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Old 01-19-2011, 03:15 PM   #41
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The most houses I have owned at one time was 3 - and they were all rentals, while I was living in a rented apartment. It worked well but after a year or so, it felt like the market had peaked and I realized that I didn't want to own them for the long term. I sold them, banked the money and have not owned property since.

I like having all my assets in stocks and bonds. It makes for a low maintenance lifestyle, but I know that many like to own at least one residence.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:29 PM   #42
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Own 2. House in sw suburbs of Chicago. Condo in Scottsdale, az. Good combination of weather.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:20 PM   #43
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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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With all the LBYM posts , it's understandable that you might be surprised.
It's not so much the LBYM (although that's certainly an initial condition) as it is that the less crap I have to take care of (or supervise the care of) then the happier I am.

If I was single I'd probably be camping in a beach park near a surf break. WiFi would be an unexpected bonus.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:22 PM   #44
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It's not so much the LBYM (although that's certainly an initial condition) as it is that the less crap I have to take care of (or supervise the care of) then the happier I am.
More and more, this is becoming my mantra for living.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:30 PM   #45
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It's not so much the LBYM (although that's certainly an initial condition) as it is that the less crap I have to take care of (or supervise the care of) then the happier I am.

If I was single I'd probably be camping in a beach park near a surf break. WiFi would be an unexpected bonus.
I can appreciate your point of view although it certainly hasn't been our approach so far.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:25 PM   #46
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We have two SF homes. We built our second home using cash and some equity from our main home. We built it as our future retirement home. It is on a nearby island just a 20 minute ferry hop and 30 minute drive from our main home. We spend our weekends and any other free time there (it is waterfront with lots of recreational opportunities). We hope to sell our main home within the next two years (needs some work first). We do practice LBYM, otherwise we would never have been able to build the second home. I agree with many of you. It is a lot of work maintaining two homes and we look forward to having just one!
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:17 PM   #47
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From age 60 until 70, while retired, we owned a home in South Florida and a log home in North Georgia Mountains. Over time we grew tired of the trek back and forth, the expense, and the responsibility of maintaining two homes and opening and closing each one twice a year. We recently sold the mountain home and it's nice to finally have just one place. I guess we go through different stages of life and we enjoyed the cabin during the last stage but it was time to move on.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:44 PM   #48
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Retired, two very small paid for homes 1200 miles apart. Either one can be shut down in a half hour and be left alone for 6 months or more. Extremely low maintenance. All bills are received and paid online. Dream would be to sell southern most home and live on a boat in the BVI during winter months.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:46 PM   #49
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Currently own two homes- our primary home in Gold Canyon, AZ and a summer home at 7000' in the AZ Mogollon Rim Country. Looking for a place to get out of the AZ summer heat; will probably sell off the summer place if and when we find a waterfront fixer-upper on the Olympic Peninsula/Puget Sound. Certainly don't want three places to maintain, I'm getting lazier older every year.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:53 AM   #50
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It's not so much the LBYM (although that's certainly an initial condition) as it is that the less crap I have to take care of (or supervise the care of) then the happier I am.
Yes, that is the main negative of a second house. We can afford it and we enjoy staying there, but it is a worry. That is why we expect to sell it within about 10 years unless the kids start actively using it.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:27 PM   #51
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There is a lot of wisdom in the posts above!

DW and I have an apartment in downtown Chicago (rented), a year-round house on the beach in Michigan (owned), and the contents of a 3BR house in storage (one consequence of leaving suburban Detroit in favor of Chicago).

The plan has been -- and is -- to find the "right" residence to buy in the south, probably in Florida, then fill it with the stored goods (and, eventually, apartment contents). The Chicago apartment is a "work city" living arrangement that will go away when I decide to call it quits. We can then "snowbird" between Lake Michigan and Florida -- we know many who do this and recommend it.

We are definitely LBOM. But the multiple properties do concern me from a "hassle" standpoint. And there are hurricanes in Florida.

If I could figure out a way to minimize the hassles, I would be happier with my own plan. Maybe a Florida condo is the answer. Minimal maintenance. Lock it and leave it! We rather like apartment living and preliminarily believe that a condo unit of 2,000 square feet or so would be "plenty of room" for a "permanent" (i.e., six-month-plus) residence for a couple. Any thoughts about that?
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:45 PM   #52
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Dream would be to sell southern most home and live on a boat in the BVI during winter months.
Now there's a dream I could go for! But DW? Not so much.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:58 PM   #53
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I am a fan of the rule of one
one wife over a lifetime
one house
one car
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:30 PM   #54
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A small flat in the city (not rented) and a house in the country, 10 km away, much larger and more confortable and with an insignificant mortgage. As long as we have the Belgium shepherd -now 10 years old- weŽll stay in the country. There are times that I miss the city.
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:55 PM   #55
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I have a question. When I read through our house insurance documents (yes, I read all the contracts for everything) I am almost sure there was wording that the house could not be vacant for more than 30 days.

We have one house, paid for, pretty much just as we like it and haven't had much desire to get another. Lots of our friends are picking up properties in Florida very cheap, but I think they forget the hurricane problems they had not too long ago.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:39 PM   #56
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If I could figure out a way to minimize the hassles, I would be happier with my own plan. Maybe a Florida condo is the answer. Minimal maintenance. Lock it and leave it! We rather like apartment living and preliminarily believe that a condo unit of 2,000 square feet or so would be "plenty of room" for a "permanent" (i.e., six-month-plus) residence for a couple. Any thoughts about that?
A condo would minimize the hassles. No maintenance. Some complain of HOA fees, but i pay far less in HOA fees for our condo than i pay in yearly maintenance on our house. also low insurance costs since you only have to insure contents. We love our condo -1350 sf for my DW and I is ample, so 2000 sf should be ok. if you get nervous leaving it, just get a remote camera system and periodically check it via the web.
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:05 PM   #57
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A small flat in the city (not rented) and a house in the country, 10 km away, much larger and more confortable and with an insignificant mortgage. As long as we have the Belgium shepherd -now 10 years old- weŽll stay in the country. There are times that I miss the city.

You sound like you have the situation I always thought would be ideal if I had more money. I'd love to have a small apartment/condo - 1 BR would be fine - in Boston, New York City or Montreal. And a larger house on the coast of Maine, Cape Cod, the shores of Lake Champlain, the RI coast, etc.

The West Coast version would be an apartment in SF, Seattle or Vancouver and a bigger place on the Monterey Peninsula, Mendocino or some other neat place.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:05 PM   #58
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We bought our second home in Henderson last Jan 2010 and I have a question on the $6500 long time homeowner tax credit. I meet the following:
1. Own the older house 5 out of 8 years
2. Close before the deadline (April?).
My question is:
Is there a time limit as to when you should declare the newer house as your primary residence or move in to the house. Since I am just retiring at the end of the month, we really have not been living in the 2nd house. We have moved a lot of stuff into the house to make it fully functional. Since we closed, we only have visited the place 8 times.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:01 PM   #59
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I am a fan of the rule of one
one wife over a lifetime
one house
one car
My wife is also a fan of the first limb of the rule.

We have our home in Hong Kong.

I also purchased a house in New Zealand intending to live there for 2-3 months a year after I retired. It didn't take long for me to conclude that it made a lot more sense to rent the house out and spend the income on serviced apartments.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:37 AM   #60
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We have two houses in the same state, and they are only 2.5 hours of driving apart.
One is at 1300ft (400m) elevation. Temperature now: 70F high, 46F low (21C/8C).
The other at 7000ft (2130m) elevation. Temperature now: 43F high, 13F low (6C/-11C).
One has a record high in the summer of 122F (50C) . The other has a record low of -25F (-32C).

Initially, when buying the 2nd home (the one in the "mountain"), I thought we would be living there full-time after full retirement. But I realize now that I still need the amenities of the metropolitan, plus the winter there can be bone chilling. So, we may just keep both to play snowbirds.

And then, I sometimes wonder if all I need would be the small 8'X26' motor home to go camp out in the New Mexico mountain. Still not sure what I want to do.
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