I personally try to aim for all rather then none. Keep the house, rent it & take the vacation. Or if you’re happy with a trade, you can always house swap.
Maybe you have or have not heard of this, there are a lot of options in the world of house swapping. If you are not so choosey about location then you can you can just list your place and state that you are happy to trade & other people will do the same. If you can reach an agreement then basically you are both still responsible for your own home and the other just lives at the place until you have decided to swap back.
I think I watched a show like this called Wife Swap one time, I think house swap would be way easier, thou less interesting for a viewing audience.
Back to solving problems.
Here are some links to house swapping agencies with various ideals, fees, people & there is even one just for teachers! If you know of more please post them below.
Seniors:(over 50) http://www.seniorshomeexchange.com/
Next up you can still enjoy your time away while have the mortgage paid. I’ve rented to a lot of people and I’ve got a good system on how to weed out the bad ones. It’s never a guarantee however a list of what you are looking for and a few direct questions always seems to narrow the field quickly.
I always profile the ideal tenant without going to crazy to scare them all away. “No pets, must have long term jobs, provide at least two rental references, willing to sign a six month lease, etc etc.”
Then when they get back to me with “Ohh we’re interested when can we look”. I always follow up with as sort of revamp of the ad. This typically knocks off all the tire kickers and eliminates showing 30 people who like to waste your time.
Here’s an example:
Make a plan for who to call in emergencies, maybe your parents are retired. My bud has been on the road for two years & his retired parents love to go chat up the tenants and look in on the place. If you don’t have that option you can always hire a management company to look after it. Usually they are simply around to look in on the place for a fee & make sure it’s rented & fixed up if you want that.
Another friend of mine does this job part time and makes a couple hundred bucks a house and says it requires about one hour a week of her time. I actually think most home insurance companies require you have someone around the place every 72hrs so it’s not completely empty. In that case you might hire a house sitter. I’ve got another bud who does this, he rents a room for $250/ month (he is rarely their) then house sits for $25/day. That’s about $750/month or $500/month to live rent free!
If you want to get a little craftier you can rent the top or bottom and store all your stuff on either end, then you’ll have storage without paying for it, the place lived in & your mortgage paid. I think that we call that WIN – WIN!
Whatever you choose, don’t let your biggest investment become your biggest headache. Keep the place, plan the trip & give yourself lots of time to have it all work out.