It doesn’t take a genius to work out that homeownership is a pretty big commitment. For one, it means agreeing to care for and stick around for a whole house. On top of that, most of us have to commit to ongoing mortgage payments to achieve the goal in the first place. Heck, if you thought saying I do was the biggy, you’ll soon think again after settling down in a house of your own. After that, it’ll be you and your home, until death do you part. Or, until you decide to move. Even then, this is a commitment which will stay with you in some form or another.
It should come as no surprise then that many a free spirit has avoided taking the plunge. Rather than searching for property for sale, the nomads among us are more liable to apply for short-term rents. All the better for accommodating the travel lifestyle, right? This way, you can commit to manageable chunks of money and commitment. And, you can move around all you like when you’re doing it.
The trouble is, house hopping and rental costs can soon start to take their toll. Over the years, this expense adds up with nothing to show for itself. On top of which, this lifestyle isn’t much suited to the family unit. As your kids get older, they’re sure to have a thing or two to say about moving house all the time. And, don’t you want a secure place where they can feel safe?
If you’ve started thinking about the above, all the signs are pointing to the fact you should bite the bullet and move into your forever home. All the better for building a secure future for every member of the family.
But, a step like this is sure to come with a few doubts. After all, this is a pretty big deal. And, given it’s a bigger commitment than marriage, it deserves plenty of consideration. Given your leaning towards wanderlust, there’s a good chance your primary concern is towards your travels. Surely it’ll be more difficult to get away when you have a house to worry about?
In truth, this is a valid concern. While there’s nothing to stop you going away for extended periods once you own a house, it will be more challenging. After all, leaving a house empty for too long poses security risks. Not to mention that you’ll need to pay for accommodation where you are at the same time as meeting mortgage payments. So, things could get pricey fast.
But, that should by no means stop you from getting away. Millions of homeowners manage to travel and keep their safe base. All you need to do is alter your thinking to make this work. And, we’ve got a few pointers to help you do it.
Get a house sitter
Getting a house sitter is a fantastic option for keeping your house safe while you’re away. And, finding one is as easy as a quick search online. Many sites advertise sitters. They include credentials and reviews to put your mind at ease about safety. What’s more, operating through a reliable company gives you an added peace of mind that everything will stay above board. If you still don’t feel comfortable handing over the keys, why not entrust the job with a family member or friend? This will go a considerable way towards easing your travel worries, and will also ensure your house isn’t going to waste. The only slight snag in this plan is the expense. Aside from making accommodation and mortgage payments, you’ll need to pay your house sitter. But, if money isn’t much of a worry, this could be a fantastic compromise for enjoying vacations the way you always have in the past.
Rent it out
If all that money stuff is stressing you out, the best option for you would be to rent out your house. At the very least, this will cover mortgage payments for the duration of your time away. It may even earn you a little cash on the side. If you enjoy going away for a few months at a time, a traditional rental could be the best option for you. With this in place, you can guarantee a set amount of money for the time you spend away. You could even put the property in the care of a rental agency. That way, you won’t have to worry about calls from disgruntled tenants. All you would need to do is end the rental contract a day or two before you return. You may also want to take a deposit as an incentive for keeping things up to scratch!
If you plan to travel for a month or less, hosting your home as an AirBnB may be a better idea. While this can be a pretty intermittent income tool, renting your house at busy periods is sure to see results. If you manage to rent to different people for the duration of your time away, you’ll reach much higher profit margins. Not only would this pay your mortgage, but it would also cover accommodation costs. It might even stretch to a little spending money if you’re lucky. If you’re unsure how to get started, there are plenty of guides which could get your house ready for rental in no time. So, don’t hesitate to get started if this appeals.
Go for shorter vacations
Why not make this work by opting for a vacation with a difference from now on? Instead of booking away for two or more weeks on time, see if you can shorten the time. Even shortening stays to a week or five days could make a huge difference here. And, when you get down to it, this may not be as difficult a transition as you think. The chances are that you’ll still get a chance to do everything you want to in that time. All it takes is getting smart with planning. You could even work on fitting two excursions into each day where possible. Admittedly, time away may get a little less laid back when operating like this. But, if it means you still get to explore, that’s a sacrifice worth making. If you’re feeling brave, you may even find that weekend breaks serve your new life better, and appease wanderlust in a way you never thought they would. This way, it’s possible to see more places for less. You’ll just need to pick and choose which activities are most important to you.
Explore closer to home
And, of course, given that your house forms a base, you could also spend time exploring closer to home. Often, us travelers are pretty bad at this. We’re programmed to think bigger at all times. As a result, we often miss what’s right in front of our eyes. Yet, when you take a closer look, the chances are that there’s plenty to see closer to home. And, you could easily take some short breaks to see it. Here in the U.S., we’re especially lucky for this. Our country is vast and varied, and there’s plenty to see. Wherever you are, you can bet that a three or four-hour drive will take you somewhere different from your norm. So, open Google maps and drag the cursor around a bit. You may be surprised by what you see. And, the best part of this option? You’re within driving distance of your house every step of the way.
*This is a contributed post.