WORKING ABROAD / OCT. 23, 2014
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How to Deal With Your Current Home When Moving Abroad

I’m out of here, you yelled on the street to everyone. And off you go to somewhere far away for forever and a day. Well you’re almost there, but you just need to deal with a few more things. For instance, what about your beloved home? Well, from now on, stop referring to it with that word ‘home’ because that’s filled with feelings. Instead, call it a ‘shelter’. If that makes you feel homeless, that’s good, because it means you’re letting go. Here are some ways you can deal with your current home.

Sell it

If you own your shelter, you should sell the place. If you don’t own it, then you should sell the place. If you want to sell what’s not yours, then just go down to the pier at night and ask around for a guy named Lonny.

Clean up that shelter of yours by the way. No one’s going to buy a dump! Wipe down the hardwood floors, get some carpet cleaner and vacuum up the carpet. Move your furniture about an inch away from the wall and clean up those things back there. Get some vinegar, make a 3 parts water 1 part vinegar solution and scrub out the cat pee (there’s always cat pee). Wipe dust off the cabinets while you throw out and sell everything you don’t need too. Make your shelter look big by making it barren.

Then get it appraised. You can hire someone but you should just do it for yourself on the cheap. You’ll have to figure out the current market and the real estate climate. Go online and find shelters with the same square footage and number of rooms in your area. Take note of the price. Then mark out your home in a similar price range. If you’re going to leave soon, you might want to price it at least slightly lower. Take note though that some things you need to know about your home may be out of your expertise. For example, your home might be slowly sinking into the ground and you could have no idea. You might have to hire someone to check into that, because the buyer might.

Then market it. Put a sign outside. Put it up online on Craigslist. Put an ad in the local papers’ online and print classifieds too. Make a musical about what a great deal your house is and get the neighbor kids to put it on for the community (you’ll have to give them a cut though). Get an elephant and ride him through your streets and trumpet out that you’re selling your home. Oh and tell your friends and coworkers you’re selling your home and ask if they know anyone interested. But these are just ideas.

After all these steps, all you can really do is wait for someone to buy it.

Rent it out

So you don’t think you can find a buyer, or at least not in time for that departing plane. Well, rent that baby out. This way might make you feel bummed but just think of it as an investment. You’ve were going to sell that shelter for 200 grand right? Well, now, instead of just having 200 grand in the bank doing nothing (though if you get it all in dollar bills, you could make a small swimming pool), you’ve got it in a shelter and it’ll be making you a decent monthly return of, let’s say, 2 grand a month. Airbnb is a good place to rent out your home.

Being a landlord can be a bit, well, crappy though. You’re going to have to manage and protect your investment. You’ll constantly need to make sure the place is in good shape and that your resident isn’t insane. Try and rent to a small burgeoning family who seem to have their feet on the ground. That way your house won’t morph into that place where keggers are held. But even that isn’t failsafe because a small child’s natural enemy is a clean white wall. When I was six, I took a colored pencil and spent an afternoon coloring the wall above my bed blue. What a shock for Mr. Johnson!

Housesitting

Did calling your home a shelter rip out your heart? Have you named your house? And is Betsy silently weeping at your coming departure? If so, then you form unhealthy relationships to inanimate objects just like I do. I’ll never forget my first cup. Live on Mr. Waffles. Live on.

So after you talk to your therapist and get that sorted out, make arrangements for someone to housesit. This way you’ll be away for a long time and your house will still have the comfort of being occupied. And you’ll someday have that happy return.

Make sure they keep the home looking pretty, and have a chat with your house sitter about bills and whatnot. Personally, I think it doesn’t make sense for you to pay for utilities you don’t use, but talk it out with your home’s new resident.

Put pictures of yourself everywhere

No matter what you do, make sure to put pictures of yourself everywhere. Krazy glue them to the walls right before you leave. Pose in different ways too. Do one with a contemplative look and another that shows your wilder, naughty side. Hire a photographer, do a photo shoot and let loose. You certainly don’t want people to forget that you once slept in the same rooms as them. So do your best to haunt your house until the end of time. At the very least record a frightening, The Ring-like video, burn it onto a disc, and then leave it somewhere they’ll find it. I mean, it’s the least you can do.

But Adam, I’m renting!

Well then hold off on the Krazy Glue, because you could be sued.

If you’re renting, you’ll ideally have booked a ticket to leave at the end of your fixed lease. If not, then you could just leave by cover of darkness after the month you just paid for is up. You’ll lose your deposit though in that case. Also know that it’s hard to find tenants and some people do rely on these places being occupied to make any sort of income. If they’re mean they might keep your deposit even if you try and leave on civil terms.

You could be sued for the rest of your term’s rent too for breach of contract. But that can only happen if the landlord makes a reasonable attempt to rent the place out. Check out your local laws about breaching fixed lease contracts. They vary from place to place, so it’s hard to say anything definitive without knowing where your home is.

Getting rid of that home of yours is a big step. The most important part though is cutting yourself away from that place of comfort you so love. You’ve got too much in front of you to think about such things!

 

Image source: Salem Church Relocation

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