Currently Wandering » Outdoor Family, Adventure Travel, Simple Living - Family of 5 Traveling the United States in an Airstream.

To Sell, or Not to Sell? What to Do With the House?

To Sell or Not to Sell. What to do with the House
Traveling so far we have run into so many families that have sold everything for their life on the road. Whether out of necessity, or to just downsize and live simply, selling the house and everything in it is one way to fund and maintain a life on the road.

Others we have run into rent out their house or simply leave it empty if they know they will be back. Many families are out for a year or so, quitting their jobs, pulling the kids out of school and living on savings. This makes sense to keep the house since their return is inevitable.

Leaving Utah last July we never imagined we’d end up with an Airstream and want a life on the road. As such, we still have a house in Utah we need to go home and deal with. Our home exchange partners have left, so we have friends keeping an eye on it for now, but we can’t ignore the giant hole that our money is draining down.

The problem is, we love the house. Well, maybe we love the idea of our house. It’s our first one. We brought Cara home from the hospital to that house. We put a lot of love, sweat, and tears into turning it into our home. The idea of selling frankly scares me to death. Our kids are adamantly against it and I don’t really blame them. Prior to traveling, a large portion of their identity revolved around where we lived. We live around the corner from our best friends and it would be really hard to give that up. Plus, I just finished sprucing up my office and I love it. Being in there makes me happy.

Being on the road makes me happier. There’s the problem.

As a culture, why is it we become so attached to things? Even thinking of selling our dining room table that we hunted for, or the downstairs couch I agonized over and went to 5 different stores before picking out the perfect one makes me want to break down in puddle of tears. Why is that? We’ve gone over and over it. Its just stuff. Its replaceable. We never wanted to end up in Utah anyway. But why is it so hard?

So there’s our current dilemma. To sell? Or not to sell. We’ve been told the REAL estate market in Utah is great for sellers this year. If we are going to sell, now is the perfect time. And yet, we are all not sure if we can let go. We hope we’ll know when we get back there. Most of our journey so far as been by faith, and I think this will have to be as well.

Just to get nostalgic – I thought I’d share a few photos of our cute house with you. You know, because in another few months it could be on the market.



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  • Jeff - Great post. So true, it’s hard to let go. Makes me glad that selling the house was the first (and so far, only) step we’ve taken towards making our dream come true. I’m not going to lie to you, it was hard. I still can’t think about it too much without getting sad, and even though we only live 10 mins away in a rental house, I haven’t had the courage to go back. It’s been since July. But it’s getting easier.ReplyCancel

    • Jess - I wonder which way would be easier? Would it be easier to sell after you are already on the road knowing what we know? I’m still unsure. The last thing we want is to have to race back to Utah to take care of anything. Especially if we are on the other side of the country.ReplyCancel

  • Haley Shurtliff Call - Aww, I love it! You’ve done some really cute things with it.ReplyCancel

  • Jenni - We sold and it was a great decision, even being fairly sure we would return to Tampa. I can say that when we got home it was hard to drive by the old neighborhood and still is. We have even accidentally turned that way instead of proceeding up the Expressway to our new exit. In the end it was something that aided my faith and ability to trust God and place my sense of security in Him alone.ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Jenni- that’s good to hear! A quote I heard in church the other day (week? month?) is, “There’s something hopeful about a fresh start.” I am kind of excited about that possibility!ReplyCancel

  • Jamie Herbert - hmmm… you had done a lot since I had last been there. So cute! ReplyCancel

  • Kelli - We rent out homes and are thankful that we still have them both. We lived in one, then moved to the next while renting the first one out and now they are both rented. They have provided income, tax advantages and a sense of security (if we wanted to at some point, we could still move back to our own home). You have to get past the fact that sometimes things will break or you might get a bad tenant. Most of that is emotional and difficult because you’re not there. It will cost you more to handle things that come up when you can’t do it yourself, but if you’re prepared it’s really nice to know you still have your home. In the mean time, the mortgages keep whittling down and at some point they’ll be paid off and really be profitable.ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Thanks for your perspective on renting!! We did detail a post later about our decision to sell (the biggest that we knew we didn’t want to go back!).ReplyCancel

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