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Random thoughts on living in multiple homes
Old 06-11-2015, 05:44 PM   #1
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Random thoughts on living in multiple homes

A little over a year ago, we bought a third home, which has now become our permanent residence. It is used in the winter. We still have what used to be our main home, and plan to spend a month or so in spring and fall. We also have our summer home, which we have had for longer than either of the others. The former main home will be downsized at some point most likely to a big city condo relatively nearby.

I recently looked a bit online at condos that might fit that bill, just to get an idea of what's out there because we are at least a year away from making the switch. But, it's time to start the process.

A few observations:

Having three homes is exponentially harder in some ways than two. For some reason, it just seems much more difficult to manage all of the bills, remember deadlines, etc., and it is also harder to remember where we left what.

Our longest stint is in our winter home, roughly six months. The other two are split one-third summer/two thirds spring/fall. It didn't occur to us that those small blocks of time do not allow enough time to complete modest to large projects while we are there. The winter home is a condo in a very nice place that does not allow noisy work to be done in peak times, so that also narrows the window.

Going back and forth is not that difficult. They are in a triangle roughly 1,200 miles from each other. We drive back and forth at beginning and end and fly from wherever we are to one of the other places or wherever we need to be. Not much difference in the latter.

Leaving each place is sad, and arriving at the next is difficult for a day or so. Other than that, we are very happy to be at the next place. New season, seeing people we haven't in awhile, new places to go. We wouldn't trade it for anything.

Our kids have long loved the summer place, and mostly grew up in the former main place. However, they love the winter place for various reasons.
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:53 PM   #2
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I don't even own one home so good for you.
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:26 PM   #3
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Technically we own 2 homes - but one is a detached granny flat that we rent out. Literally in our backyard.

We've toyed with buying a rustico someplace rural in Italy, fixing it up, and living there part of the year.... but the idea of having to juggle the maintenance in a distant location makes it less than optimal.

Good luck keeping track of it.
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:54 PM   #4
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The observations are right on.
We started out with two... a campground for 6 mo. and a Florida mfg home community 6 mo., for 15 years when we first retired and weren't sure we would make it. We bought into our CCRC Home 11 years ago, and still have all 3 homes.
Our current Home, in Il is about 25 miles from our lakeside spot in the campground, so an easy back and forth.

It was a little confusing, and a quite a bit to manage bills and services in all three, but, as with anything like that, turn the bills over to DW who hasn't missed a payment in 26 years.

Now, planning to back out of Florida... not too easy, but just too far to travel, and we're not so much into skydiving and triathalons any more...

BTW, the total cost of all three, including everything is still quite a bit less than what we paid in our single Chicago Suburb home, back in 1989.
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:58 PM   #5
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So where do you live on the campground, an RV? This sounds interesting. It's land that you own?
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:42 PM   #6
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I found the same issue when I had 2 places that I would spent about 3 months at a time in. I was always settling in or getting ready to leave and never really was motivated to start any larger projects in the short time in between.
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:26 PM   #7
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Two homes only 150 miles apart, and that's enough for me to maintain.

Three homes 1200 miles apart? Aghhh, that's work, unless one is rich enough that he can just keep writing checks and do nothing.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:59 PM   #8
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If you cam handle one house, you should be able to handle three. Given, of course, enough time and/or money.

Enjoy.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:20 PM   #9
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I can't quite sympathize.


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Old 06-12-2015, 03:37 AM   #10
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We have two 100 miles apart. I live in this one near my family and stores, been here 22 years. He lives on a river, has chickens and a jet sled, great neighbors, riding mower on acreage. Mine is hard to maintain for me so I hire people to mow and remodel. He does his own work and his neighbor helps and he helps the neighbor do whatever he wants. I go see him about once every 10 days for 2 nights then get bored and come home. I am going tomorrow and he has people coming to put in shop lights Saturday, I might invite my family down to see the chickens Saturday or Sunday then come home Sunday. He doesn't have a computer so I get lazy at his house, don't do his chores at all, I am company but I do cook since he won't. I could sell my house and move to his house but I don't want to and he loves his house so won't move back with me. We lived together for 27 years or so.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:39 AM   #11
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We bought our second home at age 45 with the intent of making it our primary residence at age 50 (next year). I can't wait to be down to one house in ER. This new house is where I want to live, not where I have to live to work.
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:58 PM   #12
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How could you enjoy 1 house whole managing the other two?


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Old 06-12-2015, 02:12 PM   #13
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My random thought is that having three houses will avoid the problem of becoming introspective in your retirement. Good work!


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Old 06-12-2015, 02:23 PM   #14
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How do you monitor each place?

Do you have friends check in on the houses or maybe a security system (with cameras)?
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:25 PM   #15
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My random thought is that having three houses will avoid the problem of becoming introspective in your retirement. Good work!


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Old 06-12-2015, 05:19 PM   #16
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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)
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:11 PM   #17
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We had two houses for a while, one in Maine and one in NJ, where our work was. It was too complicated for me. It seemed like I was always worried about the house I wasn't in. We retired and moved to Florida and I greatly prefer the simplicity of one house.
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:14 PM   #18
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DHand I currently have two homes. We built our retirement home about 10 years ago and spend most weekends there. It requires a short ferry ride and about 25 mile drive. I've been spending most of my time there since retiring last August. DH retires next May and we plan to put our older home on the market. I can't wait. I don't like having two homes. We had always planned to have two homes in retirement and be snowbirds. Not anymore. So, it was good to figure it out now.


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Old 06-12-2015, 07:28 PM   #19
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We have two homes about 100 miles apart. One in the city and one on the lake in a nieghboring state. DW just retired and we are planning on moving to the lake house full time. I cannot wait to sell the city house and only have one home to worry about.
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:34 PM   #20
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DHand I currently have two homes. We built our retirement home about 10 years ago and spend most weekends there. It requires a short ferry ride and about 25 mile drive...
With just a ferry ride and 25 miles distance, your homes do not offer enough climate change for diversity. I would also move to the home on the island (that's the one you keep, right?), and sell the one in the mainland. If I need to go shopping, I can come into town.

My two homes are only 150 miles apart, but there's a 5,500-ft difference in elevation. And one is in a metropolitan suburb low desert, while the other is in the high-country boondock. Most of the homes in the highland are weekend homes for city folks to escape the heat, but we can go up and stay for weeks.

PS. I bought the boondock home with the possibility of living there full-time. But we quickly found out the lack of amenities such as groceries, libraries, etc... And then, access to healthcare is very important for geezers. So, we will keep the 2-home arrangement.
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