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Old 02-05-2011, 08:06   #1
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Newbie Here: What to Do with the House While You Cruise ?

What I really would like to know here is how other people went about either A) getting renters or B) getting caretakers... I have a farm and and my boyfriend has a boat and we want to cruise. Even though renters pay rent, do "I" pay caretakers to look after my land? How does this work? what have others done? I am not sure where to go to find out...should I talk to a real estate agent about how to "manage" a property while away? I am afraid renters will abuse my land and house, but obviously paying my mortgage AND paying a caretaker is expensive! I want to have my place looked after for maybe 6 months to a year. What about utilities? How about my furniture and appliances? I want to leave it all there. I know a lot of people sell it all and go but I love my farm and often it's my livelihood. What do cruisers do with their homes while cruising? Please, any advise would be great, thanks!

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Old 02-05-2011, 09:10   #2
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Re: Newbie here, what to do with the house while you cruise

Maybe a property management firm to look after and rent the farm for you. Safer I think then trying to deal with a renter from long distance/another country.


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Old 02-05-2011, 10:07   #3
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Re: Newbie here, what to do with the house while you cruise

You definitely should keep your home/farm. Years ago my wife was despondent after selling all and buying a cruising boat. We bought a condo and she was happy again- she had a home base to return to if the #$%& hit the fan.

Property management firms will rent it, collect the rent, arrange for any maintenance that is to your account, etc. Expect to pay about 15% of the annual rent for this service. It is worth it.

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Old 02-05-2011, 10:28   #4
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My sisters work for a property management firm here in San Diego. If you are planning on renting your property while you are "out there" it's most definitely the way to go. You want someone available to take care of your property while you are unavailable at sea or so far away as to be unable to truly respond to major maintenance problems and the like.

Totally wise move. Look into one.
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:08   #5
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Rent and Agist?

With a farm you could be looking at two different problems.

I would expect that there would be no problem in renting the farmhouse. My observations suggest that they are very much in demand. Your problem is likely to be the short period that you want to rent for. As a part time landlord I receive consistent advice that properties are to be let unfurnished which indicates a 6 or 12 month lease, with an expectation that it will be longer. My advice and my experience has been that you get a much better tenant that way. Your personal possessions need to be stored away from the farm or somewhere very secure. A good agent is essential - keeps the heroin people away...

Assuming you have a "grazing" property you could agist out the paddocks to someone else to keep their animals, though your fences would need to be in good order for this. Again a good experienced agent is the key, together with a well drawn up contract.

I'm probably getting bitter and twisted, but if it were me I'd get the agistee to keep an eye on the farmhouse, and the tenant to keep an eye on the agistee...
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:42   #6
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Re: Newbie Here: What to do with the house while you cruise?

I live in Spain but own a property in London, a few years back I rented my property to someone I trusted, I thought it would save us all money, I could rent at a lower price because I would not have to pay a management monthly fee, needless to say it all went horribly wrong, my so called friend went AWOL leaving my lovely apartment in a terrible mess and a debt of $6000, I am still after the guy for this money 5 years later! Since then I have handed the property to an on site agent, they got me a higher rental and pay the money EVERY month into my account!! So, to me its a no brainer, find a good management company in your area and take on thier FULL management services! Good luck!
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:44   #7
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Re: Newbie Here: What to do with the house while you cruise?

We will be in the same dilema in 4 years. We have a waterfront home, and a Farm at a different location.
We are thinking of renting one room in the house to someone we can really trust to take care of the place (and for a good deal on rent). We have a Close friend who will look after the farm and enjoys running around it on the atvs etc, Our plan is gone cruising 7-8 months, then back home harvesting and selling for 3-4 etc. Hope it works out. We are rethinking our want of a bigger boat now, and may just keep our 31 for a long time since we are really taking to her.
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Old 28-09-2012, 10:12   #8
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Re: Newbie Here: What to Do with the House While You Cruise ?

Do you store your furniture or for the renters...if you rent they can bring their own furniture correct. Does the firm take care of damage from the renters. Don't know much about renting. Like soiled carpets w damaged walls...ext. Is each state and town has these firms for renting. We live in a small river town. We have 7 children between my husband and I, and I wouldn't want them to care for our home for long periods. We do if its a weekend or week cruise. We would never know if something doesn't get done or cared for.
another question on this subject...say youbor your husband has a death in the family or you need to come back to your home town and you have renters. You want to go to your home or need a place to stay. Probably can't if your renting...
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Old 28-09-2012, 23:01   #9
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Re: Newbie Here: What to Do with the House While You Cruise ?

In my area, I have not been too impressed with the property management firms. The house across the street continues to get flaky tenants, the lawn is now dead, so I know they never check on things and they call a handyman to do ridiculous repairs for big bucks.
I'm doing the same as you. Matter of fact my tenants move in the middle of October, I have a shop off the side of the house where I store my personals. I sold my furniture and I will be sticking around one more year to make sure everyone is comfortable. My goal is to dump the house when the economy is better. I bought it at the bottom but I would like to make a few bucks.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 29-09-2012, 01:20   #10
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Re: Newbie Here: What to Do with the House While You Cruise ?

I've been renting out real estate for too many years now so a few tips:-
* Look long and hard for an agent who will look after you and your property. I've been lucky, shared a house with a flatmate who's father was a real estate agent when I left uni and, apart from one bad agent, no worries.
* That said I now carry landlord insurance, and any time the rents a microsecond late my heart skips a beat. Never ever rent to junkies.
* Have a look round your area as though you were thinking of buying there. If there's a dispute who's side are the neighbours going to be on? If it's not yours then think about selling and buying in a better area.
* Your agent's main job is to qualify tenants and to double check references. That's what the property manager needs to be really, really good at.
* Your agents second job is to inspect the property every six months. Gotta be one of the worst jobs in the world but someone's got to do it. Even then they can still miss stuff.
* I never ask top money. A tenant paying through the nose is an unhappy resentful tenant, and you don't want one of those. When the tenant looks through the real estate classifieds you want them thinking how lucky they are.

I've never rented rural property but I understand that it is very much in demand. Depending on the property can you rent the house and agist the land? Through the vague stirings of what's left of my memory I have some recollection of neighbours being the best agisters.

If you have handy kids can they do the maintenance? I also have some memory of American property being nickel and dimed to death.
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Old 29-09-2012, 02:49   #11
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We are cruisers and are in the real estate business.
We manage 230 properties for landlords and have managed up to 500 at a time but sold out to buy a boat.

Good tennants are around and reference checks show up trouble.
Good properties attract good tennants, rent out a house like a crack den and you will get crack head tennants.
There is a good demand for farm type properties, but beware some animal/ horse people are feral.
Management fees in Aust are around 8% of the weekly rental.
A good property manager treats tennants like hotel guests and it is for the most part returned in the care of the home.
When there needs things fixed a good manager gets it done asap and again the tennant appreciates this and pays rent on time and looks after the property.
Carpet wise get them cleanned prior to the tennant moving in and stipulate that the tennant must get them done when they move out, easy system.
Any other questions just ask, we have seen it all when it comes to rentals!
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Old 02-10-2012, 16:20   #12
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You didn't say where you are located. I have 42 years experience in property management and farming much longer and I have never seen such low quality of available tenants as now. You do not say what kind of farm you have and if you have animals. If you are going for sux months only, what is the point of renting the farm during winter if you want it back in the spring? Likewise, if you are only planning to be gone 6 months, why move all your stuff twice, once to storage and once back. My late Grandmother always said, "Three moves are equal to a fire. " I would lock up the valuable stuff somewhere and leave the place vacant and have some one you trust to check on it regularly or else find a single female who has no interest in dating to house sit for free and she plays utilities. After all consideration, you might realize you can't afford to go sailing.
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Old 18-11-2012, 12:29   #13
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Re: Newbie Here: What to Do with the House While You Cruise ?

I'd go with a caregiver or property manager. Depending on where you live, renting is not an attractive option. We live in Florida where we homestead for tax purposes. If we rent our home, we lose the homestead exemption.
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Old 23-11-2012, 12:57   #14
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Re: Newbie Here: What to Do with the House While You Cruise ?

Go with a property manager. The cost is typically a reasonable (IMO) percentage, and an experienced professional will bring more value to your rental business than you could do yourself, even if you were going to be around to handle it on your own.

There are choices for the land. It can be rented out for farming or grazing, if there is a demand for that in your area and the land is suitable. Or, as I did with a small 2 acre plot it can be turned over for alphalpha (or similar) planting. Where I lived (Nebraska), there was no cost to me - whoever was harvesting it got free use of my few acres, and I didn't have to worry about weed control.
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Old 23-11-2012, 18:46   #15
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I hired a local caretaker for my little farm, mainly because I did not want renters to wreck it. Cost me a few hundreds dollars a month for the guy to visit daily and mow when needed over the summer.

However, I was always worried the local yahoos would use it for partying or some idiot might build a meth lab in the barn. Last year I sold it on contract to a nice young local couple who really love it. I was sad to sell the farm but happy to be rid of the worry.

We also have a duplex in the city. Have a professional property manager lined up to take it over when we set sail in May.

A city property is a lot different than a rural property, I know of several farmhouses practically destroyed by renters , I think this happens because farm houses tend to be more out of the way. This seems less likely for a professionally managed city property.

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