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Old 01-15-2012, 08:03 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,938 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi all,

To cut a long story short, I used to live, work, and study in the US and was a California resident most of that time. Specifically, in the SF south bay area. However, I'm currently living overseas to take care of some ongoing family matters and plan to move back to the US in the next year or so. Unfortunately, I can only stay in the US for 6 months at a time till I get my residency back...not a problem.

I will be ready to buy my home in California and have spent the last couple of years checking out different cities from Marin county all the way down to San Diego. And after all my looking around I still come back to my original thought that the most important factor in deciding where to live and settle down is where your close friends and family are. My heart has always been in the SF bay area and settling in a totally new and unfamiliar city is a bit too much adventure for me these days I'd even considered downtown SF, but I've already lived in downtowns in different cities for many years and now realize I'd prefer some place less busy and crazy, more serene and with more green.Yes, it also makes a difference when you're deciding where to live due to work or family related reasons, etc. However, in my case, I can pretty much live anywhere I want as I'm semi-retired.

Anyway, I have always loved Marin County as this was where I used to stay with relatives when I first started visiting the US as a teen, and have decided I would be totally happy settling down in either Mill Valley, Sausalito, or Tiburon....as I absolutely love the laid back lifestyle, weather, and views of the bay and downtown SF skyline.

Now to my question. I plan to buy a nice place there, but will only keep it as a "vacation" home for the time being seeing as I can only stay in the US for 6 months a year at the moment. I would like to "rent" out a room to someone clean, tidy, and responsible and who will take care of my place while I'm out of town, and be prepared for when I come back to town every few months for a 2-3 month stay. Only when I get my full time residency back in a few years will I stay here more regularly. Do you all think this is a do'able arrangement, and would I be able to find such a responsible person I can trust? I'm a very house proud person and would get a heart attack if I found out my place was turned into a grow-op, a brothel, or a dance club in my absence! :P Is it worth the risk or shall I just leave it empty and have the agent or a relative check on the place every few weeks? In fact, I'd be willing to let this person stay rent-free provided they were the responsible type who could take good care of my home.

What do you all think? Thanks very much.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:50 AM
 
Location: OAKLAND CA
315 posts, read 569,315 times
Reputation: 184
I am sure that if you carefully screen and get a good sense of the renter you will find someone that is trustworthy. Whether they will love and cherish your home as much as you do is a different story. Remember no one ever washes a rented car.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
64,538 posts, read 71,844,321 times
Reputation: 33441
Quote:
Originally Posted by daepro View Post
I am sure that if you carefully screen and get a good sense of the renter you will find someone that is trustworthy. Whether they will love and cherish your home as much as you do is a different story. Remember no one ever washes a rented car.
great response.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:54 AM
 
10,432 posts, read 9,388,547 times
Reputation: 4868
You can hire a property manager to look after your part time home when you are not there.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:16 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
326 posts, read 412,348 times
Reputation: 223
I would pick Mill Valley hands down. I go to Marin pretty often and I've visited everywhere you are asking about. For livability, Mill Valley is very hard to beat.

Sausalito seems to be pretty tourist centered where Mill Valley is more sleepy, but in an upscale, everybody knows your name sort of way.

Tiburon is very nice as well but the actual main downtown area is separated by a two lane roads that can easily get backed up. If you do buy in Mill Valley, my wife and I will even house sit for free

Good luck

Last edited by Tomlcsc; 01-19-2012 at 08:25 PM..
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