Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

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Sobocomo
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Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Sobocomo » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:01 pm

Seeking the wisdom and experience of this forum of those that purchased a vacation home.
We have been kicking around the idea of purchasing a 2nd home at a popular lake destination 1.5 hours from home, but are worried about regrets.
At the ages of 70 and 67, a mortgage doesn’t sound appealing, but spending down our emergency fund (holds 2 years of living expense) and using roth IRA money doesn’t either. On the other hand, we believe the home wouldn’t lose value and we could sell it when we needed the funds for our old age upkeep. We estimate we could enjoy for 7-10 years, but situations can change at this age.
Nightly/daily rentals are quite expensive in the area, so we usually take day trips. Many homes are sold furnished so we could possibly avoid that hassle and immediate expense.
We would probably enjoy more time with our children and grandchildren at this location, but would not expect it. I believe we would be content with the downtime as we have a lot of demands on our time and energy at home.
We would still like to be free to tour sights unseen within the states or an occasional cruise.
I am wondering what other bogleheads have learned in a similar situation and if the maintenance or travel to a second home made it less enjoyable than anticipated. Also, how to get past the fear of spending money we have worked a lifetime accumulating.
Thank you in advance for any tidbits of knowledge you wish to share.

02nz
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by 02nz » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:13 pm

My parents did this more than a decade ago. Situation was almost the same - lakeside home a couple of hours away. They spent far more time on upkeep than enjoying the home. They would've been far better off taking that money and paying for a rental or hotel at their choice of location. This is very much a matter of personal preference, but I wouldn't buy a second home even in my absolute favorite travel destination in the world, even if it were just a couple of hours drive away. Just the transaction costs (realtor commissions, etc.) will pay for several very nice trips to anywhere you want.

harvestbook
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by harvestbook » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:20 pm

We have a modest second home on the coast, paid off, a six-hour drive. We're still tinkering with minor renovations years later, and most of our "vacations" consist of driving there to do work, although we usually take a day or two to actually have fun each trip. Even though ongoing costs are not too onerous, for the total money we spend per average day we spend there, we could choose from a number of different nice vacation opportunities. And houses aren't always easy to sell, especially on your desired timetable. It's basically delayed my retirement at least two years.

If it was a couple of hours away, maybe I'll feel differently, and "regret" isn't exactly the word I'd use, it is a choice that has taken a lot of other choices off the board. And the whole idea of "enjoying more time with the family" never really materialized, as others don't have a ton of interest in it.
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onourway
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by onourway » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:21 pm

While I can imagine us having the same discussion when we reach your age in a few decades, and believe that for some people, owning their place is meaningful enough to them to make them want to do it even if it is less than financially optimal.

That said, I see a bit of a disconnect in your thinking here. You won't stay overnight at this location now because you think rental prices are too high, yet you are seriously considering purchasing a place which, short of some major luck with massive price appreciation, will likely cost you thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars per year. It'd certainly be far less hassle to simply re-direct that spend to a few weeks or months at a nice rental where you turn in the keys and walk away at the end of every summer.

renue74
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by renue74 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:29 pm

It's a life decision and very difficult for strangers to tell you what to do. We can only offer suggestions or life experiences of our own because we don't know you personally.

From my experiences, we've had relatives who have 2nd homes on the coast, lakes, and in the mountains.

Each time, there's a honeymoon period where they enjoy it. It's the shiny new toy in their lives and they spend weekends there, etc.

But after time goes by, they stop going and that's the "2nd honeymoon phase," where they try to get kids and grandkids to go. Some do go and use it. Maybe even some "overuse it," depending on the family. But that soon stops as well.

Then the property sits and you hear more about the maintenance and to-do stuff than the enjoyment part.

Then, they sell it.

It's happened 3x in my family.

As one said, why not take the $ you would use in a 2nd property and just use it to travel. Take the grand kids to Hawaii.

PS...the above situation could also be translated into campers. We've had 2 family members purchase $XXX,XXX campers and this happens.

bloom2708
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:36 pm

My gut says that if you haven't done it yet, it may not be a great idea at this point.

1.5 hours isn't too bad of a drive. Many in our area have a lake place ~45-50 minutes away. That makes it more doable to buzz down and mow the yard and check the cabin/boats/pontoons. I walk around our neighborhood in the summer and it is a ghost town. "Everyone" is at the lake. Even if you don't have a lake place, you pull the shades and pretend you have one. :wink: :wink: :D

It is a lifestyle even if the weather/season for the lake is very short in some areas.

Are there any community/shared beach options? That is a popular option for people who don't want the full maintenance. You buy the cabin, but have shared beach access. It makes it more lock n go. But it may not be the experience everyone wants.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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livesoft
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by livesoft » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:39 pm

I've enjoyed the lake homes of many of my friends' parents without any of the hassles of ownership. What do your kids say? ;)
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littlebird
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by littlebird » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:42 pm

We bought a modest condo in a scenic tourist area 90 minutes from our restaurant-poor, but otherwise perfect senior community. We kept it for about 4 years, enjoyably eating out daily while we there until unanticipated health issues made it no longer viable. We were lucky enough to sell it for a large profit. That said, we would never have done it if it required a mortgage, or raiding our emergency fund, or indeed affecting our financial life in any substantive way.

Mike Scott
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Mike Scott » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:44 pm

It may be different after I retire, but I do not really have the time to do all the upkeep on one home/small farm. I can't imagine having two.

sergio
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by sergio » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:44 pm

I wouldn't do it. Even something "low maintenance" like a condo is susceptible to problems. A guy I work with has a condo in Florida and while he was away a pipe burst in his ceiling. The neighbor below him was also out for the whole day and the burst ended up flooding several units, common property, etc.

He had to deal with his uncooperative insurer, had to gut the whole unit, and had to deal with a lawsuit the HOA launched against him... all while he was still working full time about 4 states away
Last edited by sergio on Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wanderer
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by wanderer » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:46 pm

-We purchased a lake home in 2010, while in our 50s. The home has lost value.
-We share the home upkeep with our daughter's family. It is at least as much work as the primary residence! (3-4 hours of mowing along 800' drive and hillside to lake!)
-It will require on-going utility and monitoring costs.
-Getting contractors out for repairs we couldn't do ourselves has been a struggle. It is a cost (and time) for them to drive there (usually a couple of trips to scope and then do the work) and we have to co-ordinate schedules to be there as needed. This alone has been a big unanticipated frustration.
-If it is in a northern location you will need to address winterization or have back-ups to ensure freeze protection. All at additional time and cost.
-We still enjoy it, but the novelty has perhaps worn off and our grandchildren are now on to other activities. We certainly don't use it as much as anticipated. We tend to use it separately from the daughter and her family as schedules don't align up as well. They are mostly limited to the weekends, and we prefer the quietness of mid week without all the crowds (and powerboat noise).

-If you have demands on your time already, when will you have time to enjoy the lake home? Will you feel "obligated" to enjoy it?

To answer your question:
-Yes - it is less enjoyable, and more work than anticipated. We don't seem to relax as much as we expected, knowing there is usually another chore left to be done. We still like to bird and kayak there, but we can do that elsewhere too.
-Fortunately it was all bought and paid for before retirement. Now it is just a minor part of our retirement living expenses.

Perhaps you can find a place to rent for a while to test drive the life style.

YMMV

3funder
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by 3funder » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:48 pm

Personally, one home is enough for me.

Thegame14
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:51 pm

my parent are late 60's have permanent home in NJ worth around $650K, vacation house in cape cod worth about $600, and recently purchased vacation home in jersey shore, worth about $300K. since buying the shore house, they have spent less time going the farther vacation house in cape cod, and the 4.5 hour drive is getting harder for them. So I think that you are keeping the commute in that range is smart. Parent view the houses as future inheritance for each of three children, based on needs and location preference. Both collect SS and govt pensions and healthcare.

The house in Cape cod has gone up over $150K since purchase, but it was in poor shape when they bought it, and they have spend money on siding, windows landscaping, kitchen....

House in Jersey shore is recent purchase so no idea on value appreciation.

Parents enjoy going to the houses and spending time alone, or with children and grandkids.

Parent don't believe in stocks or bonds, dad invested for 3 years a while ago each year it went up 20% and he sold, and has never invested again.

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HomerJ
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by HomerJ » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:54 pm

We own a lake condo, about 3 hours away. We've had it for 6 years or so and still enjoy it very much in the summer.

90 minutes away would be a dream. :)

A couple of key points:

(1) It's a condo, not a house. Yes, we pay HOA fees, but owning a condo is absolutely the way to go in my opinion for ease of use. Someone else takes care of the yard, the roof, the walking paths, the parking lot/driveway, the pools, the boat docks, and the swim docks. There's a manager who lives on-premises, and checks up on things.

I do not think I would be comfortable trying to manage an actual second house far away, especially leaving it unattended for months at a time in the winter.

(2) We own a boat and a jetski. The main advantage to owning your own place at a lake, in my opinion, is having a dock with a lift so you don't have to haul watercraft to and from the lake. We love showing up, and just walking down to the dock, and jumping in the boat that's already there.

I do not enjoy renting boats or jetskis that much either, although we have done that in the past. Expensive to rent them, and then you have to do all your water fun in that one 2-4 hour rental period. Much nicer to go for 1-2 hours of play, take a break, teenagers can take out the jetski after lunch while you rest, and later, everyone can go out for leisurely sunset cruise. And you can do this every day of your trip, not just one day.

So, that's what works for us.

If you're not looking to deal with boats or other watercraft, I'd probably just rent a couple of times a summer instead of buying a place.

If you are looking to buy, I'd suggest a condo with a pool or two for the grandkids, and probably look for one that doesn't allow renters. You'll find a more permanent community there, and better chances to make friends. (Unless of course you want to rent YOUR place to help pay for it - then obviously make sure the place allows renters).
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gtd98765
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by gtd98765 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:05 pm

Count me as another person who spends far more time maintaining the vacation home than enjoying it. For what we spend we could go to Hawaii for two weeks every year and have a much better time.

bltn
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by bltn » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:09 pm

Twenty years ago we bought a beach lot a four hour drive from our home. My wife s family vacationed in the area a lot when she was little. I thought at the time we might build on it or keep it as an investment. We decided to build a vacation home and completed it about eleven years ago. It s in a non rental community which makes it feel much more like a home. We use it quite a bit and enjoy our time there a lot. We really like most of our neighbors.
The taxes and insurance are pretty expensive ( we don t have a mortgage on the place).
We ve had to replace 3 air conditioners and change some of the ac duct work to accommodate the bigger units (salt air is murder on ac units). We ve had to replace our galvanized steel roof with an aluminum roof (salt air again). After a hurricane , we lost an alarming portion of our back yard which is a sand dune. We had to replace the sand and build a sea wall for protection. So, in addition to the taxes and insurance, the maintenance has been surprisingly expensive for a newly built home.
With all the expense, we really enjoy the time at our vacation home. Being a boglehead long before I knew there was such a term, I figure most of our travel money is being spent on the beach house. We don t seem as interested in travel anyway, since most of our travel destinations in the past involved the ocean side. We do enjoy our current vacations to the beach where we get to interact with our new friends.
One other consideration. Our beach house has gone up quite a bit in value since we built. Selling that house, should we wish, should not be a problem.
The expense of a vacation home will cut into your travel budget, but you may like the time at your vacation home as much or more than travel to other destinations. We do.

megabad
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by megabad » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:26 pm

Sobocomo wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:01 pm
I am wondering what other bogleheads have learned in a similar situation and if the maintenance or travel to a second home made it less enjoyable than anticipated. Also, how to get past the fear of spending money we have worked a lifetime accumulating.
Thank you in advance for any tidbits of knowledge you wish to share.
I have 2 primary concerns:
1) The decision is semi permanent (if you don't want to bleed money)
2) You have to really like this one location a lot

I don't consider owning the property a maintenance hassle because, assuming money is no object you can just hire out all the maintenance. Barring a disaster, you don't really ever have to do anything with the house yourself other than make a phone call (make sure you get a remote access lock).

However, in my experience, I have yet to find a single place that I permanently liked to visit. At most, I felt like returning 1-2 weeks per year and it is much cheaper to rent if this is your pattern.

Obviously this is not a financial decision but I would assume you understand this is a rather poor "investment" and don't consider it that way anyway.

If you are the type of person that can very confidently say that you want to keep routinely visiting this property for the next 10 years, I would say it is money well spent. I don't understand the fear of spending money. If I truly want something, this comes naturally. My father once said he had this fear...after returning from his 4th trip to Hawaii...

dave_k
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by dave_k » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:27 pm

We're about 20 years younger, and our situation is a bit different, but you may find it helpful. My wife and I bought a beachfront house in FL from her father about 5 years ago. We have to fly there and only get there a couple times a year for a couple weeks each, but we have it rented out through an agency when we're not there, which has covered the costs so far (including our travel). We spend a lot of the time we're there maintaining and upgrading the property, but I think it's getting to the point where we can cut back a bit on that and spend more time enjoying the place (although I don't mind most of the maintenance work). We intend to move there in a few years and transition into retirement.

This particular situation wouldn't be for everyone. It works for us since we're ok with DIY maintenance, willing to deal with issues that pop up from renting it out, and plan to move there, which makes it worthwhile. It also helps from a financial standpoint that we bought it at near market bottom prices and it has gone up in value since, and that it's in a good vacation rental spot so renting it out has covered the ongoing costs and improvements.

Are you considering renting the place out while you're not using it?

nick evets
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by nick evets » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:15 pm

Wife and I have a small second property on the coast, 2.75 hours away. We've had it for about 15 years -- has it appreciated? Sure, but we'd probably break-even given the money we've sunk into improvements. Would we be financially ahead had we never bought, and left the purchase price in equities? Yes, but....

For 5 years prior to purchase we did the rental thing and often enough to know we loved the area. And it sound easy to 'just rent' but it isn't, really -- the better places get booked up quickly, so a spontaneous week weekend getaway is out, and with turnover and cleaning, you'll check in late and leave early. And of course there's all your stuff you have to pack/unpack/pack/unpack etc., etc.

It's really a life-style choice. If living at the lake from time to time would make you happy, and you can afford it, which life would you want to do it in? :)

fleetwdl
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by fleetwdl » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:33 pm

We have struggled with this same question for several years and finally came to the conclusion that renting cabins or hotel rooms is the way to go. We have some experience with owning two homes, and as many have already stated here, it can be a huge time sink. We want our years going forward to be free of all that. Also, if we want to take the fam (or not) to the mountains instead of the lake a couple times, there will be no worrying about why we are driving away from a perfectly good lake house.
Finally, I figure I can get many wonderful days and weeks renting condos, cabins or hotels for $250,000+ which is where many lake home prices start.
We are age 66 and 65, and I'm still too scared to stop working..ha

kmurp
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by kmurp » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:41 pm

Bought a lake home twenty years ago. No idea what it’s worth now compared to what we have in it. Our adult children will all be here this week. Can’t put a price on that.

SQRT
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by SQRT » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:46 pm

Hard to get useful advice from strangers but here is my story. We bought a second lakeside home when I was 46 (for cash). I am now almost 69. It’s about 2.5 hours from our main residence. Was a great “pressure release valve” from my high stress job. After retiring about 13 years ago, we have spent most of our summers there. In fact, I am sitting on our dock on a beautiful afternoon as I write this. Daughter and son in law have just left to go back to the city. We love his place, always have. Great place to entertain friends and family and create great memories. Will give to daughter when we pass. Never considered it an “investment” but it has about quadrupled in value since we bought it. I calculate we have put all of the appreciation In as repairs and maintenance but that means we have used it for free I guess. Renting places like ours just wouldn’t be practical. Besides I like our art, clothes, furniture in the place when we get there. Being in control and being able to use it whenever we want is important to me. We often loan the place out to friends and relatives when we are not using it. Never would consider renting it to strangers.


It is certainly expensive. These places are basically wooden “cabins” in the woods rotting away. Agree that “luxury toys” (really what this is) are probably best paid for with cash. Not sure I would do it at your age but if you are sure you will use it maybe OK. Ends up being a lifestyle choice.
Last edited by SQRT on Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

MarkerFM
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by MarkerFM » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:00 pm

When we were late 30s we bought a summer home 1,100 miles from our primary home. We spent 10 weeks there every summer, and a long weekend in the fall once in awhile (not often). We loved it, and eventually sold it for a large profit (though not more than we would have made in, say, SPY) to buy a larger house in the same place where we now spend 4 1/2 months of the year.

We don't travel between the places more than once each way a year. The summer house is large and complicated with lots of lawn and landscaping and a pool. Like the original summer house, we outsource all but the simplest maintenance and repairs. Landscaping, painting, cleaning, pool, pest control, etc. It is hard to get good people to do work, but after 20 years we have a good team.

Our main home is a condo with excellent staff who will do everything from change light bulbs to fix toilets, to hang pictures. If an appliance or HVAC repairs are needed, they schedule and attend the appointments. This makes it easier because we essentially only have to focus on the summer place. I actually enjoy puttering around and making minor repairs, changing filters, etc.

We have enjoyed our times there and have many happy memories. However, I would be a little wary of recommending the same for you because 1) you are older than we were and that might make it more difficult to adjust, and certainly more difficult if you intend to do much maintenance yourselves. 2) you are assuming you can easily sell without a loss in value; this is often not the case with second homes-they take longer to sell and the market is more volatile. 3) you don't give specific numbers, but if you have to justify a second place financially, it is not a good idea.

birdy
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by birdy » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:01 pm

We have never had a second home. We enjoy traveling to different places when we take trips. I get enough maintenance work with just one house. I have a friend who has had a lake house near Sacramento. When she talks about going to it, all I hear is all the "chores" they had to get done while there. It is rare for her to tell me how much fun they were having! If I did have a second house, it would be feel more like a obligation to have to go there instead of traveling somewhere for an adventure!
birdy

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Watty
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Watty » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:03 pm

Sobocomo wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:01 pm
Nightly/daily rentals are quite expensive in the area, so we usually take day trips.
Look into month long rentals in the shoulder season. Just when that is will vary by the area but in many areas the demand for rentals goes way down in September when schools start. The Indian Summer weather and fall colors can still be really nice even if it is not swimming weather.

You could also look into renting a place for a month before Memorial Day in the spring.
onourway wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:21 pm
That said, I see a bit of a disconnect in your thinking here. You won't stay overnight at this location now because you think rental prices are too high, yet you are seriously considering purchasing a place which, short of some major luck with massive price appreciation, will likely cost you thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars per year. It'd certainly be far less hassle to simply re-direct that spend to a few weeks or months at a nice rental where you turn in the keys and walk away at the end of every summer.
+1

You would also have other funds available to do travel to other places if you wanted to.
Sobocomo wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:01 pm
On the other hand, we believe the home wouldn’t lose value and we could sell it when we needed the funds for our old age upkeep.
In a recession or housing slump homes in vacation areas are often hit harder than other areas. In addition to the price it can take a long time to sell vacation homes in a bad housing market.

Buying it with money that you will likely need would not be ideal.

ohai
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by ohai » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:04 pm

OP, you're saying buying this house would deplete your liquid assets and possible draw into your retirement accounts? In Bogleheads terms, this means it is a really bad idea.

malabargold
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by malabargold » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:31 pm

If the property is truly extraordinary, not just nice, you won’t regret.

Trader Joe
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Trader Joe » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:33 pm

Sobocomo wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:01 pm
Seeking the wisdom and experience of this forum of those that purchased a vacation home.
We have been kicking around the idea of purchasing a 2nd home at a popular lake destination 1.5 hours from home, but are worried about regrets.
At the ages of 70 and 67, a mortgage doesn’t sound appealing, but spending down our emergency fund (holds 2 years of living expense) and using roth IRA money doesn’t either. On the other hand, we believe the home wouldn’t lose value and we could sell it when we needed the funds for our old age upkeep. We estimate we could enjoy for 7-10 years, but situations can change at this age.
Nightly/daily rentals are quite expensive in the area, so we usually take day trips. Many homes are sold furnished so we could possibly avoid that hassle and immediate expense.
We would probably enjoy more time with our children and grandchildren at this location, but would not expect it. I believe we would be content with the downtime as we have a lot of demands on our time and energy at home.
We would still like to be free to tour sights unseen within the states or an occasional cruise.
I am wondering what other bogleheads have learned in a similar situation and if the maintenance or travel to a second home made it less enjoyable than anticipated. Also, how to get past the fear of spending money we have worked a lifetime accumulating.
Thank you in advance for any tidbits of knowledge you wish to share.
If I were your age and I did this, yes I would definitely regret it. Best of luck.

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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Carefreeap » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:37 pm

Sobocomo wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:01 pm
Seeking the wisdom and experience of this forum of those that purchased a vacation home.
We have been kicking around the idea of purchasing a 2nd home at a popular lake destination 1.5 hours from home, but are worried about regrets.
At the ages of 70 and 67, a mortgage doesn’t sound appealing, but spending down our emergency fund (holds 2 years of living expense) and using roth IRA money doesn’t either. On the other hand, we believe the home wouldn’t lose value and we could sell it when we needed the funds for our old age upkeep. We estimate we could enjoy for 7-10 years, but situations can change at this age.
Nightly/daily rentals are quite expensive in the area, so we usually take day trips. Many homes are sold furnished so we could possibly avoid that hassle and immediate expense.
We would probably enjoy more time with our children and grandchildren at this location, but would not expect it. I believe we would be content with the downtime as we have a lot of demands on our time and energy at home.
We would still like to be free to tour sights unseen within the states or an occasional cruise.
I am wondering what other bogleheads have learned in a similar situation and if the maintenance or travel to a second home made it less enjoyable than anticipated. Also, how to get past the fear of spending money we have worked a lifetime accumulating.
Thank you in advance for any tidbits of knowledge you wish to share.
This is the stand out quote to me.

Owning one home can be plenty of work. Now you will have 2x, especially if the 2nd home is in an area which has more extreme conditions; e.g. water, mountain, et cetera.

From a financial perspective the decision probably makes no sense. Far cheaper to spend a month a year in a place like this and leave the worry and work to someone else.

FWIW, we have owned a second home since 2002. We knew going in it didn't make financial sense but wanted to keep a home we inherited from DH's father. We're happy with our decision but counsel most people who ask that it probably doesn't make financial sense for most people.

RAchip
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by RAchip » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:43 pm

I have 5 homes. It is an awesome lifestyle. You just need to find a property manager or caretaker to handle the maintenance. I hate the idea of staying where other people stayed. I like to vacation at my own houses, set them up the way I like etc. If I had less money, I would still at least have 2 houses.

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F150HD
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by F150HD » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:38 pm

Mike Scott wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:44 pm
It may be different after I retire, but I do not really have the time to do all the upkeep on one home/small farm. I can't imagine having two.
lol....+1

I enjoy working at the house, but having 2 to maintain would be frustrating. Esp a 2nd home that is supposed to be a 'vacation' home....having to drive there only to work on it....would get old quick.

Old Guy
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Old Guy » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:31 pm

When we lived in Madison WI most people we knew who had second homes had them “Up North.” Not us. We bought a condo in the River North section of Chicago in 2009 for a great price. It was a lifestyle decision not a financial decision. I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed that place. Up on the 18th floor with a fantastic city view. Parked the car on Friday and didn’t use it till we drove back to Madison. Walked everywhere. Chicago is a great city. We sold the condo at a profit after five years when we retired again and went South.

So, if you think you’ll enjoy it and you can afford it, do it.

dboeger1
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by dboeger1 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:55 pm

I'm coming at this from a completely different perspective. I'm currently 28 and don't own any home. That being said, some of the replies in this thread remind me very much of a common problem in the tabletop gaming hobby, which is that many people (myself included) amass huge collections of games that fill closets and shelves, but rarely get to play them because they lack the time and social circle to do so. It's been said that when buying board games, it's easy to get tricked into thinking you're also buying the time and friends to play them. I think something similar can be said of vacation homes. The potential benefits of owning a vacation home are obvious, which is why everyone fantasizes about it. But what are you really buying? Are you buying the house itself, or the experiences you think you'll have there? Because if it's the latter, you're probably better off just focusing on that. If you want to spend more time with family or visit a particular location, those are things you can do right now for pennies on the dollar compared to buying a house. If you specifically enjoy owning property and all that entails, to the point that you'd be willing to buy a house next door to your own, then buying one in your favorite vacation destination is a no-brainer.

Anyway, you're in a much different financial and overall life situation than I am, so I don't have much to offer as far as wisdom or experience. I figured I'd just chime in with something I do know. For what it's worth, after realizing I had too many games and nobody to play them with, I started connecting with others in the hobby online with Meetup and other similar platforms. So far, I've been to 3 different events, and I've yet to successfully convince anyone to play my games, because the hosts always had their own. Go figure. Nowadays, you don't even need cars (Uber), hotels (AirBnB), kitchens (GrubHub), DVD players (Netflix), or any number of things you used to need in order to do things.

nick evets
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by nick evets » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:01 pm

F150HD wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:38 pm
Mike Scott wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:44 pm
It may be different after I retire, but I do not really have the time to do all the upkeep on one home/small farm. I can't imagine having two.
lol....+1

I enjoy working at the house, but having 2 to maintain would be frustrating. Esp a 2nd home that is supposed to be a 'vacation' home....having to drive there only to work on it....would get old quick.
Well...in some cases I think it's a perspective/personality issue. Some folks enjoy the work necessary to improve a home and land even if it's the 'second' home, and would feel idle and uncomfortable lazing in the hammock all weekend....

I don't enjoy that work per se, but do feel a significant sense of satisfaction when we've made an improvement. The maintenance and upkeep of a vacation home may not be as onerous as it sounds.

bltn
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by bltn » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:42 pm

dboeger1 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:55 pm
I'm coming at this from a completely different perspective. I'm currently 28 and don't own any home. That being said, some of the replies in this thread remind me very much of a common problem in the tabletop gaming hobby, which is that many people (myself included) amass huge collections of games that fill closets and shelves, but rarely get to play them because they lack the time and social circle to do so. It's been said that when buying board games, it's easy to get tricked into thinking you're also buying the time and friends to play them. I think something similar can be said of vacation homes. The potential benefits of owning a vacation home are obvious, which is why everyone fantasizes about it. But what are you really buying? Are you buying the house itself, or the experiences you think you'll have there? Because if it's the latter, you're probably better off just focusing on that. If you want to spend more time with family or visit a particular location, those are things you can do right now for pennies on the dollar compared to buying a house. If you specifically enjoy owning property and all that entails, to the point that you'd be willing to buy a house next door to your own, then buying one in your favorite vacation destination is a no-brainer.

Anyway, you're in a much different financial and overall life situation than I am, so I don't have much to offer as far as wisdom or experience. I figured I'd just chime in with something I do know. For what it's worth, after realizing I had too many games and nobody to play them with, I started connecting with others in the hobby online with Meetup and other similar platforms. So far, I've been to 3 different events, and I've yet to successfully convince anyone to play my games, because the hosts always had their own. Go figure. Nowadays, you don't even need cars (Uber), hotels (AirBnB), kitchens (GrubHub), DVD players (Netflix), or any number of things you used to need in order to do things.
Welcome to the forum.

bltn
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by bltn » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:53 pm

ohai wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:04 pm
OP, you're saying buying this house would deplete your liquid assets and possible draw into your retirement accounts? In Bogleheads terms, this means it is a really bad idea.
A nice summary of the financial advisability in two sentences.
If other assets are sufficient to safely maintain your lifestyle, then buying the vacation house might fall into the category of spending discretionary money that you saved all your life for one of the nice things you want. With enough other assets, you don t have to deprive yourself with frugality forever.

dave_k
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by dave_k » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:02 pm

nick evets wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:01 pm
F150HD wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:38 pm
Mike Scott wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:44 pm
It may be different after I retire, but I do not really have the time to do all the upkeep on one home/small farm. I can't imagine having two.
lol....+1

I enjoy working at the house, but having 2 to maintain would be frustrating. Esp a 2nd home that is supposed to be a 'vacation' home....having to drive there only to work on it....would get old quick.
Well...in some cases I think it's a perspective/personality issue. Some folks enjoy the work necessary to improve a home and land even if it's the 'second' home, and would feel idle and uncomfortable lazing in the hammock all weekend....

I don't enjoy that work per se, but do feel a significant sense of satisfaction when we've made an improvement. The maintenance and upkeep of a vacation home may not be as onerous as it sounds.
I can relate to this. I look forward to "lazing in the hammock" more in the future than we have so far at our vacation home, but I get quite a sense of satisfaction from the maintenance and renovations we've done ourselves, which include completely redoing the kitchen and bathroom. And thankfully I actually enjoy most of that work as a break from sitting at a computer all day. That said, I think our plans to retire there and it covering itself as a vacation rental meanwhile give us a payoff for all that work that may not otherwise be worthwhile.

Glockenspiel
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:23 pm

Yes you’ll regret it. My in-laws have 2 homes 2.5 hours apart and they spend the majority of their time cleaning, shopping for groceries, doing laundry in two places instead of just enjoying it. Granted, they have visitors nearly every weekend in the summer at their lake place, but I know my mother in law is frustrated driving back and forth every 3–4 days.

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FIREchief
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by FIREchief » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:28 pm

I think a time share would be a better idea; and I think time shares are terrible ideas. :twisted:

(disclaimer: we recently went from one house to house-free apartment living. We can stay here for a decade or move to Alaska next month without any real concerns. That is a great feeling. :beer )
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

Wricha
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Wricha » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:51 am

I have owned second home(s) for more than 20 years. The houses have been in beautiful areas. They have been at least a 2 hour plane ride away. The price of boarding a plane with just iPad knowing clothes and personal items were already at your house priceless. If you can afford it and will enjoy it I would do it. Did you ever see a Brinks truck at a funeral?

fru-gal
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by fru-gal » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:26 am

I haven't had time to read all the replies.

OP, I think this is not a good idea for you, because it sounds like you can't afford it.

The house next door to me is owned by second homers, but they apparently have money to burn on people to maintain it.

Also, consider what the property taxes would be on your second home in a vacation area. In my area they are dreadful. Total up property taxes, insurance of all types, maintenance, the attention just one home requires.

I can see if someone had bundles of money having a second home would have a lot of appeal. (Think George Clooney, who seems to have several houses.) I don't think you have bundles of money.

Think up some other way to spend time with your family and continue renting at the vacation location. Maybe go half as often and spend twice as long each time.

Nowizard
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Nowizard » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:57 am

We have had a second home. They are expensive, of course, though the impact of the extra expense may not be an issue itself. Distance from your primary home is an issue, taking care of simple things like yardwork, winter protection of pipes, etc. does result in thought and planning. For some there is the thought that you "should" use it a certain amount of time to justify the expense, resulting in using it at times for that purpose when you really did not want to do so. In our case, we sold it and rented in the desired location. Expenses are the same, but the tax benefits of a second home diminished with the changes in the tax laws, and we do not have to be concerned about maintaining the rental property. We are approximately the same age as you and your spouse.

Tim

David Althaus
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by David Althaus » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:10 am

I will add to the general theme here that buying a second place has many drawbacks. Wife and I spend winter in Hawaii--which we rent. Have analyzed multiple spreadsheets and can never seem to make it pay--especially if you're honest to yourself with assumptions.

1. Vacation location real estate is very easy to buy and can be extremely difficult to sell. Check Zillow listing to validate. You will probably find properties on the market for very lengthy time periods.
2. What if you end up wanting to go somewhere else.
3. It's a metaphysical certainty the toilet will break on Christmas Day.
4. If you do purchase carefully evaluate how much you are willing to tie up in an illiquid asset.

All the best

ohai
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by ohai » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:31 am

Can't you just go hang around your kids' houses for long periods of time and annoy their spouses like normal grandparents?

FI4LIFE
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by FI4LIFE » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:33 am

I would hate owning a second home. Double the maintenance and headaches. If it is your dream to live on a lake, then live on a lake. Sell your primary residence. You can add an in-law to your kids home or rent near them occasionally for special occasions.

A second home is an awful investment most of the time. It will steal your money and your free time. I would consider it only if you can pay someone to manage and rent it out for you when you are not using it.

Edited to add link to a case study

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/08/ ... cond-home/

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HomerJ
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by HomerJ » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:14 am

Glockenspiel wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:23 pm
Yes you’ll regret it. My in-laws have 2 homes 2.5 hours apart and they spend the majority of their time cleaning, shopping for groceries, doing laundry in two places instead of just enjoying it. Granted, they have visitors nearly every weekend in the summer at their lake place, but I know my mother in law is frustrated driving back and forth every 3–4 days.
OP is retired I think. Sounds like your in-laws might enjoy the place a lot better if they could stay longer instead of driving back and forth every 3-4 days to get back to work.

Also, shopping for groceries and doing laundry? That doesn't double up, if you're not renting to others... You're only eating or dirtying laundry at one place at a time. If they stayed home, they'd still have to buy just as many groceries.

The best part about OWNING is that you can leave the refrigerator stocked with your favorite foods and drinks. The bathroom can already have a second copy of all your toiletries there; your games and toys are already in place.

We barely have to pack at all when we go to the lake. I love that.

Now if you rent the place out, it's a lot more work... but you do get money coming in to compensate you for the extra work.
The J stands for Jay

Glockenspiel
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Glockenspiel » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:22 am

HomerJ wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:14 am

OP is retired I think. Sounds like your in-laws might enjoy the place a lot better if they could stay longer instead of driving back and forth every 3-4 days to get back to work.

Also, shopping for groceries and doing laundry? That doesn't double up, if you're not renting to others... You're only eating or dirtying laundry at one place at a time. If they stayed home, they'd still have to buy just as many groceries.
My in-laws are retired and travel back and forth mostly because they help out their elderly mother. So they usually spend Thursday/Friday to Sunday/Monday at their lake house and Monday/Tuesday to Thursday/Friday back home in the city. Instead of buying enough groceries for a week at a time, they're making 2 trips per week, to the store.

They're planning to do a major remodel of the lake home and then sell their city home, so that will get better.

Van Down By Da River
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Van Down By Da River » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:41 am

Life is short, just do it.

Some of the most fun I have ever had was spent on what was in retrospect, bad financial decisions. I have no regrets, sometimes in life you need to throw caution in the wind and live a little.

I don't know about you, but I don't plan on spending my whole life saving just to die with a giant pile of money under the mattress.

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HomerJ
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by HomerJ » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:56 am

Glockenspiel wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:22 am
HomerJ wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:14 am

OP is retired I think. Sounds like your in-laws might enjoy the place a lot better if they could stay longer instead of driving back and forth every 3-4 days to get back to work.

Also, shopping for groceries and doing laundry? That doesn't double up, if you're not renting to others... You're only eating or dirtying laundry at one place at a time. If they stayed home, they'd still have to buy just as many groceries.
My in-laws are retired and travel back and forth mostly because they help out their elderly mother. So they usually spend Thursday/Friday to Sunday/Monday at their lake house and Monday/Tuesday to Thursday/Friday back home in the city. Instead of buying enough groceries for a week at a time, they're making 2 trips per week, to the store.

They're planning to do a major remodel of the lake home and then sell their city home, so that will get better.
Well, I can see why they regret it... That's a fairly particular individual situation. Personally, I'd spend a week there, and a week back instead of trekking back and forth every 3 days. That would solve a lot of problems. But it may not be possible with the elderly mother.

You painted with a large brush telling the OP they would regret it too. That may be true, but their situation may be quite different.
The J stands for Jay

Van Down By Da River
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Re: Would we regret buying a 2nd home?

Post by Van Down By Da River » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:43 am

ohai wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:31 am
Can't you just go hang around your kids' houses for long periods of time and annoy their spouses like normal grandparents?
I take my comment back, I wrote mine before reading the responses... This may be the best advice right here, sometimes the best things in life are free

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