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How to Sell Your Home and Travel the World
It’s tempting. Put your Atlanta home for sale, unload all your belongings, quit your job, load a backpack, and explore the world. Plenty of people are doing it. Some near the beginning of their careers with fewer belongings to leave behind, but there are others too—all the way from families with small children to retirees.
So if living the nomadic life is something you are seriously considering, the people who’ve already taken that step to say—don’t rush. It takes some planning on your part. One world traveler says he began the process more than a year ahead.
Center Your Mind
Everyone agrees that to start you need to get your mind centered on the idea of letting go of objects in favor of the experiences you’ll gain. That recumbent exercise bike that’s served as a coat hanger could turn into a lovely meal in Vienna overlooking the Danube.
Before you sell your home, give serious thought to how long you realistically believe your travel bug will last. That may factor into exactly how many of your possessions you wish to sell or store. Once you’ve figured that out, you need to sort through everything.
Keep, Sell, Donate
What do you want to keep, sell, donate, or trash? Handle trash and the donations first. As you begin to sell items, fellow travelers recommend using multiple sources, such as eBay, Craigslist, Etsy, Letgo, and similar sites. Don’t forget good old-fashioned garage sales. Want to move it fast? Experts say be realistic in your prices, and offer deals to people who will buy in bulk.
Worried your house will no longer look like a home when you put it on the market? No worries. Real estate experts recommend that you declutter and depersonalize anyway. The less crowded the rooms are, the larger the house will look. You want potential buyers to be able to visualize the house with their belongings in it—not yours.
Make sure your home is visible online with excellent photos to go with it. Many potential homebuyers begin their search on the Internet, basing what they want to go see on what’s visible on the web. If you’re looking to sell fast, price realistically. Experts say a higher initial price can result in a slower sale.
So once you’ve sold your home and cashed in your worldly goods, you’re ready to hit the road, right? Not quite. Experienced travelers say you should have an established budget way ahead of time. So in addition to unloading your possessions, you might need to alter your lifestyle to save even more, maybe forgoing that gourmet coffee or restaurant meal in favor of something less expensive. The cash you save can be added to your travel budget.
The other thing to think about is making the money you’ve cobbled together work for you, putting it into investments you can manage—and liquidate, if necessary—while you’re traveling. This is where older couples may have an advantage, especially if they’re at an age where they can draw on retirement funds. Chances are also good they have more equity in the home they sell.