I recently read that there's a new trend in real estate. Apparently the newest thing is family vacation compounds in sunbelt areas. A family typically buys a large parcel of land and then has one large main house built that's large enough to accomodate events and meals for the entire extended family. Then smaller homes are built around this main house with outdoor common areas left open for recreation. This is a very interesting concept but I'm having a hard time believing it's going to really take off.
First of all, I don't know about your extended family, but for mine, organizing one large family vacation is challenging enough. (I was in charge of one for our family just last year!) Coordinating schedules, getting everyone to agree on what they want, where they want to go and how much they want to pay is a pretty complicated undertaking. Now imagine you have to get everyone to agree on all these things for a permanent compound!
Resale potential is a bit tricky. These are apparently generally designed one at a time for each family. That makes this a very unique property with a very limited pool of potential buyers. And, what if, over time, some families want to sell their individual cottages/homes? How does that get handled?
Then there are the financial questions, both initial and ongoing. How do you divide up the costs? Again in my family there are fairly wide disparities in income. And, once families buy in, how do you share taxes, insurance and maintenance costs? What if someone falls on hard times? It seems like there are a plethora of ways for this to create hard feelings!
Oh, and is everyone going to want to spend their vacation in the same spot (with their relatives) every year? Given the costs involved will they be able to afford not to?
On the other hand, I live far from my siblings and parents and miss them very much. It would be great to be able to count on time together with them on a regular basis in a relaxed setting. It's an emotionally satisfying idea on paper. I'm just not sure we could pull it off and all remain on good terms!
What do you think?