I’m not big on change. I love familiar, comfortable places and I am not crazy about things that put me too far out of my comfort zone or get me even a little bit off my schedule. I know, I sound like a load of fun huh? I certainly LOVE to travel but I also prefer a night in at home, over a night out any day! I was unaware that I was rigid and set in my ways until I got older and slowly had this revelation about myself. My own mother was an organized mom who kept us kids on a schedule. My dad worked shift work when I was growing up, often the night shift and sometimes 7 days a week. This left my mom with 3 kids, a house, school schedules, meal times, bedtime routine and the other daily activities of life to deal with. I think schedules and routine is how my mom made her load doable. I find myself parenting similar to her – dinner is at a certain time, baths are at a certain time, bedtime and so on. When our schedule gets off, I’m usually the one that starts to melt down while my husband and kids are all smiles. I have lived in the same town my whole life. I take my kids to the same dentist and pediatrician I went to growing up. My parents built and moved into their house when I was one years old and besides my college dorm rooms, I lived in that same house until I got married.
When we got married we bought a brand new little rancher. It really is an adorable house! We lived there exactly 4 years to the week. As mentioned in previous post, there was an opportunity to move into THE Farmhouse and we quickly found renters for our house and were out in a flash – 3 weeks from the time we got the idea. To be honest, we were sort of figuring out how you even go about renting out a house after our renters had already moved in. We carried full home owners insurance coverage on it for a year or 2 before realized we only needed fire & dwelling… it was a learning experience for us and our tenants. We use an agent to rent our house now. We have had a few families move in and out and each situation has worked well.
The decision to move into THE Farmhouse and rent out our house might be one of the best decisions we have made for our family. The quick speed of it was most likely a blessing. With my husband and myself both slow to create big changes (it took me 8 years to start the blog…) we most likely would have talked ourselves out of moving if we had too long to think about it. We had a gut feeling, quickly acted on it and have received nothing but blessings from it. There have been times when I have been approached, often forced, to make changes and I have to take a moment to remind myself of our move to THE Farmhouse. I have to remind myself how if we had not taken a leap of faith we could have missed out on a lot. THE Farmhouse has given us more space, inside and outside the house, we live closer to family and we have the MOST amazing sunset view!
For the first time in 8 years we have no one in our rental house. Our last renters unexpectedly needed to move in the middle of their lease, this past December. The house now needs to be painted, cleaned, have the carpets replaced, a few repairs and the yard cleaned up. We have been doing all the work ourselves, you know with all of the extra time we have lying around… It has been a family effort for sure. We have been spending long Saturday afternoons and evenings over there. We pack up the family, food, paint supplies, a TV for the kids and some movies and head on over. By the end of the night the kids are over it and we are all ready to head home. For the most part they do fairly well with the situation and my husband and I are making some progress. I am even tempted to do a few small projects there to sort of update the house for the first time in 8 years. Some of our light fixtures are gold and I don’t mean in a cute trendy way…
The more time I spend over there the more I remember how great of a house it is. It has a cute floor plan and a great yard with a few fruit trees which have really grown and matured. We are starting to lean towards the idea of selling it. We bought our house in 2006, sort of the peak of the housing market. Shortly after we bought it, the market crashed. There was a time when we owed more on our rental house than it was worth. As we paid it down little by little, we owed less than it was worth but we certainly couldn’t sell it for what we bought it for. I think we might be coming out of that time though. Houses in our area seem to be selling and we are sort of debating if now is the time to unload it. Maybe our renters leaving us high and dry mid-lease is really a new door opening for us, you know another chance for change.
We have now created two list. We are currently working on the “What has to be done if we rent it” list. When we are done with that, we are going to pow-wow on our thoughts and then possibly tackle the “What has to be done to sell it” list.
I realize renting out your home (or even another home as investment property) is not an ideal situation for everyone. The entire process did worry me at first; I had heard horrible stories about renters tearing up houses, not paying rent and refusing to leave the property. Our little starter home was the biggest investment we had and we were entrusting it into other people’s hands. The truth is, if you can find good renters having a rental property can pay off. Depending on your loan specifics, rent money can often cover the cost of the home, if not more. We luckily have never had major damage to our rental property. Most of the work we have to complete now is cosmetic or normal wear and tear on a house that’s 12 years old.
We have plenty of projects that I want to tackle at THE Farmhouse and most are outside Even though I am already in spring mode, mother nature isn’t always cooperating with my plans. Our outside projects seemed to be getting pushed farther back due to cold or rainy weather. Lucky for me, my home-project-loving soul has been getting fulfillment from all the work at our rental house. I’m trying to keep the “average buyer” in mind. I’m personally not crazy about ceiling fans. I would rather just have a really great light fixture, even in a bedroom. I have to step back and think about what a person buying the house might think. It can be different when you are fixing up a house that’s not for you but still just as fun.
I can’t wait to post pictures when it is all done. I love a good before & after!
Who has rental houses? Any one else thinking now is a good time to sell? AND in all seriousness, how do you feel about ceiling fans!?