Why Invest in a Second Home?

Still telling each other, "Just a few more years?"

We have all heard the stories of retirees who waited too long to begin enjoying their golden years.  We have all vowed NOT to make the same mistake, and to find a balance between the working world and a much deserved quality of life.  The fact that you are studying this second home option suggests that your time is right now.  Consider this lifestlye change a gift not only to you and your immediate family, but to your grandchildren and friends as well.  Today's savvy second home dwellers are no longer waiting on their “golden years” to finally arrive. They are grabbing the second home option with both hands, and are out hiking, skiing, fishing, and bonding with loved ones, now, while they can still enjoy it.

Ever said you need to plan more time with the family?

Yes, a second home is an investment in real estate, but its true charm is how it creates irreplaceable family memories. Anyone who has grown up with a vacation home, lake home or cottage can describe indelible memories of their youth spent playing with their family and how lake life helped forge lifelong friendships. Time on the lake helps educate children to the unique experiences apart from their "city life". When was the last time your family went for a hike, played board games or sat around a campfire telling stories?  Do you think your grandchildren will enjoy fishing, exploring the woods, catching frogs, and spotting deer?  Or if it's ever been a chore coming up with fun activities you and your children can agree on, picture swimming, boating, tubing, waterskiing or just lounging by the water. It may be time to buy a new photo album!

The Trend has Shifted

The baby boomers are all grown up now and have caused a shift in the trend of purchasing second homes well before retirement. Life is too short to put off spending quality time with children and grandchildren until they’ve grown up. In fact, second home owners will tell you the best way to get your kids to come visit more often, with or without grandchildren, is to invite them to the lake house. Other factors enter into this trend. While a second home may help you escape technology for the weekend, it is also helping bring about the dream earlier. Because the technology is available, a growing percentage of today's work force find they do not have to go into the office five days a week.

Availability of high speed internet access in second home communities now allows us to enjoy three and four day weekends in the luxurious surroundings of our second home. After getting a few hours of work done around the kids’ schedules, or even working remotely all day, parents are then able to spend time on the lake with the kids during the longer daylight of summer.  It is literally a melding of the best of both worlds - work and leisure - in a setting that feels like vacation.

A Financially Wise Investment

At a time when primary home prices have fallen and interest rates are at historic lows, an investment in a second home is also a great way to diversify your personal investment portfolio. Recent turns in our economy have taught us that most investment allocations are far too heavy on stocks and bonds and too light on real estate. Real estate, over the long haul, has consistently been one of the safest and strongest investments available to most people. With interest rates in the mid-single digits, this is the time to lock in your dream home. Buying a home now is like taking the lemons the recession dropped on us and making “Lakehouse Lemonade”. Even if you never sell your home, its dividends – your cherished memories – will continue to be collected by your family, perhaps for many generations to come.  Think of a second home as a way to enjoy your "nest egg" now.  You can keep that "nest egg" in the bank earning interest, or you can choose to use it now and let it grow in value, as most waterfront properties do.

“My doctor made me buy it.”

Most second home owners describing their home away from home will tell you the same things: “You walk in the door and you feel like you are on vacation.  It’s just a whole different atmosphere with a lot less stress. We’ve reconnected with our kids. The TV just doesn't go on that often. The family dynamic changes.  The kids don’t have their iPods stuck in their ears all day, we play together, we eat together, we play in the lake, we all read more, we make s’mores around the fire at night and actually laugh. It’s just more laid back than when we’re with all the other distractions of the real world.” There is no carpool to remember, and no errands to run.  And it’s not just the stress relief, it’s actually just what the doctor ordered . . . it’s healthier.

When your doctor tells you to cut down on stress, or get more exercize - your second home is the answer.  Most second homeowners report they spend more time on activities like taking walks, swimming, water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, motor boating, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, chopping firewood and just spending more time in the fresh air.

Let Me Entertain You

Many people use their vacation homes to entertain clients. This real quality time is far more effective and memorable than one more round of golf or a restaurant meal. Your tax advisor can tell you which of your expenses can be written off as a business entertainment expense. Looking for the perfect spot for the annual boys fishing trip, family reunion, girls only weekend? Maybe you are looking for a little solitude to unwind and relax? Your second home provides the perfect setting for all of your choices. Whether you want to be the social butterflies of your group of friends and clients or make your second home your own private getaway, you control the guest list. Speaking of guests, nothing makes them feel more welcome than being included in the weekend preparations for a visit.