anyone have two homes in retirement

zippity1June 18, 2010

dh and i have been having trouble deciding where to live when we retire and we're considering having two homes one where he wants to live in nw arkansas (which was always the plan) and one where i think is best -texas gulf coast

the kids (both) are in texas as are most of our friends, the brothers and sisters in arkansas

cost of living doesn't appear to be much different in either place

we don't like the mosquitoes or the heat (for months on end)or the likelihood of hurricanes (cost of storm and flood insurance)

on the other hand, it can get pretty cold in northwest arkansas

on to the real question

what do you like/not like about having two homes??

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we have two homes, one in Canada and the other one in Florida. We spend six months at each. I love the idea of leaving for Florida as soon as winter approaches and not having to face our bitterly cold winters. By the time we are ready to return to Canada, the weather is getting very hot in Florida and I am ready to see the kids and grandkids. We have more activities in Florida, but it is great to get home and become parents and grandparents again. And no, we don't miss the family. When we first started we would go home for Christmas and after a quick hello and goodbye everybody was off to their work and school. But they all come down at different times during the winter to visit us, so we see them then.

I used to hate pulling up my bedding plants in Oct., but now I know that I will soon be putting in new ones. It's a great life style and we love every minute of it. Give it a try.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 11:04PM
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Lots of midwest people do have two homes and do quite well. Especially from ND, Minn, MI etc. Many are in Mesa, Yuma, TX again depends on where friends/relatives are. But again, most of these places were bought years ago and now prices are up/down etc. And most in AZ are in established communities that they have bought into over the years. As people pass away, or have health issues, this option is decreasing and several of my friends are no longer able to make the trip back/forth.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 4:24PM
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Relatives are Canadian snowbirds. Summers they live in Calgary and winters in Scottsdale, AZ. As mariend points out, when driving becomes circumscribed and flying is too expensive/exhausting, the trip back and forth becomes too much and traveling slows or stops entirely.

They greatly enjoyed owning two homes, but have sold the AZ condo to one of their daughters. They hate being stuck in Calgary in the winter but the rest of the family is there and they can't afford to give up Canadian healthcare/pensions.

If you're young retirees there's little downside to having two homes outside of expense. But as you age, it's guaranteed that at some point you will have to decide where you want to live full-time.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 8:15PM
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My husband and I have two homes, one in nw Louisiana and the other on the Gulf in south Louisiana. We go back and forth between the two as we want. We enjoy the summer fishing activities at the Gulf and my husband also duck hunts there in the winter. We also enjoy our home in nw Louisiana where most of our family and friends live. If you build your coastal home according to codes now in place, you would have to sustain a direct hit from a hurricane to destroy it. You have to compare how much you enjoy the coastal living to the risks involved.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 10:40AM
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Yes I have two homes and I needed to get some help for my wife. With my help she can handle herself very fine when i am there, but i dare not leave here alone, so i contacted the website found someone to help as a Senior Caregivers while I am away and now I don't worry quite as much as before.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 4:44AM
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My husband and I have 2 homes, one in SW FL, the other in the mtns. of NC. We have lived in FL for 34 years, and bought the NC house about 11 years ago. When we were working (school teachers), we would spend a month or so every summer in NC. It was heaven and I always hated to leave it when school started again. I would count the weeks and months until I could return to NC. Three years ago we retired. For 3 years we have spent spring and fall in NC, winter in FL, and summer in FL (only because our son was home from college and wanted to be at the FL home). Initially, it was wonderful being able to experience the different seasons in NC. Lately, though, I've become discontent with "bouncing around" every few months. I always dreamed of returning to my love of gardening, esp. vegetables, once I retired. But I've discovered that we are never in one place long enough to have a harvest. I also find that I tend not to join any craft classes or other things in the community because I will not be in town to finish out the sessions. Recently my husband and I have been discussing where we want to "settle", and give up one of the homes. Once you own 2 homes, your heart will always be divided. I've come to the conclusion that it is best to have one home that you LOVE. You can always visit the other area, and rent or stay in a hotel. It is less expensive that way and WAY less responsibility. With 2 homes, you will always pine for something missed in the other location, whether something small like not getting to see your irises bloom because you are at the wrong house. Or you will miss out on that festival you've been to so many years in the other city. AND it is SO frustrating to find that the very tool or craft item or whatever that you need is in the OTHER HOUSE! It happens A LOT!!! Think long and hard about purchasing that second home. I hope my thoughts and experiences will help someone.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 9:10PM
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Jkom's story about the snowbirds who lived in Calgary in summer and Arizona in winter sounded quite appealing.

I've thought that it would be helpful if two people who each owned a home would be willing to share them by living in their home for a while, then each move to the other's home for a while.

Now ... if I could find someone willing to live in my home in Ontario, Canada in winter ...

... while I lived in their home in FL ... or AZ for several months ...

... that sounds like quite an attractive scenario: would provide each with a welcome change of scene, from time to time.

Know anyone who might be interested?

ole joyfuelled

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 4:45PM
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I agree with HappyDays that sooner or later, you get tired of the lack of continuity in one home that you love.

We've only been married for 8 years, and DH retired the week before we married. He lived in MA all his life, I lived in south AL. (We'd been engaged 50 years before.)

I found it exciting to learn how to garden with four seasons up there. And living in a cape was a delightful experience. But we lost the home we bought the year before we married, to Hurricane Katrina. We both grew tired of going back and forth with two dogs and two parrots, and he decided he'd rather be down south. He (and myself) are too old to shovel snow anyway. He is only now becoming acclimated to our summers.

We too are both gardeners. The year before he sold his house in MA, I did not go up there, so he could prepare it for selling, even though the market was not over run with willing buyers. It was great that the buyer wanted the house furnished, down to the pictures on the walls, so we had no problem vacating the house.

Other folks may enjoy retiring away from everyone they know, but not me. I know my DH is away from the people he knew from childhood, plus his professional contacts, his neighbors. It is something to consider as a major stress, almost like the death of a loved one.

I think the Texas Gulf Coast has some great places to live. I'm quite familiar with many of the towns/cities on the coast, because I traveled to work in TX and LA coastal towns for 20 years before I retired.

One of the saddest tales I know is the lady who as a widow moved from the Boston area to near Phoenix AZ about 20 years ago, and her friends now all dead, her property value near zilch, her finances in the toilet, she is in dire straits. She is 88. Thinking of her, I'd say to others do not cut your ties to people who know you.

With my DH, in his case, we can afford to travel to visit his family. As long as you are physically able, do as you like However, I'd not just up and move to a strange place without "living" there for short periods of time at all different seasons.

Getting old is not for sissies. If you are retired, you are or soon will be OLD. You'll need more than $$ to see you through to the end.

I recently read a good book, WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS: CREATING COMMUNITY AS WE GROW OLDER by Beth Baker. Not a really GREAT book, but it had a lot of case histories of successful retirement communities, individual homes in most cases, all able to care for themselves but with an adjunct community for "assisted living." Someone wishing to explore options might find what it says interesting.

Please note this is my first post on this forum. I did not know GWeb had it! Wow! I usually hang out on the Smaller Homes Forum or the Hosta Forum. It seems there are nice people asking interesting questions all over the place! I'm glad I noticed this topic featured on the Marquee at the side of the page. Hope you don't mind if I drop...

    Bookmark   December 4, 2014 at 10:52PM
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We had the opportunity to own a second home a few years back but after weighing the pluses and minuses, decided to pass. A second home for us would have limited our ability to go other places and see other things. We're able to rent through VRBO really nice homes for short periods in a variety of prime locations - beach front homes on the Outer Banks and Gulf of Mexico, Santa Fe, Sedona, etc.

The cost is much less and we enjoy the flexibility.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2014 at 10:24AM
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