Author Topic: Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?  (Read 4016 times)

CatamaranSailor

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Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?
« on: May 23, 2014, 11:04:27 AM »
My family and I are planning on taking a trip that will last 12-15 months. We currently own a house and could rent it for more than what the mortgage is. My wife wants to rent it our so that it will be waiting for us upon our return. I'm leaning toward selling it and banking the $$$. I don't have any qualms about being a landlord (in fact I'd hire a property management company) I just simply don't want to worry about it while we're gone. I don't have anything against the house (other than it's in a slightly noisier location than I would prefer) and the plan is to come back to this location when we're done traveling. For my wife it's a security blanket...having it here and waiting...for me it's a potential host of problems if we end up with asshat renters or something happens that might cause us to cut our trip short. Looking for thoughts or suggestions, especially from anyone who has land lording experience. Thanks!!

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2014, 11:24:49 AM »
If you plan to come back to the same area, the rent will pay the mortgage, and you can find a firm to handle it, renting it out sounds like a no-brainer.

Selling it, then repurchasing something within a year or so could be a problem. Transaction costs, rising prices, etc...

I vote Team Wife on this one. :)

d_bodlaki

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Re: Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2014, 11:49:56 AM »
Hi,

We went last year for a 1-year trip abroad and we rented the house out. It turned out all good for us. We had a very nice renter who not just paid the rent but took good care of our house and our cars (starting up the cars once a month, reparking them in a safe place when huricane came etc.) We didn't put an advertisement in the paper but my husband put out an email at the local college where he works and one of the instructors on a one year assignment rented the place. We were also flexible (she only rented 9 month out of the year) and didn't ask more than to cover our house related expenses (we don't have a mortgage, so that means just utilities, lawn mowing, insurance and taxes). I think she got a good deal and our house was well taken care off, and cost us no money while we were away, so we are very pleased. (Another reason we didn't sell is because I'm not a US citizen but a permanent resident and since we went abroad for a long time we thought it would be good upon reentering the US to have some property on my name in the US).

I hope this helped. Good luck on your 1 year trip!




nereo

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Re: Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2014, 11:56:49 AM »
+2 for renting.  If you can find decent people to rent to and cover the cost of the mortgage then it seems like a simple decision.  Selling will create costs.  Renting continues to build equity.

BFGirl

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Re: Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2014, 12:08:11 PM »
Find a good property manager and rent.  The property manager is getting paid to deal with the worst of the headaches.

Argyle

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Re: Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2014, 01:31:55 PM »
Also what about the furniture and contents?  You'd get rid of all those and then buy more when you returned?  That sounds pricy.

NumberCruncher

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Re: Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2014, 01:37:58 PM »
Man, the hassle of selling the house and finding a new place to stay on your return sounds worse than the worries you might have abroad.

Just make sure to screen potential tenants: http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2013/01/27/tenant-screening/

And make sure the management company is highly recommended and licensed and all that: http://www.biggerpockets.com/articles/454-for-property-management-jobs-how-do-you-pick-the-best-manager-

If you do your due diligence before the trip, there's a low likelihood of stress inducing events occurring.  :)  Due to maintenance costs that might come up, keep in mind that you might still lose money, but it would most likely be less than the transaction costs in buying/selling.

Best of luck on your trip! Sounds awesome!

CatamaranSailor

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Re: Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2014, 04:09:12 PM »
Thank you very much for the replies! It looks like Team Wife is winning this argument! We are actually planning on doing "The Great Loop" which is a sailing trip that circumnavigates 1/3 of the US by using rivers, canals and the Intercoastal Waterway.

http://captainjohn.org/


netskyblue

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Re: Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2014, 04:42:58 PM »
I'd rent as well.  My sister actually got a really good deal renting a farmhouse on a few acres when the husband got moved or deployed in the military and the wife decided to go with/near? him.  She got the benefits (albeit along with the work) of having a yard & garden and nice house for cheaper than apartment living (she's a country girl, born & bred).  The landlords got a responsible person to care for their property.  My sister also made great friends with some of their neighbors!

Nords

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Re: Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2014, 11:50:59 PM »
Thank you very much for the replies! It looks like Team Wife is winning this argument!
I was going to comment that you seemed to be confused about who has the majority vote in your relationship...

It's only money, but selling the home is a largely irrevocable decision.  If this voyage is a miserable failure and you return home in 10 weeks (perhaps after the hospital heals your injuries) then you'll be happy that you don't have to start all over again with new lodgings.

DollarBill

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Re: Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2014, 05:34:28 AM »
I've only had one attempt at renting my house and it was a disaster. I had a management company, only two tenants and each cost me about $8K each for repairs and lawyer fees...which was never recovered. I cut my losses and sold the house. If and I say "IF" I ever try renting again it won't be a house that I've lived in...I get too emotional to see the damage to a house I cared for.

With that said, I agree with everyone that it makes the most financial sense to rent it if your coming back in a year.

Mortgage Free Mike

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Re: Taking 1 Year Trip...Sell House or Rent?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2014, 10:23:34 AM »
In your case I would probably rent it out, but list it early so you can get the right renter. Good idea to have the property management company handle it too. Enjoy your trip.