We debated, we discussed, we wondered … should we get a vacation house? Should we make it a vacation rental or just have a house all to ourselves? Should we go to the beach or to the mountains?
When you finally decide to buy a second home, there are so many things to think about, beyond the mortgage. We did a lot of research and talked to a lot people to figure out what to do. We scoured real estate listing sites, looking for the perfect place. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience … as well as skilled reading abilities to decipher the oh-so-glowing descriptions of places for sale that realtors write!
First we thought we’d go to the beach. We looked from Half Moon Bay down to Cambria. We found a listing for a lovely condo right on the beach (that was a requirement of mine … no walking blocks and blocks, or worse, driving to the beach for me!), but after much deliberation, we realized we could get more “bang for our buck” if we didn’t go to the coast. As much as I love the sand and waves of the California coast, what you get costs more per square inch than its worth, IMO.
So now where to? I remembered traveling up towards the Gold Country and liking that area a lot, so we made the big decision to start looking there. Our real estate agent here in the Bay Area found us an agent to meet with up in Gold Country and one fine weekend, we drove up there to look around.
We saw some lovely houses, but over and over, we just felt that it wasn’t “vacation-y” enough. I mean, if you get a vacation house, do you want to live in the suburbs? Not really. All the houses just felt like being in our neighborhood in San Carlos, so why would we invest in that?
Back at home, we tried to think of another area where we could look. We had a few criteria, the biggest one being that we didn’t want to drive more than 3-4 hours from home. We figured, if we wanted a weekend getaway vacation home, we didn’t want to spend hours and hours in the car to get there. (That pretty much nixed the whole Gold Country idea as well, since we’d most likely get stuck in Hwy. 80 traffic coming back from Lake Tahoe on any given weekend.)
What to do? Check in on the next entry 🙂