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Old 01-13-2017, 08:18 PM
Location: SoFlo
783 posts, read 536,783 times
Reputation: 1492


Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
I have multiple living spaces in each home (3 US locations). (cabin, guest house, daylight basement, or apartment above garage)

In some cases I rent out the BIG house and live in the small space, in one case I rent out the auxiliary dwelling / living space. in each case I keep FULL TIME renters / boarders.

My props are all rural, so... wells, septics, water systems, falling trees on wires, driveway clearing (snow)... i.e. more work, and more enjoyment, and more worry, but EZ resale.

I have had house-sitters, but not always successful (They have other interests / flexible schedule, often not very responsible (unless 'rural' home owners themselves)).

Fulltime renter has worked out best since we are gone more than we are home.

Each site has a full list of fix-it people and contacts, and a map of where to turn off what. I have agreements with fix-it people to bill / call / email me. All my tenants get 10% rebate per yr if they are NEVER late, and ALWAYS handle maint issues without disturbing me. Some have stayed 10 yrs+. I also do a capital improvement for tenants every yr. I let them choose what they want from my list of things that will increase my property value and enhance their homes.

Some sites I use a Management company, negotiated 6% instead of 10%, and offer the Management company some benefits too (Share my contractors and own resources).

I keep cars / trucks, tractors, motorcycles, bulldozers / shops in each location, (my stuff is CHEAP... $35 cars that run on cooking oil)
All locations are close to Airport, but that is a hassle, so I still rent a car storage space ($50/month) during the seasons that I fly frequently 1 to 4x / month.

Yes, it is too much hassle to do forever, but... for now (young retiree, still establishing cash flows) I deduct my travel and 1/2 my food and depreciate my $35 car . Eventually EVERYTHING will be sold @ 30% down on owner contract (If rates are favorable for me to do that).

When I am age 80+, I hope to be in a senior cottage community that I may have to BUILD!, and I better find a place I can tolerate yr round, but I have not found that place yet.. Much depends on USA establishing affordable HC (<$500 / month)

I plan to have spare homes in international destinations as well. I will partner with a farmer / camp / retreat center so they can use my residence as staff cabin during high season.
Wow, this is fantastic. You should think about offering online seminars to train people on your approach. I would sign up in a heartbeat.
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Old 01-13-2017, 08:43 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,598 posts, read 39,974,527 times
Reputation: 23731
Originally Posted by klaucka View Post
...You should think about offering online seminars to train people on your approach. ...
I need some extra cash flow... but the RE events are fluff / can't get there from here (dream'n)

Maybe you can join in my quest to rebuild a village in Spain! (on the ground training )
In Spain, Entire Villages Are Up For Sale

My stuff is dead simple, but not for the faint of heart (those on pensions, or conventional thinkers )

Buy low priced view properties with rental and equity gain potential (I have bought most for $55k - $160k) Monthly Rents are minimum 1% of purchase price. (I love to buy trashed mobile homes on view rural properties, as no one wants those. Can 'tune-them-up' in a few hours (demolish and replace mobile home (used) if necessary) so much easier that building from scratch... if I need something special (and fast) I will build a shop and put a NICE apartment inside.

I seldom buy something listed FS, or from realtors, It is so much better to go find your own bargains, and properties YOU actually want.

I never waffle / dink around deciding on a property (someone else will snatch it up).
Know what you want, do your own research, hand over the cash (Owner finance has been good too... direct deposits usually with seniors). It is ez to close a deal in a week. (unless you use a realtor...)
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:32 AM
4,346 posts, read 6,058,509 times
Reputation: 10443
We use our 2nd home for 4 months a year, hopefully more as we get older, and we don't rent it out. Our caretaker is the maintenance man at our complex. He walks through once a week while we're gone and calls us if something is wrong. It costs us a whopping $20/mo. Most insurance companies require a caretaker's name and phone #. We have a neighbor who walks through our primary home pretty much the same deal as our 2nd home. We do not keep a car at our 2nd home. This is our first year of owning a 2nd home. We were scheduled to rent for the two months of January & February at a total of $10,000 by way of VRBO but we canceled and bought instead. Now we stay for twice as long, or as long as we want, for far less $.
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Old 01-14-2017, 06:57 AM
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,116 posts, read 8,156,220 times
Reputation: 18773
We have our primary residence in northern Maine. We also have another rural property in TN, where I am right now. And our very first "starter" house is in RI, where our children and grandchildren live, so that's where we stay when visiting them there.

I find that we don't need renters or house-sitters at all. We are four retired people - myself, wife, my brother, and her brother (both the brothers are now single). I run a business in Maine and have expanded it to TN; I cannot tolerate the summer heat in TN, so my BIL runs the operation down there, most of the summer. He loves the heat.

So far, we have had no issues with vandalism or propoerty damage.
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Old 01-14-2017, 07:00 AM
5,367 posts, read 5,645,516 times
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All can be a pain in the butt.

Good neighbors help.

Big difference between Florida and say southern Arizona.
Florida requires more maintenance as stuff grows quite quickly.
In Arizona - one can leave a house with little to no maintenance. Maybe a landscaper once per month for around $50.00 or so per month.

Then in some one has to continually pay the monthly HOA fees.

A good neighbor or relative does come in handy.

Two homes for the average person can be relatively expensive. As time goes by and couples age - some sell the home up North and just keep one home.

Although rents seem high for renting 3 - 4 months down South. It still is cheaper for most.
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Old 01-14-2017, 07:05 AM
480 posts, read 399,924 times
Reputation: 2077
We had a beautiful condo in FL for a while, but the costs of absentee ownership kept rising (insurance and taxes both cost more when you don't live there). Including HOA fees, it cost about $15K a year to own the place, not counting repairs and maintenance.

The ownership cost, alone, was not bad, compared with what a similar place would rent for seasonally. The bad part was leaving our Northern home in the winter, with no one to look after it. Heat goes out, pipes freeze and burst, you return to a damaged home and an insurance nightmare. Our neck of the woods does not have property management companies that will watch over an unoccupied home; they are strictly in the business for rentals.

When talking to successful snowbirds, a common theme is having "friends and family" to watch over your Northern home. We don't have anyone near enough to do that, especially since our home becomes inaccessible when it snows heavily.
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:02 AM
71,626 posts, read 71,777,271 times
Reputation: 49225
we had a second home in the pocono's . to much worry and work . anytime i want to go somewhere it is easier and cheaper to just rent or stay in a place
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:42 AM
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,241 posts, read 8,085,527 times
Reputation: 5299
Originally Posted by Sand&Salt View Post
I know that many of you retirees have second homes. I'd like to hear how you handle them in your absence. Do you hire a management company to maintain them or have a friend or neighbor do the maintenance? If so, what do you pay for that sort of thing? Are you pleased with the job they are doing?

We have a primary home in the mountains of western NC, on a mtn ridge at ~ 5,000 ft elevation, since 2001. Live there mid April to mid November, though we did do the first four years there full time, but serious azz winters...

We have had an Escape Winter house for past 12 winter seasons: 8 years in SFH in Naples and now this is our 4th season at newer SFH in North Venice.

We have our mailman do our mtn house 'shutdown' after we depart, and as he drives by daily on mail route, he sees it every day and stops in once a week or so to check it out. Very dependable and he does ~ 30 houses around our mtn golf club. His effort is very thorough: shutting off water, blowing out water lines, RV coolant in traps, weekly walk throughs, and reversing that process just before we return. I pay him ~ $75 a month and worth every dime.

We have a community neighbor that watches/checks out our SW FL house in Summer...he is former master electrician, handyman, etc. We pay him $50 a month which is about local going rate.

Do you ever rent it out, or have someone else live there? Do you keep a car there? Do you ever think its just too much hassle?

We don't rent either house; don't really need the dough and don't need anyone else living in either of our houses...
A bit of a 'hassle' having two homes, yes.
But, we enjoy both: the change of 'scenery', locale, different lifestyle, two sets of friends, escaping harsh winters and very hot/humid SW FL summers, etc. We have gotten much 'better' at having two houses over the years, but we have also gotten older.

We can afford both, so it is mostly a matter of being able to continue 'do both'. Two houses have some disadvantages, obviously, the main item being that 'sitting houses' tend to have stuff and systems deteriorate, in our experience, and maintenance and upkeep are critical.

We're stuck with our property in the States for the time being, so trying to work out maintaining it without breaking the bank. Had a house-sitter last year for the irrigation season but entertaining other ideas.
GL, mD
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Old 01-14-2017, 10:23 AM
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,671 posts, read 4,712,277 times
Reputation: 28108
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
we had a second home in the pocono's . to much worry and work . anytime i want to go somewhere it is easier and cheaper to just rent or stay in a place
I'm sure it's easier and cheaper for everyone to rent. But some people choose to buy, so they must have their reasons.

I was looking online at homes in Incline Village, NV -- that's Lake Tahoe. There was a listing that shouldn't have been in the for sale section. This couple wanted to sell a 50% share in their lakefront home, for a mere $1 million. You could negotiate blocks of time there. However, I could not see why anyone would want to take them up on it. A home filled with their things, their mementos, their memories, set up just the way they like it...and you couldn't even go there whenever you pleased.

I think that's why people have second homes. A haven when you need it. A place where your pets will always be welcome. An ever-present choice. And as we know, the reason to have money is so you have choices.
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Old 01-14-2017, 10:38 AM
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,442,710 times
Reputation: 15683
We live about 5 months in our winter residence (and ski 80-ish days/year). I do not have a property management company. I don't rent out these homes. I have a landscape maintenance guy in each location, and a pool guy in our primary location (no pool in our winter residence).

I do have camera surveillance systems in each location. The cameras let me look online & see what is happening both inside & outside the homes. I have remotely-controlled HVAC thermostats and pool equipment.

I do turn the water off to each house when I'm gone for extended periods of time.
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