Many aspiring full-timers wonder if they should keep their home or sell it before hitting the road. If you’re having this debate and wondering what to do, maybe our story can help you decide.
Six years ago when we hit the road, our adventure was only supposed to be temporary but we decided to sell our home (and business) to help pay for our rig, a year on the road and a deposit on our future dream property. Our ultimate goal was to start a new life on a little piece of land somewhere in rural America. This search took us from Washington to Vermont and two years after starting out we found our idyllic retreat in the mountains of Northern Colorado.
Nicknamed “Jerry’s Acres” in honor of our first dog who inspired us to hit the road, this 5-acre property came complete with a nearly-new modular home at a great price. Although our intention was to live here year-round, we ultimately decided to keep full-timing because we loved the lifestyle so much.
Today we think of Jerry’s Acres as a really beautiful RV parking spot; that’s because we only visit a couple of times a year, in spring and fall. Summer months are reserved for earning extra money while workamping at our favorite ranch, and winter months at this 8500′ altitude are something I am too wimpy to endure. Being allergic to snow and foul weather, we fly south by Halloween and don’t come back until the last snow plow is put into storage.
As a consequence of meeting this long-time goal of owning rural property, we lead a double life as full-time RVers – somewhere between shiftless drifters and responsible home owners. We might appear to be footloose but this retreat brings all of the headaches that accompanies property ownership. We are fortunate enough to not have a mortgage on the place but we still endure the usual hassles of home ownership; property taxes, insurance, homeowner’s association dues and the biggest monster of them all, maintenance. Today the property is the subject of much debate between Jim and I; he sees it as a long-term investment, while I see it as a burden I want to be free of.
Don’t get me wrong; I love visiting and am grateful that we even own such an awesome place, but I also yearn for the days when we were on the road without this obligation weighing heavy on my mind. Because even when we’re in the most remote and beautiful places in the country, my head still spins with pointless banter like: “Is the roof okay?” “I hope a tree didn’t fall on it!” “I wonder if the mice have moved in?
For now Jim and I have compromised and decided to keep it for at least another 5 years. I can live with that, especially as the housing market slowly bounces back. But in the meantime, I’ll never get to experience that ultimate sense of freedom that we had when we first hit the open road.