Several key things to consider : first whether to sell or keep your house.

Reasons to sell your home:

  • you have a lump of cash to use for travelling, but will you be able to get back into the housing market after the trip?
  • you cant afford to keep it because renting it out will not cover the mortgage and other holding costs. Are you sure? Can you refinance your mortgage to lower repayments (over a longer term or interest only?)
  • selling your house ensures no ongoing costs involved with the property such as rates and insurance and maintenance
  • clean break, you dont intend to return ever/ for a long time.
  • no tenant issues
  • house prices may drop so you will make more selling now and investing or spending the lump sum

Reasons to keep your home:

  • you love it and what to live in it long-term
  • you intend to live in the same area again even if not in the same house. If house prices are rising you risk getting priced out of the market if you sell even if you don’t spend your lump sum.
  • you can make an income from by renting the house it which may cover the mortgage or pay for your travelling
  • you will have somewhere to live when you come home.

Remember that once you have sold a house there is no way to go back on deicsion. if you decide to hang on to it for a while you can always sell it later if your circumstances to change substantially. IF you are going to retain the house the next is what to do with it:

  • leave it empty
  • house site/ house swap
  • rent it

If you are going for a shorter period of time leaving it empty will probably be your best option for a short term say a month or 3. Get a neighbour to keep an eye on if for you and maybe park in your driveway. Divert your mail and invest in some cheap timers to turn lights on at certain times. Find the right home security system for you. Arrange for the lawns to mowed.

However after a few months you will run into insurance and security issues leaving a house empty.

Alternatively you can get in house sitters who will look after pets and save you the cost of moving out your furniture and chattels, you don’t pay them and typically they pay for any utilities and phone bills while they live there. House swapping is also possible where you move into someone else’s home and they live in yours – a really different way to see a country or town but maybe limiting unless you want to be located in once place for a while.

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