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Old 06-02-2021, 03:10 PM   #41
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I waited until I could pay cash for 2nd home on favorite lake. Itís an opportunity cost, but helping not hindering my lifestyle.
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Old 06-02-2021, 04:25 PM   #42
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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".
That sounds wonderful!

And your profile states you're in SW Florida and Vermont, so you picked well in being able to go from one climate to another at the most opportune time.
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A different approach
Old 06-04-2021, 03:58 PM   #43
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A different approach

We thought seriously about getting a second home on the ocean but realized the upkeep would be huge (check out the HVAC systems on oceanfront property to see how often they will have to be replaced, particularly in the Southern states that we wanted), and knew that hurricanes would cause havoc with the insurance marketplace. So we went all in on the timeshare angle, specifically Wyndham, and are loving it. We stay three months every winter in a nice oceanfront unit in the North Myrtle Beach area, and because we prefer to travel during the offseason we have tons of discounted points to use every year. We currently travel about five months out of the year and have thought about possibly going homeless and traveling fulltime, through a combination of timesharing, BnB, home rentals, and hotels. Have met a number of people that do just that so it is very possible.
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why stress over it?
Old 06-04-2021, 04:11 PM   #44
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why stress over it?

A lot of very sensible replies here, but also a lot of agonising over something pretty simple. If you have the money and it is something you want, why hesitate? We actually purchased our "second home" before we purchased our primary residence. It's just how it worked out at the time and we don't regret it at all. It's a 1.5 hour flight and 5-6 hours door to door (London to rural France).

We used it as a secondary for about 6 years, but it's been our primary since covid lockdowns started in Feb 2020. Once we can move freely again, we'll start looking for a new "second home".

Life.Is.Short.
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Old 06-04-2021, 04:28 PM   #45
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We bought a vacation rental home in SW Florida in 2010 without much worry because prices were down and we rent it more than we use it. It pretty much pays it way and has now doubled in value. We then bought a cabin in 2017 in a condo complex at a popular lake 1 1/2 hours from our house. I had a tougher time justifying that purchase as we do not rent it so no money coming in or tax benefits. The kids/grandkids love it so we are glad we did it. We don't have a pool at home but both vacation properties do so that has been nice. I am getting to the point of my life where I wonder if I focused on saving too much and now have to loosen the purse strings.
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Old 06-04-2021, 04:29 PM   #46
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A lot of very sensible replies here, but also a lot of agonising over something pretty simple.
Dude... If it wasn't for over analysis we'd have no analysis at all around here.
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Old 06-04-2021, 04:30 PM   #47
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We are on the other side of that question. When our kids were younger, we got our second home - a mountain cabin that had 4 seasons of activities. The whole family loved it and it was only 2.5 hours away.

However, after about 15 years we found ourselves going less and less and the maintenance costs getting higher and higher we pulled the trigger last year and sold it. Even though we paid cash for it and didn't have a mortgage, the monthly recurring costs were pretty steep. Plus I was getting annoyed at doing two homes' worth of maintenance.

Bottom line - it was great to have it and it was great to sell it. If it works within your budget, I say go for it. And if it doesn't work out, it could still be a grand adventure.
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Old 06-04-2021, 04:52 PM   #48
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We are on the other side of that question. When our kids were younger, we got our second home - a mountain cabin that had 4 seasons of activities. The whole family loved it and it was only 2.5 hours away.

However, after about 15 years we found ourselves going less and less and the maintenance costs getting higher and higher we pulled the trigger last year and sold it. Even though we paid cash for it and didn't have a mortgage, the monthly recurring costs were pretty steep. Plus I was getting annoyed at doing two homes' worth of maintenance.

Bottom line - it was great to have it and it was great to sell it. If it works within your budget, I say go for it. And if it doesn't work out, it could still be a grand adventure.
Those are good things to keep in mind. Especially if the whole purpose for retiring is to reduce stress and there's the aggravation of keeping two properties up.

And while it's not something that applies to you since it looks like you owned the property outright, this thread and the ongoing maintenance costs made me think of something that I can't imagine would be a good idea and I've never heard of anyone buying one who is glad they did. That's a timeshare. Someone is basically pre-paying for a vacation and offering a blank check for various ripoff fees. But I think most people in this audience would realize that.
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We did that
Old 06-04-2021, 05:00 PM   #49
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We did that

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Those are good things to keep in mind. Especially if the whole purpose for retiring is to reduce stress and there's the aggravation of keeping two properties up.

And while it's not something that applies to you since it looks like you owned the property outright, this thread and the ongoing maintenance costs made me think of something that I can't imagine would be a good idea and I've never heard of anyone buying one who is glad they did. That's a timeshare. Someone is basically pre-paying for a vacation and offering a blank check for various ripoff fees. But I think most people in this audience would realize that.
Read my earlier comment above. We did exactly that and are extremely pleased. Our going heavily in that direction to travel ~5 months out of the year started about ten years ago, but we have owned a couple of weeks in another system for about 35 years now. No complaints and the costs have been reasonable to us, certainly compared to the maintenance required for oceanfront property that we would have wanted. And I don't have to maintain a second home; I already do all the work around our large home as it is.
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Old 06-04-2021, 05:50 PM   #50
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We never wanted to deal with a second home, so we bought a traditional timeshare (2 weeks) in northern Vermont that we could drive to in under 6 hours (no flying hassles), staying in the same condo the same weeks every year, except for times we wanted to exchange to go somewhere else ( and we did travel all over the country with weeks we exchanged. Plus some years we added an additional non timeshare vacation to somewhere else ). In VT, we got to see the same folks every year at the pool and during some of the activities, and it always felt like we were “ home”. 22 years we owned and our family loved it. It was worth every penny that we paid for it as we used it every year. It paid for itself and then some (we originally paid cash for it) and the majority of owners there would say the same. There kids and grandkids are still coming up year after year. Many memories made.

Some people there own quarter years, half years or full years.

We liked it so much we bought a third week at another resort in NH just 2 hours away from the VT one and that fell exactly after the fixed summer VT week we owned. ( the other week always varied during the spring or Fall).

Now that we are retired and have moved to NH (in the heart of a big vacation area) and are older we decided to take advantage of a take back program the resort offers so we no longer have the two VT weeks. Bittersweet. Our 33 year old single son couldn’t afford to take it over or he would have in a heartbeat. He visited with us there every year right up until last year. He is very sentimental about it. It’s just that kind of place.

We still have the NH one as it’s just an hour away and we have day use of the facilities as an added benefit. It’s in the White Mountains and we live in the Lakes Region so we have the best of both worlds.

Anyway, for us it was a carefree way to have a second home without the big expense and upkeep.
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Old 06-04-2021, 05:56 PM   #51
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Those are good things to keep in mind. Especially if the whole purpose for retiring is to reduce stress and there's the aggravation of keeping two properties up.

And while it's not something that applies to you since it looks like you owned the property outright, this thread and the ongoing maintenance costs made me think of something that I can't imagine would be a good idea and I've never heard of anyone buying one who is glad they did. That's a timeshare. Someone is basically pre-paying for a vacation and offering a blank check for various ripoff fees. But I think most people in this audience would realize that.
See my post above.
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Old 06-04-2021, 06:06 PM   #52
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If it can be rented as a vacation rental, that offsets costs. Since it wouldn't be a financial burden, that does take some of the pressure off.
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Old 06-04-2021, 06:30 PM   #53
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My sister and I inherited my parents' lake house, and I bought out her half. It's an incredible piece of property on deep water with a six mile water sunset view. And my grandmother bought the place 76 years ago.

Best thing is the home is 70 minutes from home.

Worst thing is maintenance and cutting grass. Weekends are a joy. Relatives and close friends surround us.

The main issue is making the commitment to use the second home. And that is easier if it is in close proximity to home.

We have many friends with condos on the Gulf Coast, however they are too far to use very often. And they pay out the nose for maintenance while I handle all issues personally.

After all, if you cannot use up the property enough, it is not worth the investment.
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Old 06-04-2021, 06:44 PM   #54
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We retired 11 years ago and live in Chapel Hill, NC. I bought a beach condo right on the beach in Kure Beach in 1998. Itís a 2 and 1/2 hour drive from our house and we love it down there but not during the summer so we rent it out from May through Labor Day and come down about 10 days a month the rest of the year. Works great for us and itís worth 4 times what I paid for it. We also have access to a big family home up on Beech Mountain so we can get away in the summer to beat the heat.
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Old 06-04-2021, 08:41 PM   #55
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A now two year saga of our foray into buying a second home:

https://www.early-retirement.org/for...01k-97731.html

Short response is that we have no regrets and it seems to have worked out well. Now working hard to sell the primary residence in the spring of 2022. We'll live at the lake house full time for the near term. The long term future of the lake house is the point of many "wine glass" discussions recently. But for now, it is a fun place that we enjoy. No regrets about the financing path that we chose either.
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Old 06-04-2021, 09:14 PM   #56
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We owned a lake condo 4 hours away for 15 years, sold it after we retired to buy an ocean front condo in st augustine, Florida. This one we rent out may-September, which pays for HOA and taxes, so basically free to use the other 8 months.
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Old 06-04-2021, 09:32 PM   #57
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If considering a 3-season lake house, decide what kind of owner you will be.

Are you going to DIY all maintenance, open/close annually, put in/haul out docks, cut dead trees, maintain the yard-etc, and at current age how long can you DIY?
Do you have younger family members that will help with the above when you're no longer able to, or have the assets to start paying for all maintenance/upkeep then?
Or are you wealthy enough to hire all the work out from the start, and just focus on enjoying the place?
DIY for a second home, especially an older one, is a lot of work.

A lot of time at the lake is not "fun time" for a DIY 2nd home owner.

I spend most of my time doing DIY, but OK with that b/c children/grandchildren love it there and hearing them splashing in the lake/having fun is rewarding when I work around the place.

If you plan to DIY, just be aware it can take away a lot of time you could be enjoying the property -may lead to regret if you didn't understand that going in.
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Old 06-04-2021, 09:50 PM   #58
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A friend and I fell in love with a ski area two hours away from home. It's a simple drive, mainly interstate driving, set the cruise control and go. But after skiing all day, the two hour drive home became a chore. So we decided to see if we could find a cabin close to skiing.

After looking at several available homes we decided on a small cabin on a two acre wooded lot about a mile from and overlooking the mountain. We paid cash and split the ownership and expenses 50/50. The cabin was nine years old and totally unique. The architect who built it always wanted a yacht, so he designed a 1200 sq.ft. four level home. The interior is trimmed entirely in mahogany and knotty pine. Most furniture is built in and to get to different levels, you climb ships ladders. So it looks like a yacht stood on end. There are two bedrooms, a loft, two complete bathrooms, LR, kitchen, built in dinette, a wood burning fireplace and a propane fireplace. The exterior is natural cedar and we replaced the cedar shake roof with steel years ago. One exterior stain respray was the main maintenance project and with friends help, we did it ourselves. There's no grass to mow, so no summer maintenance is required. All our ski gear and clothing remains there so no dragging "stuff" back and forth.

Purchased in 1988 we would spend one weekday and the weekend there. Our kids spent the weekends and often friends joined us. Many, many good memories were created. Since retiring we spend the weekdays there and let the crowds have the weekend. We will spend a few nights there during Summer and Fall but it is our skiing getaway.

Total costs of ownership, maintenance, utilities and taxes, plus firewood is about $3000 annually. (The oil bill is larger than the RE taxes). A small cost for the pure enjoyment we receive each winter.

My life would be completely different if I didn't own our Little Cabin in The Woods. Hopefully you can find your dream too.
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:01 AM   #59
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After many years of discussing it, we took the plunge in late 2019 and bought a piece of land in Hawaii, with the intention of building a home there. I would have preferred an existing condo, but one of DH's biggest dreams has always been to build his own home. We had a two year plan to get the house built, and are now a year behind schedule, but we don't regret the purchase one bit.

Like the OP, our house was just about paid off and I agonized over taking on a new mortgage, but having my brother pass away at age 59 made me realize that life really is short and you can't take it with you. Also, we've already done extensive world travel and are ready to commit to Hawaii for long-term stays. Does it make sense economically? Not at all, but we decided we could afford it and it was something we wanted badly.
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Old 06-05-2021, 02:58 PM   #60
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After many years of discussing it, we took the plunge in late 2019 and bought a piece of land in Hawaii, with the intention of building a home there. I would have preferred an existing condo, but one of DH's biggest dreams has always been to build his own home. We had a two year plan to get the house built, and are now a year behind schedule, but we don't regret the purchase one bit.

Like the OP, our house was just about paid off and I agonized over taking on a new mortgage, but having my brother pass away at age 59 made me realize that life really is short and you can't take it with you. Also, we've already done extensive world travel and are ready to commit to Hawaii for long-term stays. Does it make sense economically? Not at all, but we decided we could afford it and it was something we wanted badly.
Congrats, that sounds like a total move rather than a second home.
We dream of a place at about 1500 feet elevation in Kona, for a temperature we can tolerate. We loved the houses there with a couple of garage doors to just let the breezes through. It is out of our budget. We will continue to visit.
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