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Author Topic: Managing property while overseas  (Read 7214 times)

Warner

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Managing property while overseas
« on: October 31, 2013, 12:35:46 PM »
My wife and I are in the over 50 group and are joining the Peace Corps. My biggest concern is what we should do with our house and property and how to manage our assets while we would be gone. We live in a small town in Georgia. Any practical advice would be greatly appreciated.

Warner

Offline jlmanzak

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2013, 03:57:50 PM »
I'm in the same boat. Fortunately, my parents live not far away and will have power of attorney to take care of things while I'm gone. I'm currently interviewing property management companies for my house in rural NC. I want to have a company managing it to reduce the burden on my parents. They'll basically just be back up in case of emergencies and to do periodic property checks. I'm selling my car and truck before I leave, so that won't be an issue. I'm also interested in any other advice anyone has on this topic!

Offline Amelia.Plant

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2013, 04:00:46 AM »
I know volunteers who sold their houses.  Some who wanted to keep their property rented it out to friends/subletters.  I am not sure what others did who left their houses vacant.  But like I said, many I knew subletted.
Amelia
RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013

Offline rich.a

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2013, 06:51:55 AM »
I went through the exercise of deciding whether to rent or sell earlier in the year before my official assignment came through.  I decided to sell. I didn't want to deal with renters and property managers, my needs will be completely different after I serve for two years (I'll get used to living sparsely and a 1600 sf, two story house with 4 bedrooms would overwhelm me), the neighborhood I live in is changing and more renters and absentee landlords are moving in, and I many not want to come back to Albany after 27 months in Ukraine. 
Now the house is on the market and I need to sell 90% of everything before the end of March.  A different sort of angst to tide me over until I leave.

Cathy McLeod

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2013, 06:54:25 AM »
As part of the over 50 group, I also have property. Decided to sell the car, and keep my small house. Right now it seems a little small when full of grandchildren, but after the 27 months in Namibia it will likely seem to be a mansion. It will be managed by a reliable local property management company, with my son and wife being back up emergency on call. Reading these responses, it makes me tempted to sell it and not have ANY worries except missing family and getting taxes done, while out of the country.

Offline jmeisenb

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2013, 08:22:21 AM »
Also in the 50+ crowd - I'm going to keep mine for the time.  I have 3 kids, 2 sons are in town.  One son will stay in the house, possibly with roommates.  My oldest will have power of attorney and will have the power to sell the house if plans changed.  I will have 2 POA's - a more limited one for bills and taking care of house and taxes while I'm away and then a more standard one in case I'm incapacitated or whatever.

I'll update and sell the house when I return and then, with the PC experience, decide what to do next - thinking about 10 - 20 acres (partially wooded) with a small house or something.

Offline PCVJABENIN

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2013, 11:23:57 AM »
Hi, I hired a small local property management company, which handles many single-family homes, to manage my house on a one-year lease while I am gone. Ask around for references so you get one which is reliable and yet small enough to give personal attention to your rental.  The management fee is 10% of the monthly rent.  Mine sends me a monthly report, deposits rent to my account, and got a good renter who renewed the lease for the second year.  The income pays almost all expenses.  Basically I have someone else paying my mortgage for 2 years.  The hardest part of course was clearing out the house and putting stuff in storage. But after that, no worries!

Offline kate burrus

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2014, 09:30:36 AM »
We too decided to rent our house out while serving.  The key is to hire a reliable property management company.  We met with them several times to discuss our concerns about who to rent our house to and what would happen incase of broken pipes etc.  We ended up writing a "Welcome to our Home" manuel to be given to our renters that explains who we are and all the nuances of living in our home.  We have been volunteers for four years now, in two different countries and we have had very responsible renters.  The rest of our things were either sold, given away or are in a small rental storage unit.   

Offline saraweaves

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 09:40:56 AM »
I really struggled with this decision. I own a small but very sweet home up in the hills of an older part of L.A. In the end, I decided to sell. I had a few different reasons. I didn't want to be burdened by the responsibility of tenants and house repairs while overseas. I didn't want to pay a property management company fee, which is substantial. I want maximum flexibility when I return to the U.S. to go wherever I want and not have to come back and deal with evicting tenants and selling the house. I also want to be able to take a job anywhere when I return, and/or move to a city I like - L.A. not being that place anymore! One factor that was important for me that may not exist for others was that the market is very hot in my area. No way to know if that would be the case when I return. Another factor is that I only have one child and he is in college in another town. Had the market been bad, or had a family member been available to stay in the house, I might have made a different decision. However, all things being equal, I do think I made the right decision. The point being that there are a lot of different factors and it really depends on your personal situation.

One more thing to add, I am giving a fair amount of furniture to my son, but I am keeping all my books, art, dishes, more valuable furniture, etc. in storage. I don't want to have to restock an entire household with all the basics when I return!

Offline libby

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2014, 04:48:57 AM »
We sold our house (and right before we left, our cars) and bought a small coop apartment. I gave Power of Attorney to my brother -- who checks our unit once a month -- and our dues are on automatic payment. Renting out our house seemed like so much hassle, and we were actually ready to downsize, anyhow. With our little apartment, we can just lock the door and leave whenever we want to...and we intend to do just that!

We do expect to have to buy a new water heater when we get back, because we drained ours to avoid any water leak complication from arising.

Offline wreloise

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2014, 11:35:18 AM »
I am thankful to belong to a group that shares one's knowledge of the events of life.  You all are so supportive.  Thank you.
Eloise-Born to Serve

Offline sjbirkhead

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2014, 10:21:32 AM »
I had three properties to be taken care of while I was serving in the Peace Corps.  One being the house I was living in.  I interviewed several management companies and met with the one I picked a few times.  They were willing to work with me but asked that I leave a fund with them in case there were major repairs needed.   They also wanted someone they could work with back in the states so my nephew agreed to be that person but he was not in the same town as the property management company.  Everything worked out fine and there were no major problems with me being out of the country for two years.  You will spend a little more money this way because you are not there to take care of small things yourself but in the long run, I think it is worth it.  Just be picky about your management company.

Offline wreloise

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2014, 07:16:48 AM »
Profitable resource for property owners.  Thank you.
Eloise-Born to Serve

Offline ncdesertprincess

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When to put the house on the market?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2014, 09:16:03 AM »
Hello,

I accepted an invitation to service March 2015.

I have decided to sell my home, car and household items before leaving to serve. Although, I am not sure when to put my home on the market because I am in the final stages before being accepted. On the other hand, if I wait until I am approved to go, then it may be too late. Any suggestions from those who have sold their home? What do you do with your important papers, etc that you need to keep?

Thanks for your help and feedback.

Denise

Offline PeaceCorps1

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Re: Managing property while overseas
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2014, 04:41:17 PM »
I preferred keeping my townhome. I allowed my child to live in it and just pay the HOA and $100 into my bank account. While others will travel on yearly breaks, I came home to take care of taxes and repairs during my 3 long vacation periods at Christmas and summer=45 days at home were better for me than 45 days traveling.
"If it were not for the reporters, I'd tell you the truth"', President Chester A. Arthur