31 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2019 5:03 AM by feibus RSS

    Just wondering how many of you actually use your VR for personal use or.....

    twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

      Do yo use your VR for your own personal use, or is it purely an investment? I am one of those that actually stays in my VR for months at a time and fully enjoys the area, my neighbors and the break from Wyoming winter weather.

       

      As an owner that spends time in the VR I find that I am a bit emotionally attached to it and wondered if that was different for those that have one just for investment purposes.

       

      Are there differences in the two different type of owners........if so what do you believe they are? I am just curious.............

        • Re: Just wondering how many of you actually use your VR for personal use or.....
          treeguy Contributor

          Because our VR is only 300 yards away, we occasionally use it as a guest house or party location.  We have never spent the night there though we do use the hot tub on occasion.

          I cannot speak to the investment side.  We will own our properties until we perish - then the woods and everything will become The Nature Conservancy property and the houses will be demolished.  Our reason for using the house as a VR is to provide a means for the house to pay for itself and give ourselves full control.  The VR property is totally surrounded by our existing properties so when it came onto the market we did not think twice about acquiring it.

          • Re: Just wondering how many of you actually use your VR for personal use or.....
            green_mango Active Contributor

            Our VR is not an investment - it was a family home built by my grandparents and they wanted their generations to follow to come & enjoy.  Unfortunately, none of us live very close, and the home was vacant for years, so I decided to turn it into a VR and we now go more often and we use the income to offset the property taxes, insurance etc....  we have one of the highest nightly rates in the area, but make no $ - everything goes back into the home, which makes it more enjoyable for everyone - guests & family.

            • Re: Just wondering how many of you actually use your VR for personal use or.....
              margaret CommunityAmbassador

              We stay in each of our properties for approximately two weeks several times a year. These visits are a combination of vacations and an opportunity to see what is in need of repair/replacement/updates and to do a deep cleaning. I feel it is necessary to "live" there to get a true sense of what the guests are experiencing so that I can be sure I am providing everything they need and that things are kept in good condition. Our properties are an investment but due to these visits we are emotionally attached to our properties, our community and have become friends with many of our neighbors. I also have LTRs but the only one I have any emotional attachment to is the home I purchased for my mother. I have many memories there, I don't anticipate every selling that home. I believe it is the memories created in these home that create the emotional attachment no matter if it is a family home or an investment.

              • Re: Just wondering how many of you actually use your VR for personal use or.....
                feibus Senior Contributor

                I'm a bit with margaret, our homes are right outside of Disney, so we take the kids several times a year, both to vacation and also to see what needs to be done to the property to keep it a 5-star home.  Seven years now of vacationing there.  I'm just sick of theme parks....

                 

                Not emotionally attached, but it's an investment that we are using to eventually be our kids' college fund that other people helped us pay for.

                • Re: Just wondering how many of you actually use your VR for personal use or.....
                  u0999 Premier Contributor

                  I do not have months at a time to stay at any VR.. mine or anyone else's. With two full time jobs/careers, all our trips to our VRs are working trips to some degree or another. When we go to our VR, I usually have a detailed check list for all 3 of them of what needs to be done. After that, if I have one-two full days for my own leisure time, I am lucky. I wish it was different, and working towards that goal.. but it is what it is now. Hubby only has 20 PTO days a year. So spread that between sick days, and needed maintenance  trips to VRs... we do not have much time left for anything else. We have emotional connection to all 3 because we put a lot of blood sweat and tears into each. 1st was restored, 2nd we completed the build (and did it with the idea possibly retiring there) and 2rd one was built new as a VR but we were the ones designing every square inch of it. All of them have furniture built or restored by us. Mothers in law painted artwork. So it is not "only" an investment.

                  • Re: Just wondering how many of you actually use your VR for personal use or.....
                    calicalling Active Contributor

                    We bought one of our places as a vacation spot and it did so well we bought another in the same building.

                     

                    We try to stay in each one at least every other month, even for just a couple of days, because that way we see things that on-site managers can't. I don't ever have to consider this 'personal use' time because there are always improvements and/or work to be done.

                     

                    We are about 4 hours away, but our places are in a year-around resort so there's always something fun to do or see. Since I'm usually busy working on the places I don't get to have as much fun as I'd like. I actually bought a camper last year because its the only way I can travel and not work (yes, camping is work, but not as much as owning a VR).

                    • Re: Just wondering how many of you actually use your VR for personal use or.....
                      grant570 Active Contributor

                      Ours is a vacation home first and we may eventually live in it.  We don't even consider renting it out on holidays..   Our season is short, so it would be quite difficult to rent it profitably as a pure vacation rental.  We had an older cottage, but have a new one now after knocking down the second one we bought.  Had to sell the first one to help pay for the new build.

                       

                          My grandparents had a beach house on the Jersey shore with a second house in the backyard which was rented out to pay the expenses, the front house was for personal use only.

                      • Re: Just wondering how many of you actually use your VR for personal use or.....
                        ohst8er Premier Contributor

                        We bought our place as an investment in our future retirement.  We use it when we can, which is not nearly enough.  My guess is, we will sell it and buy something else with less stairs, tbd. 

                        • Re: Just wondering how many of you actually use your VR for personal use or.....
                          mvphawaiicondo Contributor

                          My daughter went to the University of Hawaii and after staying at overpriced, dumpy hotels in Waikiki that charged an arm and a leg for overnight parking, we decided to invest.  We bought our condo after her Junior year so the first year (her senior year) we only used it to go and visit her and get it ready for a VRBO.  We are nowhere near Waikiki but we like it that way.   Home is southern California.  I'm a flight attendant and when I work, I only fly to Honolulu.  And, I only fly there in between guests and only stay at my condo on my layovers rather than going to our crew hotel.  I keep a car at the airport (employee parking $35 a month - score!).  Quite often I clean my own property and I'm in heaven being there.  My husband and I go there together about twice a year for a week at a time and my entire family (kids and grandkids) goes there about a week out of the year. I don't think we will ever retire and move to Hawaii or at least in to our condo.  We have no significant weather to get away from .  We just like to visit. 

                          • Re: Just wondering how many of you actually use your VR for personal use or.....
                            bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                            This is an interesting post.  We have 120+ acres in the middle of nowhere near Yosemite, with one main house and one guesthouse.  We are currently only booking 14 nights a year since we can do so income tax free.  We are in the "recap of depreciation" mode, so we figure we are actually making money by not renting over those 14 nights allowed by the IRS.  We cannot write off expenses, but there are fewer expenses when you book so little.  We will put the ranch on the market in March to see what happens.  We realize that it could take 5 years to sell the property.  But we can continue to use the guesthouse for friends and family stays while continuing to book those 14 nights.  Thru the almost 25 years we have owned the property, we have slept in the guesthouse, to help understand what a guest experiences (i.e noises, etc.). But other than living in the guesthouse for 3 years while we built our home, it has been continually booked to guests worldwide. We have never gone over the 14 nights a year for personal use.  If we cannot sell, we have thought about donating the property to a university to use as a retreat and/or to conduct scientific studies.  The property has been an USGS official site for hummingbird studies for quite some time.  The wildlife activity is simply amazing and one of the things we will really miss. We have a local conservancy group not unlike the Nature Conservancy and we know people that have gone that route, if they have been unable to sell. We need to downsize so are really hoping we will be able to find a buyer - perhaps someone as crazy as we were 25 years ago.  Keeping fingers crossed...  

                            • Re: Just wondering how many of you actually use your VR for personal use or.....
                              ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

                              twobitrentals, you have raised a very interesting point.

                               

                              My VR was built as my eventual retirement home.  I listed it on VRBO years ago in an effort to offset the mortgage as we built at the top of the real estate bubble.  VRBO was a pretty good experience then with the ability to talk to prospective guests about what they could expect and enjoy about the area and I could confirm with then how I would expect them to treat my home.  Guests became friends, and referred other friends.  Since VRBO did not (at that time) permit the listing of homes that were managed by realtors, most of the homes in my area that listed on VRBO were like mine, second homes offered only when the owner was not in residence themselves.

                               

                              After 15 years, and the purchase of VRBO by HA, and then HA by Expedia, I find that most of the properties being offered (whether by an individual homeowner or not) in my area are investment properties.  They are owned strictly for the income they will derive, and are very much a business.

                               

                              I stay in my vacation rental at least four times a year.  That is the time during which we conduct repairs (diligently recorded for tax purposes) but also when we reconnect with our housekeeper and maintenance staff, our neighbors and friends.  It is still my home and a retirement investment more than it is an ongoing business investment.