Posts Tagged With: rental

Is this cheaper than owning a home?

We asked for reader questions on our traveling way of life and I’m excited to say that we got some.  We’re going to take each question as an individual blog post.

The first question was “is this cheaper than owning a home?

The simple answer is absolutely yes!  We owned a home in the East Cobb area of Marietta, Georgia.  Our monthly expenses included the house payment, normal utility bills, insurance, maintenance, repairs, taxes, hoa dues, etc.  The costs involved in owning a house can add up quickly and it can be difficult to account for every cost at times.

We no longer own a home and we don’t rent long term.  When we rent, the utilities and maintenance are part of what we pay.  There are no hidden or surprise expenses and we pay considerably less than we did before we sold our house.

If you own a house with no mortgage payment, then our way may not be cheaper.  In this case it would depend on the cost of utilities, maintenance, property taxes and hoa dues(if applicable).

I’ll answer the next question in the next post.  Have a question of your own?  Comment and let us know.

Categories: Moving, travel | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Harker Heights Texas

We’re at our new vacation rental in Harker Heights, Texas.  This is a small house that sets behind the main house on a good size piece of land.

We only have one issue here and that’s that we have to leave for three days in the middle of our stay.  Jodi was having difficulty finding rentals in this area.  She finally found this one, but it is rented to someone else for 3 days in the middle of October.  That means we’ll have to move out for those three days and then move back in.

Luckily, we don’t have much stuff, so it’s more of an inconvenience than a real problem.

This property is in a great setting.  We’re surrounded by mountains, goats, a couple of horses, more deer than you can shake a stick at, and a few other dogs for ours to play with.

God willing, we’ll update this blog soon.  I need to blog more pictures.


Categories: Texas | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Creepy door knocker 

This is the door knocker on the front door of the house we’re renting. We can’t figure out the genders. We only know that to knock on door, you smash their faces together. Weird. 


Categories: St. Simons Island | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Budgeting to live in vacation homes full time

When we talk to people about how we live full time in vacation rentals, the first thing people say or think is how do they afford that?  Or, we could never afford that?

So, let me show you how to budget for this way of living.

First, you must know everything that you currently spend.  It’s easy to let a lot of small expenses go by without being accounted for.  You have to stop this leak and account for every dollar.  We use two budgeting tools.  First is and second is Dave Ramsey’s Gazelle Budget.

I handle our budget and spending.  Nothing gets spent that I don’t account for.  Other than spending money, I don’t track what Jodi spends of her own money.

Jodi gets paid twice per month, so I start the budget with what we need to save and pay from each pay period.  In order to know what we can afford for each vacation rental I took the total of what we paid to live in our old house and split it between both months paychecks.

We accounted for everything that was spent to live the old way.  These are the budget items that were involved in living in our old house:

1. House payment

2. House insurance

3. Home repairs

4. Yard maintenance

5. Electricity

6. Gas

7. Cable

8. Internet

9. HOA Dues

10. Property taxes

11. Home Maintenance and cleaning

12. Landline phone(if you have one, we didn’t)

13. Water

14. Miscellaneous “pop-up” items

Total all of these individual expenses for a month in your current home, divide by how often you get paid and viola!  You now have what you truly spend each month to live in your house and presumably what you can afford to live in a vacation rental.  We don’t rent houses that max out our budget if we can help it.  This allows for more money to go into savings and provides a cushion for those unforeseen expenses.  We do our best to account for everything, but sometimes we get surprised by some expense, usually a small one.

So, there it is.  If you were thinking we were living in vacation homes because we’re super rich, you thought wrong.

Categories: Budget | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Racing the Rainbow Rocket in the Villages

When we got here at the Villages one of our first orders of business was to find a golf cart.  The ‘official’ cart rental place was way too expensive and all of the carts have governors on them.  FYI, governors keep the speed down.  Not fun.

We wanted to spend way less and wanted no governor.  Jodi and I have the need for speed.  So the gas powered rainbow colored rocket we rented elsewhere has no governor.

Under the right conditions we can hit speeds a little over 30mph.  That doesn’t sound like much until your going around a sharp curve and straight into a tunnel.  The cart is a little top heavy, so we have to lean into the turn to keep all the tires on the asphalt.  It definitely works better with two of us on board.

P.S. Having a golf cart here is another one of those, “learn as we go” things.  Neither of us did research on what a golf cart rental would cost, so we weren’t concerned about renting a house that didn’t come with one.  In the future we’ll try to find a rental that comes with a cart.

English: A picture of a Club Car 84 golf cart....

English: A picture of a Club Car 84 golf cart. Italiano: Foto di una golf cart. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Categories: Florida, Villages | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Video Tour/Review of Disney Area Vacation Home VRBO #280384


Update!!! Video links corrected. Oops!

We had a great time staying at this beautiful home in Davenport, FL. The home is just 2 exits from Downtown Disney and provides easy access to the Kissimee area and all theme parks.

Brodie and I stayed the entire month of May but we had the entire family join us for a week.

The size and bedroom layout was perfect for 3 couples and two singles. But, there was room for two more people in beds and 4 more on pull out sofas. With three different living areas, there is plenty of space to get away from the crowd.

CLICK HERE – Outside and first floor
CLICK HERE – Second Floor

This is a perfect home for a large group traveling to the Orlando area. 

PARKING IS LIMITED!!! You can bring 20 people but make sure they fit in 2 vehicles. You can park on the street but it’s very narrow. I have no clue what the developer was thinking when they designed the driveways!


Categories: Orlando | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We got our golf cart today

After much debate Jodi and I decided to go ahead and get a golf cart for the duration of our stay in the Villages.  We checked and double checked prices and found that the lady Jodi had spoken with originally was the best deal.

We weren’t sure about getting a cart from someone’s house.  So we decided to just go there and see if it seemed legitimate or not.  I’m happy to say that it did indeed look legit.  The lady that rents them had about 4 carts on hand.  Plus, she was more than 50% less on the price.

We first stopped at the ‘official’ golf cart store at the Villages.  While the carts were nice, they wouldn’t budge on the price even a little.  It was just too much money.  They were asking $963.00 for one month.  Yes, that is an insane amount of money for a golf cart.  Their carts also have governors installed that limit the speed.  The carts at the small business have no governors.  I was hitting speeds of 25mph in the right wind.

Golf carts

Golf carts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The small business that we rented from was instead $500.00 for 6 weeks.  That’s a huge difference.

Let me say quickly that the golf cart is not a necessity to stay at the villages.  But, it does make it a lot easier and convenient.  The whole community is designed to accommodate golf carts as a major mode of transportation.

From what we’ve seen in our short time here so far is that every place has ample golf cart parking and minimal car parking.  So, there you have it.  We had not budgeted for a golf cart, so we’ll have to do that in the future.  Lesson learned.  We also could’ve tried to find a house to rent that came with a cart.  But again, lessoned learned.

Categories: Adventure, Florida, Villages | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Next Stop: Gulf Shores Alabama

Well, we left Davenport Florida on Saturday and made it to a dog friendly hotel in Tallahassee for an overnight stay.  We then completed the drive to Gulf Shores.

Jodi found us a really nice house here for less money than the one in Davenport.  We stay in some nicer houses along with some more basic houses.  Doing it this way helps us stay within our budget.

This house in Gulf Shores is right next to The Beach Club.  We’re not really within walking distance to anything here, but it’s a good change of pace to go from the Orlando area to a quieter, out of the way location.

We’re only here for about a week, so we packed the trailer accordingly and left out what we needed in the car or the very back of the trailer.

If you are familiar with Gulf Shores, what’s your favorite thing to do or restaurant?

Categories: Gulf Shores, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gulfport, MS Vacation Home VRBO #320822

Today we are leaving our vacation home in Gulfport, MS. We have really enjoyed our time in this area. Though the area is still recovering from the wrath of Katrina 10 years ago, the residents are really making attempts at rebuilding a beautiful costal vacation area.

We really enjoyed this house. It is a stilt home that is clean and welcoming.  Of course, we LOVE that it is dog friendly. There is plenty of grass space for the dogs to play.

The beds are very comfortable, the towels are fluffy and plentiful, the washer and dryer are huge, and there are plenty of cleaning supplies and necessities provided.

Take a look at the video tours:

Interior Tour – CLICK HERE
Exterior Tour – CLICK HERE

Make sure to go to Ivy Vista to book your vacation today. Tell Hugh that Brodie and Jodi referred you.


Categories: Gulfport | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Perdito/Pensacola, FL Vacation Home Review


We just finished up a month long stay on Perdito Bay in Pensacola, FL. We really enjoyed this 3BR/2BA home with views of the bay. 


The house sits on a large property and offers a secluded and safe place for dogs to run and play.


The kitchen is bright and open to the living area. This layout is perfect for a large family or group of friends.the kitchen is fully equipped and has an awesome chef’s gas range. this home has all hard surface flooring which makes it great for beach living.



Do you like porches? Well, you have your choice of water view out the front or a screened in porch in the back.


Table for 4 in addition to the kitchen island which seats 6. Great flat screen TV with surround sound in the living room.


This isn’t a great picture but, you can see an additional seating area on the opposite end of the living room. This area is right inside the front door.


If the porches aren’t enough, you also have an all season room in the front of the house just off of the dining area.


The bathrooms are large and beautifully decorated. The master bath has a large walk-in shower.


This is the view of the bay down the driveway in the front of the house. There is also a dock but it was being repaired during our stay.

We really enjoyed this home and it’s proximity to Pensacola Beach, Perdito Key, Orange Beach, and Foley, AL. We Will absolutely return next year. Make sure to visit VRBO to rent this property:

Tell Vicki that Brodie and Jodi referred you.


Categories: Florida, travel, Vacation Rental | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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