Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What to do with the house?

I have a house in Wales. I've had it for a little over four years, and there's really no equity to speak of in it. But the mortgage is cheap and I rent out a couple of bedrooms to lodgers, who between them help me to cover costs.

So I have two big reasons to keep the house:
1. To have some sort of secure base at 'home' and somewhere to keep that little bundle of valuables that are important to me for sentimental reasons.
2. If I tried to sell it, it would likely cost me most of my savings and take forever!

Plus, if I'm not there, I can let out a third bedroom and cover all the costs.

Now renting to lodgers does not always run smoothly. In the last four years, I've had to kick out two of the blighters for offences of indoor smoking and outdoor noise-making. So leaving them unattended is a worry.

Of course, there's the cat too. He owns that house and everyone in it, so he needs to be provided for.

What to do?

I could try to continue remotely. Difficult - how would I know when something was wrong? And if a neighbour reported an issue, how could I judge the offence? I really want to escape all the ties of home while I'm gone, not stress myself out about them.

Well another option is to hire an lettings agent. They would take a hefty commission in return for an impersonal service recruiting, vetting and managing lodgers. To be honest, all my experience of lettings agents has been really, really horrible. They always seemed to be out to screw me over as a tenant - claiming money for cleaning kitchen cupboards, for repainting doors or just for speaking to them. So it just doesn't sit right with me.

A better option is to find a friend, neighbour or relative who was happy to take it on. I have no idea whether there's anyone willing out there...


  1. Hi Emily, I've enjoyed reading your posts so far, and look forward to many more. I read your post from Money Saving Expert website from a couple of months ago, about your forthcoming adventure, which then led me here. Good Luck.

  2. Thank you Janet :-) I really hope this bit will be out of the way soon - the really interesting material will be out there!

  3. Emily, just a thought. But does the company you currently work for ever rent properties/rooms for staff for short term secondments into the UK? I used to work (many years ago) as a letting agent and we used to have many companies renting properties rather than put visiting employees into hotels. The company then took all responsibility for cleaning/management etc.

    Either way, whoever stays in the house, it's a given that the cat comes first;-)

  4. It's a great though Janet but no, sadly they don't.

    I have just recruited a new lodger though, who seems like he'll be a good bet! And I have another who's chasing me for a viewing.

    Maybe I can carry on managing it myself...