Author Topic: Indefinite Travel and Primary House Rental  (Read 2462 times)

Left Bank

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Indefinite Travel and Primary House Rental
« on: August 15, 2017, 11:17:14 AM »
Hello MMM Community,
I'd like to use this thread to ask some questions, get some opinions and experiences and see if I can help clarify my thinking.

My wife and I FIRE'd about 3 years ago and moved out to the PNW for the outdoor activities and QOL.  We built up our own camper and have been tempted on taking off into world to do the "van-life" thing for as far as we want to go.  We're not completely new to this as we've traveled the past two winters road tripping throughout Mexico but are seriously considering a long term trip.  And we're trying to figure out what to do with our house in Oregon.

We don't need the money from its rental but it would be nice to at least offset the maintenance and taxes for the house if not pocket some extra cash.  I was thinking of offering the house to a friend so that they could AirBnB it while we are gone. The clear advantage is that the house is watched over and would be available to us no matter when we return vs having a lease in place.  The questions I have are:
- Have you or anyone you know done this?
- Is this a good idea?
- If so, what percent should I offer to the friend to keep for themselves?
- Or should I charge them a fixed rate weekly or monthly and they can keep what they earn? 
- What protections should I have in place?
- If not a friend, do management companies handle this type of rental?
- Better ideas?

Thanks for your help.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Indefinite Travel and Primary House Rental
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 08:10:44 AM »
We've done a lot of AirBnB'ing and short/medium/long-term rentals for our 3 apartments, including our previous home.

Honestly it might not be worth the extra expense, stress and risk doing the AirBnB thing, even though it's technically more flexible for you to return whenever you want.

I think you're better off offering it on something like a 3-monthly recurring rental or something, and planning based on that when you can return and renewing it to the same or letting new tenants in if you want to keep traveling.


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Re: Indefinite Travel and Primary House Rental
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 10:29:16 PM »
That's actually how I got into landlording. I was planning a big trip/work hiatus for when I turned 30. So a year prior after casually talking to a coworker at work, I offered to rent it out to her and her fiancÚ while I lived with family. It worked out and they stayed for two years, and I got to leave the country for several months and just work part time for six months before going back into full-time work. As soon as Soon as they moved out, I had more friends who heard from word-of-mouth that I had a place and they wanted to move in, and they are still there now.

 If you have a trusted friend who is currently renting, I would offer it to them for a very low rent, and advertise it as an opportunity for them to save a lot of cash, and have their own space. With my coworker, I trusted her and I actually courted her into renting my house. It didn't take much convincing since it was walking distance from work, but I overheard her and her fiancÚ were looking for a place and I knew him also and trusted them.You'll be surprised at what people would do for an opportunity to save some money. I wouldn't be surprised if you were able to convince someone to leave a lease and move in.


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Re: Indefinite Travel and Primary House Rental
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2017, 12:03:02 AM »
We're not doing indefinite travel but we're off for several months and we hired a real estate agent to take care of things for us. This method is just easier for us. We got a 6-month lease sorted, and it mostly suits our timeline. We were only planning to travel for 4 months but it's not a big deal - we'll just find a way to deal with the additional 2 months e.g. extend our travels, do some house-sitting, etc. We're not even FIRE'd yet. You're FIRE'd so surely you can be more flexible. :)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Indefinite Travel and Primary House Rental
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2017, 09:57:30 AM »
In 18 months I intend to do what the OP is considering.  Retiring, going full time RV.

Whether I sell or rent will depend on market conditions at the time and if I can get enough cash flow to warrant the aggravation of being a long distance land lord (although, I'm already one of those).  If the OP rents and finds out the full time thing is not for them, they can move back into their house. 


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Indefinite Travel and Primary House Rental
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2017, 04:09:51 PM »
We had thought about doing something similar. The house will be empty for several months. After semi-seriously talking about it, we do not think Airbnb or renting our home is for us. A few things that will not work for us (maybe this is not an issue for you):
- We have some tempurpedic mattresses that we do not want some stranger using it or soiling it. We also have some high end appliances (we got lucky). If those get damaged, it will be expensive to replace.
-We do not want our home get damaged - particularly if someone smoke in it. Also, we do not wear shoes in our carpeted area. Our carpet looks like new.   
-What to do with our personal items - computers, pictures, paintings etc. Definitely do not want anyone snooping around.

Yes we can get a storage unit, and store what are important items but that is not worth the headache for us. If we are travelling for years, then maybe it is worth the trouble, or just sell it, but not for just a few months.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 04:15:45 PM by sequoia »


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Re: Indefinite Travel and Primary House Rental
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2017, 10:47:21 PM »
Hey neighbor!  We live in the same city as you and plan on traveling for a year or more in a sprinter van once our kids are out of high school (only 15 years to go, ha!).  A few things that might be helpful (or you might already know) to look into are that the city of Bend has a restriction on the density allowed for short term rentals (you can't get a permit for a short term rental if there is another already in place withing a 250 foot radius of your property line).  You can look up your property and it'll show all the short term rentals near you and in the entire city and it will show you what is in a 250 radius per the rules, but I couldn't find it immediately.  This link has a lot of information and it's probably buried in the link somewhere.  (It shows a picture of the tool I was looking for but not a direct link, grr!)

If that is a route you'd like the pursue and your property is eligible, there are definitely property management companies in Bend that would take care of that for you but I have no idea what they would charge. 

We have 2 long term rentals and we manage them ourselves.  Like previous posters, we have had great luck when living out of state having friends rent properties for a little under market in exchange for them just taking care of the little stuff but keeping us in the loop.  You really need to trust them for this to work, though.  We still run the usual credit and background checks, even if they are friends.

Rents are high here but property prices are higher, unless you've owned for a while (5+ years?) or had a large down payment it likely wouldn't cash flow well as a long term rental but you'd have to run the numbers yourself (or ask for help here!).  One thing you can count on is an extremely low amount of vacancy since the rental market is TIGHT.  If you don't have an emotional attachment to the house, I'd probably sell and stuff the equity into investments.   

Best thing to do is research the numbers and determine if it'd be worth not having a permanent place to come back to and how much it'd bother you to have other people living in "your space."

Left Bank

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Re: Indefinite Travel and Primary House Rental
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 08:50:50 PM »
Thanks everyone for the replies.  It does seem like AirBnB will be much more hassle than it is worth. We'll start putting feelers out for people we know who would want to rent it longer term and for the upcoming winter just leave it with the pet sitter.   Seems like a waste but it is likely best.