Well, the time is here, folks. After years of planning, downsizing, wondering and envisioning, the time arrived this week. We put our house on the short term rental market. I’m writing this post by way of recording what, for us, is the biggest leap of faith we’ve taken. Even bigger than buying Galapagos without having a test sail. Even bigger than getting pregnant. Well, maybe not. But still. It’s big. No, it’s HUGE.
Long term readers will know that we have really struggled with the decision about the house. Do we sell? Do we rent long term? My desire all along was that we somehow find a way to rent this house as a furnished home. That would solve a lot of issues in the short term. We could store things in the attic in a locked space, and if we got ‘out there’ and decided the life isn’t for us (fat chance, I know, but anything can happen) we’d have a place to come home to.
Added to that is the fact that we are 15 years into a 30 year mortgage so we can see the house being paid off someday. It seems like this house should be a good financial investment in the long run, in spite of things like housing bubbles and economic downturns. I have visions of this house providing part of our income, as well as a hedge against our tax burden by continuing to own ‘real’ property. Is it worth it to try to hang on to it at this point? Could my visions become reality? Sometimes I really wish I could foretell the future. But alas, this is where the leaping into faith comes in handy. A certain amount of denial is also helpful.
We feel as though we are in a good position in our location to make this work: close to large military bases where people moving to the area frequently need short term housing that isn’t a hotel. Maybe they have kids and pets. Our house would be perfect for them, and they get a travel allowance that would help them defray the costs of the stay. We have a good friend who is an experienced property manager and will rent to good people and help protect our investment. The numbers look good on paper and at this point, there is no competition for a rental such as this in our area. Having a good and trusted manager is literally the only way we would even consider doing this.
Other things have fallen into place at the right time. We secured a storage unit with a workshop space at the marina this month. We’d been on the waiting list, crossing fingers that one would become available. My worries about the landscape and gardens have been relieved by my friend Rachel accepting the job of caring for them while I’m away. It’s a win/win because I’ve known Rachel for a long time and she is an excellent gardener. She will also do the housekeeping between guests. This relieves my mind quite a bit because we already know and trust Rachel. She’ll make some extra money, and we’ll be free of worry about those details.
In addition we were able to work with a local insurance agent to update our homeowner’s insurance to reflect this use of the house. Amazingly, we are actually saving hundreds of dollars per year for even better coverage. I was incredulous, but it was true.
So now the advertisements are in place. Our manager, Edwin, has been talking up this property to all his considerable numbers of contacts in the area. This is the true testing time. So much hinges on it that I cannot yet get excited. No way. We’ve done our part, now the Universe must do its part and get the rental calender on this place filled. We have between now and Spring 2017 to see if this will work. We sit with all of this as though gestating. Please spit and spin three times, pray, think, focus, imagine, intend, face east, or whatever you do that is meaningful to you to add to the energy of this forward movement of our cunning plan. We appreciate it!