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Old 05-31-2021, 08:15 AM   #21
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The people we know that have made that purchase and the people we know that haven’t, have mostly been driven by family. Friends just bought a lake cabin so they can have their kids and future grandkids all gather together. We decided not to purchase a 2nd place so we’re home more to spend more time with our grandkids. We do travel quite a bit and just use hotels or Airbnb/VRBO when we do.

If family doesn’t enter into the equation and you want to go to the same place all the time, then it’s pretty much a financial decision and you can do the math.
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Old 05-31-2021, 08:46 AM   #22
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Our 2nd home was in an area that I traveled for business once a week. For several years i stayed in hotels. The family would come over & we would do activities & loved it. After about 4 years of that we bought a SFH. We loved having all our own "stuff" in the exact same place we left it. I would do yard maintainece & other easy stuff while there.

We loved it so much we sold the big house & moved there full time. The biggest driver for buying was to have good family time
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Old 05-31-2021, 09:04 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by street View Post
I always felt to own is better then renting. In the case of owning two homes miles apart doesn't seem so appealing. Like other posters have mentioned you have double of what you have with one.
This is one of the biggest issues IMHO. We've got 2 (or 3) of a lot of stuff. And no way to recoup the costs. If we decide to sell our FL place we'll haul a bit of it back up north, but other than that Restore and Goodwill will be getting a bonus. Maybe I'll have a SWFL ER open house and let omni and JP and the others take anything they want first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Yes, second homes are an expensive splurge.
[snip]
Divide that $29k by the number of days that you use it and the result can be startling.
Like RVs, boats, etc., people seldom have second (or third) homes for financial reasons. More like despite the financial reasons. To some, it's worth it without question.

Personally I'm leaning more to Street's solution.a home in town, and some nearby nature/relaxation to escape to on a regular basis. Then throw in renting someplace warm for a couple of months in the winter, and you're set. Sounds like a plan.
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Old 05-31-2021, 11:39 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Yes, second homes are an expensive splurge. My sisters are keen to keep the family lakefront home when my mom dies... the annual property taxes and upkeep are about $13k a year, but the other thing to consider is that you have a $400k investment that earns nothing and the opportunity cost of money on $400k at 4% is $16k... so your total economic cost is about $29k.

Divide that $29k by the number of days that you use it and the result can be startling.
(edited to fix quote)

They can be an expensive splurge, but a lot of that can be mitigated. In my case, I can rent it out while not using it via a full-service management company. Even after deducting their fees and all other expenses, I earn 4 to 5% back on my investment, with RE appreciation on top of that.
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Old 05-31-2021, 12:50 PM   #25
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It is topic we touch on. in 2009 after the economic reset, we purchased a lot by the beach on the county foreclosure auction. We were tent trailer campers then, but you needed a self contained RV with bathroom to camp on your lot. That sent us down the trail of a diesel truck or two and several different 5th wheel trailers.
We are into the lot around 14K and comp sales are around 25K for it. In terms of money it is a nothingburger. Yearly taxes and stormwater is <300.
We keep it because we always have a reservation on the busy summer camping weekends
The last few years we have only gone a couple of times, and we came to the conclusion that we will not be building on the lot or having a second home there.
We do camp often in the 3 seasons. So far we have not nailed down a single location that would suit us that is within a reasonable drive.
If we had to fly then renting AirBNB would be our choice, as property = responsibility in our life experiences.
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Old 05-31-2021, 01:23 PM   #26
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We bought a ski cabin in 2013 just as the second home market was beginning to recover. We had stayed in various VRBOs for 5 years before purchasing. In 2009 and 2010, it was impossible to get financing for a second home. You can definitely time the second home market and I would say now is the time to sell, not buy. Our realtor are estimating the current sale price on our cabin is about 300% of our purchase price. The second home market is much more volatile than the primary home market. I would say be patient and prepare for the right opportunity. Good luck!
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Old 05-31-2021, 01:46 PM   #27
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Our primary home is in Michigan, but after I retired we decided we wanted to get out of the snow and ice during the winter months. So we rented along the Texas coast for several winters..........enjoyed that, but eventually decided to try the Florida Gulf Coast. Rented there for one winter, and really loved the location and the people. Great spot for kayaking, fishing, and the people were super-welcoming and friendly. We intended to keep renting the same house for the next few winters, but a neighbor came over one day and told us we HAD to look at a house that was going to go up for sale very soon, next to his house (this was 3 years ago now). The 92-year old guy who had lived there passed away recently, and his son did not want the house. His preference was to sell it quickly if possible. I really had no plans to buy a house down there, but we looked at the house (it was structurally sounds but needed some updating and repairs here and there), and asked him what he wanted for it. He said if we were able to pay cash, he would give it to us for XXX, which seemed like a fair price for the place. I still was not sure I wanted to buy a house down there, but my wife (and the neighbor) talked me into it. We had the place inspected (it passed), and talked to a contractor about how much $$ the priority work would cost (it was reasonable), so we took the plunge and bought the place. It's not like me to make quick decisions like that, but it has turned out well for us, and we have no regrets. We spend our winters down there now, and we love it. It's just a small house, but it's perfect for the two of us. When we are back in Michigan, we rent it out on VRBO/AirBNB (we have a great local property manager - I would not rent it without having that). The rental money we take in pays the taxes, utilities, and more, so that's been nice.

My advice: life is short. If you think you would really enjoy a vacation home, and you can swing it financially, do it. Renting is okay, but when you own a place, you can really make it your own, and there is satisfaction and pride in that. We get comments all the time from people that rent our house saying how much they love the place, and the location, and that makes us feel good. I don't know how long we will own this place........hopefully for quite a while, but we have already gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it.
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Old 05-31-2021, 01:53 PM   #28
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DW and I have been having discussions about buying a beach house or a cabin even though our first mortgage isn't completely paid off (but close). If you have a 2nd home/cabin/beach house, how'd you pull the trigger and decide to buy one? Or did you inherit it? As someone on the FIRE path, it's really hard for us to do that vs say just doing like a VRBO for a month.
We bought ours in 2010 at age 50 knowing it would be our forever home in 5 more years.

What made me make up my mind was when my cousin died. Same age as me. Made me pull the trigger.
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Old 05-31-2021, 02:14 PM   #29
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I totally understand the appeal, but I don't want the responsibility of another house for now.

But, never say never . . .
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Old 06-01-2021, 07:54 PM   #30
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We were able to pay cash for a modest place in So FL in 2011 when the price was still near the bottom. It would have been harder to take the leap in today’s market. I was also still w*rking then with nice income, so that made it easier.

It’s been a great decision. Value of the house is way up now and we’ve spent a ton of time there especially after FIRE. I certainly wouldn’t change anything and you can’t take it with you!
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Tough decision
Old 06-01-2021, 08:14 PM   #31
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Tough decision

We’ve been waffling on if/when to build our next home while still living in current home. Properties are similar in current and projected costs. 3-4 year target. Comments on thread about life being short, do it now vs obvious extra expense of having two homes. We still can’t decide, which as the song goes means we still have made a choice 😂
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Old 06-01-2021, 09:59 PM   #32
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I recently bought a vacation lake house. I’ve been considering a 2nd place for years. I wanted to live someplace with a nice view before I die. With my experience of the pandemic and deeply realizing life is short, I got to work and found a beautiful place with a view of a beautiful lake. The thing that tipped me over, my 83 yo Mom asked me what I was waiting for.
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Old 06-01-2021, 10:50 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Yes, second homes are an expensive splurge. My sisters are keen to keep the family lakefront home when my mom dies... the annual property taxes and upkeep are about $13k a year, but the other thing to consider is that you have a $400k investment that earns nothing and the opportunity cost of money on $400k at 4% is $16k... so your total economic cost is about $29k.
Made me look. We have four children and set up our home so that we wouldn't feel the need for a lake house but at one point in our careers we had a period where we had summers off and rented a few places. We fell in love with the lake and our young children greatly enjoyed the experience so we pulled the trigger in 2006 on a place 3 hours away.

Doing the calculation, the annual return has been the equivalent of 6.6% after expenses and taxes. Not too bad and this could have been much higher if we had rented out the place for even a few weeks a year. Not S&P 500 but not too bad for something that was much more a family luxury than an investment.

Our children are now all in their 20s and although there was some waning of interest in their late teens they are all now very much back into going to the cottage.

In my mind, as mentioned, the main decision is whether you feel that the value of having your own special place has more upside than the potential downside of being committed to a place that would limit other travel opportunities.
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Old 06-01-2021, 11:02 PM   #34
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How did we pull the trigger?

We knew from day one that we wanted rural property. As life progressed when:
1. Watched a close relative get hit with early onset dementia
2. We realized we kept talking about vacations but not taking them.
3. Decided a closeby cabin would fix #2.
...we got more serious.

Thats how we decided, in principle, to get a vacation property.

How did we decide on the specific property. Simple. When we drove up to the dilapidated 1970 era ski cabin in foreclosure we just knew. It was like at first sight.
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Old 06-02-2021, 05:49 AM   #35
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If I were ever in a position to have more than one home, I would want at least one of them be a townhome or condominium, so I didn't have to do outside maintenance on more than one property.

Perhaps a small townhome for my primary residence and then a country cabin which would be nice when I wanted a totally different atmosphere or my primary residence having a yard but the vacation home being a condo. Those wouldn't be totally free of maintenance concerns (as someone is still typically responsible for HVAC units, indoor plumbing, etc. in many townhomes) but it would seem to eliminate a lot of them.
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Old 06-02-2021, 08:50 AM   #36
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We debated buying something down in Mexico since that seems to be our "go to" place to relax. The Air Force did a great job of letting me see the rest of the world, so I am fairly content on hanging around in MX when I want to leave the country.

However, my MIL/FIL own a second home that is in the mountains and about 1.5 hours from us. It's rarely used by *any* of the family but there are plenty of costs associated with it. They also own(ed) a boat house that was used A LOT over the years but the family stopped visiting often as they aged...partying on the lake isn't as appealing when you get older. It was sold for a nice amount of money, but it too wasn't cheap to keep and the slip rental wasn't cheap AT ALL.

So, we have decided to just rent when we travel. Since we aren't spending money on a second place, we tend to splurge on the places we stay (almost always single family homes).
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:34 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by ModestNestEgg View Post
If I were ever in a position to have more than one home, I would want at least one of them be a townhome or condominium, so I didn't have to do outside maintenance on more than one property.

Perhaps a small townhome for my primary residence and then a country cabin which would be nice when I wanted a totally different atmosphere or my primary residence having a yard but the vacation home being a condo. Those wouldn't be totally free of maintenance concerns (as someone is still typically responsible for HVAC units, indoor plumbing, etc. in many townhomes) but it would seem to eliminate a lot of them.
We've got that... our primary residence is our winter condo which is easy peasy.... and our summer residence is a SFH that is a lot more work. DW loves the SFH because she likes to garden or as I call it "play in the dirt".
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Old 06-02-2021, 12:23 PM   #38
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We lean the other way. We specifically wanted a sfh so we could garden (flowers and vegetables) as well as sit in the backyard with the dogs, grill, have fires in the chimanea, etc. We already had a mango tree, although we're never there for harvest time. But our neighbors and lawn guys love them. But we've planted a Meyer's lemon tree, a lime tree, a honey bell orange, and most recently an avocado tree. More lemons and limes than we know what to do with. The orange tree is putting out a few fruit so far, and the avocado will probably produce next year. Heck, I've had a Jalapeño plant that lasted over 2.5 years and produced hundreds of peppers. Gotta love FL for plants.

I don't think we could do most of that on a lanai or patio. But I really do understand the draw of simplicity. Especially as we get older.
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Old 06-02-2021, 12:51 PM   #39
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My ex and I owned a cabin the mountains for about 8 years. We bought it when I was in my late 30s, when my projections showed that I could still retire when I wanted if we slowed down our after-tax savings to buy it. It was about 2 hours away; we went most weekends in the spring/summer/fall, and occasionally in the winter.

I loved it, but it did stop us from doing other weekend trips - why should we pay for a hotel in X, when we have a cabin 2 hours away?

We got divorced, and I started using it less, and sold it. I don't regret it, but it was never going to be my "retirement" home.
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Old 06-02-2021, 02:46 PM   #40
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About 5 years ago my wife and I decided to buy a second home/condo so we started looking near the nearest Gulf Coast beaches for something on an intercoastal waterway. We stayed in several different places to test them out but the traffic and influx of people, especially around summer holidays, was just too much to deal with and the maintenance costs and capital improvement assessments in a lot of places were unpredictable and/or outrageous so we changed direction and started looking on local rivers for a standalone property.

After almost buying a house on a local river before the owner decided to lease the place just as we were about to make an offer we found a river lot with a 1BR/1BA boathouse we both loved. It needed a new septic system ($$) and we added a new covered boat slip and bought a new center console to go in it ($$$$) but it is now our every weekend happy place.

It is only a 20 minute ride from our primary residence and is 30 minutes from beaches. In a couple years we're going to build our forever house on the river and sell the primary home but there's no rush. I originally took out a mortgage to purchase the river lot but ended up selling some bonds and using the proceeds to pay it off last year.
Life is good and especially good when your happy place has no mortgage.
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