One of the biggest potential obstacles to the lifestyle switch to the RV was to figure out what to do with the townhouse that we currently own (ok, we own just a part and a bank technically owns the rest) in National Harbor. We have lived here for just two years, and the builder is still building them and have new ones for sale. Overall the investment in the area is going strong. MGM has invested something on the order of $1.2B (that is Billion) in an upscale 1.1Million sq ft casino nearby. There are plans to add an additional 1.2Million sq ft of residences, hotel and office space nearby the casino. National Harbor is the place to live in the local area and has both a strong resale and rental market. The decision to sell or rent came down to figuring out what my monthly costs are to cover the mortgage, the taxes, the HOA fees along with taking into account the monthly management fee to have someone oversee the property, collect rents and be the point of contact for any issues that would arise. Once I had this figure it was some simple research to try and figure out the going rental rates. If the rent was not enough to closely cover the costs, most likely I would just sell it and bank the equity until we were ready to purchase something down the road. If I could cover most if not all of my costs by renting the townhouse, then renting may make more sense, as long as I feel the properly will appreciate in value as the area builds up around me.
An RV is not like a home, although it can costs as much, it is a depreciating asset (in other world it is going to lose value over time) and to try and offset that loss, by keeping the townhouse, I am betting on it will increase in value at the same time the RV is losing value. At least that is what I am hoping for over the next several years.
Well sometimes things are just meant to be and things fall into place. In talking to a local realtor who handles properties nearby, we discussed the idea situation. I would want a renter to move into the townhouse in the late summer or in the fall, I would want a renter who would want to rent for two years, figuring then I would maybe need to get another tenant or extend the current one for another year and then look to sell the townhouse in late 2019 due to some tax considerations. We made a plan to market the place in April….but as I said some things fall into place where you say this must be meant to be.
So I get a call at the end of March that while showing a nearby property for sale, someone contacted my agent to see if she knew of a rental…she said why yes and described my place. After the prospective tenant came over to see the townhouse and discussing the property with Cathy, and fell in love with our place. Soon after, the tenet and I agreed on them renting the townhouse from me. The lease was going to start in November, which was perfect for both of us since that is when I plan to retire and it also happens to be when the existing lease is set to expire. The lease is for three years at a price that covers my needs with a very nice couple who have secure jobs, have a military background like we do and with a similar outlook that I believe will look after my place like I would. I could not have asked for a better situation that seamlessly came out of the blue and was a perfect match for what I wanted.
This was one of the major things that could have derailed our plans to hit the road in November and is was something I was worrying about. Some things are just meant to be I guess, so no turning back now as we will be homeless on 1 November and living in the RV.