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Old 06-12-2015, 07:41 PM   #21
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Had two homes when I was working. Zero interest in owning more than primary now. Renting in different locations, including countries, is the way for me now.
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Old 06-12-2015, 09:29 PM   #22
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Our main house is 5 miles out of town with 100 acres of wooded ravines backing up to a large lake. We also have prime lake front property 18 miles away with a smaller house with a large double boathouse for our boats.

We also keep a new fifth wheel camper 300 miles away in the Blue Ridge Mountains--stored in a member owned campground.

My life is spent cutting grass and building--and it never stops. We have to go to the camper for 3-4 day trips to rest.

I cannot imagine 3 houses 1200 miles apart. And with one in the Chicago area, taxation of all kinds is an issue. All I say is: PICK ONE PLACE TO LIVE. If you want to go elsewhere seasonally, rent temporarily.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:02 PM   #23
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NWBound, there is a difference in our homes. The original home is in a neighborhood and was fine for raising DD. The island house is rural and waterfront - smaller home, larger property and much more quiet & relaxing.
My issue is paying double bills, property taxes and upkeep of two homes.
We will keep the island/retirement home, sell mainland home and rent in the SW during winter months - more flexibility.


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Old 06-12-2015, 11:13 PM   #24
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And I thought my two homes with the big elevation difference (climate diversity) also have plenty of difference in the settings (metropolitan vs. boondock), but nothing in the way of cultural or environment diversity (both in the same state).

So, for a while I entertain the idea of having a 2nd home in the NW (see my screen name), but the thought of having to catch a flight to see if the home survives a storm or if the neighbor reports some problems has kept me from doing that.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:27 PM   #25
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We have two houses (snow birding), and last year when DM died I inherited hers, which makes 3. It's on the Shenandoah River, nice location, but the issues with clearing it out and trying to make it livable seem nearly insurmountable to me. I think we'll probably sell it in the next few years, but for now we're going to try to hold on to it because it's relatively close to DD and DGD. It's not the money, it's the time that makes it really difficult. Maybe if we could get it into a certain shape, we could shut it down and open it up as needed. But the whole clearing all her stuff out (Jr. hoarder), getting rid of the mice, and de-molding it are a major PITA. It will be interesting to see whether I make it through that process into using it a few weeks/year or not. If other family members use it too, it might be worth keeping. But I'm betting not.
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Old 06-13-2015, 06:59 AM   #26
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So where do you live on the campground, an RV? This sounds interesting. It's land that you own?
Our campground is Woodhaven Lakes, and yes, we do own our land. We have a Park Model trailer... originally comes in on wheels, but designed to be a permanent installation. The specifications are that the maximum size is 12x34 or 400 sf. We are allowed to add a site built 400 sf add-a-room, and a 400sf deck. In addition we are allowed to have an 8x12 storage shed.
Our "camp" is located on a small lake (no gas motors). The current (year round) campground membership fee for this is $1400, which includes free access to all campground facilities (of which there are many)...including 2 large olympic pools, a beach, a very large campground store and many, many sports fields, meeting rooms, pavilions, a full size Tru Value Hardware, Gas Station, Restaurants, Laundromat, a 17 miles of trails. In addition, the $1400 fee includes unlimited water and sewer. We pay $500 in taxes because we are on a prime spot on the lake, and another $500 for insurance.
Because it is a recreational facility, we are limited to 187 days a year. Many of our neighbors live for 6 months here, and six months in Texas, Florida, or Arizona... in similar campgrounds. Example: in the early days, we lived part time In Victoria Palms in Donna, Texas.
Later we moved to a senior gated community in FL... again relatively low cost and with great facilities. On a lake, with a marina. We call it 6 and 6.

With some questions (then) about my life expectancy... and limited assets it was a great option for a try at early retirement. It worked. We lived in the manner to which we were accustomed (at a much lower cost)... we lived with younger people who were like minded, and who also loved the campground lifestyle... and were too busy having fun to even worry about money.
From 1990 to 2004... this snowbird lifestyle suited us perfectly... In 2004 we bought a regular home in our CCRC in Central Illinois.
Truthfully, without making this decision to live in less expensive surroundings, we might still be waiting to retire... 25 years later.
Not for everyone, but still a great option for those who aren't tied to large homes and a more expensive lifestyle.

This was a great way to start our retirement, and by LBYM, we now feel very safe financially.
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:42 AM   #27
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I'm not complaining about my situation, just stating observations that surprised me and I haven't seen posted here before. Overall, the experience is great and I'm not planning to change (other than downsizing the biggest house to a smaller condo).

Since early on when we bought the second place, we have not worried at all about the place we weren't in, and don't worry about the third, either.

The third place is a condo with excellent security and a staff that checks it regularly and arranges for even the interior maintenance and repairs. There is also a small maintenance staff that can do minor things.

The other two places are houses. We hire caretakers to visit each during the times we aren't there. They can take care of minor problems, and we have never had to return to a place to deal with anything (but nothing major has happened-downed trees, power outages, alarm glitches have been the worst problems). Landscape maintenance, pool, snow removal, etc. done by outsiders. One of the houses has an excellent security system, and the other doesn't need one at all because of where it is.

So, on an intellectual level, we immensely enjoy each place while we are in it, and other than missing the people and sometimes weather of the others, we don't have problems worrying about them.

Financially, we are able to do this comfortably. The physical process of paying bills is not difficult, but once in awhile we receive a second copy of a bill that got lost in the shuffle.

The differences between two and three are what surprised us.
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:03 AM   #28
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imoldernu (post #26) Bravo!! This is just what DH and I want to do. Our retirement date is Jan. 2020.

We're trying not to rush our life away; but we can't wait!![/COLOR]
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Old 06-13-2015, 12:27 PM   #29
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A poster sent me the Zillow listing of a nice large home for sale in the Puget Sound area.

It's nice, but nowadays I start to think more of smaller homes like the following one I happened to drive by in my recent RV trip. Barely enough space for the 2 of us, and visitors can stay in the RV. I would figure out a way to make the stairs retract up, so that the place is secure when I am away.

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Old 06-13-2015, 05:04 PM   #30
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NW, that's a cool design!
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:21 PM   #31
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+1

to OP, for the bills, can you put as many bills as possible on auto-pay?
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:32 AM   #32
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+1

to OP, for the bills, can you put as many bills as possible on auto-pay?
Yes, everything that can be is on auto-pay. However, there are many things that can't be: real estate taxes, medical bills, small tradespeople (pool, irrigation, landscaper, etc.).
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:43 AM   #33
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We have 4 homes. Principal residence in Alberta( close to Banff), winter place in Arizona (Paradise Valley), lake house in Ontario, city condo in Toronto. All very different and that is intentional. Love the fact that we can go from mountains to desert in a few hours. From Lakeside to city in 2 hours. All places fully equipped with autos, clothes, fitness equipment, bikes, boat, etc. I really like having my own clothes in the closet and my own car in the garage when I get to a place. Always excited to get to a different place.

This is obviously not for everyone. Very expensive. Property costs probably make up 25-30% of our total yearly spending. Lots of time spent managing the places but have hired management companies for the Alberta and Arizona houses. City condo is lock and go. Lake house is the biggest issue as lots of maintenance required and locals don't seem to want to work.

Have separate spreadsheets for each place's expenses. Auto pay as much as possible. We are extremely organized so keeping everything staight not a problem for us. Actually kind of enjoy it. A bit of a hobby I guess. I estimate that each additional place doubled the effort required by us but still only works out to an hour or two a day maybe. Would be a little bored I think if we ever downsized.

Current age almost 65, retired 9 years. Can't see keeping all places into our 80's but for the time being this is our chosen lifestyle. Loan places out to friends and family quite often and enjoy having guests. Still travel internationally but not as much as before we bought houses #3 and 4.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:04 AM   #34
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We have 4 homes. Principal residence in Alberta( close to Banff), winter place in Arizona (Paradise Valley), lake house in Ontario, city condo in Toronto....

This is obviously not for everyone. Very expensive...
You could be on the show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:09 AM   #35
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It's difficult enough keeping up with our one house. I can't imagine having to deal with two or more.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:11 PM   #36
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It's difficult enough keeping up with our one house. I can't imagine having to deal with two or more.
The trick is to have low standards and a complacent nature. Pool guy decided he doesn't want to keep up the pool two days before we leave (well, he had decided earlier but didn't want to hurt our feelings so was just not being reachable or responding)? No problem. pump the pool dry and worry about it in six months.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:18 PM   #37
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The trick is to have low standards and a complacent nature. Pool guy decided he doesn't want to keep up the pool two days before we leave (well, he had decided earlier but didn't want to hurt our feelings so was just not being reachable or responding)? No problem. pump the pool dry and worry about it in six months.
Ummm....do you have draintile around the pool? Is it an inground pool? There is a real risk of a pool "floating" if enough water accumulates around the pool and ends up exerting enough buoyancy force up on the pool!
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:21 PM   #38
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The trick is to have low standards and a complacent nature.
I wish. Certainly not my approach.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:49 PM   #39
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Ummm....do you have draintile around the pool? Is it an inground pool? There is a real risk of a pool "floating" if enough water accumulates around the pool and ends up exerting enough buoyancy force up on the pool!
True, an empty pool is just a concrete boat sunk in dirt (http://www.concreteships.org/) and waiting to be floated free. Except in La Quinta California, with annual precipitation of 3-4", we aren't worried about flotation.
More likely to have an issue with re-filling, though our monthly water usage is so low we could refill the pool while there and still be under our scheduled tier one usage/month.
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Old 06-14-2015, 01:28 PM   #40
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True, an empty pool is just a concrete boat sunk in dirt (http://www.concreteships.org/) and waiting to be floated free. Except in La Quinta California, with annual precipitation of 3-4", we aren't worried about flotation.
More likely to have an issue with re-filling, though our monthly water usage is so low we could refill the pool while there and still be under our scheduled tier one usage/month.
You may also end up with cracked pool plaster.
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