Delays, Disappointment, Decisions, and Dreams

Well, y’all. Get ready for a post full of randomness. I have so many thoughts whirling around in my head, so this post might be like an exercise in free association. Just picture me lying on a couch in a psychiatrist’s office spilling my thoughts on anything and everything that comes to mind. :)

Let’s start with the house…

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the purchase of my dream home has been delayed. About a month. We’ll probably close sometime around the end of July.

(Only a true — and truly determined — DIYer would call that a “dream home”, am I right? :-D But it is most definitely MY dream home. I’d take this any day over a newly constructed house. Am I strange, or what? I have such plans for this house. Such dreams!)

I was more than a little disappointed by the delay. Frustrated even. I had my heart set on being in that house in July. But now that a couple of days have passed since we were told that an early-to-mid July closing date was impossible, I’m starting to be okay with the idea.

So I took a couple of days to just relax, and be, and relax. It was nice. I had been working non-stop on this condo for probably close to three weeks, working long days almost every single day, consumed with the idea that I had to get it completely finished and ready to go on the market on July 1st. Now that pressure is gone, and while I do tend to thrive under pressure, sometimes too much pressure for too long is a very detrimental thing.

And that brings me to the condo…

We’re actually talking about holding on to it. :) We’re still mulling over the possibility, and I don’t think we’ve made a final decision yet, but we’re not really feeling a huge amount of pressure to sell it or even to rent it out. The fact is that our two mortgage payments combined are still way less than what most people pay for one SINGLE mortgage (or even rent on an apartment… :) ). Seriously. So it’s not like it would cause a financial burden at all.

And I think it would be nice to have it available, especially since I’ll have it all fixed up just like I want it.

If I need a little weekend retreat, I can come here to this familiar place. Or if I just need to get a few hours away to work on some blog stuff or other work stuff, I can come here. If lots of family members come into town at the same time and my mom doesn’t have room for everyone, some can stay at the condo.

And can I share another dream I have with you?

Once we get into the house, and get it all fixed up (including the sprawling back yard), I have this dream of hosting retreats there. I’m still not quite sure even what kind of retreat. A blogger retreat? That’s one dream I have. A women’s DIY workshop retreat weekend? I’d LOVE to do something like that!!

But if I do that, I’d want Matt out of the house. :) So it would be perfect for him to come stay at the condo!

Anyway, I have no idea if anything will ever come of that dream, but it’s definitely something I dream about often, and I’d love to see it become reality. Can you imagine a fun group of women spending a relaxing weekend together, good food, good company, lots of laughter, with some DIY and power tools thrown in? I just think it would be so fun!!

And one more random dream…

Now this might sound REALLY random, but in talking about keeping the condo, I decided that I definitely do NOT want to just keep it as rental property and rent it out to tenants on a long term basis.

I can think of nothing less appealing to me than being a rental property owner.  BUT…

I have this notion that I’d LOVE to rent the place out more short term, kind of like people do with their vacation homes when they’re not actually using their vacation homes.

Now granted, Waco isn’t really a vacation destination.  :-D  But my condo IS about five blocks from Baylor University, so it would be the perfect location for parents visiting their kid for the weekend, or Baylor alumni coming into town for a big game, or something like that.  It’s conveniently located, it’s gated, it has a pool, it has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, it has a full kitchen.  Heck, renting a comparable hotel room would cost quite a bit!

I know.  It’s random.  But that’s how my mind works.  :-D

Have any of you ever done something like that?  Do you own a vacation home that you rent out when you’re not using it?  I know it’s a whole new world, one full of legalities and liability with which I’m completely unfamiliar right now.  I’d have to do a ton of research before jumping in with both feet.

But again, it’s just a dream at this point.

Isn’t dreaming fun?

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Comments

  1. Marci S says

    We used to have a short-term rental in a ski area in Southern California about 2.5 hours drive from our home. We used a management company which saved a lot of headaches. You pay a percentage but it was worth it not to have to deal with credit cards, to have them checking the renters and the cabin, etc. The tenants also paid a cleaning deposit. They suggested that we get a million dollar liability policy (in addition to the normal insurance on the house itself) to protect ourselves (and them, no doubt!)

  2. says

    You know, your idea of a short-term rental isn’t all that crazy. I used to work in a cafe and one of my customers came in one day and told me how she was part of a home swapping network (somewhere on the web, I think) that people used for vacations. You’d shop around on their website for another person in a destination city and then agree to swap homes for vacation.

    I’ll bet you could do something like that with the condo, not have random people in your main home, AND get a couple of cheap vacations out of it. Wouldn’t that be neat?

    On the other hand, I have no idea how appealing your area would be as a vacation spot. ;-)

        • Rene says

          I have to comment – we spent a family reunion weekend in Waco and had a great time! Tons of museums, a great zoo, golf for the guys and fantastic places to eat. Don’t put it down.

          • says

            Don’t get me wrong. I don’t meant to put down Waco. I love my city! :) I just meant that when planning a vacation, most people would never think of Waco, Texas. People generally come here for something specific (to visit family, conventions, sporting events, Baylor Univeristy, etc.) and while they’re here for that, they realize that Waco actually has some pretty great things to offer. :)

            • Krikit says

              “…when planning vacation, most people would never think of Waco…”

              That’s where imaginative, inspiring, and captivating marketing come into play. ~:0)

  3. says

    Dreaming is awesome especially if they come true! Good luck with whatever u decide.

  4. Debbie says

    VRBO is a website you should check out. I think it would be a great idea to rent it out for Baylor families.

    • says

      I was going to say the same thing…I was surprised to see our small city listed on VRBO’s website. I think people would actually rent it just to see how fabulous it is in person….it’s amazing what you have done with it!!

  5. toni says

    It may not be a vacation destination, but being near a college makes it desirable for visiting parents. Awesome idea! Also a good little insurance policy for the future. If you ever were to find yourself in need of some extra income you have some options.

  6. toni says

    by the way, you start offering workshops or retreats and suddenly your house will become a vacation destination, at least for some of us. Lets go glamping at Kristis!!!

  7. Diane Mansil says

    A lot of people I know in Nebraska have second and third properties they rent out only during hunting season, and for astronomical prices, because of the convenience of having a house vs a motel room. Several have outfitted the houses with freezers in sheds or porches or garages for meat storage for the successful hunters. Renting to parents visiting their kids, people traveling to the area for a big game, etc. isn’t a bad idea, but bear in mind that those are times when you absolutely cannot use it for your own purposes. You’d have to have a pretty comprehensive calender and contact list, but it could pay for itself over a few busy weekends.

  8. says

    Definitely do some research Kristi! I’m not knocking the idea at all. When my husband and I got engaged and moved in together we turned my home into a rental property. There are some benefits (like not having to sell it right now) but make sure you cover all your bases. Even check with your city as some require special permits for rental homes.

  9. lysa says

    College parents or alumni are your best best. It’s short term but I’d do it as a season rental only. So you’d rent it to one family for the duration of football season, etc. Less headache for you to find fill-ins and multiple rental agreements and it makes life easier for them to leave their game gear there. I’d bet you would end up with an offer to buy from one of them after the 1st year without much effort. Of course, you’d have to furnish it but they’d then wash their ow sheets etc. which cuts out a ton of housekeeping on your part.

  10. says

    Kristi,

    I think the short term rental idea you have is fantastic. It could pay your taxes and insurance on the property, heck maybe you’d make enough to pay the mortgage w/o any out of pocket on your part.

  11. Sue says

    When you first said you might keep it I thought “What? She’s done all this work to sell the place and now she’s keeping it?” But after thinking about it for a bit, I think it might be a great idea, especially for families of Baylor students or business travelers. It would be perfect for that plus you’d be bringing in a bit of money to help with the renovation/furnishing of your new place.

  12. says

    I am with you on the brand new home thing. I love older homes, they have so much character.

    And I think the idea of keeping the condo is brilliant! All of your ideas for its use sound wonderful.

  13. says

    Interesting on thinking about keeping the condo! Short term rental might be an idea. Their have been several episodes of HGTV’s Income property where the rental properties have been fixed up for “executive rentals” – something you might look into. With a college nearby, you might have other short-term people coming through who’d like somewhere quiet to stay vs a hotel.

    Look forward to how the rest of that unfolds!

  14. says

    We have a house about two hours from where we live in Argentina that belongs to my husband’s family. But since we’re the only ones living there, we are responsible for it. We try to rent it out during the summer (it is in a touristy area) for enough to cover annual expenses (altho we haven’t quite managed that yet) and the rest of the year we use it about one weekend a month, plus a week in winter and a week in spring. We also let pastors and missionaries use at little to no cost for vacations. So far we’ve only rented it to people we know and trust, or who come recommended by someone we trust. We have worked hard to make it a fun and comfortable space for our guests. I think your idea of renting to parents or alumni is a great idea! But I’d talk to someone who has rentals to see what you’d need to do (if anything) to protect yourself against lawsuits, destruction of property, etc. Also any advice they can give you about the logistics. We’ve learned some things thru trial and error :) Like getting a deposit when someone makes a reservation (less likely to cancel last minute if they’ve already partially paid). Or doing inventory after each rental; and of course, having an inventory list ahead of time :) We went thru and left enough place settings, silverware, etc for ten, which makes it easier to keep track of stuff. Keeping the condo sounds like a wise idea, since it’s not a financial hardship. It’s definitely an asset worth hanging onto that will only increase in value over time.

  15. says

    I think your idea of renting to parents or alumni is a great idea! But I’d talk to someone who has rentals to see what you’d need to do (if anything) to protect yourself against lawsuits, destruction of property, etc. Also any advice they can give you about the logistics. We’ve learned some things thru trial and error :) Like getting a deposit when someone makes a reservation (less likely to cancel last minute if they’ve already partially paid). Or doing inventory after each rental; and of course, having an inventory list ahead of time :) We went thru and left enough place settings, silverware, etc for ten, which makes it easier to keep track of stuff. Keeping the condo sounds like a wise idea, since it’s not a financial hardship. It’s definitely an asset worth hanging onto that will only increase in value over time.

  16. says

    I think your idea of renting to parents or alumni is a great idea! But I’d talk to someone who has rentals to see what you’d need to do (if anything) to protect yourself against lawsuits, destruction of property, etc. Also any advice they can give you about the logistics. We’ve learned some things thru trial and error :) Like getting a deposit when someone makes a reservation (less likely to cancel last minute if they’ve already partially paid). Keeping the condo sounds like a wise idea, since it’s not a financial hardship. It’s definitely an asset worth hanging onto that will only increase in value over time.

  17. Carla says

    I rented a condo in Galveston from an individual who lived in Dallas. I rented it for January and February. It was on a vacation website and the owner was so nice and easy to work with. I rent my house in Austin as a long term rental. I would use a mgmt company if I didn’t know the couple renting from me since I’m in Kansas now. But I seriously thought about buying a place of my
    own in Galveston and renting it out. It can pay for itself.

    If I was a Baylor parent I would totally

  18. says

    I know the delay is a big disappointment, but I’ve found those things are always for the best in the end. God is in control! I think your idea of short-term rental sounds good- I would have loved to have that option when we were visiting our kids in college.

  19. says

    Kristi, be sure to check out another great rental segment—-corporate!
    When I first was transferred to Atlanta I lived in an apartment where IBM had several rental units. Also, while on a temporary assignment in Boca Raton, FL one condo I was in a lovely condo and later a condo in a tennis resort. Most large companies have a need for rental condos or apartments. It would need to be furnished completely but minimally. Also the kitchens must have the basic needs as well as the bathrooms. I would also talk to some property managers because most likely, the contracts would be somewhat different since it will be between you and the corporation. Of course one nice provision is that the corporation would be the one covering the cost of any damages so you should have no problems if that occurs. It’s a very lucrative market segment.
    If you do rent it out by the week or month, when it is empty you have the perfect place to use as a lab to try out new ideas. That way your project won’t disrupt you home. All the furnishings shouldn’t cost much given the wonderful things you have done, at least those I’ve seen on your blog. I think the DIY Retreat for Women would be a great idea. I’d love to go to one that teaches how to use the basic power tools such as table saw, router, miter saw and a nail gun. Mmmn, it might take more than one retreat to cover all that list and, of course, my list of other skills that would be great are tiling, stenciling (especially floors) basic building for tables, bookcases etc. Whoops! I think I’d better go. I may have just given you a curriculum to cover your first year!

  20. margaret says

    My daughter just graduated from Baylor in May and before you got her own apartment it would have been wonderful to have a nice place to stay. I grew very tired of the hotel scene. I think your idea of short term rental would go over great! I already miss Waco and am ready to come back and do some shopping. I also know my daughter and her fellow grad girls are ready to plan trips back to Waco for next years games. Your place would def be on their list!

  21. says

    I think keeping the house is a wonderful idea! I also love the idea of a blogger retreat! I’ve never been to Waco & meeting other women with similar interests sound like tons of fun.

  22. Andrea says

    I know people who have multiple properties for long term rentals, they are true DIY’ers. I also know of worst case scenarios. We mulled it over renting so we could move on up. We nixed it, we are not handy, we do not want to deal with property management, it was not for us, someone stole our lawnmower, we are wussies. I have stayed in vacation rentals, which IMO are the lesser of two evils and awesome. Which worked out…because I have to brag … we listed our house on Tuesday, we had a full price offer with Wednesday noon deadline, WE ARE UNDER CONTRACT. Shut the front door. Moral of the story… expect the unexpected. The market is rebounding, at least where I am. I hope whatever you do works out for the best. Your blog be rockkin’. I cannot wait to get in our dream house and do some of the stuff you have on your blog, fum with MORE color. Honestly, it was YOU who inspired me to have fun with decorating my house and take chances with color outside my comfort zone amd trust my gut to follow it through to the final outcome. Our agent said I had a good eye, she also helped stage a few rooms. For the next six months we will be renting. Lol ILOVE YOUR BLOG!

  23. says

    So sorry to hear about the delay on your home. I love the big beautiful tree in the front yard. Hope there are no more delays for you. Good luck and cannot wait to see what you have in store for us when you move in.
    Lynn

  24. Kim says

    Brilliant turn of events — ditto the commenter who said “God’s in control.” These little blips really do happen for a reason. I think you’re on to something great with your rental idea. SIGN ME UP for the DIY retreat!!!!

  25. Cindy says

    Kristi,
    For the last 4 years we have visited my oldest daughter at college a couple times a year. We stay in a place similar to your condo. We love it because we feel like we can relax more than if we are at a hotel. We actually didn’t get to stay there the weekend of her graduation. There was a waiting list. We can cook our own meals, which is cheaper and healthier. We can also take along an additional person and not have to worry about getting an extra hotel room. It has been a sweet situation for us. We are actually sad that we won’t stay there anymore. It was a great place. I hope this works out for you! Best wishes!

  26. Gilmer Gal says

    Kristi, a corporate rental is probably the best you can get! The rent and deposit will be paid, the house will be cleaned, the company takes care of any problems with the “tenant.” All you will be expected to do is have the place for them to stay. The best thing is that you don’t have to face the tenant personally, and if there should be a problem, you would have the luxury of having the company address them, thus keeping you clear of any arguments that might arise :o} And they pay pretty good, too! I know you are anxious to get into your new house (I love older homes, also – I now live in a 5-yr old house that is nice, but leaves me with no walls to tear down!) Do I see a two-car garage that is going to house a new workshop?

  27. Kristi Murphy says

    First of all…please sign me up for the first DIY retreat! Great idea. Second, we have a guest house behind our own home and have used it for many different things. My son lives in it between semesters and our family stays out there when visiting but the biggest thing we did was invite a family to live in it while their house was being built. Their other house sold quickly and they needed a short term place. It worked out great. As another person posted, corporate travelers would be good tenants as well. Good luck with all of your goings on! It’s been exciting to watch it all transpire…your neighbor in Crawford, TX

  28. Cathy says

    Kristi, Happy Birthday and Happy First Day of Summer!

    I think your idea to keep the condo is great! Since you are wanting to be able to use it as a get-away for you and Matt, you will need to stay away from long-term rentals. With it being on the Baylor campus, I think you should be able to rent it out to parents visiting their kids, and alumni coming in for games and such, fairly often once word gets out that it’s available.

    I can’t wait until you’re in your new house! So excited for y’all! The delay is most likely a God thing. Slow down a bit, at least for today! Enjoy your birthday!!!

  29. says

    My retired parents visit here for a month every winter, and rent out an apartment for a month probably very close to where your condo is. Make sure it has cable TV (my dad likes to watch sports) and I bet I could convince them to rent your place instead!

  30. Susie says

    I think it’s a great idea to rent your place out! The beauty is that the folks that take the time to find a little condo will APPRECIATE your condo… as opposed to a generic hotel room. Check out airbnb.com. It’s an amazing way to get your space out there! I grew up in Waco and while it may not be a tourist town, you are right about Baylor and how busy it gets around homecoming, big games or graduation! Whatever you decide, good luck!!!

  31. says

    I love your stream of consciousness, it’s the random stuff from which brilliant ideas grow. As for the ‘dream house’ thing…I’m a house ‘editor’ myself with little interest in new builds. Keeping the condo may be great for you and I considered it with the last reno (a couple of blocks from home and next door to a dear friend) but now I’m happy it’s sold. I suspect I would have just started to see the things that were ‘not quite perfect’ so I’d rather keep the memory of the love :-) Happy Summer Solstice from the cold of our Melbourne winter.

  32. says

    At least it’s only a delay! I think it’s wonderful that you’ve done all your updating on a place you’ll still be able to keep and enjoy. I always think it’s sad when people fix up a home when they’re ready to move, not because they want to enjoy it! Waco is a reasonable drive from Houston, count me in if you ever decide to host a retreat :)

  33. says

    Hey – If you haven’t checked out AirBnB online you might want to. We use this service to rent condos, apartment and whole houses when we go on vacation. It’s a service for both poeple who want a place and those who have one. It’s well set up, has a review system for both types of users and the person renting the home has control over who they will rent to (hence the utility of the review and feedback system). They have insurance, security deposits and the whole package.
    I can’t say enough good things about it – I’ll never stay in a chain hotel again :)
    Cheers
    Cheryl

  34. Naomi Williams says

    Hate to be a wet blanket here, but you’d better check your HOA rules about having short-term tenants. I know the condo I used to live in (as a long-term renter) would not have allowed it. Heck, they even had limits on how many times a year you could have visitors use the pool.

  35. Mamaw BJ says

    Seriously Kristy….how do you keep your head from exploding with all of the super ideas that you have bouncing around in it???? I think keeping your condo is a wonderful idea and you have put so much heart and soul into it that it seems like just a natural thing to do now!

    And I am totally in love with your idea for your new home of holding retreats there!!! I am just north of you in Arlington and I would absolutely love to be able to go to something like that with you in charge of it! And can you believe that I just stumbled across your blog tonight? Well, actually it was last night but I’m still on it at 2am going through all your remodeling progress!! Too funny!!! LOL

    • says

      Well, we’re practically neighbors! :) So glad you found my blog! The renting out of my condo for short term rentals isn’t going to work (it’s a violation of the condo bylaws). I was so disappointed to find that out. :( BUT, the dream of having DIY retreats at my house is still a possibility, and one that I hope becomes reality.

  36. Leigh says

    Kristi,

    When my husband and I got married we both owned small, starter homes. Those two homes are now rental properties. We are currently working on one of those homes this month to get it ready for new renters and this is the time that I usually don’t have a lot of good things to say about rentals, but even during the physical and paperwork part of getting new renters, I never regret the decision to keep both properties. They make us money and continue to make us more as the years progress. We’ve been doing it for thirteen years now.

    I will say that my husband is extremely handy so there aren’t too many things he can’t fix or figure out how to fix. My inlaws and father all have rental properties, and I’m seeing firsthand that their rentals are bringing in more income than their pensions are bringing in each month. Being a landlord is not for everyone, but don’t completely rule it out because it can be profitable.

    Screening is the most important part of the process. Run those credit checks, check with previous landlords, and go with your gut instinct and it can be done easily. On average our tenants stay about three years; one stayed seven years. We have, like you, fixed up our homes so that they are much more attractive than the average rental in our price range and usually have a large selection of applicants, which helps us pick the cream of the crop.

    I just had to add a plug for keeping it as a long-term rental. By the way, I live in the Austin area so should you even think about renting it out, feel free to ask me any questions. I’ll end with the fact that there is absolutely no way I would ever consider short-term rentals! That, to me, would be a headache. I wouldn’t want to be constantly getting it ready for a renter or dealing with the paperwork all year long. Once a year or once every three or seven years is much more my style.

    And I know how you feel about your new home because we were supposed to close on ours last year in mid July and didn’t close until the middle of August. We are now living in our *dream* home – 3600 sq ft of ugly blue baseboards, blue carpet, and dirty white walls. We also love fixer uppers!

    Best to you!
    Leigh

    • says

      Thanks so much for the info, Leigh! If Matt were able to help me out with stuff like repairs on the condo, I think we’d definitely consider keeping it as a long term rental. It might be something we’ll still consider. We just really need to think through the pros and cons of it.

      The short term rental idea didn’t pan out (rentals for less than 30 days violate the condo bylaws). I was disappointed, but it’s probably a blessing in disguise. I had probably romanticized the whole idea in my head (like the idea of owning an awesome B & B, but without considering the hard non-stop work that goes into it). So right now, the idea of selling is in the lead. It’ll probably all depend on whether or not we can get enough for it to actually pay it off. We bought it before the housing market crashed, so we’re not even sure how much we could get for it now.

      I wish I could just skip over all of this part, magically be transported to the new house without having to think about rentals, selling, etc., and just start decorating. :)

      And by the way, your dream home with blue baseboards, blue carpet, and dirty white walls sounds magnificent to me!! Have fun making it yours! :)

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