Where do we start?

So we made the decision, were going to travel.  Next question how do we make this happen?  Just thinking of this made my head spin so I needed to break it down into areas on a very big spreadsheet.  I then broke the jobs down into who could do them, me, Martin or both of us. Below is some of the things you may need to think about if you are embarking on a journey like this.

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Our home

We have a mortgage on our home so we needed to rent it while we were away.  How did we go about this?

  1. I talked to our mortgage company to work out what we need to do. Our mortgage is with Natwest bank and they confirmed for a "consent let" change on our mortgage it would cost £120.00 per year. This then enables us to move back into the property when we return.  If we changed to a buy to let mortgage we couldn't live in the house.

  2. I got an estate agent to give me a rental valuation on the house and looked into the fees they would charge for fully maintained while we were away.  We felt that for the price the service wasn't that great.  Fortunately my brother offered to look after the house for us and he is very handy at maintenance so we know it will be in good hands.

  3. We are still getting an agency involved for the rental contract and references of any tenants - We have decided to go with an online company called Open rent as we have found our own tenant somebody my husband works with.

  4. In the UK there are all sorts of certificates that you are required to have as a landlord

  • EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)  - Every 10 years​

  • Gas Safety certificate & boiler check - Annually

  • Electrical safety certificate - Every 5 years

  • Certificate of Compliance (Log burner)

  • Legionella Risk Assessment - each tenant

Motorbikes

Do we buy when we get there or take our own?

After researching loads on this and the practicalities of buying a bike, not knowing its history, the additional equipment we would need, issues at border crossings.

We decided to ship our own bikes.  We looked at shipping to Colombia but due to Covid the costs were astronomical.  We were advised that it was cheaper to ship to Alaska and not being fixed on our route we changed the start to Alaska.

We looked for a shipping company and Moto Freight was highly recommended so that's who we are using. 

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Our Pets

This one was a tough one,  we had two dogs, Hamish a West Highland white who will be 10 soon and a Morkie called Marley who is 8.

If we were to wait until the dogs passed away it could be many years before we could do the trip.  So we knew we would have to rehome them.

It was something that I kept putting off, I just kind of knew something would come up and sure enough it did, a lady that Martin worked with had lost her dog 3 years ago and was looking to get a new one,  she met our two and agreed to take them and keep them together.  The best part is she will keep us updated on them both and send us photos.  Its great to know they have a new loving home with Sue.

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Our jobs