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Old 07-11-2010, 01:23 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,570 times
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Hi Advisor!

My husband and I rent a 'good deal' apartment in Queens right now... Lately we've been thinking about buying a small getway house in some area in upstate NY (Ulster or Dutchness County); or in Connecticut (Litchfield County)... We are looking to own it as a weekend escape where we can enjoy outdoors activities, as much peace and quiet time, as much as meeting new friends, people who nice and smart... In other words, enjoy a certain quality of life in a healthly community area.

Buying a second home (price range 240K) in some of these areas is it a good idea, or just a 'fantasy'? Do you think is a bad 'investiment' or idea considering the time we are living right now? Would you considered a fixer up house, or 'ready to live' house?

Thanks a lot for your advice!

Renata
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:27 PM
QIS
 
920 posts, read 4,517,214 times
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Hi Renata,
Its a great idea! Get a place on a lake or river somewhere. It may be rustic or it may be nice and modern...you have to make that choice. If you don't mind rustic, then it will be cheaper. No house is prefect and you can always get stuff fixed as time and money allow.People have been doing what you are contemplating forever; its fun!
Shop hard! You have to travel around and see what areas really make you fall in love.
Get the real estate publications when you travel and make notes. get a thorough home inspection and a septic tank inspection (if needed)so you know what you are buying. Go for it!

edit: the time we are living in now is like any other time; its full of opportunities!
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
9,246 posts, read 17,876,121 times
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While 1970s decor is really do big deal for a weekend retreat, I would not want to deal with more than cosmetic issues for a cottage or camp because it will be a nightmare to coordinate bona fide repair work from afar, and you'll find yourself either having to take time off from work to deal with it or pay a huge premium for workmen to do their things on Saturday/Sunday.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:56 PM
 
4,391 posts, read 9,371,403 times
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It depends.

My parents have this in So Cal in Big Bear Lake. Its a little over 2 hour drive.

They visit once or twice a month for about 4-5 days and really enjoy it and like the people there and stuff. They also have a boat on the lake in the summer and like fishing a lot.

They paid around $75K in the mid 90's after a huge earthquake there devastated prices. The place has old decor and they furnished it over time. They purposely keep it super downscale so that no one is tempted to burglarize it while they are away...so no flat screens or really anything worth more than $30-40 in the entire place. It is very clean and "quaint".

Its some work. I'd say that the biggest factors are: 1.) Price 2.) How much use it will get 3.) Viewing it as a recreation place and not an investment. 4.) How convinient it is to get to.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:09 PM
 
8,232 posts, read 12,610,189 times
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I think it sort of depends. How far away/how often you would use and why.
I've seen people become somewhat slaves to their second homes - homes, second or not are a fair amount of work. I've known people to drive 6 hours every other weekend to the lake place and spend half the weekend, mowing, trimming, sweeping, knocking down cobwebs, putting docks, taking out docks, taking boats out of storage, getting ready for storages. You have to do maintenance or hire it all done, load stuff up to take, clean, do laundry etc.

Or you can do a lot of weekend and one week rentals in all sorts of other places for 175K and see lots of different places over the years. Or the same place for that matter. Take the cost of a weekend/weekly rental in your favorite little destination place and divide by 175K.

Chances are nicer lakes and river property are going to be fairly pricey. Lesser priced places on less desirable property isn't going to appreciate that much. Your going to be tied to that location/destination. Should your financial situation take a down turn at an inopportune time you might be forced to sell at loss. Or should your fortunes take you across the country or overseas.....

Now if you were to find a place you knew you wanted to say retire, or had family and friends in the area etc. that again changes the equation.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:54 PM
 
32,541 posts, read 51,077,194 times
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from what I have seen in Texas area--water front property has not really dropped in price in the past 2-3 years--some of it in certain areas has seen a 10% or more increase because it is a "finite" quantity--at least in Texas
there are always people who want to enjoy the outdoors--and in Texas because of the hot summers that means water sports--
most of our lakes are boat-able even in winter on mild days--and fishing is always a possibility--
plus just the relaxation of having a great view...

each area is unique however--

knowing if there is a secondary market if you had to sell would be my primary concern for second home--I know that in the Central TX region--even with the drought--most lake front/river front homes can find buyers--the homes farther from the water are always a harder sell...
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:59 PM
 
Location: The house on the hill
1,143 posts, read 3,287,817 times
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My parents have a vacation home near the beach and they use it a lot in the summertime. My brother has a vacation home in the mountains and also uses it alot (year round). They both love it. My brother hopes to one day sell his house and spend his retirement in his vacation home.

I think it is better to get something fairly move in ready unless you really enjoy renovating and want to fix up a place instead of "vacationing". Also, keep the distance under three hours if possible.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:08 AM
 
5,699 posts, read 17,415,047 times
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It depends but having a second home is a lot of work. My mother owns a small cottage on the lake about 5 hrs from her home. The first two years she owned it she went several times a year but now she goes maybe once a year. The place needs painting and when she does go up the grass is knee high so she spends her first day working. Honestly, I think she would have been better off buying a motorhome.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:24 PM
 
31,027 posts, read 37,064,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nabaresky View Post
Hi Advisor!

My husband and I rent a 'good deal' apartment in Queens right now... Lately we've been thinking about buying a small getway house in some area in upstate NY (Ulster or Dutchness County); or in Connecticut (Litchfield County)... We are looking to own it as a weekend escape where we can enjoy outdoors activities, as much peace and quiet time, as much as meeting new friends, people who nice and smart... In other words, enjoy a certain quality of life in a healthly community area.

Buying a second home (price range 240K) in some of these areas is it a good idea, or just a 'fantasy'? Do you think is a bad 'investiment' or idea considering the time we are living right now? Would you considered a fixer up house, or 'ready to live' house?

Thanks a lot for your advice!

Renata
Can be a great idea and am in the process of doing just that at the ocean. Looked at some new single family homes within half hour drive of the water but that meant more home ownership work. Ended getting a condo 1 mile or 3 minute drive from the ocean. No maintenance needed by me. Prices are great and financing cheap. We are retired so it is a legit second home.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:49 PM
 
2,685 posts, read 5,420,594 times
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Can be great if you can afford it and are NOT buying it as an investment but buying it for your enjoyment. The 2nd home/vacation home market has the biggest price swings (high and low) and right now it is super low but if you were looking for a good investment you'd be better off with a typical rental property.
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