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Posted: 12/20/2016 9:26:47 PM EST
Does anyone have a second home due to the distance of their everyday place of work versus their home?

I am contemplating taking a job that will be too far (almost 2.5 hours) from my current residence. Wife's job, daughter's school and family all make a relocation a no-go. The second home would be a Monday through Thursday proposition. Due to the nature of the job fitting my experience and the local (to my home) job market for a similar job being thin, this arrangement, even with the additional expense, will put me ahead financially.

I was hoping someone who is doing something similar could offer some practical advice and/or warnings.


Link Posted: 12/20/2016 9:39:01 PM EST
I have done this in the past when my family moved, but I was committed at work for several more years. It worked well for me. The business I own now has a warehouse with a small house on it. My family comes down on the weekend to stay there, and assist at the business, and I stay there at times if it is not safe to travel home due to ice, or if I am too sleepy to drive safely.

It is helpful and convenient, however if I am not careful I can too easily use the fact that I have a second house to stay at to stay longer at work, and neglect my family. Work never gets finished anyways, and the children are growing up while I am away.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 9:44:59 PM EST
i tried it once. it's very expensive. if you have family at home it isn't going to be worth it unless you really just dont want to have a relationship with them.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 9:46:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2016 9:48:29 PM EST by Snake_driver]
Yep, I'm doing it. I live in Naples, FL where my wife works & lives full time, but my work is in Miami 2 hours away. It wouldn't be practical to try and drive it each day, so we bought a smaller place close to my work for me to stay at during the week. I go home on the weekend, staying 4 nights at my 2nd home and 3 at my real home with the wife. The separation is not fun, but I can make 3-4 times what I would be able to make in Naples by being in Miami. Financially, the cost of buying and owning the 2nd place makes better sense than renting. It's an up market, so we hope to be building equity in owning the 2nd home. I've been doing this doing this for 3 years now and my plan is to go 4-5 more, then retire. For retirement income, it will be worth it.

We have met quite a few people who are also dong the same, some who go great distances to work.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 9:48:26 PM EST
I've had various crash pad apartments over the years. About to get another. Beats hotels if you're gonna be in the same place a couple weeks or so per month.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 9:51:20 PM EST
How much is seeing your daughter every day worth to you?

Many divorced dads only get to see their kids on the weekends, do you want to do that to yourself willingly?  And to your wife, making her a single mom most of the week?

My dad travelled and was only home on the weekends.  He passed away a few months ago.  If I could go back to my childhood and choose more dad or more money, take a guess at which I would pick.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 9:55:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2016 9:56:29 PM EST by bassackwards]
I had a farm that was 4 hrs away and I'd stay there 3-4 days before going home.  Only made it about a year before selling out and never being away from my family for that long again.  
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 9:55:59 PM EST
I've been doing this for about 2 years now, but I moved my woman up here with me. It's crazy expensive to do, but the job market sucked at home, so I live 3 hours away from my home and stay in an apartment. There's a lot of us that do that though.

If I was going to do it myself I'd just buy an enclosed trailer and hook it up to live in. We have a few guys who do that. Spend 5 or 6k on a nice trailer set up and cut down on debt or save money hand over fist. Then when the situation changes you're really not out much.

My work has a big parking lot so the guys just park outside and shower/shave/shit in the bathhouse. They spend a few hundred dollars a month on gas for the AC or heat through a generator and can leave anytime.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 9:56:06 PM EST
My dad works two states away. Has an apartment where he works and a new home where he and his wife live. He also ends up in a hotel 2-3 nights a week anyways. I think the issue is it's very expensive especially with utilities even though he's hardly there. Honestly I think he would have been better off sticking to hotels, but I can understand wanting a place of your own to sleep.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 9:59:14 PM EST
I feel this may end up in divorce… I would probably get a fuel-efficient car and make the commute until you can get a job closer. As a single guy, I would if I really like the current area for the weekends.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 10:00:11 PM EST
I have a house about 4 hours north of me and another about 7 hours south of me because of work. The only problem is missing the fam.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 10:06:39 PM EST
My old man did it for a while. Two hours' drive when there wasn't traffic. During the school year he'd spend the weekends with us, and would come home on Wednesday nights, then leave the next morning.

For school breaks, we all got to go to the little shithole town where they placed a billion-dollar manufacturing facility.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 10:36:01 PM EST
I had a studio apartment near my work in Illinois. Family was in north east Indiana. Did it for 1.5 years.  It it sucked but I needed the job at the time. I lived as cheaply as I could. Only came home weekends. Took leftovers back with me. My current job is only 8 minutes away. I'm very lucky now. 

Link Posted: 12/20/2016 10:36:20 PM EST
I did it for a year and it sucked. I got a small two-bedroom apartment in Houston while the family and stuff were still in Lafayette, LA.

I'd leave home at 5:00 AM on Monday to be in the office at 8:30. Stayed in the apartment M- TH night, then drive home after work on Friday. About one weekend a month the family would come to Houston instead, just to give me a break from the drive.
Unless you are lucky enough to have the second residence very close to your work, you still end up with some kind of commute during the week. This eventually got to be a slap in the face twice a day.
It turned out to be more expensive than I anticipated. Going without internet and cable lasted about three weeks before I broke down and order them.
I found that eating was expensive, even if you cook most of the time, because cooking for one is not 1/4 the cost of cooking for 4. Also, the wife and I used to take turns cooking dinner. Both of us got burned out cooking every night, and ended up eating out more or ordering pizza more.
Don't forget the drive expense...fuel, maint, and the added depreciation on the vehicle.
Every weekend will end up being spent doing all the little shit that would would normally take care of in the evenings after work, so there is little time on the weekends for the family and socializing with the folks that used to be your friends.

Link Posted: 12/20/2016 10:39:12 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2016 10:41:07 PM EST by Atomic_Ferret]
2.5 hours is tough but.
My average commute can touch that each way when traffic is bad.
You do get used to it.

It was worse, I worked on a project that was 3 hours away AND a 30 minute shuttle bus ride to/from the jobsite.
And if you know commercial construction you know that 15 minutes early is on time and on time is late. One would get a red faced, angry foreman screaming at you if you weren't in your assigned work area with your tools out and a bead of sweat on your forehead when the clock strikes 7.
That was too much, I changed jobs after a couple months.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 10:42:10 PM EST
Live and own multiple houses and other property in NW AR had a small house on the outskirts of Jackson MS for a few years. Worked in Jackson and came home at least every other weekend. It was hard on my wife, my kids and me. That lasted for almost three years. Pros, I worked on the house every weekend I didn't go home and pocketed almost 10k when I sold it and never paid a dime in rent. Cons, I almost left my wife and family for a woman a decade younger than me. I have no doubt largely induced by boredom and spending so much time away. My wife and I are still together and happy now that I no longer work for the company and have of course sold that house.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 10:55:30 PM EST
wife and kids are back home every other week during the school year, 4 hours away.

If your going to take the job having your own space is a God send. If your strapped for cash go RV or Mobile home. If you can afford it build some equity and grab a house.

Really sucks being away that much but wife really likes my work location, she's here when we don't have my step son, and the money is way better. Our future will be much brighter financially this way so it's worth it in the long run.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 11:05:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2016 11:12:07 PM EST by CTM1]
A man has to do what a man has to do to provide for his family, but I think you will be taking a serious
chance on damaging your family life.

I use to do a daily 240 mile round trip M-F, it meant a minimum of 4 hours in the car every day and that
was if I was lucky and did not hit some type of traffic or accident. It really killed life! One day my admins father
was in for a visit and and he said so you do at least twenty hours a week in the car, that is like having a part
time job. After that I really started to hate my commute as it really made me think of all that wasted time.

I then went to living in hotels M-Thur and returning home on Friday night. I did that for three years and it sucked
even more.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 11:08:05 PM EST
I have a two hour commute each way, though half of that is on a train so I get to sleep some.

I also have a part-time tenant that stays at my house during the week, but has his own home and family about 3hrs away that he goes to on weekends and usually once a week.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 11:11:15 PM EST
My boss did that for a few years before the tech was good enough for telecommuting. He rented an apartment and drove back on the weekends. He didn't like it but the money and growth potential was too good to pass up. He's the VP of our division now. 

My friend's father also did it when he was laid off a few years back. He was a corporate person when they downsized and he was still 10+ years away from retirement. There really wasn't anything local that matched his skill set so he took a job in Fl and lived down there and flew back every few weeks. Did this to buy himself another 5 or so years of work and build up his retirement.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 11:17:39 PM EST
I own a consulting business where the HQ is located in MI. I own a large condo in MI. I have satellite operations in NYC, Washington DC and LA. I have condos in each satellite city. In addition to spending months at a time at each location, property values have increased in all those locations.

I have no family so it's easy for me to jet around to various offices.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 11:19:05 PM EST
My boss does it, but he's a VP and can probably swing the cost.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 11:29:55 PM EST
Rent a room from a couple of empty nesters? You will have your own bath (hallway). You just need a room with a bed, computer desk and TV.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 11:30:39 PM EST
We have some apartments that we built on the side of our shop for that reason.
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 11:37:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2016 11:41:36 PM EST by jhark123]
I'm a contractor and I have an RV that I can set up for jobs that are 2+ hrs from home (very easy to do in the Seattle area). I would suggest you look into this option. You can use it for a tax write off and also be able to use it with the family.

ETA: I'm away at most 8 partial weeks per year. I would seriously think about the impact this could have to your home life as a long term setup.
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