Embarking On A New Adventure!
Many of you who are either traveling full-time or planning to travel full-time have probably asked yourself the big question, “am I selling my home to travel?” When David and I decided for sure that we would be taking a year (at least) to travel, and I started thinking about the logistics of making it all work – the first question I asked myself was what to do with my townhome. There was a lot to consider. To keep it would mean having a house payment, power bill, water bill, and HOA dues all while being on the road. To sell it mean it wouldn’t be there to come back to when (and if) our time on the road comes to an end. It was a lot to consider!
Pros Of Selling Your Home
- -No more house payment to worry about while on the road
- -No utility bills
- -No HOA dues
- -No maintenance – hiring someone to maintain the lawn, etc.
- -Making extra money to invest, put in savings, or use toward living expenses on the road
Cons of Selling Your Home
- -No permanent address
- -No place to receive mail
- -Nowhere to come “home” to
- -If you decide to quit traveling full-time, you will need to purchase or rent a new home
- -No ability for additional income by leasing your home
It was rather easy for me to make the decision to sell my townhome. I had lived in it 4.5 years, it was my first home, and I absolutely loved it! I learned a lot about life there – it was my first time living alone (along with my Australian Shephard, Stella). But I’ve moved on to a new phase of life, and while my home served it’s purpose, I knew it was time to move on, and I was excited about it!
Another factor that made my decision easier, and one that I’m very thankful for is that David has an apartment in town that he is keeping while we travel, so we will ultimately still have a “home base” and somewhere to come back to.
We put my townhome on the market Sunday, February 16th, and had a full-price offer by the following Sunday, February 23rd! Not only that, but the buyer agreed to pay $2,000 in cash for me to keep the townhome fully furnished. This was a great help to me, because as we were preparing to leave, we were minimizing, and I had no need for my furniture so this prevented me from having to move everything into storage, or from having a garage sale and selling everything individually. The closing date was set for March 20th and everything was looking good!
I know you’re probably thinking that sounds too good to be true, and you’re right that it didn’t all happen without a few bumps in the road. The buyer financed the cost of the home and the closing cost, but the townhouse did not appraise for the total amount. Because of this, closing cost had to come out of my profit, so I lost about $6,000, but it was still a great deal all the way around! And then in Early March, Covid-19 hit, affecting everything, including closings and home buying. The buyer was already approved by the bank, but with so many jobs lost, they asked for additional proof that she was still employed by requesting a pay stub that hadn’t been released yet. She had to get this from her HR department, and then the lender took their time processing and approving. This set our closing date back, and we didn’t have a confirmed date until the day before. The date ended up being March 31st! To say I was nervous would be an understatement. The whole world was shutting down, I didn’t know if we would even be allowed to have a closing, if the buyer would back out due to the state of the world, or when the closing date would be. Everything worked out exactly as God intended, and I was beyond relieved signing papers and making it official on closing day!
My Advise To You
My townhome ended up being a great investment for me. I bought at the right time, it served it’s purpose, and I sold at the right time making a profit. This is not always the case though. My biggest piece of advise I can give you – and if you’re still reading this article it’s likely too late – but don’t buy a house. If you don’t want to be tied down, it’s not a good investment. Renting keeps you way more mobile. My story above could have gone very differently, and I couldn’t be more thankful that it didn’t. If my townhome didn’t sell, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to travel full-time because I wouldn’t have been able to afford all my bills back home as well as expenses on the road. I would have been stuck. You might ask if I considered leasing my home, and that is a great option if you want to hold onto your house and travel long-term, but in my community as well as in many others, the HOA does not allow homes to be leased unless you have a hardship. I’ll repeat what I said before. I would have been STUCK if my house didn’t sell. So anybody reading this who is considering purchasing a home, DO NOT do it unless you are 100% happy with being in that home for a long time.
Next, if you have the capability to lease your home and you don’t need a large sum of money from selling your home to pay off debt, use as a buffer on the road, etc., leasing is a smart choice. You will be making a monthly profit as your tenants pay rent, so this can be thought of as additional income. The only downside to this is if a problem arises, such as a leak, or a utility needing to be replaced, you are responsible and would need a property management company or someone back home to oversee these things.
If you’re like me and own a home that you’re unable to lease and it’s not paid off, I highly recommend selling. It is much more freeing to hit the open road without being tied to a mortgage, and you will likely have extra money for your travels if you make a profit. If you want to be even more free from “stuff,” sell your home with the option for the buyer to purchase fully furnished as well. This is what I did and it saved me time from moving furniture out making the moving process much easier!
The only scenario I would recommend keeping your house is if it is paid off and you don’t have a need for the extra cash flow. You will have the stability of coming “home” at any time and you won’t be losing any money, unless it is for repairs or lawn upkeep. To really capitalize on this situation is if your home is paid off and you could rent it to make some extra cash while traveling!
No matter what you decide or what your situation is, you’re in for the adventure of a lifetime leaping into full-time travel. Make the decision that is best for you and you really can’t go wrong. I would love to hear what you decide to do, and if you’re already traveling full-time, drop us a comment and let us know how if you kept a house back “home” or sold. We look forward to hearing from you and happy adventuring!