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Old 12-02-2018, 02:30 PM   #101
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A couple things I am picking up on from the thread post is that some don't like the idea of being tied into one place and some like the idea of having a place you can just jump in the truck and be there in a few hours.

For me the thought of having a secluded place in the woods, on a lake or a river sounds so wonderful. We spend more than two hours a day in traffic and still haven't left the city. I can see why that would be tempting for the OP to have a place a couple hours away.

The vacation home in the right location for you can be the best of both worlds. Have a home base just for you and can travel out to destinations to feed that travel bug. For us on the west coast, Hawaii is a great place for a vacation/2nd home. You can get direct flights for cheap, and you can use it as a stepping off point for points further west. Breaks up the 12+ hour flights, and you can find great deals to other points out of the islands.

I like to read that for some the primary/secondary homes have flipped.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:44 PM   #102
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We anticipate that we could be ready to buy a vacation home at some point in the future. We fully realize that it is a lifestyle choice not an investment decision.

We are in no rush. We live near the edge of the city about 100 yards from a very large 5 sq mile park with many pathways. We can be in the country in five minutes, in the Rockies in an hour or so.

The only reason for not having a winter property is that we have a long bucket list of place we want to visit. We actually have two lists. One for winter travel,one for other times. Until we get tired of traveling to various places in the winter or until we are unable to to do it (independent travel can be tiring) a second home is off the radar. Never say never as it were.
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:22 PM   #103
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The vacation home in the right location for you can be the best of both worlds. Have a home base just for you and can travel out to destinations to feed that travel bug.

+1. We use our second home in Arizona as a launch point for western travels and our Illinois home as a launch point for eastern travels.

I see a lot of comments from posters choosing against a second home because they believe it would lessen their travel. It doesnít have to. You can have a second home and still travel to the places that you want to go to.
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I wouldn't buy
Old 12-04-2018, 05:20 PM   #104
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I wouldn't buy

Unless it is play money you are taking a big chance. What are the odds that out of this big country you'll always want to go to the same spot for vacation? You can rent vacation places for the rest of your life and never have to worry about maintenance and go where the weather is nice, the fish are biting and your kids might want to come see you.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:54 PM   #105
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A wise elderly friend who has researched buying a second home in Florida (we live near Chicago) many times over many years, says you're better to rent unless you will be spending six months per year in the second home. My own math supports that. From experience, we know that renting can be a PITA, but no more than trying to maintain a house far away.


Some factors that could make the second home more viable would be rapidly increasing home prices in that area, or the ability to establish residence there to escape high income tax "back home".
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:18 PM   #106
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A wise elderly friend who has researched buying a second home in Florida (we live near Chicago) many times over many years, says you're better to rent unless you will be spending six months per year in the second home. My own math supports that. From experience, we know that renting can be a PITA, but no more than trying to maintain a house far away.


Some factors that could make the second home more viable would be rapidly increasing home prices in that area, or the ability to establish residence there to escape high income tax "back home".
Your wise elderly friend's conclusions duplicate mine. Making my decision to not buy easier is the fact that I haven't been enough places to have found the place that would want me to make such a decision.
DW and I just divested ourselves of what used to be our primary residence, and now live in the place that used to be our "second home", which is only an hour away from our old primary residence.
We find that only having one roof to leak is a real blessing. I wouldn't say I'd never buy another home or condo in the south. I might. But right now I'm choosing to take the option of renting. It has it's own set of hassles, for sure.
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:09 PM   #107
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We too have timeshares- 3 weeks- 20 years and love it. We just show up each year. No hassles. Drive to locations. In states we are considering retiring to.

Not that we could afford another home anyway, but who needs to take care of 2 homes?
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:54 PM   #108
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I have thought about doing the same thing but I can't justify it, it just doesn't make financial sense (for us). I like real estate and we have a good number of rentals but we've passed on the vacation home.


Unlike most here(?) we went with a timeshare and we absolutely love it, when we purchased I thought we would regret it but it's been a great purchase (for us) and a good compromise.
I was surprised to see this answer since I thought I might be the only one to respond similarly. The wife and I went the timesharing route as well and we are Platinum level with Wyndham. Since we are retired we enjoy going to the ocean when no one else is around, namely during the winter months, and other places like New Orleans and the Smoky Mtns here in TN when the crowds are thinner as well. Since we have so many points we are traveling 4-5 months out of the year, since we get 50% points discounts on virtually all our off-season bookings.

We went this route because we already have a large home to maintain, and I did not want another one on the ocean as well (have you seen what salt air does to A/C units and the like?). Glad you are enjoying your decisions as much as we are.
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:55 PM   #109
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We bought a lakehouse in Maine 12 years ago and it is 4+ hours away from our primary home in CT. We retired 3 years ago and we now get to spend longer stretches up there but it is still a huge commitment.

Pros:
It still is a real getaway that we use year round and so peacefully quiet in the Maine woods on a small pond that has a magic to each sunset every season.
We met many neighbors on our lake who have become best of friends. I think it is conducive to friendship as everyone is up there for relaxation, away from home/work pressures. We've been to Mexico, St Johns, Boston, NYC and several weddings with our "Maine" friends.
Over the years we've had many memorable moments hosting our families and friends and watching them enjoy our place with us is priceless.
Cons:
The distance is a real pain. Many of our neighbors are from Massachusetts and they only have 2 hour rides. Ours is 4.5 if you don't stop but traffic, hunger, restroom breaks usually make it a 6 hour trip so pretty much a full day gets shot. Wish the distance was less.
Maintaining two homes is time consuming. We do a lot of work ourselves and I like most of the projects but basic maintenance like blowing the leaves, cleaning gutters, etc for both houses either will cost you or consume your time.
While the operational costs (house is paid for) run about $600/month we find ourselve buying (2) of everything. I have 2 miter saws, 2 leaf blowers, 2 weed trimmers, etc. and it keeps increasing. When we bought it we thought we would lug tools/supplies back and forth but you always seemed to NOT have the right tool at the right house at the right time!

Overall we still debate if it is "worth it" but any thoughts of selling it quickly get dispelled when the moon rises over the frozen lake (yes it was frozen and snow covered last week of November when we were up there) and you see the moonshadows of the snow covered pine trees as you get a few more logs for the stove. Magic but you gotta have the drive to do it.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:04 AM   #110
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The discussion of a vacation property or relocation to a state with lower taxes and reasonable priced homes will cause a split in our marriage of 24 years. I enjoy reading that couples can come to a decision even if its wrong. Just yesterday, I offered to research and purchase a new property (Florida) and label it as a vacation home. She blew up for the 17th time in 6 months and says she will never move again. We have spent much time in Florida, 12 cruises, 15 beach vacations in the Gulf area. I have been building a retirement plan for 2 years and now just turned 64. We left for Goodyear, Az over a year ago and had a new house but returned in just a year. She will not contribute to the plan or even read forums like this and has no part in financial account management. We are in a 2% property tax state and now do not own joint property. I will not draw retirement income here. I will not buy property here.
I have determined I have been used for 24 years and my best interests for our relationship is not enough. I do enjoy the posts that show communication and trust does sometimes work.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:15 AM   #111
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The discussion of a vacation property or relocation to a state with lower taxes and reasonable priced homes will cause a split in our marriage of 24 years. I enjoy reading that couples can come to a decision even if its wrong. Just yesterday, I offered to research and purchase a new property (Florida) and label it as a vacation home. She blew up for the 17th time in 6 months and says she will never move again. We have spent much time in Florida, 12 cruises, 15 beach vacations in the Gulf area. I have been building a retirement plan for 2 years and now just turned 64. We left for Goodyear, Az over a year ago and had a new house but returned in just a year. She will not contribute to the plan or even read forums like this and has no part in financial account management. We are in a 2% property tax state and now do not own joint property. I will not draw retirement income here. I will not buy property here.
I have determined I have been used for 24 years and my best interests for our relationship is not enough. I do enjoy the posts that show communication and trust does sometimes work.
That's a scary post. I hope you guys can work things out.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:19 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by arch57 View Post
We bought a lakehouse in Maine 12 years ago and it is 4+ hours away from our primary home in CT. We retired 3 years ago and we now get to spend longer stretches up there but it is still a huge commitment.

Pros:
It still is a real getaway that we use year round and so peacefully quiet in the Maine woods on a small pond that has a magic to each sunset every season.
We met many neighbors on our lake who have become best of friends. I think it is conducive to friendship as everyone is up there for relaxation, away from home/work pressures. We've been to Mexico, St Johns, Boston, NYC and several weddings with our "Maine" friends.
Over the years we've had many memorable moments hosting our families and friends and watching them enjoy our place with us is priceless.
Cons:
The distance is a real pain. Many of our neighbors are from Massachusetts and they only have 2 hour rides. Ours is 4.5 if you don't stop but traffic, hunger, restroom breaks usually make it a 6 hour trip so pretty much a full day gets shot. Wish the distance was less.
Maintaining two homes is time consuming. We do a lot of work ourselves and I like most of the projects but basic maintenance like blowing the leaves, cleaning gutters, etc for both houses either will cost you or consume your time.
While the operational costs (house is paid for) run about $600/month we find ourselve buying (2) of everything. I have 2 miter saws, 2 leaf blowers, 2 weed trimmers, etc. and it keeps increasing. When we bought it we thought we would lug tools/supplies back and forth but you always seemed to NOT have the right tool at the right house at the right time!

Overall we still debate if it is "worth it" but any thoughts of selling it quickly get dispelled when the moon rises over the frozen lake (yes it was frozen and snow covered last week of November when we were up there) and you see the moonshadows of the snow covered pine trees as you get a few more logs for the stove. Magic but you gotta have the drive to do it.

As I mentioned, our lake house was only an hour from our main home, in town where we worked, and we always counted that blessing. But I feel your pain when you mention buying "two of everything"...and then when we consolidated and moved to the lake we had to practically give away "one of everything"...but like you, we'd get to the lake, and look out at all of that beautiful water, no matter the season, and have an "ahhhhh...." moment.

I know my folks did the same thing whenever they got to their gulf-side condo on Bonita Beach. It could be a PITA, and an expense, but to them it was worth it. And if it's what someone thinks they really want, and it turns out to be a mistake, well, there are lots worse mistakes one can make.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:46 AM   #113
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We are also ďsecond home owners with two of everythingĒ. We bought our second home seven years ago, as a weekend getaway. Itís only a one hour and twenty minute drive; I like to say itís only 60 miles but a world away. At the time we bought, I was still w*rking at Megacorp and DH was doing a lot of contract work. We would go to that house two weekends per month.

We paid cash, and can afford the carrying costs without renting it out. At first we we cart tools and toys back and forth, but little by little weíve ended up with two of everything.

Now that we are ER, we arenít limited to weekends only. We live at the mountain house from about May to September, then back to the house in the suburbs. In the summer we make a trip back to the main house every 7-10 days to cut the grass and pick up mail. When we are based at the main house we visit the mountain house for a few days a couple of times a month. We have friends, activities, and a social calendar at each place.

I donít think of the mountain house as a vacation home, itís really a second home for us. At some point we may decide that it is too hard (physically or financially) to maintain two homes, but for now we enjoy both places.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:06 AM   #114
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The discussion of a vacation property or relocation to a state with lower taxes and reasonable priced homes will cause a split in our marriage of 24 years.
Been there as well. It's very disheartening when you realize that your spouse has a far different view of what retirement looks like and that view isn't anything close to your own. I wish you the best.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:21 AM   #115
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That's a scary post. I hope you guys can work things out.
+1 Forget buying a vacation home for now... invest in marriage counseling.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:56 AM   #116
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Has anyone else bought a vacation home just before RE ?

I am currently saving up to buy a vacation home and use AirBNB (possibly other sites) as an investment opportunity towards retiring earlier. A 2nd home might take a lot of time/money and sometimes it is worth it. Depends on your short/long term goals.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:00 AM   #117
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I have thought about doing the same thing but I can't justify it, it just doesn't make financial sense (for us).
Owning a vacation property makes no financial sense, for anyone. I.e., from a strictly financial sense, it is always cheaper to rent than own such a property.

That said, there is more to life than money. A snug cottage on the lake (or whatever) is a longhand dream of many people, and if one can afford it, why deny oneself? It can always be sold if for some reason it doesn't work out, or when it no longer fits one's stage of life ... that may result in some loss of capital, but perhaps that is 'the cost of doing business' one pays for living a full life. YOLO.

The above paragraph presumes that one has ample funds and can afford to pay cash. As that does not apply to the OP, I would respectfully suggest that she and her husband would be crazy to borrow money for an unnecessary/luxury purchase like this, especially a mere two years prior to retirement.
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