We are back with the second post in our Q&A series! If you missed the first one and want to learn about our rig, be sure to check it out HERE.
In today’s post, we are keeping it super real as we dive into some of the house related decisions that we made in preparation of our lifestyle change. Our hope is that it inspires others to see that this really is possible if you want it to be, and we also hope that by keeping it real, you gain better insight into how all of the pieces have come together for our family. Ready? Let’s go!
Q: Did you sell your home or are you renting it out?
A: We bought our home in 2009, a few months before tying the knot. It’s a modest 1,600 square foot ranch home in a sweet little neighborhood. We started our marriage and family there. We brought our babies home there. We loved on foster kids there. We walked through loss, pain and more victories than we can count in that home. Eight beautiful, messy years were invested into our home and the memories are so special to us.
Making the decision to sell was really tough. We spent many months evaluating our options. Sell it or rent it out. We met with realtors, our fabulous financial adviser, friends and family, and they all had a different opinion. We quickly realized that, just like choosing our home in 2009, deciding how to leave it was entirely up to us. Though we seriously considered turning it into a rental property, and even spoke with a few families who were potential tenants, we ultimately decided against that.
We made that decision for a few reasons:
- Emotional attachment. We loved our home. It was imperfect in many ways, but it was ours. The more we talked about our options, the harder it was to imagine remaining connected to the home with somebody else living in it. There wouldn’t have been a clean break, and we weren’t sure what we would be up against with our emotions involved if we were renting it out. This was a major consideration that we had to make for our hearts. Closing the chapter on our home was emotionally healthy for all of us.
- Location. We knew that we will never move back into our home. If we rented it out, it would strictly be an investment. This leads to the next point.
- Financial liability. Being on the road and having a mortgage payment in our hometown is not something we wanted to budget for. Though tenants would cover the mortgage when the house is occupied, there would undoubtedly be times of vacancy. Add to that the work we would have needed to do to prepare it for tenants (namely, a new roof), the potential of damage to the home while we are away, ongoing maintenance, and managing a relationship with the tenants (or paying a company to) and it just didn’t make sense. The risks outweighed the gain.
Q: Why can’t we find the listing of your home online? We want to see details!
A: We get this question a lot! Guess we aren’t the only ones who like to look at house listings!
It’s really simple. Our hometown has 10,000 people in it. We grew up there, went to school together there, worked for many years there and were involved in the community for a long time. The friendships and network that come from small town living are wonderful. Our town is truly like a Cheers episode. Everybody knows your name and if they don’t, they know somebody who does.
A sign in the front yard and a listing online would have come with questions that we just weren’t ready to answer yet. Friends, you don’t have to do things the traditional way in order for life to work!
Q: How did you market your home without listing it?
Here’s where the story gets fun!
We were on a walk in our neighborhood and bumped into a neighbor who recently moved in. Any guesses about his profession? Yep! A realtor. Within a couple of weeks, and after a few conversations and home evaluations, we were ready to put our plan into action.
In a traditional sell, homeowners might invest several thousand dollars into upgrades to attract certain buyers and to drive the value up, but writing big checks on our way out wasn’t of interest to us. We were happy with our asking price, so we set our sights on investors. A week later, we got word that there was a potential buyer. A week after that, while Kate was in Texas for a work summit, we accepted an offer.
Our home was on the market for two weeks, with an offer on the table for several of those days. No online listing. No sign in the yard. No open house parties or tours.
If we can offer any encouragement here, it’s this: It is 100% okay to rebel against the status quo. Life actually does work out.
Our realtor is amazing. He is incredibly kind, easy going, diligent, connected, intelligent and a true professional. We cannot thank him enough for his hard work and how he honored our wishes. If you live in the Central Valley in California and are in need of a realtor, let us know! We would be thrilled to connect you!
Q: Where’s all of your stuff?
A: All over our county, we assume. We donated and dumped about 60% of our belongings. What we saved is sealed up tight in a storage unit.
Q: Will you return to your hometown?
A: We are entering this season of life with openness, and a willingness to avoid the word never. That said, it is highly unlikely that we will return to our hometown for permanency. With the exception of our many travel adventures, we have spent our whole lives in our small town in California. We have relationships there that are very important to us, family and friends alike. We will certainly be back for visits, but at this time, we just don’t see our roots growing any deeper there.
If you have questions about our home that we missed, let us know! In our next post, we will talk about our careers and how we can afford the RV lifestyle. See you soon!