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2011-12-30 8:50 AM

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Subject: Vacation homes versus vacations

I love going on big trips and can't wrap my head around spending my vacation time and money on a home in one place.  Even a 50k shack within reasonable driving distance.    (Unless I had unlimited funds and could do both, and then I have plans...

So, if you have a vacation home that is your primary vacation spot, please tell me about why you did this. 

Do you/did you ever go on random vacations prior to purchasing?  I have a theory that 50% or more people who chose this are actually nervous about planning a trip to an unknown place.

I realize that triathletes tend to be in an income bracket that might be able to afford both, so my survey may be skewed.  But I am curious what you guys think.



2011-12-30 9:04 AM
in reply to: #3961695

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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations

My wife & I debate this issue a lot.  I grew up going to my Grandfather's cabin on a gorgeous lake in northern Michigan.  Between Memorial Day & Labor Day we were probably up there 50% of the weekends and 1 solid week.   To me its a question of do you want to spend your resources on one big vacation, or many mini-vacations, assuming you can't do both. 

The other thing to remember is the maintenance related with a vacation property.  We'd probably have 2-3 work weekends prior to Mem. day and after labor day so that the summer was all about playing.

2011-12-30 9:06 AM
in reply to: #3961695

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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations

Well the main reason, at least to me, to have a vacation home is if you love a specific country and plan in going back to it often.  Also, if you plan in living there after you retire is another incentive to buy a second home.

I currently don’t have one, but it is in my 3 year plan to purchase a small home in rural northern Italy.  I visit every year, love the country and at some point I will be living there, so it makes sense to me from a financial standpoint.

If you don’t plan in visiting often, or living a few months out of the year in the future, then I don’t think it would make financial sense.

2011-12-30 9:15 AM
in reply to: #3961732

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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations
Cuetoy - 2011-12-30 9:06 AM

Well the main reason, at least to me, to have a vacation home is if you love a specific country and plan in going back to it often.  Also, if you plan in living there after you retire is another incentive to buy a second home.

I currently don’t have one, but it is in my 3 year plan to purchase a small home in rural northern Italy.  I visit every year, love the country and at some point I will be living there, so it makes sense to me from a financial standpoint.

If you don’t plan in visiting often, or living a few months out of the year in the future, then I don’t think it would make financial sense.

It's hard to imagine even returning to the same place, although I am starting to see the possibility of that as I get older.  It seems that many European cities frankly aren't all that different. The food may vary, but the overall niceness and interest doesn't change much (in a good way).

If we win the lottery, we decided we would buy a shack in France or Italy with one room, a bathroom, and a really good bike garage.  We would stay there, but also have the bikes and bike stuff so we could easily hop on the train and travel around without the plane & packing hassle.    The lottery would be more for the time/money to be away from "home" rather than the cost of the shack, which could be very inexpensive.

We've had similar thoughts about a place in Cozumel. Just big enough for us and some scuba gear.  And that is cheap enough to visit we could do that plus whatever every year, and also rent it out!     I could happily retire there or live there for many months during my retirement.

2011-12-30 9:39 AM
in reply to: #3961695

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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations

We have been talking about getting a vacation apartment next year after the kids are done with college. That would allow us to not be locked into place like a house/condo/shack does, and to see how often we actually use the place.

For me, I grew up in Jersey, and miss being able to take a short trip on weekends to the shore. So after nearly 30 years of being landlocked, the deal is to eventually get a place right on the beach, or at least within walking distance. I like to go diving and of course biking and running are good there as well. As long as there are bookstores, libraries, and access for her Kindle, mrs gearboy is happy anywhere.

2011-12-30 9:54 AM
in reply to: #3961825

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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations
gearboy - 2011-12-30 9:39 AM

We have been talking about getting a vacation apartment next year after the kids are done with college. That would allow us to not be locked into place like a house/condo/shack does, and to see how often we actually use the place.

For me, I grew up in Jersey, and miss being able to take a short trip on weekends to the shore. So after nearly 30 years of being landlocked, the deal is to eventually get a place right on the beach, or at least within walking distance. I like to go diving and of course biking and running are good there as well. As long as there are bookstores, libraries, and access for her Kindle, mrs gearboy is happy anywhere.

So, why not a hotel?



2011-12-30 9:55 AM
in reply to: #3961825

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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations
My wife's family has a beach house and we have been wrestling with this same decision over whether to keep it after they are gone. We have yet to make it work out financially and that is with splitting the yearly costs up 3 ways. On the other hand, we have had soem great times there over the years and it would be really nice to have in about 20 years when we decide to retire.

I don't think it's really a financial decision as much as it is a question of whether you are happy vacationing in the same spot every year. If you want to travel to different places on a regular basis, I would recommend not purchasing a vacation home. If you liek going to the same place then go for it.
2011-12-30 10:02 AM
in reply to: #3961695

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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations

Going back to the same place repeatedly?  Yep ... it's called home.  Vacations are to get away and there are far too many places in the world to experience.  I am lucky in the sense that my girlfriend of 12 years is very low maintenance and her priority in life is travel and experiencing other cultures.

That being said, we've experienced 23 countries during our time together ... which likely may not have happened had we purchased a vacation home somewhere - even on the cheap.

As for our trips, some have been loosely planned by us, others were group tours (with the ability to ditch the group), or just winging it with a plane ticket & rental car then figuring out accommodations each day as we go.  Regarding costs, we tend try to be budget travelers where possible and often times our decision of where to go is dictated by the deals at the time and whether we've been to the country previously.

Income-wise, I am a firm believer that it comes down to priorities.  There are many things that we choose not to do and instead put money toward travel.  Both of us working and no kids helps too Smile

2011-12-30 10:02 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations
BikerGrrrl - 2011-12-30 10:54 AM
gearboy - 2011-12-30 9:39 AM

We have been talking about getting a vacation apartment next year after the kids are done with college. That would allow us to not be locked into place like a house/condo/shack does, and to see how often we actually use the place.

For me, I grew up in Jersey, and miss being able to take a short trip on weekends to the shore. So after nearly 30 years of being landlocked, the deal is to eventually get a place right on the beach, or at least within walking distance. I like to go diving and of course biking and running are good there as well. As long as there are bookstores, libraries, and access for her Kindle, mrs gearboy is happy anywhere.

So, why not a hotel?

I want to be able to go or not go at a moment's notice and not worry about making reservations. Also, I think there is a difference between living someplace and staying in a hotel room, where you are trapped in a single room. Plus, with an apartment, if the kids want to join us sometimes, it is no extra cost. Or they could go by themselves to the apartment (they are old enough now to be mostly be trusted - and they have never given us reason to be suspicious.)

You could realistically ask the same question of anyone who owns a vacation home. After all, unless your time is split 50/50, you are always going to be spending most of your time in one place and not the other.

2011-12-30 10:07 AM
in reply to: #3961695

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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations
Why go anywhere for vacation? Stay home, save the money, maybe spend it on projects around the house or on gifts for yourself.
2011-12-30 10:08 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations

Hubby and I go back and forth on this all the time. 

Living in a big city it would be nice to have a quiet place an hours drive away that we can escape to on a regular basis but... then you'd have to work to maintain so not that relaxing.  We are also BIG travel buffs and wouldn't want that to change if we found ourselves financially tied down to another home.

My observations are such that the friends that own other homes never travel yet desire to do so.

Personally I think the key is to find a place you can also generate some income on when you aren't using it - a vrbo type place.  Use it when you want and rent it out when you are out. 



2011-12-30 10:11 AM
in reply to: #3961887

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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations
gearboy - 2011-12-30 10:02 AM

BikerGrrrl - 2011-12-30 10:54 AM
gearboy - 2011-12-30 9:39 AM

We have been talking about getting a vacation apartment next year after the kids are done with college. That would allow us to not be locked into place like a house/condo/shack does, and to see how often we actually use the place.

For me, I grew up in Jersey, and miss being able to take a short trip on weekends to the shore. So after nearly 30 years of being landlocked, the deal is to eventually get a place right on the beach, or at least within walking distance. I like to go diving and of course biking and running are good there as well. As long as there are bookstores, libraries, and access for her Kindle, mrs gearboy is happy anywhere.

So, why not a hotel?

I want to be able to go or not go at a moment's notice and not worry about making reservations. Also, I think there is a difference between living someplace and staying in a hotel room, where you are trapped in a single room. Plus, with an apartment, if the kids want to join us sometimes, it is no extra cost. Or they could go by themselves to the apartment (they are old enough now to be mostly be trusted - and they have never given us reason to be suspicious.)

You could realistically ask the same question of anyone who owns a vacation home. After all, unless your time is split 50/50, you are always going to be spending most of your time in one place and not the other.



That is the nice thing about my inlaws house. We can generally go at a moments notice and the fridge and freezer are already stocked. It is way mor confortable than an hotel room or vacation rental. We can also leave all of our beach supplies like chairs, unbrellas, kayaks and even a couple of bikes. It is also nice to have the extra bedrooms to invite friends along.
2011-12-30 10:12 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations

kimmax - 2011-12-30 10:08 AM

Personally I think the key is to find a place you can also generate some income on when you aren't using it - a vrbo type place.  Use it when you want and rent it out when you are out. 

I agree, I think this would be a good compromise.  You'd lose the chance to go last minute, possibly, and you'd also have to keep your stuff locked up in an owner's closet kind of situation.  But even if you could cover the cost of maintenance (I am imagining a professional caretaker business not a live-in, but depending on the country maybe that), it would be worth it to me. 

I guess it also depends on the real estate value.  Apparently you can get 700k and up for shack on The Shore, so if you enjoy the place for 10 years and then decide to sell, it might be at least a wash. 

2011-12-30 10:23 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations

We did the best of both worlds.  We bought a vacation home with wheels (aka an RV).  We take it all over the country.

My wife wanted to get a vacation home in Orlando because she loves Disneyworld, but I didn't want to lock us in to one place.  

2011-12-30 10:24 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations
While I don't have a vacation home if I could afford it I would buy one in the Colorado mountains.  I absolutely love being in our mountains and find such peace and respite when I'm there, winter or summer.  Having a comfortable place to go at a moment's notice, keep my toys (skis, extra bike etc), keep spare clothes etc is dreamy to me.  Every time I leave Colorado when I return I am so thankful to be home.  Sure, an occasional getaway is nice but if I had to choose, it would be the vacation home (or condo).  
2011-12-30 10:29 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations
BikerGrrrl - 2011-12-30 7:15 AM
Cuetoy - 2011-12-30 9:06 AM

Well the main reason, at least to me, to have a vacation home is if you love a specific country and plan in going back to it often.  Also, if you plan in living there after you retire is another incentive to buy a second home.

I currently don’t have one, but it is in my 3 year plan to purchase a small home in rural northern Italy.  I visit every year, love the country and at some point I will be living there, so it makes sense to me from a financial standpoint.

If you don’t plan in visiting often, or living a few months out of the year in the future, then I don’t think it would make financial sense.

It's hard to imagine even returning to the same place, although I am starting to see the possibility of that as I get older.

I go to Yosemite every couple months Sealed

 

OK, in seriousness, my in laws share a vacation "home" with 3 others.  really it's a shack in a field to sleep in before and after hunting.  If you loved to hunt, and live in a city, it wouldn't be too bad of an idea, even if it is only useful during hunting seasons.



2011-12-30 10:36 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations

I don't think I really answered your question (as that our vacation home has two axles/4 when in motion)... but my two cents are below.

We bought into a vacation club years ago when it wasn't as expensive as it is today (was something like $2400)  We pay $120 per year to maintain. 
This is for our PLANNED trips.  With kids it's great.  We've had great properties and are usually in a two bedroom condo for about $600 to $800 a week.

Our spur of the moment trips are called "camping" with a 19ft travel trailer.  Short trailer w/ high ground clearance allows us to get most anywhere.   AND we also belong to a local campground that's only a two hour haul away to a small town in the mtns.  It has all the modern amenities of a campground these days (playground, swimming pool, and wireless)  We also spent our BIG vacation in the camper this past summer.  (12 days... Vineman 70.3, Calif N Coast, and Yosemite)

May I also re-iterate, that the camper has been the BEST option for triathlons.  Most tri's in our area are at reservoirs/state parks away from towns, yet we're almost always able to stay on site or w/in biking distance of the start.

Please keep in mind that my retirement plan includes a 5th wheel rig and working as a Campground host for the state or federal gov't.  (and a ski resort host in winter time).

2011-12-30 10:42 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations

I do not own a vacation home.  HOWEVER, it is something I could see myself doing someday.

If you think about it a vacation home could practically pay for itself.  If you VRBO it whenever you are not there then you can pay the bills/mortgage on it and maybe even make enough profit to pay for your own trip there.  So if it's somewhere you REALLY like and want to go to several times a year it could be a really cheap way of doing that.

That being said, having a vacation home somewhere would not preclude me from doing other vacations.  I would just take the MOST vacations to where I had the vacation home.

It's a goal of mine to have a "second home" when I'm retired...somewhere I can spend 1-2 months of the year to get away, etc.  I mean, I like snow and cold as much as the next person but I can see myself having a house in Colorado that I live in, but in the dead dead of winter I could take a 1-2 month "vacation" to a home in AZ to do my own mini tri training camp.  Yep, I think that's how I would like to spend my retirement.

2011-12-30 10:49 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations

Re: the camper. I think that would be fun to have!  If it weren't for the cost of buying and where the heck to park it, I might have one now.  My dad has one and honestly, if I could park somewhere, I would keep it when he's done with it.  That makes sense to me.


I think the other hard part for us is that anywhere we'd like to have a vacation home is about $1500 investment in plane tickets flight away.  It's different from saying "Oh, this weekend looks open so let's drive 3 hours to our cabin."   So that's part of the equation for us, although the outlay and upkeep still gets me. 

If I had kids I would probably feel quite different, too.



Edited by BikerGrrrl 2011-12-30 10:49 AM
2011-12-30 10:54 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations
BikerGrrrl - 2011-12-30 11:49 AM

Re: the camper. I think that would be fun to have!  If it weren't for the cost of buying and where the heck to park it, I might have one now.  My dad has one and honestly, if I could park somewhere, I would keep it when he's done with it.  That makes sense to me.


I think the other hard part for us is that anywhere we'd like to have a vacation home is about $1500 investment in plane tickets flight away.  It's different from saying "Oh, this weekend looks open so let's drive 3 hours to our cabin."   So that's part of the equation for us, although the outlay and upkeep still gets me. 

If I had kids I would probably feel quite different, too.

That's a significant part of our calculations as well. I would prefer a beachfront place further south, but anything more than a 3 hour drive means the likelihood of a spontaneous trip is very low. 3 hours is enough time to spend even a day, then clean up, maybe go out to eat, and then decide if we want to sleep overnight or need to come back. But the options are open. More than that is pretty much a commitment for the weekend.

2011-12-30 11:08 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations

Scout7 - 2011-12-30 10:07 AM Why go anywhere for vacation? Stay home, save the money, maybe spend it on projects around the house or on gifts for yourself.

I am doing that right now, and boy, I wish I were in a shack on the beach or anywhere instead.    It has just pointed out to me that I really don't like where I live.  



2011-12-30 11:08 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations
A friend of mine has a cabin right near a nice ski resort that is about a 3 hour drive from where we live. I would love to have something like this if it meant that my family and I could ski regularly. We don't have a decent place that is close by.
2011-12-30 11:13 AM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations

When I was a kid my parents had a timeshare and every year we'd spend a week somewhere different.  Timeshares have kind of a bad name these days (though there has also been an uptick in reputability too - like the Marriott Vacation Club), but it worked great for us.  Usually it would be someplace within a days drive - Outer banks, Shenandoah Valley, Lake Placid, Quebec and it was nice to have a full condo to stay in as opposed to a small hotel room.

These days though with sites like VRBO I'm not sure it's as good of an option since you can get nice places to stay without all the purchasing and maintenece costs.  If I had the funds, the way I would do it is to have a small vacation cabin not too far away (three hours tops) that would be used just for weekend getaways or to rent out when you aren't there, but not to use it for major vacations.  Still treat those as special trips and be able to mix it up to see different types of places.  But if I had to choose one or the other I think I'd feel too tied down if my only vacation option was a 2nd home.  I'd rather take a big trip every year or two to someplace new and use a tent for weekend getaways then be tied to a cabin or something that I felt like I had to spend all my vacation time at to justify the expense.

2011-12-30 12:41 PM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations
bootygirl - 2011-12-30 12:08 PM

Scout7 - 2011-12-30 10:07 AM Why go anywhere for vacation? Stay home, save the money, maybe spend it on projects around the house or on gifts for yourself.

I am doing that right now, and boy, I wish I were in a shack on the beach or anywhere instead.    It has just pointed out to me that I really don't like where I live.  



I've never had that issue. Most of the time, when I've been on vacation, I wish I were back home doing something.
2011-12-30 1:23 PM
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Subject: RE: Vacation homes versus vacations
Scout7 - 2011-12-30 12:41 PM
bootygirl - 2011-12-30 12:08 PM

Scout7 - 2011-12-30 10:07 AM Why go anywhere for vacation? Stay home, save the money, maybe spend it on projects around the house or on gifts for yourself.

I am doing that right now, and boy, I wish I were in a shack on the beach or anywhere instead.    It has just pointed out to me that I really don't like where I live.  

I've never had that issue. Most of the time, when I've been on vacation, I wish I were back home doing something.

I love my home and my community and am a home body when I am in town.  

However, I yearn for different experiences too.  I love to see new things, both famous and ordinary, try new food, go shopping for things I can't get at home, learn a little history, test myself, be totally disconnected from my real life responsibilities, spend real time with my husband or friends, experience differences in nature, soak in the chaos and lights of a big city, marvel in the world's wonders, get that feeling of "wow, people who I read about in history books LIVED here", etc.   Some of that I can achieve at a vacation home, none of that I can achieve at my main home.    I am always glad to return, though.  Often so I can find a place for the new art I bought on the trip and start planning the next one.

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