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Old 06-14-2015, 07:05 PM   #41
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Two years ago we bought a beach house about 30 miles from our primary home. We thought at the time we would maintain both homes and possibly rent the beach house occasionally. As it turns out we want to live at the beach and will be selling the primary house soon. Since we are retired we no longer need the convenient commute location of the primary. I find maintaining two houses to be a PITA and a financial stressor; while we can afford it there is noticeably less money left over for travel and other luxuries, and our cats don't like it either!
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:52 PM   #42
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Similar story here. In 2005 we bought a lake house about 30 miles from our home. Initially we just used it weekends.. it was glorious even though it was a "camp"... no phone, no tv, no internet... just a radio. Then we decided to spend summers there so a phone, tv and internet were must-haves.. but we still loved being on the lake. In 2010, we decided to demolish and rebuild and we moved in in May 2011 and sold our main home later that year.

Though i suspect that we will someday soon have a winter home so we'll be back to two homes.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:30 PM   #43
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I have a hard time maintaining 1 home "which I built myself". I cannot imagine dealing with 2 or 3 homes.Way to much stress for me
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:10 PM   #44
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True, an empty pool is just a 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.
Not sure about La Quinta - but here in San Diego I've heard they are charging $10k on top of the water chargers to fill a pool. I've heard this from two people - both of whom had to drain the pool because of maintenance issues.... and then found out that not only would it be a few thousand in water charges - there's a $10k penalty because of the drought.

I couldn't confirm this on the city website... but I had 2 separate people who were directly impacted, tell me this.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:29 PM   #45
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Currently embarking on having a second home, inherited, two time zones away. Not an optimum configuration for sure, but the house is in a place we love, and we hope to spend summers there once ER arrives in a couple of years.

It's been operating as a summer-only residence for a decade already - we pay a neighbor to look after it, and she's enough of a busybody that she loves it. :-)

Can't imagine getting rid of our primary big-city residence, and never really thought of myself as a "summer home" type, but the general expenses are manageable and we can always sell it if we change our minds.

And what someone said above about having a place where your stuff already is - I just shipped out there a box full of clothes that I don't need here. Will be great to travel light!
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:53 PM   #46
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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.
Sounds ideal, congrats on managing four. Each additional place doubling efforts sounds about right.

We keep many things at each place, but don't leave a car everywhere. One we never will because we are only there 10-12 weeks in the summer, and one we haven't gotten around to deciding what to get for that location.

We haul most clothes back and forth, because the summer and winter places use the same stuff. Winter stuff stays put, but light jackets, etc. travel with us.

Thinking about your response, a big part of our logistical issue with three places is that we have two kids still in college (well, one just graduated), and both studied abroad in the past few years. So, not only do we have to deal with our own things, but have to figure out moving their stuff from dorm to storage to wherever, and both at different times of course. Because of their school schedules they often are in one place and arrive back home to another, sometimes visiting the third in the interim or on breaks. This requires careful planning where their "stuff" is going to be several moves in advance. This will not be a problem after they get totally out of the nest(s).
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Old 06-17-2015, 02:44 PM   #47
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We find lots of planning when we are back in Vancouver because household and other items are so hard to find in PV. So we carry a third suitcase just to fill up for our return. Utilities and other payments are all automated. Maintaining peso bank accounts takes some planning to cover the automated payments. When we get stuff done around the house while we are not there, payment is a bit of a challenge. We can transfer money between banks but many of the handymen do not have bank accounts. And most are illiterate. Plus we always fly so that is a complication when compared to driving.

We maintain cars in both places. NOB we take off the insurance for 6 months. SOB we leave it on because it is so cheap and easy.

We also rent out our NOB penthouse and that creates its own complications not relevant to this thread.

But just keeping track of what is where can be a problem, especially in the kitchen. Opening the wrong drawer for a special utensil that may or may not exist in that location.
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:03 AM   #48
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45/Keith: Yes, I agree knowing what is where can be an issue. Sometimes it takes me a couple of months and several flights to find something. That is why we try not to move too much of it around. Results in some duplication but in the overall scheme of things so what? We tend to change locations every 3-4 weeks or so because our parents are still alive and rely on us for assistance. This requires a few days in Toronto every month.
Some things, like our brand of sweetner or breakfast cereal is not available in the US so we take down large bags every year.
We don't rent out any of our places. This allows us to make spur-of-the- moment plans whenever we want.
I can see your issue with younger children. We don't have this concern as our daughter is out on her own. Really great having her visit us at our various places though. She loves them all.
Have made great friends at all our places and this really enhances our lifestyle.
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:39 AM   #49
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I can definitely imagine living in multiple places. What I can't imagine is have the capital sunk in several homes. We'd rather rent and stay in different locations. At this point we wouldn't stay somewhere for more than a month anyway.

Maybe if we keep renting in a giving location - returning year after year - we might consider investing.
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:51 AM   #50
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I can definitely imagine living in multiple places. What I can't imagine is have the capital sunk in several homes. We'd rather rent and stay in different locations. At this point we wouldn't stay somewhere for more than a month anyway.

Maybe if we keep renting in a giving location - returning year after year - we might consider investing.
Yes, the capital issue was important when we bought our last home. I had to be sure that the capital left, along with our pensions, would be enough to support our lifestyle. We found that having a warm weather place reduced our need to vacation south every year. So there were some savings there.

We certainly hadn't planned on owning 4 homes in the run up to retirement. But things worked out pretty well, and we were able to do it. A good reason to pad the nestegg(within reason) prior to retirement. Real estate represents about 20% of our net worth and that would be as high as I would feel comfortable with.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:50 AM   #51
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We bought our vacation condo in 2002 - as a getaway from the harsh Illinois winters, and as a hedge against the equities markets. I don't see the purchase price as capital sunk - I can sell it at any time and move the proceeds into our portfolio. I consider the maintenance fees part of our vacation expenses. Being a condo, I have very little personal time tied up in maintenance. Bills are autopaid, and all exterior upkeep is done by the HOA. Nothing to maintain on the inside.

But I feel we need to downsize our primary residence. It accounts for approx 80% of our overall home expenses and 99% of my personal maintenance time.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:27 AM   #52
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We certainly hadn't planned on owning 4 homes in the run up to retirement. But things worked out pretty well, and we were able to do it. A good reason to pad the nestegg(within reason) prior to retirement. Real estate represents about 20% of our net worth and that would be as high as I would feel comfortable with.
We had a slightly different strategy. I gave each of my boys $50k towards buying a cottage, so now when we go back to Ontario, typically in the summer, we can choose between staying with them at home or going to their cottages. Usually a bit of both works, although my grandchildren like us to be at the cottage with them. Sadly they are getting old enough (one is 18 and in second year engineering), that that part of the strategy is starting to dwindle. There are four more to go (2 very young still).

Plus it does not really fit the topic since they are managing the cottages.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:50 PM   #53
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We had a slightly different strategy. I gave each of my boys $50k towards buying a cottage, so now when we go back to Ontario, typically in the summer, we can choose between staying with them at home or going to their cottages. Usually a bit of both works, although my grandchildren like us to be at the cottage with them. Sadly they are getting old enough (one is 18 and in second year engineering), that that part of the strategy is starting to dwindle. There are four more to go (2 very young still).

Plus it does not really fit the topic since they are managing the cottages.
Sounds great. Hopefully our cottage will also act as a family meeting place once grandchildren are born. Over time I expect to move the responsibility of the cottage to my daughter and eventually ownership.
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:02 PM   #54
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I am leaving for our European Mountain Cottage in 8 days.

It is incredibly refreshing to be exposed to completely different culture. Change is nice. It is spending money on experience instead of things. (Cottage is pretty modest but is my preferred place to take it easy)
where is the cottage? We visited Murren, Switzerland and loved the place
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