college Road Trip 225x300 Real Estate Road TripMy daughter is a sophomore in HS and I need to start thinking about the College Road Trip.  A right of passage for many parents where you put thousands of miles on the car to drive around and see where your kids will spend the greatest four years of their lives and get a great education (Note: emphasis on “four” and not “five” or “six”.), while bankrupting your retirement plans.

I know parents that are going to see 40+ schools. That’s a lot of miles.  Stretching from Boston down to the Southeast.  All this time and energy is required for a huge investment of $50K/year and four years of my kids’ life that will greatly determine her future success in the rest of her life.  Lots at stake.

So I’m at Newark airport this week waiting to board a plane for a Charlotte-Savannah trip to see Coldwell Banker Real Estate agents in the Carolinas and Georgia.  As I normally do when I am sitting through another Newark delay, I pull out my iPhone and start using my Coldwell Banker ® app to “dream” about real estate…where my wife and I will end up after our youngest daughter goes to college.

I’ve never been to Savannah so I start searching for homes by the water and “BOOM”, I think I fell in love with Savannah.  Problem is, I also fell in love with Harkers Island, Wilmington and, Wrightsville Beach, NC.  And Charleston, Beaufort and other locations along the SC coast (or can I call it the shore even if it’s not in NJ, but I am?).

So what about this idea??  People usually retire to places they know.  But what if we did a “Second Home/Retirement Road Trip.”  Find the places we don’t know, like our kids do when they decide on a college after reading stuff online and one quick but carefully orchestrated visit.  Let’s say, fly into Wilmington, NC and fly out of Savannah, GA, and spend a week driving around, meeting with a few Coldwell Banker agents and see new areas of the country that fit my general needs of: 1) proximity to beaches/water; 2) warm weather/short winter; 3) enough fun and interesting things to do to keep us motivated (actually very similar to my kid’s desire for college!).   Our sales professionals at Coldwell Banker Real Estate are like college admissions officers…you make an appointment with them and they introduce us to the campus/area based on our needs and wish list and then help us sort out the financial side to make it a reality.

I’m excited to come down with my wife and do the tour.  See some new areas of the country and make a emotional/gut decision that will affect the rest of my life…just like 18 year old kids around the country do every year around this time.  Because we all know it’s their decision, not the parents, even though you the parents are most likely paying most/all of the bills!  So parents…stand up and at least take charge of your life!  ROAD TRIP!!!!

Have you ever heard of Topsail Beach???  I may love this one too…