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Two homes, too young?

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  • Two homes, too young?

    Not exactly a mortgage question, and bear with me as I am still trying to read through all the WCI blogs and listen to all the podcasts, etc, but for some reason feeling like seeking the input of internet strangers on this house and mortgage related not-exactly-a-question....

    My partner and I (one mid 30s, other early 40s) of several years (non-married, no kids, one of us an MD, higher earner, the other a WFH non-MD, high earner but less so) both own separate primary houses, purchased just prior to getting together, both in HCOL areas about 1.5 hrs apart (one a metro area where the MD works, the other in a resort town everyone here would have heard of). Together the houses are about $2.1-2.2M I would conservatively estimate (the resort town house the larger/more expensive of the two). We both recently refinanced at excellent rates and both have fair equity (large amounts down) in each, without getting into details. Both houses are well-used and we love the resort town lifestyle in particular. My question is this: I am the MD in the couple writing this (loans paid off in <3 yrs, maxing out retirement accounts etc etc), but not in a particularly highly paid position as far as physicians go. If we had met prior to purchasing our homes, we probably would not have made exactly the same decisions (but who knows). The frugal voice in my head often says things like "this is a lot of house for 2 people" and "you are too young to have a luxury vacation house". (Have thought about downsizing the city residence - but the city house is not that large (2000 sq ft, 3 bed, 2 bath), and is well located for work and city purposes, is in an area that is appreciating well, so little desire to change in addition to the headache of moving). so....How crazy are we to continue this lifestyle (which is work hard in city, play hard every weekend at other house)? how much are we not following WCI advice? and at what cost?

    Yes, this is very much first world problems (isn't most of this forum?). And yes, I might just be looking for reassurance - yolo, etc. But I would appreciate the input of boglehead-minded internet strangers.

  • #2
    I would keep both houses until you get married. I know some people are anti-marriage—if that’s you you also need to be anti joint ownership of a house. Right now you don’t have 2 houses, you each have a house and you spend the week at one person’s house and the weekend at the other’s house, which is fine.

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    • #3
      Do you two actually live together? The first question to answer really is in regard to your relationship, not in regard to the finances. Are you two ready to be in one house full time together?

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      • #4
        You are not married so do nothing.

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        • #5
          All depends on what your financial goals are, and if owning two houses is preventing you from achieving them.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bluejay22
            Ha, I like how this has devolved into relationship questions. I was trying to keep this focused on essentially - what are the cons of having two houses (that you are using and enjoying) at this stage in life? But since people are prying - Yes, we live together, we just happen to live in two houses. We might spend 1, less often 2, night a week apart if you must ask, for work-related reasons. And to the other question, I wasn't asking about marriage, but presume we intend to stay together long term, and I guess people can chime in if they think marriage matters to the question, which again was supposed to ask about the potential financial consequences for a couple to own and maintain two full time residences during their prime working years.
            Not prying at all. It’s a financial/legal nightmare to own a home together as an unmarried couple if you break up. The financial consequences of owning 2 homes are kind of obvious...but again, you don’t own two homes together, you each own one and spend time at the others together frequently. Which is great. If you do decide to sell one before getting married, one is still the owner of the other and the one who sells can decide what to do/how to invest the proceeds in their separate account from the sale, and be ok with suddenly needing to be the one to find a place to stay just in case things don’t work out. Things don’t work out in marriage too, yes, but the legal system is set up to handle the fall out from that. When you’re not married and mix everything up, it is really a mess.

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            • #7
              this post is showing up strangely. there seems to be quotes from the OP that are not showing up as replies?

              that said. if the OP is describing asking if they are married to this person as "prying" and "devolving into relationship questions" .... .... ... ... that is weird, unfortunate, and leads me to believe that the OP needs to do a bit more independent study about personal finance.

              i say this as someone who has absolutely no issue with cohabitation and certainly no religious attachment to marriage, but marriage is quite important when planning financial future together.

              peds said it best, if you aren't married you should do nothing.

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              • #8
                “peds said it best, if you aren't married you should do nothing.”
                Why? Contract law! Operating in the legal area of “partnership” wIthout a written agreement. No terms of entry and no terms of exit.
                What could go wrong?

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                • #9
                  You paid off your loans in 3 years, built significant equity and maxed out your retirement accounts while carrying the expenses of both houses. Is it a bit decadent? Perhaps. But if this is the thing you choose to spend the rest of your money on instead of something else so be it. I don't see the point in blowing up a lifestyle you love when you are both already in fine financial shape. Like Paula Pant says, you can have anything you want but you can't have everything you want. If this is your anything then go ahead as long as you make sure to keep your finances solid.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Peds View Post
                    You are not married so do nothing.
                    Yes. Marriage or this person is just a boyfriend or girlfriend. Lots of relationships (even marriages) end and then you would be (will be) in a mess.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tim View Post
                      “peds said it best, if you aren't married you should do nothing.”
                      Why? Contract law! Operating in the legal area of “partnership” wIthout a written agreement. No terms of entry and no terms of exit.
                      What could go wrong?
                      +1

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pierre View Post
                        All depends on what your financial goals are, and if owning two houses is preventing you from achieving them.
                        Nope. Unless you are married, you do NOT own two houses.

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                        • #13
                          Agree this thread is showing up strangely.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tangler View Post
                            Nope. Unless you are married, you do NOT own two houses.
                            Even if you do get married, do you want a prenuptial? Marriage is a contract, entry and exit terms apply.

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                            • #15
                              The OP made a second post and deleted it.

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