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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 7 Nov 2010
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Sell or Rent?

Hello.
So, here's the question!
I own a house and will be traveling for a few years so do I sell or rent?
I have no real intention to return to the house, just to use it in whatever way best to finance travel.
At the moment I'm for selling but just thought I'd put the question out there.
What are your experiences?
Did you regret renting or wish you'd never sold the place?
How did those of you that sold get on with investing/utilizing the cash?
Thanks. Dave.
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Old 8 Nov 2010
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I've been looking into this same question myself. I've come to the conclusion (and been told by many people with experience) that it is extremely difficult to make money renting a house in most situations. It gets even worse if you use a company to manage the property (and thus get paid a portion of your rent income). There are exceptions to this of course, but you would probably already know it if you had an unusually good situation to rent.
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Old 8 Nov 2010
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I have rented out various places over the years while I went traveling, most recently my condominium while I toured Latin America for a year. I've also rented places while I stayed put--either moving out into a cheaper place to do this, or moving to my next home but hanging onto the old one as an investment.

In my experience, if you choose wisely you can easily carry a home and make at least a small profit by renting it out....provided certain conditions are met, like you don't have a huge mortgage, your tenants pay their rent per the agreement, you don't have to evict anyone or make major repairs after they've trashed the place.

OHOH, there are a lot of ways to get into trouble, and these multiply when you leave the country for an extended time. And tax and investment laws differ from place to place, so what worked for me might not work for you. And for the most part I've rented out places to which I intend to return; pure rental properties are a different story, and you need to be very hardnosed about your business planning. If that describes you, pursue it a bit further and see if you can make the numbers work.

Mark
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Old 8 Nov 2010
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Depends what's left of the rent once you've paid the mortgage each month.
I would rent if you can because I think at the moment in the UK you'll struggle to sell at a price you'de like.

My mate put all his stuff in the loft and/or garage, engaged a recommended letting agent then fcuked off. The rent paid for his 18months of travel.
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Last edited by Big Yellow Tractor; 8 Nov 2010 at 07:11. Reason: bad spelling
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Old 8 Nov 2010
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Hi there,

We rented two houses when we left (my wifes and mine, well sort of, it's complicated). The first we were always going to rent, and has turned int oa nice little investrment - the mortgage and insurance is paid off by the rent, so even after paying agents fees we break even. We'd never sell this unless we really needed the cash, why would you?

The other hosue we tried to sell in amongst the big housing crash in the UK. Couldn't sell, and in all likelyhood we are left with a little bit of negative equatity. But we switched the mortggage to interest only, off set it against our savings (very little return on savings at the moment in the UK), and now it about breaks evens, although we have to pay the agents fees. But - is it worth it - yes definitely.

Oviously depends on the country, but in the UK the rental market is still good, and with the 6month or 1 year assured tenancies you don't have much risk like the old days.

So my advise would be - do you get you money back, if so, defintely rent unless you need the money from selling. Otherwise, long term, it's a winner!

Oh - and pay up for insurance - we were uninsured until my sister in-laws roof got blown off in a hurricane!!!! Taught us a big lessons.
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  #6  
Old 8 Nov 2010
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We have friends who like to do house swaps rather than rent, gives them the chance to live a country for three to six months at a time, not exactly world travel I know but its suits plenty of people and they get to live like the locals. The house and gardens have always been well looked after by the visiting "tenant". Often do vehicle swaps as well and have clocked up some large kms (especially Canada).

Years ago in Melbourne I met a landlord who was very much into long term tenants - 2 and 3 year leases, allowed decorating by tenants (within reason), etc. He charged a few dollars less than market rates but viewed any time the houses were empty as a loss never to be recovered - cleaning, advertising, interviewing, ref checks. He only accepted payment by recurring credit card authorisation - which meant rent defaulters always paid one way or another as the banks would chase them.
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