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Home » Turn Of Your ‘On’ Switch: As Burnout Runs Rampant, Focus on Disconnecting For Quality Of Life

Turn Of Your ‘On’ Switch: As Burnout Runs Rampant, Focus on Disconnecting For Quality Of Life

Today, second homes have become more important for our mental health than ever before.

It’s no secret that the legal profession is known for its high-performing, pressure-filled, and competitive nature. The American Bar Association covers the topic of attorney stress frequently, and notes that “Stress affects all people and all professions. Stress in the legal profession, however, is well-documented. Lawyers work in an adversarial system with demanding schedules and heavy workloads, which may contribute to increased stress levels.”

If anyone deserves to unwind more than attorneys, I’d love to know who that is. From having trouble disconnecting due to the nature of the job, and especially with working remote, investing in a second home is both lucrative and important for re-establishing family connection and making memories with your loved ones in a truly disconnected-from-the-office way.

Since the pandemic started, many people have been forced to work from home, spending days on end in the same location, blurring the distinctions between office/school and home, workplace/study and leisure, the weekdays from the weekends. COVID has also limited traveling options, and increased our shared space concerns, right when we needed it the most.

Today, second homes have become more important for our mental health than ever before.

Our friends and colleagues in the legal profession who already had second homes in Florida when COVID hit were the ones with the most peace of mind to travel. They’d take a road trip down to the second home, open it up and stay there for a days or weeks—and in some cases, they stayed until further notice. If they wanted to go back home or attend an important meeting, they could drive back at any time, without too much preparation or health concerns. That has become the dream for many of us, particularly those with stressful careers and school-aged children.

The concept is not new. Florida has been second home to families from around the country for a long time, but the state has just recently gained an increased importance to fellow Floridians. Families craving a change of scenery and to disconnect from their daily responsibilities and reconnect with each other have discovered that paradise can be found in an easy 90-minute drive away.

When it comes to choosing a second home, I recommend considering certain factors that are different from those of a primary house, yet which are nonetheless crucial elements to consider.

  • Spend some nights nearby and “sample the lifestyle” to see if the selected area is right for you. Some towns could be too busy or too quiet and not align with your preferences. You should be careful when choosing where you buy your second home, second homes have a transformative effect on your life.
  • Don’t overlook driving distance. If not planned carefully, it may end up being too far away from your primary home and overtime, that will limit your trips. Find the sweet spot where the drive itself provides the unwinding and resetting you need but doesn’t feel too long.
  • Check if short term rentals are allowed in the property and consider renting it out while you are not using it. This will allow you to generate extra income to cover mortgage or maintenance costs.
  • There is no need to self-manage the second home as a rental. You want less stress in your life not more. A professional property management company will take care of all the aspects of the rental. They will handle all the marketing, vetting of renters and collect money on your behalf. In addition, they will make sure the home is ready for you when you visit.
  • Keep “owners’ closets” under lock for your exclusive access when renting short term or lending the property to others. This will keep your personal items, and valuables away from guests. Ideally, you would have one for clothing, linens and toiletries and a second one for pantry items, which means you won’t have to be bringing your bourbon on every trip.

There are great opportunities to be found for second home investments in Florida, just be sure to take it one step at a time, and of course, consider the return on investment by working with a broker who can help determine this on your behalf. You certainly deserve to make the investment in your mental health and overall, your personal life.


Paula Di Mauro is a licensed real estate broker and own of Urban Key Realty in South Miami.