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-   -   A summer home, but is it too far away? (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/623261-summer-home-but-too-far-away.html)

Krautwald 6th Jul 2019 14:57

A summer home, but is it too far away?
So - my gf could buy her Grandparents summer home. Located on a Danish island, nice small cabin, modernized but low maintenance, close to beach, half of market price. Been a family joint for decades, we like it and for her itís full of memories. Itís almost perfect.

Almost because? Itís far away. I always found that unless the drive is short enough for casual weekends, itís not worth having a holiday home.

We are currently living in Norway. Third country in ten years. How often would we even be there? Granted, there are two arguments that dismantle the problem somewhat: family could spend time there as well (not too empty) and the island seems to be very safe (safety/burglaries problem).

However I am not really done thinking. I reckon itís gonna require a week off to be worthwhile the travel/drive/ferry. Even if I set aside my concerns regarding burglars/vandalism, and assume several people will help keeping the place busy, thereís still general stuff like how hard it will be on the place if its empty and cold for much of the year. Who is gonna find out when the roof leaks, the toilet overflows or the termites move in?

Grandparents lived there for about half the year while pensioners, plus some weeks in use by family. But in our case we may be talking 9 months/year without use and heating. In Danish salty climate. Will I have to install some sort of smart system to counter that? And what will it cost me.

Renting out to strangers is not really part of the plan, I know it may help but itís just too personal of a place.

Like to hear your opinion. How much hassle is it to have a place unattended for much of the year? Am I overlooking something? Or worrying too much even? I know some may just make sure there is enough airflow in the place and the pipes canít freeze and never worry about anything else?

G-CPTN 6th Jul 2019 16:20

Being a Danish Sommerhus, it will be frost-resistant once the water supply is turned off (as is normal for Sommerhuser that cannot (by law) be occupied year-round).
There is almost certainly a neighbour who will keep an eye on it in return for occasional use.
Go for it - you can always sell it for a profit.

NRU74 6th Jul 2019 16:29

You’ve not said what the price is, and how much boodle you and g/f have/earn - if it’s half the market price you’d be crazy not to buy !

SMT Member 6th Jul 2019 16:54

I've two set of friends in the same situation, except they're only 4-5 hours drive away from their (inherited) summer houses. They don't like renting out either, but only use their houses a few weeks every year themselves, friends and family another few weeks on top of that. Both houses are, for all practical purposes, left empty from September through April.

You can easily hire someone local to look after things for you, the level of engagement is basically up to you and how much money you're willing to spend. But having a guy coming over every 2 weeks to check on things, perhaps cut the grass and trim the hedges when necessary, is not expensive at all. Burglaries are always a worry, best defence is to equip your summerhouse with items suitable for the environment; cheap second hand and the best IKEA has on offer. If you must have a TV, get an inexpensive Chinese bamboo model and keep your (old and ratty) bicycles locked inside the shed.

If the house is of standard quality, you don't need to worry about freezing pipes (you may need to turn the water off at your last visit prior to winter), leakages or catastrophic deterioration.

Prices for summerhouses in Denmark have been flat for a very long time, with no real signs of improvement. The market is generally not open to non-residents, which obviously puts a dampener on speculation. It would, however, be utterly stupid to turn down an offer at 'half price'. And the Danish islands are absolutely lovely in the summer, worth every penny.

cavortingcheetah 6th Jul 2019 17:05

What would your children and grandchildren enjoy the most? (Yes I know you probably don't have any but it's a useful perspective question in cases like these.)

At your age, if you can afford to keep the cottage then my advice would be to do so. I think you're more likely in five year's time to regret that you sold the place in 2019 than you are in five year's time to regret that you still had it. The sell now potential downside is greater than the sell later downside. Let your gf hold on to her place of memories.

Besides which, in terms of plain practicality, the 1/2 price can easily be mentally amortised into the maintenance costs covering some years ahead.
Just put a camera system in linked to your telephone, that's easy to do, so that major disaster will be instantly detectable and that will psychologically sooth your troubled brow. The gf will probably reward you in ways so unimaginable as to be precisely that.

Krautwald 6th Jul 2019 17:10

I can sense how you guys are talking me into it, haha. But thatís great really. I like to get rid of worries... tend to worry too much.

Itís not a very expensive island called ∆rÝ, Baltic Sea, market rate would prob be around 130.000Ä? The cabin is 12 years old and replaced the original house the family had there since the early sixties.

Given the 0,5% fixed loans atm we would probably keep our savings and get a loan, so it is definitely not a money problem. Just practical worries, due to inexperience. But I wouldnt want to buy cheap from them just to make the profit they could have had. The family price is for family use, I think. If I knew we wouldnt get all-in, I think it would be fair to ask other family or let the old folks sell full price.

Pontius Navigator 6th Jul 2019 17:25

Your girl friend, her house, her memories?

Where do you really fit in If you see what I mean, or is she asking your advice as her boy friend?

G-CPTN 6th Jul 2019 18:03

Originally Posted by Krautwald (Post 10511410)
Itís not a very expensive island called ∆rÝ.

∆rÝ is delightful with good transport links and has all the facilities that you might want, and it should be in demand should you want to sell in the future.

alicopter 6th Jul 2019 18:44

Hi Krautwald. I do not spend all of my time there right now, but I own a small farm in Normandy, inherited from my parents and it has been in the family for seven generations... All I can say is that stepping outside your front door and being 100 per cent certain that you are putting your footprints in your ancestors footprints is a mind-blowing sensation... The quality of your sleep, combined with the fact that the nearest village is six kms away, seven from the Atlantic waves, gives you a rare feeling of "belonging" and I have asked my son and my daughter to never get rid of it but consider it as a secure place to come and restaure a good health, mental and physical or simply now and again "pause" and rest from a hectic modern life. On the farm, I seem to heal all my (luckily) small life problems more efficiently than anywhere else in the world... and my wife loves it too. I find it unvaluable!!!.

jolihokistix 7th Jul 2019 05:04

Harking back to PN's comment above, how secure is your relationship with said g/f? Surely everything hinges on that. Secure? Keep the cabin, no-brainer. (IMHO)

ETOPS 7th Jul 2019 06:43

As this is a BB dedicated to aviation there is a simple solution..

Fly to ∆rÝ :ok:

There is an airport............

jolihokistix 7th Jul 2019 07:14

∆rÝ ∆rÝpÝrt?

yellowtriumph 7th Jul 2019 09:33

Concur with CH about getting a discrete camera system. If you’re worried about leaks etc you can get water/flood detection and signalling systems at very moderate cost. See here for examples:


I’d keep it too if I didn’t need the money, the sense of carrying on a tradition can be immensely satisfying.

er340790 7th Jul 2019 09:43

Sure - do it! Life is too short not to. :ok:

Just one word of caution... you may find that your life starts to 'compartmentalize'. I now spend 4-5 months in the US during Winter, the same in Canada during Spring-Summer-Fall and 1-2 months p.a. in the UK. There is understandably very little overlap in each area in terms of family, friends and neighbours. The upshot is that it is like living 3 different lives - it really does take a week or two to get used to each new place and shake-off being in the previous place. A bit like a form of Cultural Jet-Lag. :}

I guess these are really First-World problems. :rolleyes: But it does exist.


alicopter 7th Jul 2019 11:56

Your girl friend will be for ever thankful for helping to get her "roots" anchored... and I foresee a long and happy relationship when the "foundations" (even if it's in a cabin!) go back a while in her psyche. I have been with my "wife" for 43 years (we are not married for real!) and her and our 2 children have a place, on this sometimes crazy planet where to meet and relax. In front of the cheminey fire that warmed up my Father and the entire tribe of his ancestors, I cannot even contemplate to not try to keep these walls standing and his old twisted apple trees keeping giving us their apples to make the famous (to us anyway!) cider that we can share with friends or simple visitors, sitting around a table I made myself with a few trees felled 50 metres away... In a few weeks, I shall retire there, getting the farm in good shape for my kids and grand-children to take over when my ashes join my dad's and my mother's under the oak tree I can see from my bedroom window!!!
if you understand French!!!!
Flying a chopper, sailing on my classic wooden yacht (5 years liveaboard), riding my Merens cross for long treks, working as a shipwright / sailing on the most beautiful sailing boats in the world and many other wonderfully rewarding things I have been privileged to do so far, nothing can beat doing nothing on the farm....
I highly recommend to anyone in the position to do it... go for it.

BDAttitude 7th Jul 2019 12:57

Listen to yourself.
If you have four to six weeks to spend there, you have to expect that there won't be much sitting on the patio enjoying cool drinks but fighting the vegetation and fixing things the elements and the dear family broke.
If you would enjoy yourself doing this then go for it.
Otherwise, find someone else in the family and support him with the funding, establishing a life estate :)

cavortingcheetah 7th Jul 2019 14:17

You have received quite a lot of collated wisdom from people who really do have some life experience and knowledge of that about which they speak. I hope you are relaying this to the girl friend in unadulterated form so that she can see for herself just how fortunate she is to have the opportunity to catch hold of a dream such as she has and keep it for herself and her loved ones in turn.
Better still, why not introduce the girl friend to these pages so that sh can see for herself just how wonderful and kind are old experienced aviators.

Pontius Navigator 7th Jul 2019 14:27

Originally Posted by cavortingcheetah (Post 10512142)
You have received quite a lot of collated wisdom from people who really do have some life experience and knowledge of that about which they speak. I hope you are relaying this to the girl friend in unadulterated form so that she can see for herself just how fortunate she is to have the opportunity to catch hold of a dream such as she has and keep it for herself and her loved ones in turn.
Better still, why not introduce the girl friend to these pages so that sh can see for herself just how wonderful and kind are old experienced aviators.

CC, I didn't read it that way. Not WE or SHE but I. She has the chance to buy the house but it is You that sees the inconvenience of travelling. It is She that has memories but I presume it is You that would be buying the house at half price. Is that the nub?

cavortingcheetah 7th Jul 2019 14:56

PN. Yes, I think that's exactly the scenario. It's not the girl friend who needs convincing but the thread starter? I had hoped that if he showed her all this collective wisdom, she'd give him a clip, Gibbs style and then they'd get on with it.
My phraseology in my previous post. The young man should just get on with it.
Apologies for my digression.

Krautwald 7th Jul 2019 17:50

Well - itís not a relationship problem really. Weíd be buying together but are still weighing. I never thought of it as a psychological thing writing ďIĒ here, although you could probably construe that. I am simply trying to sort MY perspective before making a common decision. And on my con list are the above mentioned issues. Yes they are probably different from hers, for one itís less emotional for me and itís also about practical matters - guysí stuff if you like, which I would end up being responsible for I guess. And since none of my buds have a place like this at such a distance, I asked here.

As of now, the pro list is longer. :)

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