Why Did I Buy A Cabin?


I believe this is a question that circles the penumbra of the minds of people who know me.  My husband still thinks me crazy (Am I crazy because I think many people think I’m crazy?) for spending every bit I earn and then some.  I’m not always good at articulating all my reasons and I’m not sure I have the complete answer but here goes!

I have always felt compelled to give to poorer areas.  However, I have little income and some years ago my husband who rarely tells me not to do something, put the stop to my plan to give an extra 5-10% each year until I reached a 90% give rate with our income.  So I dropped back to 10-15% and looked for other ways to contribute. 

Studies have shown that 80% of funds spent in a community directly benefit the people in that community.  So, the amount that I spend on the cabin, for the utilities, the appliances, the contractors, the furnishings, the security system, the landscape, and everything else benefit Chillicothe and Waverly and Ross and Pike counties and the people who live there. 

Think about it.  When you pay money to a retailer, some of what you pay goes to taxes which benefit the city/village and county, some to employ people who now can spend money at retailers which benefits the city/village, the county, and more people.  And when you pay money to a local contractor, they usually spend it in the area in which they live.  So when I pay the plumbers and other contractors, I know where that money will likely stay:  in Pike and Ross counties.  

There’s another reason I wanted a cabin.  For a several years we vacationed at a state park cabin.  I enjoyed the scenery, the trails, the lake, but the bed was very uncomfortable and the second bedroom had space only for bunk beds so our married friends would have difficulty staying with us.  The first two years we slept on the floor on an air mattress because the bed was so uncomfortable.  With the light from the sidewalk shining in and the sounds of cars coming and going in the parking lot and people walking outside our door and past our cabin, it was difficult to sleep which is one of my primary goals for a vacation.

The final year we stayed at the state park, we removed the mattress, leaned it against the bedroom wall and put our air mattress on the bed.  That year, the people in the next cabin, whose deck was directly across from our bedroom window, brought their radio outside and and sang along loudly and out of tune as we tried to sleep.  In the evenings before bedtime, I would gaze at the walls of the cabin and dream of repainting and adding artwork.  A cabin we owned would compensates for the defects of the state park cabin.  Two full bedrooms with the same mattresses we use at home, no cars pulling in, no one walking by at night, no one singing out of tune,  We can sleep and dream.

Finally, I don’t like to pay taxes.  We are in a low tax bracket but I would would still  prefer to send as little money as possible to our wasteful out-of-control government.  I asked an accountant how I could lessen our taxes.  The only viable solution was to purchase a building and move my business there or start another business.  I did not want a building for my business and one business takes most of my time; another business was out of the question.  But what about a vacation rental?  I love real estate and I could have a vacation place to enjoy for a couple of weeks each year and rent it in the interim.  That’s a business that would provide personal  benefits and still give me a tax deduction.  How has it worked out, you ask?  The first year has been difficult and costly, but we did get a small tax refund for the first time in years.  Never an organizer or a bookkeeper, the cabin had added more organization and bookkeeping to my life.  But it’s also a joy.  There’s work now but later I can hike and write and most of our pre-vacation planning is gone.  We don’t have to plan ahead for aone or two day vacation and if I ever get to take an entire week, there’s very little planning involved.  And for right now, I enjoy the quiet every time I am there to work.

Should you buy a vacation rental second home?  Stay tuned and I’ll tell you more to help you make that decision.

Read Users' Comments (2)

2 Response to "Why Did I Buy A Cabin?"

  1. kay says:
    May 12, 2011 10:05 AM

    I can't afford a cabin - but did you say rental? I'll get back to you next February! I don't do state park cabins because I need my sleep. This sounds ideal, and it's not that far away. You'll need to map out where the local stores are, so I don't have to schlep (and so I can leave a little grocery money behind).

    Kay Hahn

  2. dhrknss says:
    July 23, 2011 11:32 PM

    Kay, sorry I just read your comments. Google isn't sending me notices of comments.

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