What would you be prepared to do to achieve your travel dreams?
This is a question we have discussed endlessly in the past few months. Much of this discussion has revolved around what we should do with our house.
We have changed our minds at least half a dozen times. So you can imagine how relieved we are to have finally made a decision! But it is not without a couple of small sacrifices!
Having previously had tenants in two houses that we owned we weren’t keen on that option. So our solution – rent it to family, namely our kids!
Everyone who decides they want to travel around Australia will have different circumstances and differing needs. Our main concern was that our kids who are 19 and 17 had somewhere to live. Initially both of them had indicated that they would move south to continue their studies, but both have since changed their minds and decided to remain on the Gold Coast. So they need somewhere to live.
RENT, SELL OR BUY SMALLER
We have been living in our current home since the middle of 2015. During that time we have carried out some fairly major renovations and it is now worth considerably more than it was when we purchased it. We would have made a nice profit from selling it.
This would have allowed us to buy a unit that the kids could live in, but once we factored in change-over costs like agent commission and stamp duty it was going to cost us at least $20,000. We would have then also had the added cost of Body Corporate which can be as high as $70 per week in some places here on the Coast.
We then looked at renting a place for them. The beauty of this would have been that if anything went wrong, they would have just needed to make a phone call to the real estate agent to get it fixed. However, with the price of rentals here on the Gold Coast, no matter how we did the sums it was still going to be cheaper for them to stay in our house and pay us rent.
INTEREST RATES AND PAYMENTS
We have always been on a fairly good interest rate and our repayments have always been manageable. But we did worry about whether what the kids could afford to pay would cover our costs . So we started to look around to see if there were cheaper rates around. We found that the bank that we were with (ING if anyone is interested) had very competitive rates on fixed term loans so we have elected to lock in our loan for two years at a rate of 3.79%. This will save us around about $75.00 a week. This will make our repayments much more bearable for everyone.
(As a side note, I was reading an article about Scott Pape – The Barefoot Investor, whilst writing this and he recommends ING and states that he is not paid for that opinion. He also warns that interest rates are about to rise so we are happy with our decision.)
Now before you think we are running away and leaving the kids, we are only going to be doing shorter trips for the first few months. We have left them previously for a couple of two week blocks and they have coped extremely well. We are very fortunate to also have some good friends who they can call on if they need to.
To help them out further, we are renting one room out to a friend of Miss Oz’s. She is happy to have the room next to Miss Oz’s and Ben is moving into our room. And where are we going? We figured because we would not be here all the time that we would move our room into the garage. It is not big enough to house the BT, so the only time it has ever had a car in it has been when we were away.
We have put down some cheap carpet from Bunnings and will screen it off with a wardrobe and shelf unit.We figure we will be quite comfy there when we are home.
After all, it’s just a place to sleep and it’s not really any smaller than a normal bedroom. The only thing I couldn’t quite get my head around was the presence of the roller door. So I have hung a curtain up in front of it and I feel much better now!
Now as always, any advice we offer is based purely on our personal experiences. We are not financial advisers or planners. Sharing our experiences is simply our way of giving others ideas of how they can achieve their travel dreams. We encourage everyone to always seek their own professional advice before making any changes regarding their personal finances.
What sacrifices would you be prepared to make to achieve your travel dreams?
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