennies).

By the time I retire, the townhouse will be paid off. The condo will be mostly paid off (if we haven't sold it by then), as will the cabin. We'll sell the townhouse, the condo, and pay off the cabin. We'll either move to the cabin, or, if we decide to move back to New England (a good possibility), we'll sell all three and use some of the money to buy a new place to live. Whatever is leftover will be added to our pool of money available for retirement.

However, for planning purposes, all I do is assume the mortgages will be paid off. It's too early to plan for how much money we might have as the result of shuffling the properties around, so to be conservative, I assume the real estate will be cash neutral to our retirement assets.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:41 AM   #34
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If you own 2 homes, how do you figure that into your retirement plans?
Certainly the TUMIR (Taxes, Utilities, Maintenance, Insurance, and Repairs) for both houses have to be included in your planned basic living expenses.

The asset value of the house doesn't generate any income cash income. I think most people consider it a combination disaster fund and estate component. That is, if disaster strikes you could sell the house for cash. If it doesn't, the house becomes part of your estate. The "disaster" that matches up well with a house is some sort of extraordinary end-of-life expense like long term care.

But that assumes "most people" have a very strong aversion to selling the house. You may not.

Two houses could provide more investment flexibility, depending on your attitude toward selling one. If you consider selling a real hardship and failure of your retirement plan, I don't see any additional flexibility. However, if you can imagine selling one just because you had unusual and persistent losses on your invested assets, then the second house becomes a sort of back-up investment that may justify a more aggressive asset allocation strategy.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:42 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Delawaredave5 View Post
A broker 30 years ago always said the key to gaining wealth and retiring is the "Rule of One":
- One wife (no divorces)
- One house (no second homes)
- One company (work at one company for career)
- One broker (jokingly)

The "one company" is dated - years ago, it was advantageous pension-wise to spend 30 years at one company, versus two 15 year jobs at 2 different companies.
+1
You might add one car.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:40 AM   #36
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Own three. Wish I owned zero. They are one of the few sources of stress in my life.

Many years ago I knew a well-off guy in his 50s. "If I had it to do over again," he said, "I would rent everything." Amen to that.
This is exactly why we only own one home and will never own two at the same time. We can barely manage the upkeep on the current home due to the fact that there's only 24 hours in a day . Of course, I still love to look at pics of warm and sunny destinations when it's -30C outside but, realistically, we would probably never use a second home and I hate paying for something I never use .
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:16 PM   #37
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I'm suprised at how many lifestyles of the rich and famous are enjoyed by board members.

Our own little collection of oligarchs.

Ha
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:41 PM   #38
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I'm suprised at how many lifestyles of the rich and famous are enjoyed by board members.

Our own little collection of oligarchs.

Ha
With all the LBYM posts , it's understandable that you might be surprised.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:15 PM   #39
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We currently own two houses located 1000 miles apart. A log house in Virginia where we had planned on retiring, and a house in Louisiana where we WILL retire. Funny how plans change.....
We are now in the process of trying to sell the 200 y.o log and frame house, but have had no nibbles for the last year. Will be releived once it sells, but the market in the Shenandoah Valley is apparently very stagnant right now. Nice to know that my timing is consistant - evidenly I specialize in trying to sell a house in down markets (had one on the market in Houston in 1987 during the crash in the oil industry).

Remind myself that "this too shall pass" and not to stress about it.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:31 PM   #40
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With all the LBYM posts , it's understandable that you might be surprised.
I am sure surprised... I wonder how many of the two home people also think they are LBYM types.. (well, in reality...if you can afford two homes I guess you are LBYM....)
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