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They Might Burn My House Down

We’re getting ready to PCS in a couple months. It normally wouldn't be a big deal. I'm a pro at moving and I get itchy feet if I stay in one place too long... not to mention that I've been counting down the days until we leave Georgia since we got here. So what's the problem? This time we can't just throw stuff in the car and take off. We own a house here.

In a perfect world, we will find perfect renters who will move in the day after we move out, pay exactly the amount we’d like to get on time every month, never have any problems, and maintain the house perfectly.

In my head, I’m picturing us not finding any renters and having to pay the mortgage AND cover rent at the new duty station. I’m picturing us dealing with household catastrophes from 1,000 miles away and being forced to accept less than the mortgage payment from people who are habitually late with their rent and who trash our house. Maybe even burn it down accidentally.

Yes, I’m aware that I have a spectacular imagination that tends toward the worst case scenario. (I think of it as a defense mechanism, so I can be pleasantly surprised when things turn out better than expected.) My husband lacks my imagination and tends to be entirely logical and pragmatic. He says we’ll get a property manager and they can find us renters, handle the late rent, and take care of the burned down house for us.

We’ve never done this before, but I’m assuming (hoping?) that at least a few of you have been through this before. So help me out here! Have you rented your house? How soon before you PCSed did you start looking for renters? Did you use a property management company or manage it yourself? Any tips on the process? Good experiences, bad experiences… I want to hear it all!

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