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Vacation homes. Dismal math & a dead horse

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  • #31
    Originally posted by StateOfMyHead View Post
    I want to know where one can get an actual beach home for less than 1mil?
    My dreams were dashed not so much by the repairs and rental woes but my spring VRBO experience in a gorgeous condo but with cold, nasty, windy weather. Even the mutt didn’t want to walk on the beach. Off season at the beach is not as enjoyable as I imagined. We left after 3 days.
    Probably depends what you mean by "actual beach home"

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    • #32
      Originally posted by wideopenspaces View Post


      I can only speak to having a home within driving distance. We've had it 2 years. My biggest complaint is that we can't spend more time there! If we didn't have kids like Tangler, it would not be an issue. I have not found my enthusiasm has waned. We do keep a second set of things we use regularly at our cabin. Sometimes I take a bag of groceries back and forth but other than that and our dogs we just hop in the car and go. No packing and unpacking all the time and it's very nice. We bought a place that requires minimal maintenance. No lawn care. It's easy to keep clean since it's not lived in daily. We definitely don't spend half our time doing chores. Some time but not a lot. I admit in the summer when we are at the cabin every weekend it's harder to maintain the garden at home but otherwise we pay to have weekly lawncare and cleaning so things are not piling up at home. If i was part time and didn't have kids this would be no issue at all. Personally I find our cabin very comfortable ( and it even has a main bedroom with en suite which we don't have at home!) And at the price point Tangler is looking at I'm sure the home will be quite nice.

      All this to say, owning a second home isn't for everyone and it may not make financial sense. But life is about more than money and we have loved our place. I think Tangler would get great enjoyment out of a home base for fishing. Good luck making your decision!
      Wow, thanks! Very cool info, thanks for writing.

      You are correct, life is about more than money and perhaps I am a too focused on $?

      It is a complex issue. You and VagabondMD make great points.

      Honestly if my wife was super excited about it I would be more willing to bite the bullet and splurge.

      I have not given up on it totally but I roll my eyes when the RE agents at the open house say; “this is a great investment opportunity “

      I think, sure is,…..for you guys.

      True:
      1. Not everything is about $
      2. Renting is smarter financially
      3. Every family is different in terms of dreams/wants
      4. Dynamic, complex, evolving
      5. House on every corner & lots of fish in the sea

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      • #33
        Originally posted by JBME View Post
        I will personally feel compelled to go as often as possible, even at the expense of not going to other places....in other words, it will tie us down and limit our opportunities to vacation elsewhere. And I would probably nag her that we would need to go even if she doesn't want to, and this would be bad for our marriage.
        This brings up an amusing anecdote.

        My friend lives in FL and used to go an hour away many weekends to Orlando. On many of those trips he used to go to WDW with the kids. He had a bright idea that if he was paying so much for tickets why not get the annual Disney pass for FL residents and save on those tickets. I think in those days that cost $1000 for a family.

        The kids enjoyed the first visit to WDW on that annual, come whenever you want to whichever Disney park you want pass. A couple of weekends later they did that again and got on all the rides. By the third visit the enthusiasm had waned and they had to be dragged into the park to try and wring out its value. On the 4th trip to Orlando the kids were begging to not go into the park and instead just go to Disney downtown, which is free. I am not sure if the kids went into the park for the rest of the year and were glad when that pass expired.

        A much cheaper lesson than buying a second home but one that shows that when you try a make purchase to save costs in renting without checking if you like it all the time, it can backfire. And the forbidden fruit that tastes delicious when you don't own the tree it comes from, is not so attractive when you own it and have to care for it all year round.
        Last edited by Kamban; 08-18-2022, 04:39 PM.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by MPMD View Post
          for 20k you could fly 2 direct biz class to london and stay in the four seasons for a 4 nights.

          you could do that 30x for 600k.

          rent your lifestyle.
          The old "rent is wasting money. I guess "this time is different " might pop in to rationalization. You nailed it.

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          • #35
            So true, rinse/repeat over and over can exhaust the unenthusiastic, so have to make sure THE FAMILY enjoys the destination as much too.

            We have held off on the Hawaii Second home for that very reason. But that's six hours away on a plane and very different logistics

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            • #36
              The way I justify the second home to myself is that it will be our retirement place. If I buy a year two early no big deal financially. Of course we haven’t found it yet, but we have both time and patience to get what we want.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by bovie View Post

                Pretty much anywhere outside of the USA.

                Would imagine there are options stateside as well, in some lesser-known areas. I'd venture a guess that you might find some suitable options along the Gulf Coast as well.

                On a side note, I am one who loves the feeling of being the only one out on an empty beach in the off-season, with a nice chilly breeze. Throw the ball and let the dog chase it for a few hundred yards. Heaven for us both.

                Different mindset, I suppose.

                Beats a crowded strip of sand covered with umbrellas and overweight bright-white humans blasting 10 different types of music all day. But I digress.

                For your vacation, I imagine you were looking forward to warm weather and a little sun. Totally get that.
                Correct. I never go in full season, totally agree about the crowds but freezing outside and sitting inside reading the book I planned for the poolside lounge chair wasn’t at all appealing. It was a valuable lesson for me as I had thought just getting away and having a few good meals would be an enjoyable off season activity if I were to buy a place.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by StateOfMyHead View Post
                  I want to know where one can get an actual beach home for less than 1mil?
                  My dreams were dashed not so much by the repairs and rental woes but my spring VRBO experience in a gorgeous condo but with cold, nasty, windy weather. Even the mutt didn’t want to walk on the beach. Off season at the beach is not as enjoyable as I imagined. We left after 3 days.
                  You mean a house? Otherwise it is pretty easy to find a nice beach condo for $500-600K, at least on the east and gulf coasts.

                  Even with a house there are quite a few running $700-$950k down the barrier islands running from south of the OB in NC to Amelia Island, FL. Hurricane zone, though.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Tangler I think you should tackle (haha, pun intended) your tendency to focus on financial optimization before you make a second home purchase. Maybe spend a smaller amount on things just because you want them and work on just enjoying life and not worrying about money. Do some mental exercises where you pretend you have a house on the cape that you’ve enjoyed for 5 years and now there’s a hurricane coming straight towards it. Are you able to handle that? Did the 5 years of fishing enjoyment outweigh the hurricane anxiety?

                    Also, what is it you love about fishing? It is the opportunity for solitude? Being with others who share your enthusiasm? The feeling of nostalgia from childhood fishing trips? The skill involved? The moment of actually catching the fish? Buying a lot of fishing gear and having a place to store and care for it? Having a place to prepare the fish? Will it bring you joy to be able to invite friends/family to your house for a fishing adventure or whatever you call it with you or will you get more joy from traveling different places to go on fishing expeditions with other enthusiasts? Do you like the idea of going regularly with just you/you and your spouse to be alone in the vacation house? How does your spouse feel about all of those things? Honestly the only thing I find appealing about fishing is eating the fish so I don’t get it but figuring out the aspects of fishing that are most meaningful can help you decide if you really want your own fishing retreat to maximize those things or if spending the money to travel more broadly to go on fishing expeditions would be better.

                    You mentioned your MIL in the past…is being away from her a concern from a caregiver point of view/will she want to and/or be able to come with? If you bought this house would you and your spouse eventually want to move there full time? Cape Cod can feel pretty isolated during the off season, do you want to be in that environment as you age or in more of a city environment?

                    I think you should do whatever will allow you to enjoy life the most and decrease the amount you worry about money. This is basically the paradox that so many wealthy people have: amassing wealth generally requires us to focus on financial optimization and delayed gratification. We become very good at those things. Then, sometime in middle age after years of thinking this way we somehow expect people to just say “well, I have enough now…let me just kick back, relax, and spend it!” It’s not that simple. To really enjoy the spend you need to gently change the way your brain thinks about spending first.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      We never approached our second home as a financial investment. It was an investment in family. We bought our current primary residence in 1993 (as I started my staff job) and our second home in 2005 as I transitioned from university to private practice. We were mortgage free when we bought our second home and paid cash for it. The second home cost 15% more than we had paid for our primary residence 12 years earlier. Due to the recent run up in lake front properties our second home is now worth more than our primary residence. It is winterized and is often occupied by various family members. We have never rented it out but have let friends stay here free of charge. Hopefully we will downsize the primary residence within 2-3 years. We will not sell the second home in our lifetime and it is doubtful that the children will sell it either as they all enjoy it and they will be able to afford it. At the end of the day I am happy that we bought the second home as opposed to having the additional money in VTI. Not a financial decision for us.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by uptoolate View Post
                        We never approached our second home as a financial investment. It was an investment in family. We bought our current primary residence in 1993 (as I started my staff job) and our second home in 2005 as I transitioned from university to private practice. We were mortgage free when we bought our second home and paid cash for it. The second home cost 15% more than we had paid for our primary residence 12 years earlier. Due to the recent run up in lake front properties our second home is now worth more than our primary residence. It is winterized and is often occupied by various family members. We have never rented it out but have let friends stay here free of charge. Hopefully we will downsize the primary residence within 2-3 years. We will not sell the second home in our lifetime and it is doubtful that the children will sell it either as they all enjoy it and they will be able to afford it. At the end of the day I am happy that we bought the second home as opposed to having the additional money in VTI. Not a financial decision for us.
                        What is the distance from your primary home and approximately how many times a month do you go there?

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                        • #42
                          Any location you find appealing is likely appealing in the right circumstances you prefer.
                          However, the “perfect day” has your own criteria that many have discussed (congestion, weather, remote, access to activities) that are definitely not “perfect”. There are definitely downsides to every location when that “retirement or vacation” house is shall I say less than optimal.
                          Two houses allows you to optimize the “best” in different locations. You almost have a list of criteria and scout each location for its intended use for the full duration.
                          •Comp, job, location for employment
                          •First house: get to know the city, neighborhoods, schools, traffic for commute.
                          • Even comp gets complex with base , incentives, benefits and group or employer toxic behaviors.

                          I would not make a permanent move or a vacation place purchase without experiencing a year there (or the desired time frame).

                          It is similar to a new job for a year to see if it works out before buying a house. Your new job just happens to be recreational.

                          The “leaving it to the kids” seldom works out. It’s not a financial choice, it’s they have their own criteria and end up selling it.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Anne View Post
                            Tangler I think you should tackle (haha, pun intended) your tendency to focus on financial optimization before you make a second home purchase. Maybe spend a smaller amount on things just because you want them and work on just enjoying life and not worrying about money. Do some mental exercises where you pretend you have a house on the cape that you’ve enjoyed for 5 years and now there’s a hurricane coming straight towards it. Are you able to handle that? Did the 5 years of fishing enjoyment outweigh the hurricane anxiety?

                            Also, what is it you love about fishing? It is the opportunity for solitude? Being with others who share your enthusiasm? The feeling of nostalgia from childhood fishing trips? The skill involved? The moment of actually catching the fish? Buying a lot of fishing gear and having a place to store and care for it? Having a place to prepare the fish? Will it bring you joy to be able to invite friends/family to your house for a fishing adventure or whatever you call it with you or will you get more joy from traveling different places to go on fishing expeditions with other enthusiasts? Do you like the idea of going regularly with just you/you and your spouse to be alone in the vacation house? How does your spouse feel about all of those things? Honestly the only thing I find appealing about fishing is eating the fish so I don’t get it but figuring out the aspects of fishing that are most meaningful can help you decide if you really want your own fishing retreat to maximize those things or if spending the money to travel more broadly to go on fishing expeditions would be better.

                            You mentioned your MIL in the past…is being away from her a concern from a caregiver point of view/will she want to and/or be able to come with? If you bought this house would you and your spouse eventually want to move there full time? Cape Cod can feel pretty isolated during the off season, do you want to be in that environment as you age or in more of a city environment?

                            I think you should do whatever will allow you to enjoy life the most and decrease the amount you worry about money. This is basically the paradox that so many wealthy people have: amassing wealth generally requires us to focus on financial optimization and delayed gratification. We become very good at those things. Then, sometime in middle age after years of thinking this way we somehow expect people to just say “well, I have enough now…let me just kick back, relax, and spend it!” It’s not that simple. To really enjoy the spend you need to gently change the way your brain thinks about spending first.
                            Many great points!

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Larry Ragman View Post
                              You mean a house? Otherwise it is pretty easy to find a nice beach condo for $500-600K, at least on the east and gulf coasts.

                              Even with a house there are quite a few running $700-$950k down the barrier islands running from south of the OB in NC to Amelia Island, FL. Hurricane zone, though.
                              Fantastic houses!

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                About a year ago I stumbled onto a very small house (built in the 1930s) for sale in a small town about 4 hours away where the skies are extremely dark. The asking price was $30,000. I considered pulling the trigger - but what stopped me was the thought of who would be moving the grass and shoveling the snow when I wasn't there (which of course would be most of the time, as I am still working). Houses are just too much WORK! A campervan would make more sense for my situation.

                                But everyone is different. If you are reasonably certain a second home would add to your happiness and if you can afford it, then go for it!
                                Last edited by artemis; 08-19-2022, 10:39 AM.

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