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Posted: 7/22/2021 1:14:34 AM EDT
The great vacation/second/seventh/whatever home thread.  

Dont have one, your thoughts.

have one, your thoughts.

Beach houses, country places, townhouses, a yurt in Mongolia, that place you keep to bang your mistress...whatever.  

Go!
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 1:20:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2021 1:20:53 AM EDT by FuriousYachtsman]
As an investment/rental or someplace that stays vacant when you're not there?
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 1:23:16 AM EDT
Don't have one but I maintain several for clients. The people that own these have true levels of "fuck you" money and even they gripe about how much it costs to care for and feed these. That and the headaches.

Unless it serves as some kind of tax advantage for you, don't bother.

Owning a house that nobody lives in 90% of the time is a giant money suck.

You won't use it nearly as much as you think, shit will break, maybe even when you aren't around. You are at the mercy of people hundreds/thousands of miles away to handle the care and feeding.

We "have" a house in Hawaii. Not ours, we just rent it for a couple of weeks when we want to stay there. It is not cheap but it is a lot cheaper then owning it and comes with none of the headaches.

Link Posted: 7/22/2021 1:31:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2021 1:31:52 AM EDT by silverknife1]
I know people that can comfortably afford to keep extra houses, and they do.

I also know people that could forget they owned like 5 extra houses and their accountants would attribute it to a rounding error.

Guess which group owns more extra houses
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 1:33:27 AM EDT
I never got the appeal of vacationing to the same place over and over.

For the cost of keeping a second home you could easily take 2-3 very nice vacations to different places every year. No headaches or upkeep.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 1:34:20 AM EDT
Too many variables.

How much free time do you have? Can you work from your extra house if you still have to work?
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 1:39:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2021 1:40:18 AM EDT by Utahshooting]
We have a second home in another state. We do NOT rent it out.

After 5 years, we are happy we did it. We go there at least once a month and spend holidays at one or the other.

If you can afford it, why not have a 2nd or 3rd in different states?  For us, our criteria was within 8 hours driving distance as we can easily manage that.

It is always nice to get away for awhile. It is even better when the place you go to also feels like home.

Link Posted: 7/22/2021 1:41:17 AM EDT
Make sure it's not too far away or you'll end up not using it much. 2 hours would be my limit for something I didn't plan on renting out for income.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 1:59:46 AM EDT
Lots of seasonal residents in Florida. I can see the appeal of heading somewhere cooler in the summertime but don't understand why they pick places like NY/NJ.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 2:13:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By neshomamench:
The great vacation/second/seventh/whatever home thread.  

Dont have one, your thoughts.

have one, your thoughts.

Beach houses, country places, townhouses, a yurt in Mongolia, that place you keep to bang your mistress...whatever.  

Go!
View Quote


Am posting this from out Summer house right now, it's the middle of Winter at the moment here, but it's got a great North facing aspect so we're staying here for a week - it's fantastic to have the sun streaming into it on a clear day when the sun is low.

Single level, three bedrooms, 2600 sq ft, fibre internet and all the smart lighting is tied into our other house, so it always looks like there's someone at both houses - when we turn the kitchen lights on here, the kitchen lights up at the other house, etc.

We'll be moving here permanently in a few years, the plan is to bowl it and re-build a two story home in its place so we can have a bigger garage and more outdoor space on the property.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 2:25:05 AM EDT
Before I called of my engagement, the fiancée would travel there (FL) with her girlfriends several times in the summer months and practically stay there for the winter months. I would go out a few weekends on pleasure to meet her or when I travelled for business.

Basically we were running two active households simultaneously. I also needed to count the days out there for residency and tax purposes.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 6:19:53 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SamBram:
Make sure it's not too far away or you'll end up not using it much. 2 hours would be my limit for something I didn't plan on renting out for income.
View Quote


It’s gotta be within easy drive distance for a weekend trip, otherwise it won’t get used enough.

Once upon a time easy weekend flying distance was also doable. Not so much now.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 6:22:08 AM EDT
My cabin is 80 miles away and that’s about as far as I want to drive for a weekend place.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 6:26:14 AM EDT
I have a second house in the Poconos. The kids love it up there. Sometimes maintaining it and repairing what breaks can be annoying. It's really gone up in value with every major city seeing residents flee to suburban and rural areas. Can you even find a reasonably priced vacation home right now?
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 6:27:08 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By marlinfan:
My cabin is 80 miles away and that’s about as far as I want to drive for a weekend place.
View Quote

Ours is about the same. An hour and 45 minute ride. OP don't buy something more than 2 hours away. The drive will get annoying.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 6:27:19 AM EDT
Bought a small beach home in NC  two years ago. I have used it  one time but my daughter who lives an hour away from it uses it almost every week. I'm retiring next year so I'll be staying there more often .
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 6:31:30 AM EDT
The house I'm in now was our vacation home for years before we moved. It made our decision to move from tyranny to freedom very easy. Being self employed was the tough part, we had enough money saved up thankfully though before I started getting work here I had sent applications into multiple places to go back to work.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 6:50:31 AM EDT
We have a vacation place. It’s my favorite place in the world and also a complete headache.  Every time you’re up there it’s AT LEAST  60%working on it and maybe 40% “vacation”
We also have to rent it out most of the summer to cover taxes.

It’s a 4 hour drive and that is too far for weekend trips. If I was buying a place of would be a two hour drive max.
We are lucky to have a management/contractor father/son company that we’ve used for 50 years so there’s always someone that can check on it or do emergency stuff.



My grandparents bought this place on 1957.  Then my mom and uncle owned it.   My brother, sister and I bought them out this year.  The family aspect and everything included has been a bigger headache than I could ever describe, but the location makes it worth fighting for.

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Link Posted: 7/22/2021 7:04:05 AM EDT
We were thinking of getting one but decided vacationing with VRBO/Air B&B gave us lot more options and saved us more money and time in the long run.  Haven't regretted that decision.  We can basically  have a vacation home anywhere we want instead of being tied down to one location and dealing with maintenance on another property that was not close by.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 7:05:27 AM EDT
I have a winter home just outside Yuma.  I inherited it and I don't ever plan on selling it.  I don't rent it out.  It ain't much but it's fun down there in the winter.  It's pretty low maintenance.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 7:41:06 AM EDT
My father has a small cabin in the NC mountains that is about 3 hours from here.  He built in in the 1980's.  We went about once or twice per month until he bought the beach house at Edisto Island when I was a senior in high school.  (not waterfront but very good vacation rental area) The beach house is rented out all summer and the income pays the cost of ownership on that house (taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs, etc.)  I've never been to the beach house in the summer, only spring/winter/fall when it is not on the rental market.  The mountain house has never been rented out, and we have a procedure for winterizing and closing that is followed every time.  This insures that the house doesn't have problems with water leaks, burst pipes, electrical issues, etc. while we are not there.  As an adult, I go to that house about 6 times per year, but I stay for long weekends or a week at a time.  

It is very convenient to go on vacation and not pack anything.  I have clothes, toiletries, everything I need at both houses.  I only take food when I travel.  

The key to owning vacation properties is to make them as low maintenance as possible.  The yards for both are natural, so there is no grass to cut.  With everything turned off but the refrigerators the utilities are typically very low.  The monthly electric bill for the mountains averages $60.  Insurance is low for the mountain house, but the beach house insurance is several thousand, and the property taxes on the beach house is over $10k which is very high for SC.  When we were growing up, we went to the mountain house every long weekend from school.  Dad had a job with flexible hours and Mom worked on a rotating shift as a nurse.  We could use the houses very frequently.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 7:43:37 AM EDT
We have a lake home about 45 minutes from us that we stay in for most of the summer.  We close it down for the winter by turning off the water, draining the pipes and water lines, etc.  There is also a storage building on site that I use to park the Mustang for the winter.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 7:48:02 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Atomic_Ferret:
Don't have one but I maintain several for clients. The people that own these have true levels of "fuck you" money and even they gripe about how much it costs to care for and feed these. That and the headaches.

Unless it serves as some kind of tax advantage for you, don't bother.

Owning a house that nobody lives in 90% of the time is a giant money suck.

You won't use it nearly as much as you think, shit will break, maybe even when you aren't around. You are at the mercy of people hundreds/thousands of miles away to handle the care and feeding.

We "have" a house in Hawaii. Not ours, we just rent it for a couple of weeks when we want to stay there. It is not cheap but it is a lot cheaper then owning it and comes with none of the headaches.

View Quote


Own part of a cottage passed down from grandparents. Now it's owned by the kids of the three children of the grandparents.  And you're stuck with at least having to go there part of the year or it's money down the drain. And one part of the family has been pretty much off from the other two. I haven't seen them since the early 70's.
I haven't been to the cottage in 3 years but still fork out $1300 for taxes and minimal upkeep. Place really needs to be torn down and rebuilt but I doubt that will happen. I'm probably going to quit claim it to my niece sometime this year.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 7:49:16 AM EDT
A number of people around me have vacation homes/cabins/cottages in Wisconsin and Michigan.  I would love to have something within a few hours to head to on the weekends Spring-Fall.  Real estate prices have become cost-prohibitive for us right now.  Vrbo will do for the meantime.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 8:04:48 AM EDT
Posting from my second home at the beach right now.

I’ve owned it 8 years, and it’s fantastic. I’m fortunate that my family is here all summer…….wife is self employed and has summers off, both my kids work here over the summer.

My oldest is going to college down here starting in the fall, and will live here full time.

Under five hours away, and I can do the drive on weekends standing on my head.

Financially, I did great and got a great deal when I bought it, it’s appreciating rapidly. I can afford it, and if I ever got into financial trouble I could rent it out for the season and make money, or simply sell it.

It’s not for everyone but it works great for us.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 8:10:31 AM EDT
Personally I'd rather rent a place anywhere I wanted rather than be tethered to a vacation property at one location.

No upkeep, taxes, insurance or homeowner issues and the freedom to adjust where I want to go.

Link Posted: 7/22/2021 8:11:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 8:33:49 AM EDT
Have a home on the bay 50 minutes from my primary.
Boat and PWCs on the dock. 10 minutes from Great Bay.
30 or so to the ocean.
We spend lots of time there 9 months out of the year.
Being so close makes it EZ.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 8:54:55 AM EDT
I could never make the math work
By the time I pay taxes, insurance and upkeep I can rent whatever I want for a month or more
and not have to return to the same location every year
And that's if I paid cash.
Perhaps if I was looking to retire I'd consider it more
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 8:59:23 AM EDT
Ran the numbers, decided two things.

1)  Anything at the beach was out due to maintenance costs alone.

2) Waste of money for us to do this.  

So we instead bought a bigger lake place and moved there full time.  I now have an hour commute in the morning and an hour in the afternoon.  But damned well worth it.

First we discussed a beach place.  Got a friend that did this.  He could only use it in the off season since he had to fill it with weekly renters during the summer season. Why the hell would I put my credit on the line for a place I could only use in the winter, and still have to pay to use it in the summer? No option to move there full time with our interests, life style, etc.  Not going to do the tiny house thing full time, and a condo on the beach is a tiny house in my eyes.  

Started looking at lake homes. Wife wanted a "shit shack" we could escape to on the weekends.  I laughed.  How the hell are we going to "escape" with two yards/homes to maintain, 4 kids and 2 grands that get together on holidays, 4 dogs, friends/boy friends and girlfriends, etc...??  Besides, shit shack started at  $350K.  Told her if we're doing this, we have to do this full time. Increased our budget, bought house and now selling old home. For $600K we  got an upstairs with 3 bedrooms, a walkout basement with a bunk room that sleeps 6 or more and a "man cave" with recliners and entertainment system. Including a huge dock with a boat lift and jet ski dry docks.
Was not going to pay mortgage, taxes and utilities on two properties.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:01:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2021 9:04:35 AM EDT by redfish86]
It depends a lot on the owner and what he/she wants.  If you’re looking for investment property:

I live at the beach.  Even with today’s real estate market, properties can be found that will earn some pretty impressive revenues.  A second home will never cash flow, you have to understand that going in.  But the revenue will certainly offset cost of ownership to the point where it may make sense for an investor.  Think of it as a retirement account that you can physically use.  You don’t make money on the rental, you make money on the appreciation.  The rentals just make it easier (financially) to own.


As far as distance from home goes, that’s also going to vary person to person.  Our hunting camp is 3 hours from home. I don’t think twice about jumping in the truck, running up there to do some things, then coming right back home.  Of course, it also doesn’t bother me to drive 12 hours to the Keys from the Panhandle so maybe I’m not a good example.  
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:02:35 AM EDT
We have a hunting property that’s 60 acres about an hour away from us. It has a trailer from the 1970s on it with a well and a septic holding tank so I guess a little more than a primitive hunting property.

The good news is it was fairly inexpensive by vacation home standards and taxes are pretty cheap on it.

The bad news is that we don’t use it as much as we would like. My FIL gets up there more than we do because he is retired. You double up on all your bills. Don’t make it there? Well the electric company still sends you a bill for “access”. Have cable or internet? Still get a bill even if you don’t use it. Pay for garbage even if you never put any out.

Worry about people trespassing, breaking in, squatting etc. Tree falls on it or spring a water leak? You may not even know for a while.

If you are going to rent it out that’s one thing but if not I say grab a rental where you want to go when you want to go there. A hunting property that’s harder to do with though.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:06:05 AM EDT
My pops had a condo at a ski resort while we were growing up.  We took yearly trips there to ski while growing up and I continued the tradition while in college with friends.

It was a cool experience, but the one thing I remember my dad always complaining about is the rental company charging 50% to rent it out when we were not there.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:06:58 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Atomic_Ferret:
Owning a house that nobody lives in 90% of the time is a giant money suck.
View Quote
And break-ins and thieves when you're not around.  Do you know how many times I've read about repairs and the dad is always mowing the grass and doing lawn/maintenance work while his family and "guests" are having fun?  I have a friend who bought a $600K vacation house on the Outer Banks.  I know, this probably isn't what you had in mind, but even in this expensive vacation house he was always doing maintenance or upgrades during "vacation."  
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:06:58 AM EDT
As long as you can fly your jet or helicopter there within an hour or so. That’s my criteria for distance.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:07:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2021 9:07:59 AM EDT by Neomonk21]
My wife and I are not rich by any means but we do well for ourselves.  We keep daydreaming about buying a house in the Finger Lakes in NY as a weekend getaway place.  The Finger Lakes are about 2-2.5 hours away from us so it would be easy to do a weekend there.   We would definitely need to make a lot more money to even consider it.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:08:37 AM EDT
It bothers me that I have guns I don't shoot - and it's a 10 minute drive to my range.  So I think the dollars/time spent calculation would really bother me.  When I retire I think that calculus will change.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:09:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2021 9:11:07 AM EDT by DDiggler]
I have been looking into it. My thoughts are to buy a vacation home in a place I'd like to retire that is also a vacation destination (cough cough Gulf coast), and I've spoken to some management companies about it.

You can get a home like this, do short term rentals through the company, and use it to EARN money above any mortgage and fees. You just have to do the math and see if the numbers work.

"I don't want to vacation there every year." Who says you have to? Let your STR tenants in your vacation week pay for your vacation somewhere else.

The one company I talked to takes care of photos, listing and advertising, bookings, customer service, check in/out, maintenance and repairs. They said that you don't even have to step foot in the state, they will take care of everything and your involvement would be answering an email every now and then if they needed your input on a decision.

Buy a house like this early, even if you only break even on it or even pay a little bit out of pocket each month, put all rental income towards the house and you'll own your retirement home in an awesome place free and clear when it's time.

I would not want to have a second home to rent out or maintain out of state on my own. I would actually prefer to have it rented out and maintained by a company rather than having it sit empty, or finding out that the last tenant broke some drywall at their checkout at 10am and I'm 1000 miles away with another tenant due to check in at 4pm.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:10:22 AM EDT
Not worth the money, we just got a resort hotel for a week or so, easy and no headaches.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:14:58 AM EDT
My parents have a second place in Western Maine, right on a quiet pond.  2 hour drive for them, closer to 3 for me.  Originally got the place for my grandmother to live in.  She had lived in that area most of her life.  My father renovated the walkout basement and rents that out on a year-round lease basis.  This helps defray costs and keeps the place occupied when my grandmother wasn’t there.  She passed last September.  My parents make still go there about twice a month.  Having the single tenant downstairs really helps offset costs of ownership.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:24:03 AM EDT
We bought a condo at a ski resort when we were in our 20's I owned our house and my then fiance wanted a place to park cash. We used it a lot for the next 15 years. Once or twice a month. It was three hours from home. Because it was a condo there was basically 0 maintenance.

It was expensive. Mortgage, utilities, HOA added to about $2500/mo. We could easily afford it, but we would have made an assload of money if we just invested instead.

That said.... when my second son was born we threw caution to the wind and moved to the town where our vacation condo was. We sold the condo a few weeks ago after renting it out for three years.

We traded the vacation home for a houseboat that we use about twice a month during the summer. By comparison, the houseboat is dirt cheap. We live where we vacationed. How great is that? It took time for us to be able to do it, but it was worth.

Personally, I'd angle that direction. Live where you want to be every day. It takes some work to get there, but it's entirely possible. Owning and maintaining two homes is a rich mans game. I'll probably do it when we retire, but each home will probably be worth less than 1/2 of our current home (and two average homes are probably less maintenance than our wooded 20 acres, now).
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:26:41 AM EDT
Living/working in NYC and having a place in the Catskills is basically the only thing that keeps me sane.

Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:32:47 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JohnnyBuckshot:
We have a vacation place. It’s my favorite place in the world and also a complete headache.  Every time you’re up there it’s AT LEAST  60%working on it and maybe 40% “vacation”
We also have to rent it out most of the summer to cover taxes.

It’s a 4 hour drive and that is too far for weekend trips. If I was buying a place of would be a two hour drive max.
We are lucky to have a management/contractor father/son company that we’ve used for 50 years so there’s always someone that can check on it or do emergency stuff.



My grandparents bought this place on 1957.  Then my mom and uncle owned it.   My brother, sister and I bought them out this year.  The family aspect and everything included has been a bigger headache than I could ever describe, but the location makes it worth fighting for.

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/202432/16129D31-107F-433E-8527-4C0B2172F2B4_jpe-2023532.JPGhttps://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/202432/BCD9D031-88CD-4B7C-A3DE-8ED4972D3905_jpe-2023533.JPG
View Quote


Pretty sure I know this area, looks to be near Grand Marais? I really want a place in this area as well.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:36:35 AM EDT
Let's get away from it all and do something new and exciting by going to our other house.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:43:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:48:39 AM EDT
Totally dependent on how much money you've got.  

I spent a ton of time at a relative's lake house when I was a kid and it was pretty damn awesome.  

But, the adults we seemingly always working on something, doing yard work, etc.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:50:50 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Utahshooting:
We have a second home in another state. We do NOT rent it out.

After 5 years, we are happy we did it. We go there at least once a month and spend holidays at one or the other.

If you can afford it, why not have a 2nd or 3rd in different states?  For us, our criteria was within 8 hours driving distance as we can easily manage that.

It is always nice to get away for awhile. It is even better when the place you go to also feels like home.

View Quote

My dad and stepmom does that. They built a cabin in NC about 20 years ago...as in, a company came in and did the frame and roof, and my dad and stepmom did everything else themselves. They used to go up from FL about every 3-4 months, but now that they are semi-retired they go up about once a month. They used to let family stay there for vacations when they weren't there, but that recently stopped due to things getting broken. At the moment, I am the only other person with a key to the property and permission to use it.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:51:41 AM EDT
We have a weekend place with a cabin and 30 wooded acres on the Trinity River, near a big lake.  My blood pressure drops the moment I turn in the drive.   Its become my favorite place.

When we bought the place, it was 1 hr 30 min drive from our house and a 2 hour drive from my office.  The kids were still at home and they loved going there and taking their friends.  I averaged 2 weekends a month there, wife and kids were there at least 1 weekend a month, plus a couple of one week stays each year.

Yea, there was always work to be done, be we were there a lot and therefore it never built up.  Doing chores that did not involve thinking or a computer were relaxing.

When the Kids went to college, we moved into new home... a little further away.  An additional 45 minutes drive did not seem like much, but it really impacted how often we went.  Fast forward 6 more years, we have moved again.  The drive is now longer.  I have not been there in over two  months...it probably looks like a jungle.

What I noticed as soon as I stopped going every other weekend was that "little chores" piled up in hurry.  As a previous poster stated,  the majority of my time there is now maintenance related...some trips are made specify just to work.  

The less we are there, the more we worry about break-ins and theft.  Its heavily wooded, prime East Texas hunting land, so poachers are also a concern ... luckily we have a full time neighbor, directly across the county road from our driveway, that helps a lot.  

Taxes, utilities, and insurance keep increasing.  The cost/benefit scales have tipped and we've made the decision to sell.  Now I need to take a week's vacation and spend it getting things ready to put it on the market.  I hate to loose it, but its time.  Its gonna leave a empty spot in my heart for a while.

While real estate in the area has increased in value, there are no illusions about it being a "Good investment" that we are going to make a lot of money on.  When you look at the true cost of ownership (Taxes, water & elect bills, the improvements we've made that will not directly impact appraisal, maintenance expenses, insurance, and the cost of recent trips that have been made just to do maint work ) we've spent a lot of money over years....and we have gotten tremendous enjoyment from it!!!!

I didn't intend for this to turn into a wall of text... Cliff's Notes Version:  Travel time makes a huge difference.  It will be more expensive than you think. You will spend more time/money on upkeep than you think.  If  you can afford it, DO IT.  






Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:56:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:57:57 AM EDT
Thought about this many times as I’m one of the few people around here that don’t have a cabin up north.  The finances of it all and the reality of the enjoyment I would get from it all point to ‘don’t do it’.  

Figured I’d get more enjoyment out of spending excess income on a cool sports car.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:59:24 AM EDT
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