Starting out

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 07:46
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New to this forum and was wanting some help in making a decision. With little money behind us and an old Coaster we are about to sell up and hit the road hopefully upgrading our Coaster later on. Any help on selling and living and traveling in our bus and leaving our home whether it be a good idea or not would be appreciated. Thanks in advance as very confused
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Reply By: Member - John G- Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 08:11

Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 08:11
G'day Broncs

All I can respond with first up is to support your decision to seek advice before you actually take a big decision to "sell up".

There are plenty of realtively old but apparently reliable Coasters on the road, but I guess you have to assess just what comforts/facilities you need and whether you need to be self-sufficient. Also whether you intend to be on the move all the time, or stop and work.

There are plenty of folk on the road who have sold the house and rely only on their motorhomes (and family sometimes) for accommodation. I suggest you search around motorhome websites as well.

It's a big question that you ask though. Anyone who's made the decision to sell up will probably say "go for it", others who can't imagine selling up the house and then having no fixed address will probably urge caution. Good luck with it all.

AnswerID: 449333

Reply By: Atta Boy Luther - Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 09:13

Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 09:13
Some people sell there house and all works out fine . Some pople sell there house and there on the road plans fall apart because of health or whatever and they have no home to go to . Think very carefully before selling up your house . Can you rent it out etc .
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Follow Up By: broncs6 - Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 09:25

Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 09:25
That really is one of my main concerns(health). My husband gets a benefit because of heart attacks but he is all fixed? now and I do not drive. We are in our early 60's and it seems a long time without really knowing if it is really what we want having only been able to do weekly trips. Family say 'rent' but it wouldn't cover costs as such. We would have to work which we are all too willing to do. If we did rent and leave for a few months I would have no job when we got back. We thought we would like to buy a beach shack in a van park somewhere. We would store much of our contents until we found that. The worry is if we sell that we wouldn't have the money to buy back into the market as we have a townhouse in an area we had no choice but to buy into due to family reasons 2yrs back. That would be the money used to buy a better Motorhome we are ready and upgrade.
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 09:53

Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 09:53
Hi Broncs,

First up I might say that the wife and I are in your age bracket and so is my brother and his wife.

My brother and his wife were all set to do this and I had even vaguely considered this myself.

However, we sat down and had a long hard think about it and decided that right now is probably about as good as we will ever be from now on. This means that once on the road and some sort of sickness strikes we would be much better off in a house. To that end, after discussions with my brother, neither he nor we are going to commit to the road and burn our bridges. Once out of the real estate market it is hard to get back in. Prices quickly pass you by once you no longer own a house and bank interest barely keeps pace with real inflation.

Now this does not apply to everybody and to each his own so you are the best at making decisions about yourselves. Never the less these are real considerations and probably the most important ones, given our stage in life.

Having said that, we are in a better state of health than our parents were at this age and we may live for more years than we think.

In my case I would be inclined to rent out the house and hit the road for a year or 2 to see if it would suite the minister for finances and myself full time.

I read in Caravan and Motorhome of one couple well into their 80s who had been on the road for the last 20 years and were still going strong and happy with their choice.

I hope this is of some help.

Cheers, Bruce.

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restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: broncs6 - Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 10:18

Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 10:18
Thanks for your help Bruce.
We are hoping to have made a decision on what to do within a month or two and the closer it gets the more barriers I seem to put up:).
I am not big on having to have home in the City and would be happy with a beach shack I am sure. Been doing the bills and Home things since 17yrs old and so over the life that it all brings. Now doing it all alone I am worrying that it is an 'out' for me and as you say if it doesn't work then we are up the creek.
If we only rented we would have no money behind us as I said.
Then the downside is that my husband has had a near death experience already although fine now.
Why don't they tell us when our time will be up?lol. Make things a lot easier. I have just lost my Mum of 93yrs so I could be out there a long time if I follow her..
Sorry as I know I am going in circles as is my head.


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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 11:25

Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 11:25
Hello Broncs,

I have no certain idea whether it would be good for you (or anyone else for that matter) to sell up and hit the road or to stay with residential living.

However I would say this about making any such decision........... Unless you have an absolute conviction to take the risks, to sell up and live from a mobile home then you would be wiser to not do it. The anxieties you would experience are likely to bring on health issues, personal discords, and not allow you to enjoy the experience. Those who would say "Of course you should let the wind blow your hair" are not suffering from the apprehensions that you express.

With your husband's heart condition it could be best if you were within close proximity of medical support for most of the time. This in itself would add comfort and reassurance to your lives.

Consider the option of continuing to do short two or four week trips in the Coaster, possibly upgrading its appointments and comforts progressively over time. Perhaps a move to a sea-side retirement cottage could be appropriate at some time in the future when work commitments allow, but do not get too far away from medical services and avoid stairs.

Whatever you decide, I wish for you and your husband to enjoy your "Third Age".


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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 14:27

Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 14:27
Hi Broncs

Aside from the many points already mentioned, there are the problems you will strike regarding having no permanent address; licensing, insurance, electoral role and more. A few of these points are discussed on
Nomads on the Road

Most of all, you need to be sure you will both be happy with the life, and not yearn for a fixed home after a few months. Many are enjoying the Gypsy life.

Thoughts re selling or retaining a home Sell or rent your home?

Don't forget to seek professional advice re selling you home and investing if you plan to draw a Centrelink benefit at any stage.


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Follow Up By: broncs6 - Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 14:38

Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 14:38
Thank you Motherhen

Certainly is a lot more to this than just taking off in the Coaster. I have done some of this( as was needed anyhow) but never even thought of the permanent address situation. I have already had advise from Centrelink and have my police check etc so that is a start.

I will check out all of the links you have provided. Much appreciated

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 14:56

Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 14:56
Hi Broncs,

I wont presume to advise you on what course of action to take, but here are a couple of other things to consider.

Whether you sell or rent out then go off in your Coaster with one of you having health concerns - what happens if there is another health problem. What would you do with your coaster if eg your husband was hospitalised? Are you able to get a drivers license, as that would add a significant safety margin to your plans?

Are you able to "test the waters" regarding travel by doing a few house-sits? It might allow you to decide whether you want to travel before you plunge in to selling your home.

Good luck with making your decision, but you are on the right track making lots of enquiries about the options.



J and V
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Follow Up By: broncs6 - Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 15:02

Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 15:02
Thank you Val.
Yes I am finding there is a lot more to it.
It is my fear that if something happened to my husband and we have discussed this with our kids.
Life though cannot just stop because of 'what ifs' and if we do not sell we will not travel.
At this moment though I am thinking of locking the place up for a few months and just living off the little we do have and giving it a go. Our facility bills will be payed up in advance while I still work.
FollowupID: 721754

Reply By: John and Lynne - Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 15:10

Sunday, Mar 27, 2011 at 15:10
You mentioned trying to maintain a base by purchasing a beach shack in a caravan park.Do be careful if you get serious about that idea. We looked at one of those small houses in a redeveloped caravan park when my parents were toying with the idea. There are some serious limitations, we thought. The biggest is that you buy the shack which can be anything from an onsite van and annexe to a transportable house and only pay rent for the site and services that are connected BUT you very rarely end up with any real security of ownership. It seemed that the whole place could be sold from under you for redevelopment at any time. Then what do you do? Also some of these places are not too keen to have you around if you become really old and a bit infirm. I believe some states are trying to give better security to these residents but you would need to check carefully. Don't just believe a salesman.Of course the rent etc would have to be paid while you were travelling and often subletting is not allowed.
I suspect that, like many people, if you have a lot of possessions that you are very attached to and would need to pay storage for, you are probably not really ready to sell up and become homeless travellers. Travelling for a holiday is really different from being on the road permanently. It seems you are wise to be thinking of possible medical issues too. Also once you get close to retirement age, there are fewer chances of getting a well paid job to allow you to recoup the capital you lose by getting out of the real estate game.
So there are a lot of things to consider. The main one is, "How do you really feel about it?" If you are not really happy to totally change your life then be wary of doing so. What suits other people may not suit you. Try letting your current house and having some enjoyable holidays . See how happy you are at the end to come home. At least the rent you receive should pay the main costs of your house and landlord insurance should pay for any damage. Lynne
AnswerID: 449371

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Mar 28, 2011 at 19:32

Monday, Mar 28, 2011 at 19:32
Hi Broncs, Me again,

If you live in the city or outer suburbs then your house could be worth quite a bit more than a house in some of the coastal villages along the north coast of NSW or the south coast for that matter. Of course the house you select does not have to be on a beach but close driving distance would be just as handy for you both.

Coastal houses bring a premium and so a house in a nearby major centre such as Nowra NSW south coast or Wauchope near Port Macquarie or the many more suitable places in between would be a cheaper alternative.

I can only relate to NSW as that is where I live.

If you sell up in the city and can buy in a country area you may well have a considerable amount of money over which could be used to keep you on the road for extended holidays from time to time if used wisely and invested properly in a bank.
Proximity to the kids is a real consideration for some.

A lot of people in Sydney were selling up and getting out with a pocket full of cash and setting up in the country, anywhere away from the cities, and having a tidy sum left over to have fun with.

I think I know how you feel with all the bills etc. and the responsibility a house brings but not having one also has its many downside.

You sound as though you both need a serious break away from things at the moment and even a week or two away might clear your head a bit.

Cheers, Bruce
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: broncs6 - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2011 at 06:31

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2011 at 06:31
Thanks Bruce,

I am a bushy from way back so yes living in a country area is high on our list.
I have been checking RE in different States but to look and actually see are two different things I know. Mainly WA and far Nth Qld. My maroon blood runs very deep though.

I often have said I would love to go back and live the life as my Mum did. Off the land and being self sufficient.

I would love to take the time out for a few months and see what this life brings but on return I would have no job. Nor would I get another one at my age.

Afraid it is all or nothing and live in the hope we find that little place in this beautiful country that we fall in love with. Just as we did before and moved there ( bought over the net actually.) Best move ever but family circumstances bought us back.

Life always has a way of throwing obstacles in our way but in the end it always works out.
This time though just very scary and older. Never had money so that is not a problem. Living 24/7 together though unless I get work is!!! How do people out there find this btw? I would really be interested to know that.

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