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Old 11-30-2017, 12:08 PM
Location: Somewhere in America
12,305 posts, read 10,024,913 times
Reputation: 20459


Originally Posted by VintageSunlight View Post
Obviously, I know that this means two roofs and two sets of repair bills. But beyond that, what are the pros and cons? Initially, I was going to buy a house in the Capital Region of NY for $300k and accept a job there. However, my pay would be lower than downstate NY and $300k would be tight.

So, someone advised me to buy 1 small townhouse in downstate NY (most likely Orange or Putnam County, ideally Putnam Valley NY) for $150k, and another get-away home (small, log cabin or A-frame house) in the northern region, 2-3 hours away so I can drive up any weekend and enjoy being in nature.

Any advice on this plan? Anyone currently do this?
Well, you'll be paying far more in taxes! School taxes, county taxes, city/town/village taxes. It's always more in 2 towns than in 1.

Downstate tends to cost much more than the Capitol Region. Look around. You don't have to spend $300K on a house there. I'm not saying go to the meth neighborhoods in Albany either! Depending on where you'd work, there are towns around that aren't bad.

You also can not get a STAR exemption on 2 properties in NY. STAR saves you money on school taxes.

I don't know anywhere downstate where you're going to get a decent place for $150K. And depending on where you're looking in the ADK, $150K won't go far! Then you also have to think about heating 2 places. Water/sewer in 2 places. Electric in 2 places. Cable/internet/phone in 2 places. Insurance on two houses. One house would not be a full time residence so the insurance will be several thousand. This can get VERY expensive every month.

And realistically how often would you use this cabin getaway? Would you rent it out when not in use? Do you want to deal with tenants/vacation renters? If you're just moving to the area, I wouldn't make this a plan as you don't know how often you'll really use it especially if you're starting a new job.

Everyone I know who has a second home in the ADK rents it out. Several are really looking to sell. The costs are far too high. For how often they actually use the cabins, it's cheaper to rent someone else's cabin or stay at a hotel.

NYS has an AMAZING state park system. You can camp for like 15 bucks (up to $30) at most state parks. grab a tent and whatever you need and drive! Make a reservation online in advance so you have a site. You can even get a small camper if you're into that.
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Old 11-30-2017, 12:10 PM
Location: Somewhere in America
12,305 posts, read 10,024,913 times
Reputation: 20459
Originally Posted by beezle1 View Post
Having a second home adds a bit of stress (I have one). You will worry that it is 'ok' when you are not there - if you can, hire a neighbor that can keep an eye out on it when you are not there. Or at least install a security camera or two so you can check in it it and get alarms if motion is sensed (there are IP cameras you can get pretty reasonably for this). And if you ever need repairs or maintenance on it, you have the issue of scheduling appointments which may cause you to stay there and wait for repair people when you need to get back to your main home.
Not to mention that in many areas of the ADK, there are very few contractors available. In some areas, most houses are not lived in so finding someone to check on the place can be tough.
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Old 11-30-2017, 12:17 PM
Location: Somewhere in America
12,305 posts, read 10,024,913 times
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Originally Posted by jean_ji View Post
Have you looked at listings in Orange and Putnam in that price range? Both are NYC bedroom community counties and that price is on the low side, unless they are in less desirable areas. Property taxes are high in both those counties due to their commuting distance to the city, so be sure there are no surprises with that. If 300k is a stretch, maintaining two places is probably not a good idea unless you also have hefty savings to handle emergencies x two.

You may be better off taking less pay in the Capital district. You can find a cabin further north, while not competing with the many people from NYC and surrounding areas also looking for an inexpensive weekend country getaway in your 2-3 hour drive from downstate.
One idea is to get a job in the Capitol Region - maybe even on the northern end such as Malta, Clifton Park, Halfmoon, Saratoga, etc then looking at Moreau or north of Glens Falls. I'd avoid Lake George. But then you can commute to the job and live in the foothills of the ADK. There's state parks in Moreau and Lake George. Plenty of places to fish and hunt as well.

Or find a job in the Schenectady/Amsterdam side and move up to the Great Sacandaga region.
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:06 PM
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,370 posts, read 25,536,318 times
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Buy your home for the $150,000 and if you need a second place by an RV to get away from your home. You can find some beautiful examples for around $100,000.

You can also keep your money and rent an RV to get away from it all. Save your $150,000 and only pay when you want to play.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:00 PM
4,790 posts, read 2,126,161 times
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No pros.
All cons.
Extending more out is not saving or producing long term safety net.
Road fees
water problems.

No thanks.
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:35 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,644 posts, read 21,688,053 times
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I've never wanted to own a second home. If I could have owned a fairly primitive cabin, I probably would have. Wood stove? Check. Out house? Check. Pump on a good well, and you're all set to go.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:24 PM
Location: Formerly Pleasanton Ca, now in Marietta Ga
4,102 posts, read 3,388,164 times
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Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
How about two properties at ~ $125-150,000 ($250,000 max total)...
and keeping a $50,000 reserve for the inevitable?

Better yet... when you actually have those weekends... rent something.
And maybe rent in some other location now and then too.
Now stop living up to your screen name!
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:58 AM
Location: Vermont
10,088 posts, read 10,587,424 times
Reputation: 13433
Live where you want to be. If you're working your ass off to support two houses and spending every free minute driving away from where you live it must be obvious that there is something wrong with this picture.

What is enough money in the environs of Albany is less than what is enough in the NYC suburbs. If the mountains are where you want to be you can afford to take a lower paying job and only buy one house.

Incidentally, the factor I haven't seen anyone mention yet is that if you have a second house that you never rent out the taxes and interest probably won't be deductible.
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