Monday, 16 January 2012

The Million Dollar Question

bin funnies

One of the main challenges on our current agenda is the subject of moving. Theoretically, we can stay at our house while it’s being extended, but it is clear that in order to do so we would have to stow away the bulk of our possessions and live a dirty [cold] life for a few months. Me, I wasn't born to suffer; I prefer to use this thing called money to acquire indulgences, such as the ability to sleep in peace. And watch TV. And go to the toilet.
So moving it is, then, which implies us renting a place to stay at while our true house is extended. The rub is in that last part of that last sentence, “while our true house is extended”: thus far it seems the only short term rental places in our area are dumps, old houses waiting to be knocked down and feeling the part. We’re talking about carpets that smell like they’ve been alive for decades, kitchens and toilets that were probably out of fashion by the time I was born, and heating facilities that make it pretty clear winter is going to be a nasty affair.
The alternative is renting “normal” places, with a minimum of a year’s worth of rental. The price per week is roughly the same as that for the short term rentals, and there is good stuff to be had, but there is also the potential cost: were we to break to contract after around six months to go back to our now extended place, we would have to pay around $500 worth of compensations. Oh, and we would have to pay rent until the place is let again. If the rent is $500 per week (damn, Australia is expensive), and if it takes two months for the new renter to come in, we will be talking about some $5000 going down the drain! If we do go with this option we better find a place that would be sought after enough to reduce the risk of prolonged damage to our wallets.
At this stage we are still doing our homework; we have a few weeks before we need to move out. However, I would warmly welcome your inputs on this matter: short term lease vs. contract breaking.


Image by Cail Young, Creative Commons license

4 comments:

Sarah said...

We were already renting when we started building so didn't have to move out so have no really useful advice but had a few thoughts. I would go the path of lease breaking and just take it as a building cost. It seems highly likely they will take longer to finish the project than they forecast. I would rather be in decent accommodation especially with winter coming and having a young child. You could have made do when it was just the two of you but now I think seeing you don't know how long it will be I'd be looking for something decent.

In the current market I don't think it will be too hard to re-rent as if people aren't buying they have to be looking for rentals.

Don't know how you have been looking for rentals but have you been to real estate agents and asked for short term listings like 6 mths? Sometimes people are going overseas or reassigned for work for short periods and are looking for short term tenants just a matter of making that connection. I had a look at house sitting options but the websites I found didn't have anything in your area.

I found this forum useful while we were building maybe someone on there could suggest housing options for you... http://forum.homeone.com.au/

Moshe Reuveni said...

Thanks for the feedback. I tend to agree, but it's good to get support.
With regards to house sitting: I won't dismiss the idea if a good opportunity presented itself, but I would prefer to have my stuff with me. Six months without my hifi? Just cut my wrists and get it over with!

Uri said...

What Sarah said.

Rennovation always takes longer (and gets more expensive) than planned, so your short-term rent may end up not-so-short after all.

Living in a dump is not at all nice.

Moshe Reuveni said...

Again, I agree, but in our case I do think the builder has comfortably wrapped his quote with hefty safety margins, time wise. Still, with the freak weather we've been getting here ("once in a lifetime" storms coming in several times a year), I prefer to err in the direction you're recommending.
Thanks for the feedback.