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Vacation home/property owners question

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#1 hoamskilet


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Posted 06 August 2020 - 07:42 PM

Question for vacation home/2nd property owners....

Wife and I have discussed many times over the years the thought of buying some property somewhere. Initially just to have a nice piece of property to go to around lakes and trails and to camp on....eventually possibly building on to have a place to sell our current home and to retire to someday

My question to those that have done something like this, is how did you go about deciding where to even begin looking and then settling on?

We've snowmobiled and camped all over northern wisconsin and the U.P. and have loved so many places.

We currently live about 10 minutes south of the Wisconsin border, so our initial thoughts were somewhere around like the Tomahawk area so it wouldn't be too far for quick weekend trips, but really the options are almost overwhelming.

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#2 TFD


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Posted 06 August 2020 - 08:51 PM

We are in Central Wisconsin and approaching retirement looking at the same decisions.  Our daughter's inlaws have a place near Tomahawk and we were considering there because it would would put us close to the grandchildren when they visit on weekends. Lots of decisions to make over the next year or so.  I will be watching this topic.  

#3 SoloSldr


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Posted 07 August 2020 - 05:05 AM

Lots of variables on second home shopping. I've usually kept driving distance if possible to 3 1/2 to 4 hours. My policy is if you can't leave after one meal and be there by the next it's too far. Eventually moved to one of 'em.

#4 Saluda


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Posted 07 August 2020 - 10:04 AM

Taxes and travel time.

Come on snow !

#5 Layman


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Posted 07 August 2020 - 10:29 AM

Lots of variables on second home shopping. I've usually kept driving distance if possible to 3 1/2 to 4 hours. My policy is if you can't leave after one meal and be there by the next it's too far. Eventually moved to one of 'em.


I think this is good advice.  A 5+ hour dirve will get old quick, and no of us are getting any younger.     

#6 Doo1000


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Posted 07 August 2020 - 01:17 PM

We already built our retirement/vacation home in da UP...425 miles from our Indiana home...the drive sucks going back and forth, but we love it when we're UP there...our only regret is Michigan's high non-resident property taxes, and I was born in Muskegon, MI... We bought our property because it was across from a snowmobile/ORV trail, on a small lake for fishing, near state land with tons of 2-tracks and logging roads, and we're 25 miles from Marquette...

Edited by Doo1000, 08 August 2020 - 05:31 AM.

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#7 6100D


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Posted 07 August 2020 - 02:02 PM

Our second home is a 245 mile trip and takes anywhere from 4 to a little less than 4 hours depending on traffic.  Mostly interstate driving and very few cities>>>>>>

How we decided on the area we bought is:

 #1 snowmobile trail access>>>>>>

#2 How close to lakes to fish>>>>> 

#3 How close to area stores to buy supplies, food>>>>>

#4 How close to our other neighbors and what neighbors are their>>>>>

#5 How far from easy access from main Highway>>>>>


other than that we are about 25 minutes from a area hospital also and our place is on a paved road>>>>>so no dust>>>>>

Did not want to buy on a lake cause of property taxes prices>>>>>>

" Age is merely the number of years the world has been enjoying you."

"If you haven't grown up by age 60,You don't have to."

#8 2014mxzx


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Posted 07 August 2020 - 03:15 PM

We bought our basically on snow conditions most years. We wanted to be in an area that most years have good snow conditions,so we bought in St.Germain because snow is normally good and there grooming is top notch. We really like the area. I would just look at all the areas you have been to and really enjoyed and make a list. Real estate is really moving up there this year.

#9 tcnomad


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Posted 07 August 2020 - 03:16 PM

So after 20 years or so ,owning a remote camp and then buying something on the grid, which was 300 miles door to door.  We moved up to where we liked the area and more importantly the local folks. 


Everything  we like to doo is here Sledding, 4-wheeling, hunting, fishing all good. Lower taxes then where we can from if you can believe that. 

We both retired from Corp. jobs that didn't doo anything for us but pay well and boost up our 401 K's.


Just picked 40 acres where we plan to built the forever home, just on hold until after this election..... Timing is everything these days!

#10 MX-Z Man

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 05:54 PM

We currently own a house in Arizona, we just sold the Buffalo house a few weeks ago - both were bought for different reasons.

We bought the Arizona house because we absolutely love it out there and the market was down. We were thinking maybe it would be a vacation rental, its turned out to be a full time rental and an awesime money maker. It has more than tripled in value in under 10 years - yeah, all while having someone else pay for every dime we've invested plus paying us too. I like rental property.

We bought the Buffalo house because our oldest was in pharmacy school. We bought the house because it made more sense than renting - 4 years later our oldest is now a Pharmacist (bigger YEAH!!!) and we sold the house for just under 50% more than we paid for it. Thats a nice return, for our oldest and us.

The point...there are different reasons to buy a second or third home. Regardless of your reason, choose wisely and it very well could be one of the best investments you'll ever make.

We're currently passively looking for another house/land/condo/whatever. If something pops up that interests us we'll buy another one. If it doesn't we'll invest somewhere else, but I'm a big fan of real estate.


The XP was the most fun sled ever made - but I liked my XR more. The 850 takes it to a whole different level. 

No Need to Freeze-buy a set of these!

#11 groo


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Posted 07 August 2020 - 07:57 PM

You need to know your driving tolerances.

Fo a weekend place, even 2 hrs would push my limits.

If it's a place to store the sleds and crash, well you've got to get to the snow regardless.

Ever consider just moving to the sticks and realize a pay cut also comes with a COL cut.

Edited by groo, 07 August 2020 - 08:00 PM.

#12 SoloSldr


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Posted 08 August 2020 - 06:35 AM

We moved to the sticks forever ago. The COL and money makin balanced out. We were comfortable when we did it. Then we still found a second home even farther out in the willywags! We were 'social distancing' long before it became fashionable.....

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#13 charlie


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Posted 09 August 2020 - 02:33 PM

  We have had a second home for many years now.We looked within a 2 hour radius of us.We are in Vermont so there are some nice properties close by. After numerous 2 hour plus drives we decided to go as close to home as possible and still be away from home on a nice lake etc. We ended going close by and are glad we did ,we end up using it a lot more than if we had to travel a long way to get to it.

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