High levels of unemployment, mass redundancies and changing trends in careers are all contributing to an increasing social trend – taking a career break. People who choose to take a break in their career do so for a variety of reasons. Many of those who grabbed a job right after university or college may feel like they need to reassess their career path a few years down the line; someone who has just been made redundant may be forced to take another look at their career; and many people may feel like that they simply need to take a break. Whatever the reason may be, taking a break from a long standing career involves making some important practical decisions.
There is no prescription for how long a career break should last. How much time one is likely to need depends very much on what one hopes to achieve in that time. Someone who wants to do a foreign language course, say, will have different needs from someone who wants to spend some years volunteering abroad. No matter what you want to do, the fact is that if you’re going to spend a considerable length of time not working, you will need to think about how to cope with any existing commitments you may have.
When thinking of taking sustained time off work, mortgage payments are somewhere at the top of most homeowners’ list of concerns. For those who only need a short time off, a mortgage payment holiday may be the answer. But firstly, not all mortgage companies offer this, and secondly, this is not an interest free holiday! Plus if your career break is going to be longer than a few weeks or months, as career breaks often tend to be, this is not really an option.
Apart from mortgage payments, a vacant property also has other associated costs like council tax, providing the home is furnished. Another factor to consider is whether you can keep insurance on your home if it is left unoccupied. For those who are going away during a career break, renting their home can be the perfect solution. Even if you intend to take a break without going away, making mortgage payments while being out of work is a problem for most people, and downsizing to a smaller rental property and renting their home often proves to be more viable.
Different mortgage companies have different policies when it comes to renting, so it is advisable to speak your company. Most mortgage companies are fine with it, providing the property is not let as an office or a commercial venue. Some companies may be happy with you renting, but may need to make changes to your existing contract. If you’re considering renting, it is important to speak to your mortgage company about their policy.
So, how much rent can you get on your home? How much rent a property is worth depends on the property itself, and it is easy enough to find out on property websites by doing a simple search for similar homes in your area. Renting your home out to strangers, especially if it is furnished and decorated, and especially if you have lived in it for long, is not easy. But by investing in a good letting agency they can help you make sure you find reliable tenants who can look after your property while you’re away, and also ensure that you meet your financial obligations.
About the Author
Richard McMunn is the director and founder of How2become.com; a career and recruitment specialist. Richard spent 4 years in the Royal Navy and 17 years as a Fire Officer and now provides recruitment training for those looking to join the army, navy and RAF. Find How2become on Twitter