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Old 01-08-2011, 06:19 PM   #1
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2008 25' Safari
Newport , Oregon
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Now Retired and Considering Full-Timing

Major question is what to do with our home? It's been for sale in this putrid economy for several years. We've lowered the price a few times and we will not lower the price much farther and enough to elicit much interest in it. Our home is our major source of equity. We have a good income from various sources and wonder if renting the house would be a good idea. We have been Thousand Trails members for over 30 years, so day to day camping expenses are minimal. Our rig is a 2008 Safari 25 and a 2009 Tundra, and we have pulled our AS all over the west without trouble. I've read many of the posts in this forum, and the consensus is mixed. Thanks.

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Old 01-08-2011, 06:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Steve97365 View Post
the consensus is mixed.
This is an oxymoron.

Rent it, dude. Get rid of all of your junk and turn the house over to a real estate company to rent it for you.

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
- Andrew Carnegie
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:12 PM   #3
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Renting can be a good idea, but doubtless you have heard some of the horror stories that have happened to people who did that.

Sometimes, you just can't tell about people, but I have no idea what the magic method of protecting yourself and your assets could be.

In any event, I wouldn't be in a huge rush to do anything with your home until you have spent a good while actually out on the road. I see you have extensive trailering experience, but before, it was always with the idea in mind that you would be going home at some point.

Can you be certain that you will be happy living with out that fall-back, forever?
If it's to be, it's up to me.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:24 PM   #4
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What about renting the house for a set amount of time, while you all go on the road, and see if you like living in your beautiful, and very tiny, aluminum house? I know every choice has its risks.

It's not an easy decision. I know a few couples who are now in their seventies and eighties who, some years ago, sold their houses, went full-timing for a few years, and then ended up back in houses again.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:41 PM   #5
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If you use a professional rental management company, they will screen renters for you and handle repairs, etc., on your behalf. You pay for this service, but it reduces your risk. This might be an alternative to selling low or renting your home on your own. Then, if you get tired of the life on the road or your situation changes (health, etc.), you still have a home to come back to.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:05 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. Yes mixed and consensus is an oxymoron. I meant opinions were mixed, or there is no consensus. I like the idea of a trial period, because the longest we've camped at a time is two-three weeks. I don't want to lose our equity because the housing market has tanked before and has rebounded later. We're in no hurry...hence the reluctance to lower our price further. Thanks for the food for thought.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:01 AM   #7
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We travel up to 12 weeks at a time, but like having our home to return to---can spread out, have a nice kitchen and back yard, hang the sheets on the line, etc. Major holidays are spent here, my daughter comes home from Brooklyn---it's the family gathering place. We like it.

Best of all, the grandbabies can come spend the night with us at "grandma and grandpa's house". We want those memories for them, and for us. They'll be grown soon enough.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:45 AM   #8
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1992 29' Excella
Van By The River , Georgia
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Full-Timing is not a Permanent Decision

Originally Posted by SJ1 View Post
I know a few couples who are now in their seventies and eighties who, some years ago, sold their houses, went full-timing for a few years, and then ended up back in houses again.
This is probably true for most people who full-time. At some point they can no long drive safely, their not able to go up and down steps, etc. So they may end up in a condo, a house, retirement center, etc.

Full-timing is not a permanent decision. It's unlikely that anyone full-times and then dies while full-timing in their RV. I'm sure it happens but I suspect it's not commonplace.

The key is to transition from one lifestyle to another and back again without taking a financial beating. Renting now and selling in a better market may very well make sense. Be aware that depending on how long your house is a rental property will determine how capital gains are handled. If it's a private residence there is a large capital gains exclusion. Once the property becomes rental (that does not happen on the first day it's rented... maybe one year or more) taxes are handled as a business, along with depreciation and other issues. Check with an accountant first - they should know the pro's and con's.

Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:15 AM   #9
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In this economy selling or renting - or even taking a short sale/filing bankruptcy are horrible but often necessary considerations if you have a mortgage. Anyone with a mortgage in the USA should seriously be considering a re-fi right now. The rates are showing signs of creeping up, and if there is any way to swing it, a refinance can save you hundreds of dollars every month in interest.

The advice to talk to a CPA is excellent.

I have a friend who lives in Florida where the market is particularly bad. She has three properties, two mediocre rentals and a rather elegant place she said she wanted to stay in. Her thought was based on the hope that the market will improve in two to three years and that she could get $20K to $30K more over that time. Unfortunately her monthly mortgage is $900 with almost $800 being interest, taxes and insurance. $800 times 24 months = $19,200. So having the value of the house go up $20,000 in 2 years is in her case only a "break even" proposition.
  • Factor 1 is that "hope" that the value will go up is just that - HOPE. If it goes up half what she hopes or worse yet stays level?
  • On the other hand, we all have to live somewhere, and if it isn't a mortgage, you pay rent. It's still money you'll never get back.
If the mortgage on your house is paid off, you're lucky even in this crappy market. If you rent it, by all means INVESTIGATE everything about the property management company you choose. Definitely get a management company! The bucks you can lose due to damage by a bad tenant will WAY exceed the cost of the management company. Some things aren't covered by insurance! (A tenant can be an animal hoarder - insurance may not pay to have the house tented, and treated for bugs.) Also if you're going to rent, you must divorce yourself from the emotional attachment to your house. Assume that when you come back 5 years from now someone will have painted your beautiful woodwork (purple!) and the lovely tree in the front yard will have had a treehouse built in it - doing so much damage that the treetrunk is full of ants or termites... Oh and your shrubbery will be unkempt and overgrown or worse. You will come back to a house that needs some work even with the best of tenants.

BTW. I fulltime, and sold my house, luckily before the market went to the crapper. I put some stuff in storage, but I've been letting that go a little at a time. My Depression Glass collection is going to end up IN USE in the trailer. If it breaks tough spit. It's doing no good being packed in a box in storage. Should I decide I'm too decrepit to travel sometime in the (wince) not so distant future, I'll probably move to TX, FL or AZ and find a nice Airstream only community with a pool, etc. Lots of them even have "habitats" that put a roof over the Airstream and have a couple of small rooms to expand into.

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:02 AM   #10
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Full Timers just passing through , Arizona for a couple of weeks and then on to Utah!
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Cool Rent?

We have been full timing in our 27 for over two years. We still have a house that, like yours, is for sale but will not sell any time soon. Fortunately, it is paid for and I just cannot bring myself to rent it. I have seen what people do to rental property and I just decided to leave it empty rather than rent it. Of course being empty is not without its own set of problems, but to me it seems to be better than coming back to purple woodwork and tree houses.

Sooner or later it will sell and I too will plan on an Airstream only park and a cabana to spend my final days in.
Living life on the Road
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:06 AM   #11
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Hey Steve, we've been full-timing for almost three years and love it. We're parked in sunny Florida for the winter but, are looking forward to new travel adventures in 2011. Our major question was - what to do with our "stuff". Whether you sell or rent, you still have to clear out your "stuff". You have to believe that your "stuff" is just that and not what is truly important in your life. You should definitely consider renting since you, obviously, do not want to sell. Give yourself a year on the road, talk to as many full-timers as you can, make any changes necessary to go from 'camping' to 'living' in your A/S, visit A/S parks, go to out-of-state rallies, see the sunrise over the Atlantic. And, then, after you've given yourself a fair exposure to the full-timing experience, you can make an informed decision about year #2. And, you'll still have your house. Good Luck !
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:12 AM   #12
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A lot of things to consider, but family is probably the biggest thing. Another is your health and access to the system. Then it comes down to cash and where are you going to end up after you can't drive anymore.
We each have our own priorities, so the final answer will be up to you and your BH together.
Putting stuff in storage can get expensive, and usually you are better to offload anything you can't take with you.
I posted a spoof on just this subject a while back, and concluded to keep the ranch.

Good Retirement and travels.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:26 AM   #13
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I'd be much more likely to keep my home and shop and sell the travel trailer. I like being near my shop. I'm the best mechanic I know. My wife likes being near adult children and grandchildren. I like my friends here and our weekly lunches.

I like my trips . . . but three weeks in summer, I'm ready to get back home. Make that 5 weeks in winter. I may buy a winter home in a low tax location like Sun City.

My wife's shoes wouldn't fit in my trailer on a cubic yard basis.
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:45 PM   #14
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Thanks again!

I meant to post this on this thread, but instead posted on anothers post.

I see I need to think about a lot more than I originally thought I did!

We don't own our home, but do owe less than half what I think it to be worth in the current market, minus fees etc. We should net 200K to pay on our next place after everything settles.

At present, my son and his wife (in their thirties) are living with us after both were downsized. Perhaps we should take advantage of the free house sitting, but they both are underemployed in temp jobs that preclude them from paying much if any rent. I put them both to work around here, so technically they're earning their keep. They want to find permanent employment and may have to move to do so.

We both have enough income to pay the mortgage and upkeep on the home as well as travel if we are frugal about it. So we don't HAVE to sell in order to finance our travels.

Most banks won't loan money on a home that is for sale or has been for sale in the last 6 months....don't ask me why. I had anticipated borrowing money on the home to finance a really nice used AS, and ended up buying new because it worked out better financially(doesn't make sense does it?)

We could finance for up to 7 years on a used one, and 15 years on a new one. The interest rate on the new one was 4 points better than the used too.

Lots to think about. Getting rid of our stuff is going to be daunting. Does anyone need any of our stuff? That should be our first priority no matter what we decide to do. I refuse to be one who stores stuff in storage. Right now though, we have our stuff, son and wife's stuff, and my mother's stuff. We have three garages and a large shop full of stuff.

Why is that we spend a large portion of our lives accumulating stuff and the rest of it trying to get rid of it?

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