October 9, 2010

To home tend or not to home tend...that is the BIG question!

Ever heard of home tending? Ya-me either...until last week...and Beau and I are seriously considering doing it. We've never lived together, he works in town, I work in the burbs, his parents live in town, my mom lives in the burbs, BUT...ALL of our friends live in town right now since not many are married and only a handful have kiddos. We aren't quite ready to move away from all of our friends, bars, rodeo, biggest mall in Houston I mean, the Galleria, etc, so the idea of buying a house in the suburbs is just not very appealing right now. We also have no idea whether or not we want to rent or buy...so many options...so we really think home tending might be the best thing for us right now.

What is it: (in laymen terms) Home tenders are people, like Beau and I, that aren't quite looking for a permanent home so we would move into these really nice homes in the more "uppity" parts of town that are trying to be sold. Homes range anywhere from $300K to the millions and rent is anywhere between $600-$1000.

$1000/month to live in THIS million dollar home? Yes, please!
And have THIS kitchen? I'll take two!

The catch(es):
  • The house will be available to show so it has to be kept clean all the time. (That'll be a good excuse for Beau to help ME clean!)
  • We could be in the house anywhere from 1 month to 1 year, depending on if and when the house sells. (You get a 30 day notice when the house is sold so you have time to pack and find another place to live...whether it be another home tending house or not.)
  • You have to furnish the house and whatever rooms are left looking empty or bare, the home tending company will take care of, including putting pictures on the walls so you aren't in a naked home.
The pros:
  • No lease. If we did end up being in the house for a long time and decide to move out, we aren't stuck there.
  • Rent is dirt cheap which would allow us to save a lot for a house!
  • Home tenders bring down the cost of the homeowner's premium, which is enticing to homeowners. (You can only imagine how much the premium is for a house like the one above...)
  • It gives homeowners a sense of ease knowing their house isn't just vacant on a lot somewhere.
  • Many of the houses have pools, which is the responsibility of the homeowner, not the home tender. ((can we say "pool partay"??!!))
  • The home tending company supplies movers at a discount.
  • We would be living in a huge house in a good part of town for almost nothing.
  • We could actually have the chance to "pick" the house WE want to live in! The home tending realtor told us that if we find a house for sale, ANY house, she will call the homeowners and 90% of the time she can convince them to agree to allowing home tenders to stay in their home!
The cons:
  • The possibility of moving constantly-so it's definitely not anything close to being permanent.
  • The more you move, the more your furniture gets damaged.
  • When the house is being shown, you have to leave.
  • We have to take care of the yard, which means paying yard guys, but I don't really consider that too much of a problem since they aren't expensive.
The home tending realtor has informed us that a lot of the houses aren't moving because of the economy so home tenders have been staying in the homes for a while. Our goal is to find an overpriced town home. Why? Because it doesn't have a yard so we wouldn't have to mess with that. A town home is more efficient for Beau and I since it's just the two of us. A lot of people don't like the idea of a town home so less people are willing to actually look at it and/or buy it, which leaves us in the house for longer! Plus, a lot of town homes in greater Houston are far too expensive for what you get, leaving less people interested and once again, Beau and I get to stay in it longer!

So, that's it! Beau and I are pretty excited about it! (Well, we could live in a box and I would be just as thrilled...I'm just so excited about finally living together!) We've been seriously discussing it recently and have decided that we will try it once and see how it goes. If we are in the house for less than 6 months, we probably won't home tend again. If we are in it for a while (10 months+), we may consider it again! We really have nothing to lose besides the fact that we may move a few times more than we wanted to but hey, that's ok with me.

So I need to know: What do you think? Would you do it? Ever known anyone that has done something like this? Any suggestions?


  1. HOLY CRAP!!! You just answerer our moving woes in January!! I would do this in a heart beat!! Do you have to go through a realtor to do this? I'm going to ask my dad, he is a realtor if you need one, FYI! :o) Do it!!! Oh, do you know if they allow pets in these home tending homes? That would be a deal breaker for me.

  2. Where is this? I want to but this home. :) Is it really a million? My moms friend does it and loves it.

  3. that sounds so great, besides... you guys are young and dont have kids, moving is MUCH easier now rather than later, and once you're in a house you would be amazed at how much crap you accumulate, so having to keep it down to what you really want will allow you to wait and get expensive crap later :)

  4. I have never heard of this before but I think it sounds great! Chances are you'll be in the house for awhile and it could be fun!

  5. Wow I've never heard of doing this but it does sound awesome!! Even if you're moving a lot, you could prob. find a place close to the previous one. I say as long as you don't have pets or plan on having kids anytime soon it sounds awesome to me!!

  6. I actually think this is a great idea. I'm not a fan of moving either, but I think the Realtor is right about the state of real estate right now. I would have totally done that with rent being so high right now. And we recently actually bought a place which had house tenders and they actually got 2 months before they have to move out just because the process these days with buying a house take forever. I say go for it.


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