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Consumption Jones
Old 07-24-2004, 07:57 PM   #1
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Consumption Jones

Lately I have been having a tough time beating back the consumption demon. I don't really lust after the normal stuff (shiny cars, electronic doodads, etc.). What I am hankering for is something a bit different. Namely, I am lusting after a second/vacation home, maybe a smallish house on a big chunk of backwoods land. 20+ wooded acres within three hours of home would be absolutely ideal.

Naturally, I know this is idiocy. We are talking putting down 20k or better plus coming up with 800 or better every month. That's a lotta dough that could be going to furthering my ER plans.

I think that some of this is about having our first kid. When I was growing up, my parents had managed to buy a second place in a then-rural area and I spent weekends and summers there. I spent a lot of time outdoors and probably went fishing 4 or more times a week in the summer. It was a wonderful place/time for me and I'd like my children to have something like that.

Of course, given that I live in a county that has 90,000 acres of parkland plus state and national parks, I could do this without owning a chunk of wilderness. I also intellectually know that I don't really need the headaches of maintaining another place, let alone the expense. Yet I am having a hard time beating this one back. Any thoughts? I think that I will try to push it back for a few years, and see what happens. If I still have such a yearning and the FIRE plans are on track or ahead, maybe I will seriously consider it.

Really struggling with this lately...
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Re: Consumption Jones
Old 07-24-2004, 08:56 PM   #2
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Re: Consumption Jones

I don't know your financial situation, but you might want to consider a vacation house investment. Lots more work, much less time hanging around the beach house/farm/mountain cabin.

McLean and Eldred, "Investing in Real Estate" have a chapter on this, I think, and Eldred has written an entire book about it. These are sane people, not those wacky real estate gurus whose seminars cost thousands of dollars.

I have just begun to be a real estate investor, in the process of buying a 2-family. I own my own home. I think that my second or third investment property might be a vacation home somewhere. Ideally, a 3-season vacation spot, to increase the odds of having it rented more than not. (For me, probably Vermont or New Hampshire - summer, ski, and foliage are the seasons of good rentals. The fourth season is called "mud" and it's a pretty hard sell!)

However, I have no experience with this; perhaps some of the real estate investors here might.

When I was a kid, we camped in the same campground in Vermont, year after year. The same campsite. I loved it. I've brought my daughter to the same spot, we've climbed the same mountains, picked from the same blueberry bushes. So that wonderful summer thing can be passed along to the next generation without a big investment. Tent, coleman stove, cooler, sleeping bags. It was great for us as kids, and even today I long for the woods when life gets stressful.

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Re: Consumption Jones
Old 07-25-2004, 01:33 AM   #3
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Re: Consumption Jones

Hmmm, I've been thinking about this as well. My current house I bought about 3 years ago as a foreclosure, very cheap, but with the work I've done and the runup in the market, its more than doubled. I'm going to pay it off with my next bill, and I started thinking about a place on a lake. Havent decided if I'll sell this one or keep it to rent, but this is very tempting to do. I also have been thinking about a 2 family, so we'll just have to see I guess.

When you walk in the shadow of insanity, the presence of another mind that thinks and acts as yours does is something close to a blessed event. -Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
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Re: Consumption Jones
Old 07-25-2004, 07:10 AM   #4
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Re: Consumption Jones

I have an easy remedy for this, because it nibbled at me several times when I was making tons of cash.

I take up my list of stuff that has to get done to my current properties. Then I add all the other stuff to it thats been kicking around in my head but hasnt made it to the list yet.

Then I add all the stuff I'd have to do to fix up/maintain a second house, including making special trips to take care of these additional items. Then I add the estimated costs of making repairs due to things like a pipe or roof leaking for a week and since I wasnt there, I didnt find the problem until one whole wall and the floors were all damaged. Figure one break-in/vandalism per 20 years for a vacant property. Etc.

When I'm done with that, if I still havent been scared off the idea, I decide that when I'm completely done with my list of stuf for the house I live in, then I'll go buy another one.

So far, so good...
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Re: Consumption Jones
Old 07-25-2004, 07:27 AM   #5
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Re: Consumption Jones

TH, this method is certainly a good one for quieting the yen for a second home!!

I do NOT long for a condo at or near a ski area, but it's something I've considered buying as a second investment property. The ROI with condo fees, management fees (somebody else would do the renting, checking on pipes - the management, in order words) because it would be implausible for me to try to manage it, 3 hours away.

I MIGHT go visit during foliage season or summer, but winter visits at the height of ski season would definitely not be urgent. Of course, the daughter has taken up snowboarding for the FEW weekends a year that are not devoted to hockey, so I might get dragged up there at that time, too. But it would primarily be for investment.

I haven't researched this at all, beyond reading Eldred's book on the subject. It's a little further down the line; I have to at least CLOSE on this 2-family first, never mind fix it up and rent it out.

Dreaming of ways to make my money work for me,
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Re: Consumption Jones
Old 07-26-2004, 05:37 AM   #6
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Re: Consumption Jones

The hubby and I were hankering for a vacation place in the woods, too. We both grew up in the country with lots of camping vacations. Our compromise was to move our permanent residence farther out into the "sticks." We now live on a 22 acre paradise in the middle of the woods. It's 23 miles for me to drive to work each way (as opposed to the 10 each way I was driving before). Also, our buying power increased dramatically. We were able to buy our dream house, which is something we would not have been able to afford any closer to work.

But during the winter, our 1/4 mile driveway can be an icy b*tch.
Yelnad --"What you're paying for is an education, not a room at the Sheraton,and sometimes that education is uncomfortable."- Jim Terhune, Dean of Student Affairs, Colgate University
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