You have the wanderlust. Not everyone has it but those who do know that familiar itch that means it’s time to travel. You can only stay in one place for so long, as your inner gypsy demands at least occasional travel. This can cause a particular conundrum when you get to a point in your life when you have the means and the freedom to travel, as you might begin to wonder whether to keep your roots planted at all. In other words, what to do with your house when traveling. Do you sell? Let’s explore that below.Six tips and recommendations on what to do with your house when traveling to decide if you should keep it or sell.
How Long Do You Plan to Travel?
This will be the key question to consider when you ask yourself, “Do I sell my house?” If you’re going on safari for a few weeks, selling a house might be a bit rash. However, if you’re retired and/or taking a sabbatical and are planning on going for months or possibly even a year, this could change the whole game. If you don’t own your house outright, it might be painful to pay for lodging while you travel while also paying your mortgage. In this case, it might be better to be footloose and fancy-free.
How is the Market?
If you are planning on traveling for a substantial amount of time but it’s anything but a seller’s market, then you have to really weigh all the factors. Is it worth it to perhaps lose money on the sale to not have the responsibilities back on the home front? It might be. That decision is totally up to you. If not, however, you can consider other options.
Can You Rent Out Your Place?
If you’re going to be gone for a year or more but the market isn’t in your favor, you might consider renting it out. Of course, this option comes with its own challenges, as you have to be a landlord. This won’t be easy if you’re traveling abroad. However, you can always hire someone to act in your absence or hire a rental company to handle these duties.
What About Subletting?
As long as you own your own home, you don’t have to get permission to do this. However, as some will tell you, things can go wrong, so you want to act just like a landlord in this situation. Make sure you get a damage deposit, check references, and call past landlords. Even if it’s not a long-term sublet, you want to protect yourself in case something does go wrong. It’s always a risk, though, so if your home has many valuable furnishings or is simply valuable in general, you might weigh the risks vs. the rewards (the latter being having some money come in while you travel).
Go for the Friends and/or Family Option
Before you sublet or rent out your home, why not try asking friends or family? Perhaps put out a query on Facebook to see if someone wants to live in your house then what to do with your house when traveling . Even if you give this person or family a significant discount, something is better than nothing. And if you have pets, you can work out some sort of exchange for them taking care of your fur babies.
Try a House Swap
This isn’t something that just happens in the movie Holiday. People are doing it, and with more frequency these days, too. Of course, it helps if you have a home that’s worthy of the swap, as you’ll have more to choose from in your ideal destination city or cities. As travel guru Rick Steves says:
“Swapping works best for people with an appealing place to offer, and who can live with the idea of having strangers in their home, touching their stuff. Unsurprisingly, those living in swanky Manhattan apartments and beachside villas have the best pick of options in Europe, but you don’t need to live in an obvious vacation spot or a mansion to find a workable exchange.”
In the end, whether to sell in order to travel is going to be a personal decision. Weigh the housing market, review your travel tips and goals, and the other factors mentioned here and make your decision. Just remember one thing: “I really regret going on that amazing trip,” said no one ever.