In order to make our 6-month trip more financially sound, we have been planning on renting out our house. This has been one of the more stressful parts of preparing for this trip. Fortunately, we’ve recently found some great tenants, and we couldn’t be more relieved.
We’ve lived in this house for 7 years. Not forever, but long enough that it feels firmly like home. The idea of handing over the keys to strangers has been a bit overwhelming.
We thought finding tenants would be easy– we live in Portland, OR, and the rental market has been very hot for many years now. However, what we didn’t realize is that renting out a fully furnished 2+ bedroom house for a 6-month timespan is much more of a niche than a typical rental.
We posted on Craigslist & Zillow, and over the course of 2 months only received about a dozen inquiries. Of those, when I emailed to ask if they were aware that it was a 6-month furnished rental, most didn’t write back.
We ended up with only 4 series inquiries. The first two inquirerers decided not to rent our house, the third was the couple we rented to, and the fourth inquired after we had already signed the lease with the third.
About a month into the process we pretty much decided that the house wasn’t going to rent. I started creating a new plan that involved leaving our house vacant so that we could move on and set a concrete start date for our trip. One thing that I hadn’t realized: insuring a vacant home is expensive! As a homeowner occupied home we pay $400/yr. for insurance– if left vacant, our insurance would have jumped up to $1500/yr! I guess there’s just a lot more that could go seriously wrong to an empty house.
Fortunately, we didn’t need to buy that insurance, since we found some excellent tenants– a couple that is shopping to buy a house in Portland and just wants a furnished place to live in the mean time.
We’re super happy to have our house rented, and to have an official move-out date on which we start our trip: September 29th! (Just 5 days from now as I write this!)