Buy or Bi-Coastal?

Why Being Jet Set Doesn’t Have to be a Hotel Sentence

If your work life requires you to be bicoastal, you’re in good company. Former US President Barack Obama and family are now the proud owners of a California estate and a spread in Washington, DC. But even if you don’t have the means or the reputation that comes with a posse of helping hands, being bicoastal does not have to be a hotel sentence forever. With an ever-increasing number of people joining the ranks (whether by choice or necessity), the benefits of buying a property are numerous. Yes, even if you only live there half the year.

RENT FOR ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT INCOME

Most rental agreements do not allow you to sublet your apartment. That means that whatever time you don’t spend there, you will continue to pay enough utilities to keep the apartment or house maintained, without bringing in any extra income to help cut the costs. Owning a home subtracts this problem from the equation entirely as you can rent for the time you’re not there, adding valuable investment income to your bank account.

If you like the idea of owning a home but do not like the idea of renting it out for short periods of time, or you have expensive items like artwork or furniture you don’t want a stranger around, there is another option outside a property manager. Buying a semi-detached or detached home that has a living area with a separate entrance allows you to rent on an ongoing basis, while providing the peace of mind that your valuables are safe. Plus, you won’t have the hassle of packing up your personal things every couple of weeks so that a tenant can sublet.

GET CREATIVE IN SAVING YOUR MONEY

If you buy a home, not only are you putting money towards something that is actually yours, you can get creative in saving your money. Those who find themselves living the life of the bi-coastal jet set can save money by making certain arrangements with tenants. Instead of paying a property manager, let your tenant take on a few extra responsibilities like raking leaves, cleaning the gutters, or watering the lawn for a discount in the rent. It will save you the time and hassle of having to arrange for home maintenance, and all at a lower cost than what you would pay a professional. Added to that, your tenant will also benefit from the arrangement if they’re willing.

PERMANENT RESIDENCE

We all need one. Even if you’re planning on backpacking Africa for three years, you need somewhere to send all those credit card bills. Having a permanent residence establishes credibility for banks, future investments, future employment, credit ratings, and future rentals (should you ever have to walk down that road again) among other things. Anyone who has ever traveled for an extended period of time or lived abroad knows how imperative it is to have a consistent home base. Like it or not health insurance, taxes, provincial benefits and other highly important aspects of your life can be adversely affected by being in constant flux.

LEAVE THAT IN-TRANSIT FEELING FOR THE AIRPORT

Everyone loves the feeling of coming home. Even if you only experience it half the year, the psychological and emotional benefits of knowing you have a place to call home should not be underestimated. It provides some financial security, yes; but much more than that, owning a home lends a feeling of permanence that is perhaps even more important for those who lead a quasi-nomadic existence. Months and years of consistent travel can take their toll. Having a place you can hang your hat can offset that by providing much needed stability and constancy.

GET PARKED

Some industries are more vulnerable to travel than others. Those working in media and entertainment, mining, finance, and a host of others are some of the people I often see in this situation. Kind of like being a migrant worker, those who spend their lives working in these industries must go where the work is. But being bi-coastal does not mean you are hotel-bound for life. Purchasing a home can not only make sense financially, it can make sense psychologically too.

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About Atrina Kouroshnia

Atrina Kouroshnia is an independent, licensed, mortgage broker in the province of British Columbia. She has a degree in Human Relations & Commerce, and past work experiences in HR & Real Estate Development. She comes to the table with great customer service and problem-solving skills. Her approach to finding the best mortgage solution involves both short and long-term planning, making sure her clients are in a suitable mortgage that is flexible to their needs.