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Second home questions

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Well, we have reconciled ourselves to making our daughter's last home into a family second home.  Mike says when the weather cools off a bit, and no hay is pressing to be harvested, he will go up and stay with me there now and then.  It's his chilhood home, about 75 years old in the oldest portion of it, last added onto  in the sixties.  

 

The painter is due there today, and I will then be done with the decorator side of stuff shortly thereafter.  A few more pictures and such to hang, and it's all done.  Jenna's sister has stayed up one weekend with her husband and Winn, and they are planning to use it as a riding crowd launching point.  Several large CIvil War sites and military reservations have riding trails nearby.

 

I plan to put a grill and picnic table to use there, and the house itself is beautifully equipped, as far as kitchen and other accommodations.   Plenty of dining space, plenty of sleeping area, if some want to bed down on air mattresses or in their horse trailers.  

 

We may wire a couple of heavy-duty outlets for the horse trailers with living quarters.  SIL plans to drive some posts and run some electric tape for temporary grazing for the horses.  

 

This house has an oil boiler for radiators  - yes, ancient and expensive to operate - so we won't be using them fulltime in the cold season.  The fireplace has an insert and blower, which is what Jenna used for her main heat, with a small electric heater in her bathroom.  Of course, we won't be there to stoke a wood fire, except when we stay over.  

 

I am sort of torn as to how to handle the house in wintertime.  We can turn off the water by just flipping a breaker, and crack open a faucet, so pipes shouldn't freeze and burst.  We don't stay cold so deep or long that I worry about structural damage to floors and such during deep winter.  We leave the applicances and electricity on, so the refrigerator has some food and drinks for us.  

 

I ordered a neat e-book off of amazon last night, and the author does a great job of discussing the second home, not as an investment or purchase.  Since we already own this one, and don't want to rent it out, most books on the subject were not on point for us.  

 

I just wanted some advice from those of you who maintain a second home - SUEY??? - for family use alone.  Any help is greatly appreciated.  If I've asked this before, and forgotten what I was told, please forgive me...my mind isn't on target a lot these days.  

 

TIA.

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