At the end of 2023, feeling burnt out and in need of a peaceful environment to work on my book, I opted for a wellness retreat lasting just one day. Instead of spending $2,000 a night at a wellness center in the middle of the woods, I chose to retreat to my vacant old house.
For 24 hours, I immersed myself in the silence of the surroundings, and it proved to be a magical experience.
While I had always considered either renting out the house for semi-passive income or selling it, the invaluable nature of health made me contemplate a third option.
Creating A Wellness Center Out Of Old Home
A wellness center retreat is a specialized facility or program designed to promote and enhance overall well-being, encompassing physical, mental, and sometimes spiritual aspects. These retreats typically offer a range of activities and services aimed at improving participants’ health, relaxation, and personal development.
Common features of wellness center retreats may include spa treatments, fitness classes, meditation sessions, healthy meals, educational workshops, and opportunities for relaxation and self-reflection. The goal is to provide a holistic experience that helps individuals rejuvenate, de-stress, and adopt healthier lifestyle habits.
While I don’t have plans to operate a wellness business from my home, the convenience of summoning massage therapists, cooks, and various services through my phone, thanks to the tech companies in the Bay Area, is readily available.
I know the idea of turning an indented home into a place for healing may sound absurd, it didn’t feel that way while I regained happiness. Apart from the wellness center concept, there are additional advantages to having an unrented house available close by.
A Place For Relatives To Stay In Private
Although my new house is more spacious, it lacks a guest house, resulting in all relatives residing under the same roof. This can be challenging for those accustomed to independent living for many years.
Having an unrented home nearby with all the conveniences would be an incredible luxury. They would have their own kitchen, bathrooms, living rooms, decks, and privacy, eliminating accidental encounters and unexpected surprises.
One common issue with family vacations is downsizing to a much smaller accommodation than your usual home. For instance, you might live in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,400 square foot house with your family of four, but on vacation, end up in a two-bedroom condo of 1,000 square feet or two studio hotel rooms of 350 square feet each.
Given that my home is about 2,800 square feet, it could comfortably accommodate a family of five. Additionally, such a house would likely encourage more friends and relatives from around the country and the world to visit. The allure of staying in a fully remodeled house with ocean views for as long as they wanted would make the prospect more enticing.
A Place To Quarantine When Someone Is Sick
The next time you’re struck by a nasty illness, as I recently experienced, consider an alternative to isolating yourself at home and risking infecting your entire family—you could quarantine in a wellness house.
What price would you put on safeguarding every member of your family from falling ill? For those with immunocompromised family members, the value of a wellness house could be substantial.
Imagine having a pregnant wife with a history of challenging pregnancies. The availability of a wellness house for either you or your wife to retreat to could not only protect her but potentially contribute to a smoother pregnancy experience.
A Place For Events And Entertainment
Your wellness house can serve as a venue for various gatherings – from parties to poker nights – without disturbing the peace at home. It’s also an ideal space for hosting a wide range of fundraisers.
I attended a dinner fundraiser at a friend’s wellness house, organized to support our city’s district attorney. It was a pleasant event that provided an opportunity for networking, learning, and contributing to a cause aimed at convicting repeat offenders.
For those who enjoy entertaining guests but also value privacy, having a wellness house to host parties while safeguarding the address of your primary residence holds significant value.
The Cost To Have A Home As A Wellness Center
All of the above sounds appealing, doesn’t it? Billionaires frequently purchase neighboring homes for reasons like privacy, family, work, and investments.
However, the primary challenge with owning a wellness house lies in the operating costs. Even if you have no mortgage, there are still property taxes, insurance bills, and maintenance expenses to cover.
To determine if owning one is financially justifiable, you would calculate the annual cost of owning the unrented house and then divide it by the number of “events” you plan to host. Events could include retreats, parties, or visits from relatives.
The cost per event tends to be significantly higher than simply renting a hotel room or event space. From this basic comparison, owning a wellness house may not seem financially worthwhile. However, it’s worth considering that you still own the asset, which could appreciate or depreciate over time.
For instance, let’s say the wellness house is valued at $1 million and costs $36,000 a year to own (3.6%). If you host 12 events a year, each event would cost $3,000. If the house appreciates by 5%, or $50,000, you’re in good shape. However, if it depreciates, the situation may not be as favorable. Nevertheless, owning such an asset can be a strategic way to decumulate.
The reality is, I’m not rich enough to own a wellness house indefinitely. I need to either sell the house or rent it out. I would only go the wellness house route if the asset was worth 5% of my net worth or less.
So far, I’ve had zero hassle owning my wellness house because I have zero tenants and nothing has broken yet. Once I get tenants, I’ll have more passive income, but I’ll have more problems too.
If I sell the home, I’ll be able to simplify life and reliquefy my bank account. This would relieve some stress as I’ll have one less thing to deal with. With less stress comes more happiness and an ability to focus my attention on things I enjoy.
The only problem with selling is that this is a fantastic house I’d love to keep in the portfolio long term, especially if we are past the real estate bottom.
I believe single family homes with panoramic ocean views on the west side of San Francisco are going to do well over the next 20 years. There are plenty of local economic catalysts on the horizon.
Once again, I must decide whether to rent out or sell as the new year is upon us. What would you do? And have you ever considered owning an unrented home nearby for wellness purposes? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience.
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