Originally Posted by Piobaire
I don't want vacation property as everyone I know with one feels like they need to spend all their vacation time there and seem to spend a material amount of time/money keeping it up. Seems like places that sit empty take more care than places being lived in based on my observations.
Originally Posted by jbarwick
This is my thought on vacation property as well. Unless you are monitizing the property in some way, I find vacation property a tough purchase due to utilization being so low.
That's exactly why it needs to be accessibly close and built with incredibly low maintenance finishes (or you just have to have enough money to pay someone else for upkeep).
A lake house 1.5 hours out of the city isn't the same as owning something in Aspen and thus feeling like you have to go ski there every winter. It can be a summer home...you have friends out there, and you can easily invite your friends from the city to join you as well. You go up on the weekends not because you feel compelled to, but because you like it better than a hot, sticky city filled with tourists.
Of course, I think things are changing a bit now that there are so many more dual income families. A lot of those sorts of properties used to involve the wife and kids spending the entire summer living there while the husband drove or took the train for the weekend. Kids had summer programs out there, etc. When it became time for an actual "vacation" you could still travel somewhere (or if you want to save money, just take a week at the summer home). Now you can't do that if both parents work.
Probably makes even less sense if you are DINKs like piob since there is less need for a consistent place for children (complete with children toys and accessories) when it is easy enough to pack two bags and jet off to some nice hotel. At that point, you'd probably only do it for hobby reasons (especially hobbies that require a lot of gear). Love fishing or windsurfing or hiking in the woods? Love smoking meat but can't have some big wood burning smoker in the city? A little hobby shack in the woods might be perfect...you have room to store everything and can have all sorts of weird shit that they don't provide at hotels or rental houses.