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Old 09-27-2016, 03:43 PM   #21
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If I could live my life over the second home would be Wengen, Switzerland.
I love the alps but Switzerland is just sooooooo expensive. We are in a nice town in Austria which is not quite a nice as Switzerland but a lot lot cheaper.
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:20 PM   #22
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We have two homes 1200 miles apart. We have no children and do it for the weather. You end up with two of everything although somehow we ended up with four cars, two at each local. Both properties are lock and leave with zero monthly maintenance. We would love to have one home but cannot find the perfect place weather wise. If I could live my life over the second home would be Wengen, Switzerland.
The perfect place weather wise is on the beach in Hawaii, for me anyway.

But really, in modern times we have air conditioning and heating in the home, in the car, at businesses, restaurants, everywhere. If the weather starts to feel sticky and uncomfortable, one can easily cool off in a climate controlled environment. Personally I just don't feel the need for perfect weather any more, especially as a driver for something as important as where I live. Now back in the 1950's, it was a different matter and weather would have been my top priority!
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:38 PM   #23
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Nobody got the second house to "reside" in a no income tax state?
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:12 PM   #24
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You are right with a couple of caveats.

1. If you can tell me where I can earn 5% relatively risk free let me know ;-).
2. If only makes sense if we can rent it out part of the year (say 6 months @ 2,000 per month).
3. Capital appreciation - maybe 2-3% per annum?
4. Rent of vacation home (also c. 2000 per month)

Means the maths are less straightforward.
The 5% isn't risk free - it is the opportunity cost of having $400k tied up in a property rather than invested. Could be more or less depending on your AA but 5% might not be out of line... perhaps a bit high... but if your portfolio earns 7% and the property appreciates at 3% then a 4% opportunity cost might be in the ballpark. So for $400k the net opportunity cost would be $16k...add another $10k for property taxes, maintenance, electricity, etc and the cost is $26k a year.

If you can lease a flat for $2k a month then you are ahead leasing rather than buying. YMMV.
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:59 PM   #25
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I have been a multiple home owner a couple of times. First was 1992-2007 when we had a Denver house and Colorado mtn house about an hour and half away. Used it a lot. Kids grew up skiing and enjoying the cool summer months. As kids went off and we got older the skiing part was no longer necessary. Sold the house in 2007.

Four years later bought a second home in Scottsdale to use when it got cold in Denver. Having been retired a few years I found myself wanting something in a warm weather locale. For the next four years we spent six months in each location. However, we quickly tired of the going back and forth. It seemed like we had just got to one place and it was time to go back to the other. The decision to downsize to just one house came relatively easy. The next question was where?

We chose Scottsdale as we felt that there were 10 good months of weather in Scottsdale and only eight or so in Denver. (We disliked the cold the older we got). Also, the area of Denver we lived was changing rapidly and a lot of the allure to living there was gone. Neither of us had any other family living nearby at that time.

So we sold both homes and bought a new, slightly larger home in Scottsdale. Net/Net we put about $600k of home equity into our pocket and eliminated one mortgage! We eliminated probably about $30k in annual expenses plus a $5k/month mortgage. We are now mortgage free.

Rather than buy another property in the Az mountains for those hot summer months we have decided to hotel and/or rent in July and August when it gets god awful hot here. This year we spent a week on Oregon coast. A week in Sand Diego. A week in Denver and rented a condo in Park City Ut for the month of August.

We have a list of about 15 places we would like to go for a month at a time. Just the expense savings on owning multiple homes more than covers the cost of the two months away. Plus we aren't tied down to going to the same place every year.

The money is not a real issue in our situation. We could afford to have multiple homes as we did for a number of years. We just choose not to.
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:13 PM   #26
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So I'm interested in zero monthly maintenance,
Can you explain what is zero monthly maintenance ?

Do you mean you are paying someone to do the work, and repairs ? Or you just ignore it.
I was thinking in terms of yard maintenance but little house maintenance as well. One is a condo in the upper Midwest the other is a townhome in the SW with a rock yard. We do have a monthly HOA in both places. Both homes are small but have great views. MSP home:

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Old 09-27-2016, 10:42 PM   #27
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Nobody got the second house to "reside" in a no income tax state?
That has been my thought for a while, but right now fairly trapped by circumstances.
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Old 09-28-2016, 04:41 AM   #28
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Just be careful to evaluate everything in making the decision to change state tax residency. We recently bought a winter condo in Florida and people commonly ask me if we plan to become residents there. While we would indeed save on income taxes, we would lose a property tax exemption in our home state and more importantly, our health insurance would be substantially higher and both of those would more than wipe out any income tax savings.
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:09 AM   #29
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Just be careful to evaluate everything in making the decision to change state tax residency. We recently bought a winter condo in Florida and people commonly ask me if we plan to become residents there. While we would indeed save on income taxes, we would lose a property tax exemption in our home state and more importantly, our health insurance would be substantially higher and both of those would more than wipe out any income tax savings.
Good points, especially the health care one. Initially I had this nice big list of States to move to, after about a year of searching. I realized our health plan won't cover us in various States..
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:44 AM   #30
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Plenty of people own 2 or more homes. OTOH, many who could likely afford this own only one.

It is largely a personal preference.

Ha
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:18 AM   #31
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Having just been notified that the house I'm not currently in - and which is thousands of miles away - has a toilet that's leaked into the apartment below ... just after our rental property (also far away) had a boiler leak that went into the downstairs flat in that building... I'm feeling frustrated, irritated and voting for simplicity! When everything is right, it's great. But the moment something goes wrong, the distance intensifies the hassle. I'm sure I will feel ok in the morning but do be aware that there are added costs and hassles to being far away from your property.


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Old 09-29-2016, 07:30 AM   #32
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A couple of thoughts:

If you have a second home in a desirable area you could rent it out through AirBNB when you're not using it and it could pay for itself.

Or, you could use AirBNB yourself to find a rental near your kids or rent a corporate condo for yourself for a month near your kids when you visit.

There will always be monthly maintenance in any place you own. If it's a house, there's yard and upkeep, if it's a condo there's HOA fees. I think the cost and hassle of that may outweigh the benefits vs. utilizing short term rentals.

And as others have pointed out, what if your kids move?


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Old 09-29-2016, 07:51 AM   #33
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Plenty of people own 2 or more homes. OTOH, many who could likely afford this own only one.

It is largely a personal preference.

Ha
Yes, agree. We would be an extreme example of multiple ownership and it's really because we enjoy it. Can certainly understand why others wouldn't, and agree the costs are probably not justified. The big thing for me is control. I hate being told what to do and would not want the hassle of finding new places every year to rent. Would be bored at one place I think.

At some point we all get older and want to simplify things though. Not there yet.
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:42 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Cap_Scarlet View Post
You are right with a couple of caveats.

1. If you can tell me where I can earn 5% relatively risk free let me know ;-).
2. If only makes sense if we can rent it out part of the year (say 6 months @ 2,000 per month).
3. Capital appreciation - maybe 2-3% per annum?
4. Rent of vacation home (also c. 2000 per month)

Means the maths are less straightforward.
A second home really isn't about the math, and to be honest, if you need math to justify having one, it's probably not a good idea. Add to that, if you've never been a landlord, learning to be one by renting your own home for short periods during the year is going to be tough.

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If you can lease a flat for $2k a month then you are ahead leasing rather than buying. YMMV.
I agree with this and would also suggest renting instead of buying, at least in the beginning, just to see if the here - there lifestyle fits.

One additional point. A second home is a new source of worry in your retired life. Upkeep and maintenance are more difficult and more expensive than with your primary residence, and security is always a concern. Insurance may also be an issue. As HaHa pointed out, it is a personal choice, and works well for many. We have a second home enjoy it - it's a critical part of our lifestyle, but it is a PITA.
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:56 AM   #35
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Our second 'home', is a cabin I designed and built in the foothills of the san juan mountains, about 35 min away from our primary home in Durango. With 5+ acres of irrigatible land around it, and an additional 5+ of wooded canyon and ponds, the maintenance is definitely not zero. There are ALWAYS issues to take care of, much of which revolves around keeping the place from growing over, and keeping wildlife (woodpeckers, bears, gophers, insects, etc) from damaging the buildings and landscape. Without the big green tractor & the heavy implements I purchased a few years ago, it would be near impossible to keep up with the pasture and other maintenance work. That tractor was the best tool I ever bought for that place.

My DW and I still love going over there, but we're doing it less frequently now, as we travel more. When we come back to it, the chores that require our attention usually eat up all of our time, and we hardly ever 'relax and chill' over there. We're considering selling the place and buying a historic home up in silverton, co, (for summers and winter skiing) which would still require some work, but it would be less than trying to maintain horse property. I'm not a condo guy, preferring to have space around me, so finding a home with a modest sized parcel of land around it would be the direction we're heading. I want to be able to close it up and when I return it's more or less the way we left it.

We love the place, but as we get older, the physical demands of that sort of property upkeep outweigh the benefits somewhat. Really, you kind of have to live there to keep up with it.



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Old 09-29-2016, 09:13 AM   #36
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I'm feeling frustrated, irritated and voting for simplicity! When everything is right, it's great. But the moment something goes wrong, the distance intensifies the hassle. I'm sure I will feel ok in the morning but do be aware that there are added costs and hassles to being far away from your property.
I always have a property manager for the places when we are away. It is well worth the peace of mind.
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:14 AM   #37
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I always have a property manager for the places when we are away. It is well worth the peace of mind.
Agree. Us as well. Well worth the modest extra expense.
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:04 AM   #38
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Plenty of people own 2 or more homes. OTOH, many who could likely afford this own only one.

It is largely a personal preference.
Yes, I could probably afford a second home but since we are happy right here, and have no desire to travel, I would have to be crazy to do this. The hassle and worry of owning a home far away would be a complete nightmare to me as well.

Many people here have a second home in a more protected location, to use in case their New Orleans home is hit by a hurricane and not habitable for some time. Hopefully that will not happen to us, but if it does then I guess we'll be forced to find a rental up north until repairs can be made.
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Old 09-29-2016, 04:13 PM   #39
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Our second 'home', is a cabin I designed and built in the foothills of the san juan mountains, about 35 min away from our primary home in Durango. With 5+ acres of irrigatible land around it, and an additional 5+ of wooded canyon and ponds, the maintenance is definitely not zero. There are ALWAYS issues to take care of, much of which revolves around keeping the place from growing over, and keeping wildlife (woodpeckers, bears, gophers, insects, etc) from damaging the buildings and landscape. Without the big green tractor & the heavy implements I purchased a few years ago, it would be near impossible to keep up with the pasture and other maintenance work. That tractor was the best tool I ever bought for that place.

My DW and I still love going over there, but we're doing it less frequently now, as we travel more. When we come back to it, the chores that require our attention usually eat up all of our time, and we hardly ever 'relax and chill' over there. We're considering selling the place and buying a historic home up in silverton, co, (for summers and winter skiing) which would still require some work, but it would be less than trying to maintain horse property. I'm not a condo guy, preferring to have space around me, so finding a home with a modest sized parcel of land around it would be the direction we're heading. I want to be able to close it up and when I return it's more or less the way we left it.

We love the place, but as we get older, the physical demands of that sort of property upkeep outweigh the benefits somewhat. Really, you kind of have to live there to keep up with it.



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Beautiful. Love the san juan's!
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Old 09-29-2016, 04:51 PM   #40
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We love the place, but as we get older, the physical demands of that sort of property upkeep outweigh the benefits somewhat. Really, you kind of have to live there to keep up with it.



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