Saturday 25 July 2009

Capitalizing on the house

The young, free and single have one set of problems and opportunities when it comes to rtw travel, and middle-aged, home-owning parents of families have another. I have spent some time wondering about the best way to make the French house work for us:
  1. Sell it? Out of the question! We love it too much.

  2. Empty it out and rent it? Good plan, since it would probably bring in about 24 000 USD a year. Of course, storing our stuff would be painful and expensive. The problem is that Mike doesn't want to commit himself to a vagabond lifestyle big time. He wants a place he can come back to and be with his stuff at fairly short notice. He might even like to spend some time at home while we are travelling somewhere for a shortwhile. He had a different idea:

  3. Rent it to friends or others who don't mind living with our junk? OK, well we'd have to find these friends. Mike thinks he can do it, I'm not so sure. At best it lowers the sum we'd expect to get from the house to Mike's guesstimate of 12 000. Then, after checking out accommodation prices in places like Australia, New Zealand and the USA - all places we might go to - I came up with another plan:

  4. Serial house-swapping? Our saving on accommodation would be greater than the loss of rent. It might alleviate Mike's Internet issues. On the downside, we can't keep coming back to do the laundry and make sure the house is in good shape. We would have to make an arrangement with someone to do the cleaning, but it might come to less than the cost of storage. And then there's option 5:

  5. Holiday home rental? If we take off for an area where house swapping isn't available, and if our house is already tidied up ready for strangers, we could rent it as a holiday let, using a local agency. Or we could default back to option 3.

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