“Hey, Survival Guy,” he said. “I see you spend some time in Newport, RI and North Conway, NH. My wife and I are thinking about buying a beach house here in Cali. What’s your take?”
“Have you looked at Your Survival Guy’s Super States?” I thought to myself.
“You know how I feel about California,” I said. “If you can live with the politics, taxes, cities on fire, etc., it’s a beautiful place. It’s hard to leave the water, I appreciate that, but make sure it’s right to be a buyer as opposed to renting, especially today.”
The problem with second homes—and there are many—is they make sense at different stages in life and not necessarily in sequence. It’s nice when the kids are little to get away for the weekend. But when you’re empty nesters, it can sit vacant with regular monthly letters or emails from your friends “Mr. Cable, The Snow Removal Crew, Mrs. Condo Association, and Mr. and Mrs. Utility.”
Then there’s the issue of sharing the house with the next generations of the family. It can become a logistical nightmare you never dreamed about. There can be communication breakdowns. And only when you threaten to sell “the damn place” do cooler minds prevail. Who needs the trouble? The key is mending those communication breakdowns and letting the next generation figure out what to do.
“You might want to save yourself the trouble,” I said. “But once you get your mind on the beach, slopes, river, or lake, it’s hard to think about anything else. The familiarity you have with being home away from home might end up becoming ‘home.’ You love being there with your friends and family and all the memories.”
But here’s the key. If you’re not familiar with the area, rent for a couple seasons to get some boots-on-the-ground intelligence. And, finally, if you can’t stop thinking about getting away from it all, then do it. You won’t regret it. But keep in mind, I have yet to see a for sale listing on “Easy Street.”
Action Line: Tell me about your dreams. I’m a good listener. Let’s talk.
Originally posted on Your Survival Guy.