1 Reply Latest reply on Jun 6, 2014 4:40 AM by MyR Community Manager

    vacation home(s) - the second second house


      My spouse began going with the family to the beach house when she was five years old. Her mother was second to die (father died at age 83) and put the property into a trust for two boys (1927 and 1929) and two girls (1942 and 1943). My spouse is the "baby" daughter. Since we lived (and still do) the closest (three hour drive), the other three sold their share(s) at 50 cents on the dollar and we became owners, paying the annual care (about four grand per year, meaning we have spent a bit more since buying than the actual price of purchase). When the shore-line real estate was re-assessed (it had been some years), the "market value" shot up six-fold, as did the real-estate taxes. As it turns out, the water in the Chesapeake Bay is supposed to rise as much as five feet six inches by the end of this century. As a consequence, homeowner's insurance is either not available or has become much more expensive (in the range of double what it was less than a decade ago). The cottage is small (900 square feet) and has survived essentially unscathed hurricane Isabel (2003) and Ernesto (later) as well as numerous instances of nor'easter(s). The flood threat (future) has depressed the real estate market. A house slightly inland (this is an island about 3 miles by 1 mile) may have been put on the market when the long-time owner died at age 95 in year 2012. Recently we have been considering what to do. We can easily walk from the legacy shore-line "beach front" property and the asking price has gone down, again down, now (unofficially) down. The owner (one son of two) lives in Texas and is age 78. He owns even more family property on the main island road and has spent the same time (on toward two years) adding to another larger house, "complete rebuild" - also for sale. That one we are not considering. Due to wetlands and shore-line regulations we might not be able to build - larger - on the original "beach" property. In addition to just one son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren (soon to be ages 7 and 3) we also have nearby a niece (age 50) with her two daughters as well as a slightly younger nephew, his wife and their daughter and son (quite young) who like to use the original cottage (which has one bedroom at each end, a tiny bath/shower indoors as well as a tiny kitchen that faces the Bay and a central room with Bay-side large (14' x 21') screened porch. Looking at the potential for overflow (an extra bedroom on main level of the property for sale, extra large by comparison to the original building, which was hauled in and set up, Army surplus, following World War II - it used to be an officer's barracks.