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Vacation home pros/cons

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Thinking about getting vacation home in Smithville/winchester area.  Nothing amazing, just something simple with 15-20 acres.  I can afford like a 7.5, not a 10.  

Anyone have experiences that are good or bad with second homes to push me off the fence either way?

For me, it's opportunity to have some country living with family (9 yr and 3 yr old) while owning some land to call my own.  Live in Houston but future is either in austin or Houston which is why choosing this area, otherwise would choose hill country like Hunt.

Cons are obviously ongoing costs and being stuck with something that could decrease in value.  And maybe you get tired of going?

 

 

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Yeah, your going to either have to pay someone to keep it up, or go often enough to keep it up yourself. And that may interfere with your opportunity to go elsewhere. That may not be a con for you, and it is probably less of one if you aren't having to spend a whole day driving just to get there.

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It has been reinforced to me why condo’s are so popular as second homes, stand alone houses are a PITA depending on how far away you are and how much time you plan on spending there. I have to pay someone to maintain the property, pay someone to stop by weekly and walk through and check on everything, utilities and other expenses are a lot more, and then a lot of the time we are there gets eaten up cleaning up the yard, doing routine maintenance, etc. However, we don’t like people that much and definitely don’t want people above us, below us, etc. so it’s worth it because it’s what we wanted.

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Subscribed.  We're considering a house along the coast in the next few years.  I agree with @Brew that this decision really depends on what you want out of the property.  If you want to show up once a month, drive a four-wheeler and shoot .22s, and build a campfire, but otherwise have a "lock and leave" setup, this may not be the right decision.  If you enjoy working on projects (especially if you're buying something that needs work), and you like to tinker with tractors, build shit, etc, then hell yes!  Go for it.

From our perspective, we're going to look for a stand-alone house, potentially even doing new construction.  I have a special needs kiddo, so we have some specific requirements for him that can be tough to achieve in a condo setting.

Referencing the Smithville / Winchester area specifically, my uncle, his brother and his dad bought 85 acres about 10 years ago in that same area.  All three of them live in the Richmond / Rosenberg area, so it's not a bad commute.  Already had a nice house, pond and barn.  The three of them get along great, and they (cumulatively) still use it constantly.  Heck, they've bought two tracts of adjoining property since then and now have about 150 acres.

Here's the caveat.  My uncle has three kids, two in HS and one in college.  He's up there MAYBE twice a year at this point.  If this was his and only his, it would've been sold within two years of purchase.  But, his dad and his brother are up there damn near every weekend.  They're now running cattle, and constantly working on projects up there.  His dad is retired, and his brother works a flexible schedule with both of his daughters are out of the house, so there's plenty of time to handle all the chores around there.

One con... About two years in when my uncle's brother and dad were still working quite a bit and none of them had as much free time to get up there, they hired a local kid (late teens) to help around the place.  Good kid, worked hard when they were up there.  He'd help with the cows, fixing fences, etc.  They trusted him, and started having him take care of things while they were gone as well.  He ended up falling in with a REALLY rough crowd and got talked into hosting a multi-day party / bender at my uncle's place.  End result was being robbed of all electronics, guns, tractors, equipment, tools, etc.  Longer story to go along with it, but they literally caught them dousing the exterior of the house in gasoline and were less than 10 min from him putting a match to it and burning it to the ground.  So, if you do outsource help, consider that can be a rough area and good help is always hard to come by.

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1 hour ago, Spaulding Smails said:

Subscribed.  We're considering a house along the coast in the next few years.  I agree with @Brew that this decision really depends on what you want out of the property.  If you want to show up once a month, drive a four-wheeler and shoot .22s, and build a campfire, but otherwise have a "lock and leave" setup, this may not be the right decision.  If you enjoy working on projects (especially if you're buying something that needs work), and you like to tinker with tractors, build shit, etc, then hell yes!  Go for it.

From our perspective, we're going to look for a stand-alone house, potentially even doing new construction.  I have a special needs kiddo, so we have some specific requirements for him that can be tough to achieve in a condo setting.

Referencing the Smithville / Winchester area specifically, my uncle, his brother and his dad bought 85 acres about 10 years ago in that same area.  All three of them live in the Richmond / Rosenberg area, so it's not a bad commute.  Already had a nice house, pond and barn.  The three of them get along great, and they (cumulatively) still use it constantly.  Heck, they've bought two tracts of adjoining property since then and now have about 150 acres.

Here's the caveat.  My uncle has three kids, two in HS and one in college.  He's up there MAYBE twice a year at this point.  If this was his and only his, it would've been sold within two years of purchase.  But, his dad and his brother are up there damn near every weekend.  They're now running cattle, and constantly working on projects up there.  His dad is retired, and his brother works a flexible schedule with both of his daughters are out of the house, so there's plenty of time to handle all the chores around there.

One con... About two years in when my uncle's brother and dad were still working quite a bit and none of them had as much free time to get up there, they hired a local kid (late teens) to help around the place.  Good kid, worked hard when they were up there.  He'd help with the cows, fixing fences, etc.  They trusted him, and started having him take care of things while they were gone as well.  He ended up falling in with a REALLY rough crowd and got talked into hosting a multi-day party / bender at my uncle's place.  End result was being robbed of all electronics, guns, tractors, equipment, tools, etc.  Longer story to go along with it, but they literally caught them dousing the exterior of the house in gasoline and were less than 10 min from him putting a match to it and burning it to the ground.  So, if you do outsource help, consider that can be a rough area and good help is always hard to come by.

The coastal areas are easier to find someone responsible to check in because you have so many properties closed up for periods. We’re pretty much there every break from school the kids have and they stay down there all summer. We found a couple that does home watch services when we aren’t there that is flexible with our schedule. The wife goes by once a week and checks everything and also cleans for us and the husband does the yard work when we are not there and also handles routine maintenance issues that come up. It gives us peace of mind that someone is checking in and it’s not a significant expense in the grand scheme of things. Between those expenses, utilities, insurance, etc I spend more than even a nice properties HOA fees, but not having a constant turn of renters around us makes it more than worth it. We looked at condos that didn’t allow renters also, but they were usually at a significant premium and still didn’t allow the complete privacy of a stand alone. We have a wooded lot where I can barely see the neighbors and the 30 or so houses in the neighborhood rarely rent.

We also have ownership in a 100 acre tract of land at home. It is less than 25 minutes from my house where we can run out there any time to do whatever. I wouldn’t have it any further away than that or we probably would never use it.

We had a lot more time before the kids got to middle school. It’s much harder to go to the farm, lake, beach, etc with their schedules now. 

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The chicken fried steak in Winchester is reason enough to buy some property.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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Yeah, our intention is key in all this.  It is to have a place we can get away and hang as family with occasional friends and family.  Secondarily, I'd like to not lose money. Making even a 5% return would be nice but not the goal.  

Great point on utilization and having partners.  I've had a few friends in partnerships with lake houses but too far for me to want to get in on since drive time is key for me.  Let me know if any of you aren't a dick and want to split a place in the Fayette county area!

 

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This is going to sound Captain Obvious, but the closer it is, the more often you’ll go. We’ve got a place an hour from home. We go just about every weekend. We’ve never talked ourselves out of going because it’s too far. Also allows for Saturday departures. 

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Yeah to echo above, the place will go south in a hurry if you aren't constantly doing stuff with it.   My neighbors actually did something you might consider, since they are out of the country a good portion of the time and only make it out a couple times a year.  They built a pad setup, electric hookup and sewer for a travel trailer, and rent it really cheaply to a person they've known for a long time.  That person looks after their cabin/house and does general maintenance and upkeep in exchange for getting to live there on the cheap.  The travel trailer isn't really near the cabin so when they do go stay there they aren't in each others hair.  

 

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As Lat22 mentioned, proximity is key.  I wouldn't get another place more than 1.5 hours away from my primary residence.  Another would be how often you plan on going to your second home.  We bought a house near Galveston earlier this year.  I think there have been a total of three weekends I have not gone down - and one was because I had surgery.  It's also easy to run down if I need to meet a contractor or if I need to come back to Houston for some reason.  It's going to be expensive, no doubt.  But you can't look at it like that.  It's the "Paradise Tax."

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Posted (edited)

One of my nephews built a nice 2,500 sq/ft vacation home way up on a mountainside near Leadville, Colorado with a spectacular view of the valley below and the opposite mountain range. It is close to the local ski run. He & his wife are on the verge of retirement, so they will be able to spend a lot more time there instead of only on holidays. It is a 17 hour drive from Austin.

Being at 10,000’ altitude, he has a problem with his oxygen levels, so he bought a concentrator type machine to help him out overnight. Doesn’’t bother his wife though.

It is totally worth it to them. He has a reliable local to keep an eye on the place and to help maintain it.

Edited by Armybrat

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If we’re going to be gone for a month or more, we shut the water and water heater off. Other than that it stays on.

As far as distance, we were the opposite of most above. We wanted our vacation home to be far enough away that when we went we were getting away and no one would be dropping in. It’s about 14 hours away, but we probably spent 12-14 full weeks there this year. My wife doesn’t work, so she and the kids were there any time school was out. I go for the week long trips and then went back and forth a few times over the summer. We had family use it a few other weeks as well. I find that with the land I have I tend to run out there and back rather than actually get away.

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Is this the thread where we humble brag?

Consider the costs of ownership, and compare that to the Air BNB options and cost. Going the rental route let's you "move" from year to year.

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23 minutes ago, Parliament said:


Consider the costs of ownership, and compare that to the Air BNB options and cost. 

The math will never work out if you do this.  As I stated above, you just have to come to grips with the fact it will be expensive (and will hopefully pan out as a good investment).  I was on the fence about getting another place, but it's one of the best things we've done.

You also have to factor in the convenience of not having to load up everything before you go out of town.  For me, I don't have to worry about not packing fishing gear I need, making sure I can pick up my boat and travel during non-peak traffic, etc.  

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1 hour ago, Parliament said:

Consider the costs of ownership, and compare that to the Air BNB options and cost. Going the rental route let's you "move" from year to year.

Yeah, this isn't a math equation.  Otherwise, short term rentals always win out and that is super obvious.  This is convenience and emotional, just like getting married.  Marriage is illogical and stupid and I did that too and am pretty happy.

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Posted (edited)

A lot of good points have already been made. I'm going to reinforce one for OP and others.

If you buy land and build a house as a vacation home, which isn't rentable as an Airbnb understand that is going to be your ONLY vacation destination.

OP has young kids, and if his wife likes the plan it could work. However, as others noted, more than 1.5-2 hours is stretching the limits of accessable.

I built my cabin in the woods originally with the intention of it being a get away/retirement location near the smokey mountains in TN.

Shit happened and it became my home. I love it, but own the reality that this place would be an overgrown frozen/bug infested squirrel home had I tried to do it without a support team of sorts from Austin. (Yardwork, animal control, bug control, occasional check in to manage temp, electric other)

If I get a second place, it will, amusingly enough, be a condo in the city of my choosing. Mostly for the a potential time when I'm elderly and can't hang in the woods anymore.

I love travelling and I am going to get an RV, so the "second home" for me will probably be in a city where I have support structure to help in the elderly situation above only.

So, I guess I live in my second home, which, for the record, makes me insanely happy. I fucking love it. 

Edited by BurntEyes

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Posted (edited)

That was the hardest part for the kids. They went from doing multiple different trips a year to the same one over and over. We still try and take them somewhere new each year but they still bitch and moan.

However, sleeping in my own bed, having my own bikes and fishing gear, Having a place to leave the boat, not having to pack anything other than some clothes we don’t keep there, etc. win out over sleeping in someone else’s AirBnB/VRBO at this point in our lives.

Edited by Brew

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Writing this as I enjoy the vacation home in 30A FL. I will echo some of the same points already made. 
 

1) You better enjoy going to the same area multiple times a year. Or buy a second vacation home to go somewhere else. 
2) Properties that appreciate are good. Buying a vacation home that should appreciate can make the financials make a lot more sense. 
 

Pros:

1) Leave your home and go to a second home (with all your stuff already there) in a better locale. 
2) When you visit the same area year over year there is no rush to do everything, you can relax. My wife and I have already taken the nine month old to FL three times since he was born. It’s fun to look at the photos and see how much he has changed since we went at month one. I think he will enjoy the memories as he grows older. 
3) Definitely get to spend more quality time with family while at the vacation house. I personally like having a house further away. The trips may be less frequent but we go for longer. 
 

Cons:

1) Maintenance and dealing with local companies to fix things. We’ve gone through 3 or 4 different pool companies who can’t keep the pH right year round. Or they collect a check and don’t bother to show up  

2) More taxes. More bills. More stuff to remember like calling DirecTV to suspend service  

3) Renters. Seems like a great idea but it’s not. Too much of a pain. Don’t listen to your realtor when they give you a rental income analysis. Those reports are BS. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Telegraph_it said:

Cons:

1) Maintenance and dealing with local companies to fix things. We’ve gone through 3 or 4 different pool companies who can’t keep the pH right year round. Or they collect a check and don’t bother to show up  

2) More taxes. More bills. More stuff to remember like calling DirecTV to suspend service  

3) Renters. Seems like a great idea but it’s not. Too much of a pain. Don’t listen to your realtor when they give you a rental income analysis. Those reports are BS. 

#1 is a big con. Everything runs slower, costs twice as much as it should, and just is an overall pain on bigger stuff. I have the handyman for small things but anything of significance or part of a renovation project drags along.

#3 is definitely not worth it if you’re dealing with weekly turnover. It’s too rough on the property and too much trouble. We tried it for the first season with a few monthly rentals and bailed on that idea quickly. We did end up finding an older lady that rents from us for Jan-March now every year that has been great. She brings all her own towels, sheets, etc. and it’s just her so we don’t worry about anything. It’s the time when we don’t use the house at all because of work and school, so it’s been a big positive almost like having a house sitter.

Edited by Brew

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On 1/1/2020 at 3:44 PM, Lat22 said:

This is going to sound Captain Obvious, but the closer it is, the more often you’ll go. We’ve got a place an hour from home. We go just about every weekend. We’ve never talked ourselves out of going because it’s too far. Also allows for Saturday departures. 

This is absolutely critical, IMO.  We have a house in Denver and another in Winter Park.  Before we got the WP house 6 years ago, one of my main criteria was that it had to be less than 2 hours away.  I knew if it was farther than that, I wouldn't use it much.  So Telluride, Durango, Ouray and Crested Butte all got knocked off the list even though I love all of those places and would be happy to have a house there.  Our WP house is about 1.5 hours from our Denver house.

 

We went for a standalone house on a couple of acres.  We do not rent the house out and I don't really care for people, so I wanted some privacy.  With the exception of shoulder seasons, we are up there probably 3 weekends a month (and a few weeks here and there) so we use the house all the time.  I'm sure we could make some money renting it out when we're not there, but I saw my dad deal with that when I was young (we had a condo at Copper Mountain) and between shit getting stolen/broken and not being able to go up because it's rented, I chose not to do that.  I plan on retiring to the mountains and downsizing the Denver house when the kids are gone.

 

It's expensive (although with the timing of the market from when I bought to now, I have a lot of 'free' equity so that's nice), but it's one of the best things I've ever done for my sanity.  The mountains are my happy place.  Just make sure you really love the area you're buying in.  Because you're stuck there.

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On 1/3/2020 at 11:25 AM, BurntEyes said:

A lot of good points have already been made. I'm going to reinforce one for OP and others.

If you buy land and build a house as a vacation home, which isn't rentable as an Airbnb understand that is going to be your ONLY vacation destination.

OP has young kids, and if his wife likes the plan it could work. However, as others noted, more than 1.5-2 hours is stretching the limits of accessable.

I built my cabin in the woods originally with the intention of it being a get away/retirement location near the smokey mountains in TN.

Shit happened and it became my home. I love it, but own the reality that this place would be an overgrown frozen/bug infested squirrel home had I tried to do it without a support team of sorts from Austin. (Yardwork, animal control, bug control, occasional check in to manage temp, electric other)

If I get a second place, it will, amusingly enough, be a condo in the city of my choosing. Mostly for the a potential time when I'm elderly and can't hang in the woods anymore.

I love travelling and I am going to get an RV, so the "second home" for me will probably be in a city where I have support structure to help in the elderly situation above only.

So, I guess I live in my second home, which, for the record, makes me insanely happy. I fucking love it. 

RE the bolded, it depends on your financial situation, but this is absolutely not true unless you want it to be.  It is likely your preferred/primary vacation destination, though.

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On 1/3/2020 at 11:59 AM, Brew said:

However, sleeping in my own bed, having my own bikes and fishing gear, Having a place to leave the boat, not having to pack anything other than some clothes we don’t keep there, etc. win out over sleeping in someone else’s AirBnB/VRBO at this point in our lives.

For me this is one of the best parts.  Packing for a weekend involves clothes for 2-3 days and that's about it.  I have everything else I need up there.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

RE the bolded, it depends on your financial situation, but this is absolutely not true unless you want it to be.  It is likely your preferred/primary vacation destination, though.

Absolutely not true?

It depends on the financial situation and other factors.

If someone is fiancing two homes?

If it is more than 2 hours away?

If they have young kids?

I agree that it is certainly possible that it may not be their only destination. However, making that investment, then not using it frequently, particularly with other possible factors could make it a real pain point of burden. Every one is different, but if the place isn't something you use as your primary vacation destination the majority of the time, why in the hell would you buy it/build it other than for financial gain? Note my aribnb comment. And if it is primarily for financial gain, then it is no longer a vacation home. It is mearly an investment, that one occasionally uses for vacation. Which is fine and possibly a great move.

Edit - upon further review it appears it was perhaps my use of the word only that you actually took umbrage with, and that's fair.

Edited by BurntEyes

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I share a lake house with my brother that is 1.25 hours away.  I think that's the perfect distance.  It's close enough that I can decide 15 minutes before work lets out on Friday that we are going for the weekend, but far enough that it feels like I am getting out of town.  Between my brother and I, we use it probably 90% of warm weather weekends, and 40% during the winter.

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1 hour ago, BurntEyes said:

Absolutely not true?

It depends on the financial situation and other factors.

If someone is fiancing two homes?

If it is more than 2 hours away?

If they have young kids?

I agree that it is certainly possible that it may not be their only destination. However, making that investment, then not using it frequently, particularly with other possible factors could make it a real pain point of burden. Every one is different, but if the place isn't something you use as your primary vacation destination the majority of the time, why in the hell would you buy it/build it other than for financial gain? Note my aribnb comment. And if it is primarily for financial gain, then it is no longer a vacation home. It is mearly an investment, that one occasionally uses for vacation. Which is fine and possibly a great move.

Edit - upon further review it appears it was perhaps my use of the word only that you actually took umbrage with, and that's fair.

It might have been the word ONLY in all caps that I took umbrage with.

 

The second home should certainly be the primary vacation destination, but there's no reason you still can't go other places as well.  We just did a 12 day Germany trip last month, then came back to CO and went up to the mountains for Christmas.

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54 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

It might have been the word ONLY in all caps that I took umbrage with.

 

The second home should certainly be the primary vacation destination, but there's no reason you still can't go other places as well.  We just did a 12 day Germany trip last month, then came back to CO and went up to the mountains for Christmas.

Okay

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On 1/2/2020 at 8:59 AM, Judge Roybeanbag said:

Yeah to echo above, the place will go south in a hurry if you aren't constantly doing stuff with it.   My neighbors actually did something you might consider, since they are out of the country a good portion of the time and only make it out a couple times a year.  They built a pad setup, electric hookup and sewer for a travel trailer, and rent it really cheaply to a person they've known for a long time.  That person looks after their cabin/house and does general maintenance and upkeep in exchange for getting to living in the house cheap and only having to live in the trailer a few weeks a year.  The travel trailer isn't really near the cabin so when they do go stay there they aren't in each others hair.  

 

FIFY

Fun thread. Wife and I talk about property in the hill country all the time, but we're nowhere near financially set to be able to do anything like that yet. But we also want to retire there, and run the gamut of "Buy land now and toss up a container home for trips" to partnering up with friends and family to get a cool place now that we love, etc. Should be a fun thread to follow over the years. 

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How much do you love going to that area and house? We thought about buying a house on the Frio. I like the area but I don't see myself wanting to spend every weekend there. I like traveling to many other places. I don't want to feel like I'm "wasting" money if I take the family to vacation at other places.

For that reason and as someone state above, it was much better all around to just rent a house on the Frio when we want to go. Saves on having to deal with the property and all the financial shit that goes with owning a 2nd property.

So you better REALLY love going there. Otherwise I wouldn't do it.

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Thanks for advice everyone.  Update after lots of philosophical discussion and thought is that I'm under contract for a 7-acre spread with house in Fayetteville, TX and stocked fishing pond.   Takes about 80 minutes to get from my Houston house. 

Yall hit home proximity and must-love factor, which this hits on.  Interestingly enough, other stuff that resonated is leaving clothes so that you never really have to pack for that sort of shit and the fact that it isn't Airbnb.  If I'm getting lice, I'm getting it from my 3.5 year old, not someone's pillow I'm using.  At this moment, I have no plans to rent this out so we shall see how that plan goes.  

Inspection is next week so hoping all goes well or that we can negotiate away any risks that we find from that.

Now, we look forward to slowly (and I mean $lowly) furnishing it.

First project is building an awesome fire pit and looking forward to that.

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On 1/10/2020 at 4:08 PM, crash_davis said:

How much do you love going to that area and house? We thought about buying a house on the Frio. I like the area but I don't see myself wanting to spend every weekend there. I like traveling to many other places. I don't want to feel like I'm "wasting" money if I take the family to vacation at other places.

For that reason and as someone state above, it was much better all around to just rent a house on the Frio when we want to go. Saves on having to deal with the property and all the financial shit that goes with owning a 2nd property.

So you better REALLY love going there. Otherwise I wouldn't do it.

Yeah, we really love going there. My wife in particular, but I love it too. Your points are all perfect, but our idea is to retire there there one day, this there is a notion dovetailing in here that we’d be investing now when the cost is inevitably cheaper than it will be 20 years or so from now, while getting to visit and spend time there at n the interim, or flipping the property upwards down the line for a different property in the are, etc. but yeah, upkeep and cost to upkeep are big ole concerns. And 3 hours from Houston is probably past the boundaries of going every weekend as well. 

Edited by SydneyCarton

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On 1/3/2020 at 5:23 PM, Brew said:

#1 is a big con. Everything runs slower, costs twice as much as it should, and just is an overall pain on bigger stuff. I have the handyman for small things but anything of significance or part of a renovation project drags along.

#3 is definitely not worth it if you’re dealing with weekly turnover. It’s too rough on the property and too much trouble. We tried it for the first season with a few monthly rentals and bailed on that idea quickly. We did end up finding an older lady that rents from us for Jan-March now every year that has been great. She brings all her own towels, sheets, etc. and it’s just her so we don’t worry about anything. It’s the time when we don’t use the house at all because of work and school, so it’s been a big positive almost like having a house sitter.

That lady hosts swinger's parties every weekend between January and March.   Pretty much everything you own is coated in jizz.

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On 1/10/2020 at 4:08 PM, crash_davis said:

I don't want to feel like I'm "wasting" money if I take the family to vacation at other places.

I have never, ever, felt I was wasting money by going on a trip to somewhere other than our other house. 

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1 hour ago, Johnny Sack said:

Need to be within 90 minutes.  Our place is an hour and we go all the time. 

There is no question on the efficiency of staying close, but I think this varies by person.  I have a dozen or so friends that have places up and down the coast, none of them closer than 2.25 hours (POC to AP).   There's some that are there every other weekend, if not 3 out of 4, some that make it once a month, but not a single one wishes they didn't have the place.    From my house in West Houston west of Houston to the "west end" in Galveston is 1:45.   10/10 times I'd drive another hour to not be in Galveston.   Me personally, I'm trying to leave home when I leave., and for many who commute an hour each way daily, that second hour/hour and half isn't that big a deal imo.  But I grew up travelling to our "ranch" (see ranchita) a couple times a month at 4.5 hours away, so I may have a skewed view.

Edited by fattyflattie

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I'd say within 3 hours as we went from Houston to our Rockport cottage all the time.  As you may have noticed use themes in this thread are slanted to water or other destination type areas.

The new tax laws suck for a second home and push further into renting a VRBO/airbnb as a better financial choice.

Spending a day of nearly every trip and maintaining the place gets old.

Edited by ShaggyBevo RIP

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4 hours ago, fattyflattie said:

There is no question on the efficiency of staying close, but I think this varies by person.  I have a dozen or so friends that have places up and down the coast, none of them closer than 2.25 hours (POC to AP).   There's some that are there every other weekend, if not 3 out of 4, some that make it once a month, but not a single one wishes they didn't have the place.    From my house in West Houston west of Houston to the "west end" in Galveston is 1:45.   10/10 times I'd drive another hour to not be in Galveston.   Me personally, I'm trying to leave home when I leave., and for many who commute an hour each way daily, that second hour/hour and half isn't that big a deal imo.  But I grew up travelling to our "ranch" (see ranchita) a couple times a month at 4.5 hours away, so I may have a skewed view.

We felt the same way about driving to Rockport being an extra hour over Galveston from our SW Houston location.

Edited by ShaggyBevo RIP

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On 1/1/2020 at 7:15 AM, Brew said:

It has been reinforced to me why condo’s are so popular as second homes, stand alone houses are a PITA depending on how far away you are and how much time you plan on spending there. I have to pay someone to maintain the property, pay someone to stop by weekly and walk through and check on everything, utilities and other expenses are a lot more, and then a lot of the time we are there gets eaten up cleaning up the yard, doing routine maintenance, etc. However, we don’t like people that much and definitely don’t want people above us, below us, etc. so it’s worth it because it’s what we wanted.

Agreed but for anyone thinking of buying a condo in a coastal area, make sure you have really, really good insurance. 90% of the people I know with condos here in Port A were screwed after Harvey. And it wasn’t just the initial damage. Most of the condos had additional assessments - over 100,000 dollars in some cases - and people had to keep paying the HOA dues even though their units were unlivable. Many of them are still paying and they still aren’t in yet. I don’t know anyone with a condo here that would do it again.

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