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Old 15-02-2016, 18:45   #46
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I would think the best answer would depend on several factors, mostly related to financials.

- Do you need the rental income to finance your cruising?

- Are you equipped, either personally or with someone local to monitor and manage the property if you keep it and/or rent it? This might involve interviewing prospective tenants, arranging and monitoring repairs and upkeep, dealing with any serious problems that might occur and keeping you apprised of costs and any important issues.

- How often would you
1. Come home and live in the house?
2. Be able to come back and deal with any issues with the house or tenants?

- How much work does the house need to make it habitable? Rentable? Dry and stable to leave it?
this is a great answer.

as i see it, your choice will have a huge effect on your cruising life. if you maintain a land home, you will be tied to it just as you are while you live in your house on the land. i think skipmac covers that pretty well.

if you really want to cut your lines and be free, as long as you don't need a land base to finance your cruising life, then maintaining a shore base will only hamper you.

of course, in addition to your goals, you have to consider your ability to financially maintain your lifestyle. either you need to have the savings, some sort of financial investment that pays continuing dividends, or a way to earn money as you go...or a combination of the three. if you don't have a way t fund your cruising life that will last, maybe you should keep a land home to have a place to return to when you run out of funds. of course, that holds a drawback because the home you keep on land will suck up your funds faster. without it, your cruising money will last longer. catch 22, there.

all of that also depends on the lifestyle you want to have. a simple, frugal sailing lifestyle can be very inexpensive. or you could live high on the hog and need a big bank account to fund you. or anything in between.

it's not really a simply question. you really need to examine what you want and what your capabilities are. then, you can decide a course of action.

good luck and i hope you get to enjoy your dream.
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Old 15-02-2016, 18:53   #47
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Physical items are overrated anyway, in my opinion. With modern cloud storage, even books and pictures can be kept long term in non-physical form, and it's safer and more convenient to boot.

I had only a rental apartment when I decided to go cruising. So there was no question of property, but I needed to decide what to do about all my stuff, car, furniture, etc.
I decided against storing anything, and got rid of what would not fit in the boat.
In hindsight, this was a wise decision for me.

Regarding investments, I'd much rather have my money in stocks or mutual funds, where there's no effort involved with maintaining and managing it. This way you can also diversify across more than one asset class. It is certainly not the case that property, or any other single asset class, will always reliably increase in value.

But even if you are convinced property will always be the best type of investment, there is a simple solution: you can put your money in a real estate mutual fund.

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Old 15-02-2016, 19:02   #48
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pirate Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by first wind View Post
ummm i'm American. who calls a flashlight a torch?

why would you call a wrench a spanner? you don't use them to span the distance between two things. you use them to wrench tight nuts and bolts loose.
A Brit calls a flashlight a torch..
A spanner is for fixed shapes like nuts and comes in specific sizes..
A wrench is an adjustable spanner with teeth for gripping any shape..
Kinda important which one use's.. those teeth can rip the crap outa fancy nuts..
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Old 15-02-2016, 19:40   #49
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Very astute. And everyone's different. So all the OP can get out of this is what they asked when they started this thread: here's what others did, now, we still have to make up our own minds. Will be interesting to find out what they did and why, once they do decide.

Good luck.
not only that but, it would be great to get an update in a few years as to how their decision worked for them.
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Old 15-02-2016, 19:56   #50
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
I have no real experience with this question as my wife and I never accumulated much in ownership of material goods or a house, but I would say that there's no unique security that comes with having a home on land apart from one form of a financial investment. There are numerous ways to store and invest money for security. We have remained liveaboard cruisers with no ownership ashore for 44+ years and manage to remain very secure. We also keep a land-based mail service, doctors, dentists, bank accounts, etc. with no real estate.
44 years! sir, you and your wife have my greatest respect and admiration. you are a real inspiration to those of us working to leave the land behind.

...and i hope to find a woman as good as yours, someday. it's not everyday you find a woman that would embrace that lifestyle.
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Old 15-02-2016, 20:43   #51
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
A Brit calls a flashlight a torch..
A spanner is for fixed shapes like nuts and comes in specific sizes..
A wrench is an adjustable spanner with teeth for gripping any shape..
Kinda important which one use's.. those teeth can rip the crap outa fancy nuts..
lol. ok. i misunderstood your comparisons. i thought you were saying Americans called a flashlight a torch. i got you, now. lol. ok, so you call a wrench a spanner (what about an adjustable wrench? no teeth. not a fixed size. made for fixed shapes like nuts) and a pair of pliers (channel lock pliers? vice grips?) you are calling a wrench. wow. if we were to be broke down by the roadside, at night, and were trying get the car going again, it would be like a laurel and hardy bit!

that reminds me of my first day of laboring for a bricklayer, back when i was 16. it was my day job, during the summer. the cook (the bricklayer was her husband) at the crabhouse, where i ran the crabroom at night, hooked me up with that job.

the bricklayer (his name was randy) told me to shake up the mud. so, being a strapping young man, i picked up the mudpan (a wheelbarrow tray ) and shook it around. randy looked around and saw me and i thought he was going to fall off of the scaffold laughing.

for those who don't know, when you "shake up the mud", you take a hoe and stir the mortar. you don't actually shake it. yep. goodtimes.


sorry for the digression.
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Old 15-02-2016, 22:58   #52
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
A Brit calls a flashlight a torch..
A spanner is for fixed shapes like nuts and comes in specific sizes..
A wrench is an adjustable spanner with teeth for gripping any shape..
Kinda important which one use's.. those teeth can rip the crap outa fancy nuts..
So what would a Brit call a left handed monkey wrench? Surely you have one in your bo'suns locker?
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Old 15-02-2016, 23:02   #53
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

first wind, lovely story, good on ya!

Shack Attack, i think you have had really good advice so far this thread, to the extent I don't think it's necessary to tell you what Jim and I did.

It is that the practicable aspects need to be examined dispassionately. And then, the emotional ("I can live with that"). Because everyone's different. Everyone's finances are slightly different.

Over the years, we have seen many disasters, from having family living rent free in desirable real estate, to trying to manage stuff from long distance. Some people seem to luck out, but I long ago came to the conclusion that I'll just have to deal with "the future" when it gobsmacks me in the face. Rentals are so much headache for so many people. Assuming you go out into the Pacific, check out the prices for flights back to home for you. Twice a year, maybe? No family or friends you can stay with?

You're having a hard time with the decision because you haven't assembled the data you need yet.

Should you want to fix up, store your stuff there, and rent, be very choosy about whom you choose to manage your property. Some are good at it, others not.

Ann

Just so you know, we've lived aboard cruising for 30 plus years. We own no real estate.
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Old 16-02-2016, 02:22   #54
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Terminology; so where do we stow luggage in a car?
In the boot (a type of footware) or in the trunk (the elephants nose) ??? Lets get back on subject.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by first wind View Post
ummm i'm American. who calls a flashlight a torch?

why would you call a wrench a spanner? you don't use them to span the distance between two things. you use them to wrench tight nuts and bolts loose.
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Old 16-02-2016, 06:30   #55
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

You are asking for financial advice on a boating forum. That's your first mistake. Find a good financial planner and ask him or her.

Consider this - You either took a loan or invested money that could be earning you interest to buy this property. Letting it sit empty while paying taxes and insurance (and possibly loan payments) on it is not a good plan.

Rent the house out while you are away. Rent it through an agent who will find tenants and keep up with the maintenance. At least you will have money coming in to cover your mortgage or the loss of interest on your investment. Some money is better than no money.

When and if the time comes, you can move in, sell it or build a new house on the property.
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Old 16-02-2016, 06:45   #56
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Wow, some wonderful replies! So many that have dealt with numerous aspects and all valid, depending on one's history ('conditioning') and dreams of future possibilities. I am impressed with the wealth of serious and helpful opinions/suggestions/advice offered.

I will try to make my own observations brief but it feels complicated so hope I can make it clear in the process of abbreviating:

My husband had long had a fantasy during his first marriage and child-raising life, to build a boat and return to the Soloman Islands where he'd been a Marine during WWII. When we met, I, much younger, had already traveled some, stumbled into boats and knew it was where I belonged.

We built our boat as a home because we both wanted a 'Simple Life', but the process, which we fully enjoyed, took a long time (16 years, 16 days, 1600 hrs) before we could put all our treasures (books and tools) into a single storage container and finally 'cast off the dock lines'.

We next spent 2-1/2 years in the Sea of Cortez, up and down and loving every minute of it, relishing the 'Cruising Life', but in truth, we'd not made any real Voyages.

There's a big difference, let me say at the outset.

When we finally upped anchor and headed outbound from La Paz (romantically to the Gambiers, non-stop, after reading a long-ago tale about it) the reality of Voyaging as opposed to Cruising was difficult to adjust to. Granted, we were a gaff-rigged boat and cautious so it took longer than most would have (46 days), but the reward was incredible...a perfect, dream of what a South Seas Island landing should be.

However, continuing onward--farther and farther away from the familiarity of all we had confidently known--began to be like the stretching of a rubber band: bound to either pull us back or snap. One of us did want to snap, but was generous enough to continue after a year's hiatus in Hawaii, which of course led us further away from so much we'd known culturally and felt confident about coping with.

Later, discussing this dilemma, we realized there was an element we hadn't considered: Voyaging is more like marriage, a philosophical, moral commitment to an everyday way of life, whereas Cruising is (gad, am I going to get in trouble for this!!) more akin to long-term dating at best, or just a Touring Sabbatical ('been there, done that') chapter in a list to be continued.

Robert Pirsig, (Zen and the Art of Motorcycles) wrote a wonderful essay for Esquire in the 70's, called "Cruising Blues'. He explains better than I can about things to consider when letting go to enter the life of living life aboard a boat. Google it, if possible, as it is worthwhile reading. i believe it can help give a check list about what choosing to live and travel on a boat involves, as well as all of the above advice others have given.

I sincerely wish you the best...any way you choose to experience life on the water, no matter how long, or in what way, is life-enhancing.
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Old 16-02-2016, 07:17   #57
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

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Originally Posted by first wind View Post
this is a great answer.

Thanks.

as i see it, your choice will have a huge effect on your cruising life. if you maintain a land home, you will be tied to it just as you are while you live in your house on the land. i think skipmac covers that pretty well.

Certainly a house will be a string attached to you when cruising but with good planning and perhaps a bit of luck it can be tied very loosely with a lot of slack.

if you really want to cut your lines and be free, as long as you don't need a land base to finance your cruising life, then maintaining a shore base will only hamper you.

A land base could be considered a hamper or a security blanket. In life, stuff happens and having a land base to go to can be liberating. Knowing you have a fallback position can free one to make more aggressive cruising plans.

of course, in addition to your goals, you have to consider your ability to financially maintain your lifestyle. either you need to have the savings, some sort of financial investment that pays continuing dividends, or a way to earn money as you go...or a combination of the three. if you don't have a way t fund your cruising life that will last, maybe you should keep a land home to have a place to return to when you run out of funds. of course, that holds a drawback because the home you keep on land will suck up your funds faster. without it, your cruising money will last longer. catch 22, there.

all of that also depends on the lifestyle you want to have. a simple, frugal sailing lifestyle can be very inexpensive. or you could live high on the hog and need a big bank account to fund you. or anything in between.

it's not really a simply question. you really need to examine what you want and what your capabilities are. then, you can decide a course of action.

good luck and i hope you get to enjoy your dream.
One issue I haven't noticed coming up (though I might have just missed it), is end of life. At some time, the majority of cruisers (Boatman and Hudsonforce being likely exceptions ) will want or need to move back to land. Could be that you have had enough of cruising, been there done that, seen what you wanted to see, whatever. For most of us, at some point old age, health and physical limitations will mandate moving to some kind of residence with access that doesn't involve climbing, ladders, companionways or steps.

Selling the house with the idea of buying again if or when one wants (or needs) to move back ashore does have drawbacks. For anyone that has done it, much of what you have in the home will have little value to someone else (used mattresses, old furniture???) so will likely be dumped or given away. However, you move back on land you will need to buy all this stuff again and the cost can add up. Also, if it has been a long time since the original house was sold one might be in the position of not being able to afford to buy a house in a higher priced market. After all, in general houses appreciate, boats depreciate.
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Old 16-02-2016, 10:22   #58
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

OP - We are going through the same thought process, but we have some hindsight from our previous 4 year trip. For the first trip we sold our house and put what we wanted to keep in storage. Fortunately we made some extra money from it and put that in to savings. When we sold our boat we came back to dry land (same town) and had to buy a new house. Real estate had gone up in the meantime (very desirable little town) but we had cash from selling our boat plus what we had left from our savings.

We rented a 10x10x10 storage unit for all the "stuff" we didn't sell and wanted to keep. We checked on it when we came back and all was OK. We did insure it. We carefully labeled the "stuff" by box and location and tried to put "stuff" in the front that we thought we might want to get out to take back with us or whatever. That worked mostly but there was always a couple of items of "stuff" that was in the back corner under ten other boxes, plus all the boxes in front. But it was OK. We took out all the "stuff" when we got back and it was our seed "stuff" for our new house.

We did have to buy new furniture, new cars (one used and one new), the Admiral and I got jobs again, and we liked our new house more than the one we sold. We would have been happy in the old one too but we are glad we sold it. It was a major hassle to rebuy things we had before and wanted again. Unfortunately we did not find it an opportunity to downsize. I now have a garage full of tool toys, and yard equipment, and a house full of furniture, etc. These are all things that we would have to deal with for the next trip. I probably have around $8,000 just in tools now . If I sell these this time, I am not going to try to be a fixer and builder again. I love my tools though.

I did not want to manage a rental property remotely. And, I do not want to manage a rental property locally either. I know cruisers who have done so and it has required frequent infusions of cash to repair or replace things for their rental properties. If you expect real estate values to go up while you are gone you may come out ahead. If values go down you will still have a house but it will be greatly depreciated by renters who may or may not have done even basic maintenance and/or trashed the house/yard/driveway/whatever. Some owners will decide to hire a local rental property management company to deal with the renters and house maintenance.

Should the renters decide to not pay rent (it has happened to two others we have direct experience with) we would have to hire attorneys and would probably be out several thousands of dollars and the house would probably have even more damage to it. Should the renters decide to go somewhere else for a variety of reasons, the rental company would have to find other renters and the house may or may not be vacant for some time. The house would have to be cleaned and fixed before new renters come in (unless you want to be a slumlord). Others have had very good experiences with renters and have been happy they did what they did.

So we have bought a new boat and intend (if all goes well) to go multi-year cruising again. What we do or would like to do depends a great deal on how much money we have or would like to have. We are in the first situation rather than the second though. If we had lots of extra dough we would keep our house and either keep one car. We might return one season per year depending on weather patterns for where the boat is primarily. It's hot in Mexico in our summer up here so we would travel back up here in the summer. And vice versa if the boat is in the southern hemisphere. We would leave all our stuff (both it, car, and house insured) and pay property taxes, car registration, a property management company to take care of the yard and check on things (roof, frozen pipes, storm damage, etc. etc.). All that is a bit of money if you want to keep everything. Plus we have to worry about it all. But, we would have some place to come back to even if not annually.

If we sell we have the possibility of not being able to buy a house in our town again, or settle for a much less desirable house/location. Prices are going up here and will probably keep going up due to its location and desirability for sailors and retirees. It could go down too. We sold at a low point and had to buy at a high point. I expect it will still be high in another four years but may be not. It's a crap shoot gamble either way.

Personally for me, worrying about a house while I am away is not something I want to do. Financially, it might make more sense, or it might not. If I had millions of bucks I'd go ahead and keep the house and not rent it. But I would still have to do something to get the house back to a normal state even so and the ancillary expenses are not insignificant.

What we did before was to stay with friends when we came back and we borrowed their cars or we rented. But that was only for short stays of course.

To tell you the truth we are still undecided and will make a final decision later. I can understand what you are going through. I hope this was helpful. I think it was a bit cathartic for me to put it down. Apologies it is so long. Good luck.
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Old 16-02-2016, 11:49   #59
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Hm... Much depends where you are located. IF you have owned a house on the east side of Vancouver for, say, twenty years, you will have seen it's value rise from the $80K or so you might have paid for it round about 1990 to over $700K today. That's a neat little sum to come ashore with in old age.

MyBelowed and I, when we smashed the piggybank, decided to split the contents twixt the boat, a condo in a (very) distant suburb of Vancouver and a slush fund that prolly will never have to be touched since we live in this wunnerful socialistic land of "womb-to-tomb social safety nets" with medicare that's near-as-dammit free and also very good, and a "floor" of "guaranteed income" furnished by "the feds" in addition to private persions. "Claw-back" of the federally furnished goodies doesn't start until the cruising budget has been well satisfied.

"Perfessional" management of the condo project is in place, but I've made damnsure that I'm Prexy of the Strata Corporation! Just yesterday our new guvmint put rules regarding eligibility for mortgages in place that will CERTAINLY cause upward demand-pressure on prices of condos.

So bei mir we have the best of both worlds, particularly since I HATE "blue water" and have no intention of straying very far from the Salish Sea :-).

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Old 16-02-2016, 13:12   #60
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Here's another thought....

Supposing you really take to the cruising lifestyle, and that as you age, there are more and more health challenges. I can easily imagine that I might not be able to handle house and yard work by the time I am ready to quit sailing. Each conservative thing we do to make sailing easier on us extends our time aboard into increasing feebleness. Dang!

If you become a really long term cruiser, you'll find many thoughts and attitudes will change along the way--and it's unpredictable, too.

Anyhow, one will deal with the dreaded move ashore, if one lives so long. Life is something you work out as you go along. Plans are for dreaming; life is for living.

Ann
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