The digital nomad movement has taken the millennial community by storm. Many young people choose to travel the world instead of settling into the home as their parents and grandparents did—and this kind of culture drives many young people these days to choose between travelling and buying a home.
But what if you can do both?
A house is the most expensive thing that most people will buy in their lifetime. So, what are the benefits of buying a nice home or quality lot for sale have for someone who does not plan to stay in it longer than a few short periods between travels?
You can rent out the house
While you are travelling, you have the option of renting out your house to tenants, either on a short-term on a long-term basis. The rent can cover part of or the entire mortgage payment every month, so the house is basically paying for itself while you are not living there.
However, keep in mind that you will not always have tenants, and if the house is vacant, you will have to pay the mortgage yourself. That said, you must have a buffer in your bank account to pay for the mortgage during vacancy on top of your travel expenses.
Furthermore, you should be financially ready for repair and replacement costs. The tenant may be liable for the expenses if they cause the damage, but you will be the one responsible otherwise. The bottom line is that you should always have cash ready to pay for the mortgage and any unexpected repairs.
You have a sense of permanence
One of the hardest parts about being a frequent traveller or digital nomad is losing a sense of permanence. You’re always on the move, moving from place to place, and you may not have anywhere to truly call a home of your own. This kind of lifestyle may be okay for some, but even the most seasoned traveller may want a place to settle down at times.
Buying your own home can give you this sense of permanence; a place to call your own; a place that you can stay when you are not jet-setting around the globe. It can also serve as a place to store all the things that you cannot take with you—memorabilia, collections, valuables, among many others.
You have somewhere to stay when you retire
If you don’t plan on travelling for the rest of your life, it pays to have a home where you can eventually retire. By then, you will have probably completed your mortgage payments (depending on your age), which means that you can retire peacefully, knowing that mortgage payments will no longer burden your income.
It is easier to start a family
Do you plan on starting a family in the future? If so, you may find another great benefit to owning a home instead of renting one: having a place ready to house a family. As opposed to waiting until you come home or renting a house when you start a family, buying a home can provide better financial benefits in the future.
Tips for owning a home for travellers
If you can’t choose between travelling the world and buying a house, why not do both? Here are some tips that can help you out with the home buying process and the responsibilities of homeownership.
Choose a home that needs minimal work
Buying a fixer-upper can have you postponing your travel plans for months—if not years. That said, it is often more ideal—and cost-effective–for travellers to buy a home that needs little to no work.
Hire a property manager
If you plan to rent out your home while you are gone, hire a property manager to take care of the landlord duties for you. This includes collecting rent, finding tenants, processing lease contracts, and more.
Save up a large reserve
Have a personal emergency fund that has at least six months’ worth of living and travel expenses before you buy a home. Then, build a separate emergency fund for your mortgage payments (in case of a vacancy), repairs, and replacements.
Invest in security
If you don’t plan to rent out the house, it pays to invest in home security. Install a home security system, reinforce the locks, test out the alarm system, and hire someone to come by your house from time to time to make it look like someone lives there while you are gone.
Buying a home while travelling the world is a huge financial undertaking, but it can be a great investment for your future. If you’re on the fence about buying a home as a traveller, these benefits should be able to help you make a decision.