Putting the house up for rent

Last week we found the boat of our dreams. This week reality sets in.

We knew this would be a bit of a challenge when our property manager told us, “It’s too bad you didn’t decide to do this three weeks earlier. I had someone who specifically wanted a big house on the water. Bummer.”

Now, a week and a half into listing the house, I can see why this is a niche market. First, in my city, there are zero houses that rent at the rate we want. Given we are in a military area, we would need an General to be stationed at Langley or Ft. Eustis – either that, or a relocating doctor who doesn’t want to buy a house yet.

The problem is that we used our California mentality when we bought the house. Given the astronomical prices out West, finding a house half the price for what it would cost in the Bay Area was like a total bargain. The reality is that the rest of the country does not need and would not spend that type of money on a house. Hindsight: if the house you are buying is on the market a long time, the market doesn’t support it.

If you are reading this blog, you probably are thinking of your own dream to sail away and are curious what it takes to do this (besides boat money and balls.) Here’s what I’m learning – the hard way.

Until this house rents out, our dreams of buying Cattagirl will sail off into the sunset without us. All we can do now is keep a positive mental outlook and pray that it all works out.

In preparation for life on a boat, we have to start selling things that just don’t make sense anymore. Like the jet skis, the wakeboard, the golf clubs, the elliptical – and my shoes. My shoes!! And these are just the shoes that I’m *willing* to part with. I know, I know, on a boat, you need just flip flops and running shoes. But c’mon – some of my shoes are just freaking fantastic. Size 8.5 if anyone is interested…

I quickly posted to all our social media sites and got some takers, and am setting aside all the money to fund improvements for the boat. Let’s see how far that kitty goes. For some of the bigger items, like couches, tables, beds, and whatnot, I’m reticent to sell them. The pragmatist in me wants to make sure that “it’s a sailor’s life for me” before selling expensive furniture at bargain basement prices. If this doesn’t work out, then the cost to replace these items will be quite expensive indeed.

The house we live in (and hopefully will rent soon), has no fewer than 4 large attics. The main attic will be available to the renters, and only because that is where the automatic storm shutter system is, otherwise, I think all of our belongings could easily fit in just that attic. So now we begin the tedious process of organizing attics to make room for real storage, deciding what will be saved, what will be tossed, and what will be donated/sold.

The prep work to downsize is really hard – you’ll find yourself vacillating between wanting to keep something and wanting it gone already. Questioning whether the dream is really worth the head ache, and whether facing your fears is something that you can really do. This part is no fun at all. Keep your chins up, because before you know it, your dream will be here and if you’ve planned well, you’ll find the stress much more manageable.

Next: Listening to the sound of crickets trying to rent this house.

Cheers, Lisa

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