I specialize in an area that is very attractive to the buyer looking for a 2nd home. For some people, the idea of having a 2nd home is a very foreign concept. They ask me why does a person feel the need for two homes…or even want to maintain two homes? They tell me they’d rather spend their money on ski vacations or a new boat or car and put whatever is left into a 401K or similar investment account.
From my experience, most people who buy a 2nd home see it as an investment in their family. They are wanting to create a place for their family to gather and really get to know one another. If they have grown children, they want to re-meet their children as adults and share adventures with them. If it’s a single person or a couple without children, they tell me that they want to create for themselves, their friends and/or siblings a “special” getaway, where they can leave their stresses and cares for a couple of days or a week, and relax. They see it as a “gift” they are able to give those they love.
I’ve often heard middle age couples sheepishly say, “we’re spending our children’s inheritance”, but when I ask them what they’re wanting to purchase; they state that they want their children to inherit something more lasting than cash and something that is a becoming a vanishing commodity….especially for the middle class. When I bought my first investment property, (a vacant lot with beach access) I saw it as a forced savings account that I could enjoy as I paid into it. I could sit on the beach and have a bonfire or harvest oysters and crab and have a lot more fun with my investment than I could ever do with a bank statement.
Money disappears so quickly in our current culture! I’m old enough to remember when $100,000 was a lot of money and you could buy a Rolls Royce for $10,000. Yes, we can work hard and leave our heirs a big bank account but how long will it last? When you purchase a piece of property or a 2nd home, it becomes the legacy that they can enjoy for years with you and continue to enjoy after you’re gone….cherishing the memories that you created together.
Did you know that there is a current movement happening where people are deliberately choosing to move into tiny homes? These homes can be permanent residences on a concrete foundation or built on wheels for flexibility. Companies are popping up throughout the country specializing in tiny homes and the Tiny House Blog has a great following of individuals looking for new ideas and inspiration.
When we bought our property on Decatur Island in 1990, we cleared a small area in the 100 year old orchard and set up a couple of tents around a fire pit and that was our “home” base for the first summer. We quickly realized that we wanted to be able to come to our property year-round so we built a small 6×10 redwood shed and fitted it out with a double bed, three bunks and an antique wood-fired trash burner that served as a cooking surface and heat source. The redwood shed is now used for storage but I can see it out of my kitchen window and smile at all the memories it contains.
In the islands, tiny houses are a wonderful option for affordable vacation “getaways” or year-round homes. Designs are available for kits and pre-built cottages that are 120 to 700 square feet and most tiny homes can be built for $15,000 to $50,000. San Juan County offers an “owner builder” permit option for structures less than 1000 square feet. Exciting projects are being developed by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and Frontier Fortress out of Wyoming.
Why do people want a “tiny home”?
“I want to enjoy my life and not be a slave to a mortgage”
“We want to live simply so we can focus on what we feel is important”
“Tiny houses are cute”
“We want to create a place that reflects our unique needs”
“We can build a home and pay cash for it”
“I want to travel but want a small place to come home to”
“I’ve always wanted to build my own place”