week the editor of our local paper wrote an article about his experiences with
a vacation home and a boat.
I am always amazed to learn that others of
my age have had almost the same experiences as I have. I donít know what to call
this, maturity or stupidity, but surely there must be a name for it. I cannot
tell you how many times I have engaged someone of my age in a conversation only
to learn that they have had similar learning experiences.
these one at a time.
First off, you may be different and you may want
to experience the joys of owning a second home or vacation getaway, so donít read
any further. Go to the comics or somewhere else, because you wonít like what Iím
about to tell you. My advice to you is this: donít do it.
donít do it. Rent a place, lease a place, but donít own one. Once you take into
consideration the cost of travel there and back, the price of the property itself,
the upkeep, the insurance, the utilities, the taxes and then divide them into
the number of times you actually stay there, you will be disappointed. The electricity
has to stay on whether you are there or not. The insurance is there 24 hours a
day even though you arenít. The grass grows and the weeds sprout just like at
home, but you arenít there.
Now, this scenario doesnít apply to the super
richÖ they have people to take care of all of these things; all you have to do
is arrive. Everything else is taken care of. Unfortunately I donít fit into that
category. One of the biggest problems with owning more than one house is mustard.
You can never remember if you have a bottle at home or at the vacation place,
so you always buy another jar. Then you arrive and find you have done this twelve
times in the past and now have thirteen jars of mustard at the lake and none at
home. Of course, it would make sense to take some back with you, but you are too
busy trying to make certain the coffeepot is turned off, the fireplace is cold
and your clothes are packed to remember the mustard. It isnít until you get home
that night that you think about it while trying to make yourself a cold meatloaf
sandwich. Another day in paradise. Add all of this Ďfuní up and then look at what
you can spend on a cruise or a resort where everything is provided. Trust me on
next item is the boat. Remember the two best days of a boat ownerís life are the
day you buy the boat and the day you sell the boat. As stated above, you have
the cost of the boat, insurance, dock fees, upkeep, replacing lost and stolen
stuff that you have to have divided by the number of times you actually spend
on the boat. Here again, you will be amazed at how much it costs just to keep
something in the water that you might use 8-10 times each year. You can rent one
and have lots of money left over.
I know, you are thinking youíll make
money since you can rent your house or your boat to someone when you arenít using
it. Ask around; find someone who has actually made money this way. I havenít found
anyone yet, and Iím still looking. Your rental fees always seem to get eaten up
by some unforeseen cost of some kind or another. If you happen to scamper and
not have to contribute to the care and upkeep of your house or boat, then Iíd
consider you to be very fortunate.
Years ago, we had a freezer go out
and all of the deer meat, doves and quail I had frozen spoiled in the process.
The insurance people wanted to know the replacement cost. I added up the cost
of the trip, travel, guides and other stuff that you need to hunt. Then I divided
by the total weight to come up with my figure. They didnít pay this of course,
but it made me realize how expensive venison chili and those little bacon wrapped
dove breasts cost.
Anyway, the point isÖ. think before you buy. You can
By the way, the Girl Scouts are out in force selling cookies.
I donít need them. Iím wearing some from last year. I passed one of their little
tables the other day and gave them some money, didnít want the cookies. They told
me that all cash donations are used to buy cookies for the troops overseas. Thought
youíd want to know.
© Peary Perry
From North America
- January 25, 2006 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers