Once we made the decision the spend the summer in Spain, we had to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible. First on our list of things to do was to get our home approved and licensed by the city to be a Short Term Rental (STR). As most cities do nowadays, Oceanside has an area on their website dedicated to the STR application process. Once I created an account, I began the step by step process of applying for our license, getting our home ready according to the fire department’s lengthy checklist, and scheduling the final inspection,. While I did this months before our tentative departure date in June, it still felt like we were scrambling at the end to get it done. As in most government-led processes, this took a long time!
In the meantime, I went to work purging and paring down our material possessions. We don’t have a ton of storage space in our home, so getting rid of extra stuff was a must.
To be fair, I’m an avid purger. My kids are used to me coming into their rooms a few times throughout the year asking for toys, clothes, and books they don’t use anymore. They are usually good sports about this, especially when they know they’ll get the money back from whatever I can sell to kids resale shops like Once Upon A Child.
I try to resell as much as I can from these purges. Every little bit of extra cash helps and can contribute to travel expenses like Starbucks at the airport or extra baggage fees. I routinely sell my clothes on Poshmark and local resale shops such as Uptown Cheapskate and Captain’s Helm. Clothing resale shops aren’t too hard to find, especially now that there are so many options online. For housewares, I took to Facebook Marketplace to sell what I could. It’s a little bit of work of course, but the pay off is worth it if you have the time.
Once the main purge was complete, I began the arduous process of packing up our personal belongings and anything I didn’t want to leave out. It felt like moving day! Boxes and bins filled to the brim and properly labeled to make unpacking easier when we returned.
One of the other hurdles we faced was finding good home options for our pets while we were gone (and we have a few)! We have a dog, a cat, 5 chickens, 2 Betta fish, and 1 chick who hatched two weeks before our departure day.
Thankfully we found great options for our dog, cat, Betta’s, and chick, but decided to leave our chickens in the coop at home. I’d read some reviews from guests who stayed at places with chickens and they were all pretty positive. Besides, we didn’t really have any other options and getting rid of them would have devastated my daughter. So we hired our neighbor’s daughter to coordinate with guests and care for them while we were gone. Leaving our animals behind was definitely one of the hardest parts of the process as we love them dearly. Knowing they were with people who would take good care of them in our stead gave us the peace we needed to keep moving forward.
Oh, did I mention we were renovating our main bedroom and bathroom during all this as well? Chris and I had moved into the guest bedroom while our room was torn down to the studs for 3 months. We got to sleep in our room for a week before we left. Our shower glass was installed the day our first guest arrived. It’s fair to say that this was a little stressful! Thankfully everything got done in time and we had great people helping us out!
Our final home inspection was the last bit of business to take care of and was scheduled after we had already left for Spain. Our STR manager and friend let the inspectors in and helped with all the finishing touches. Unfortunately we had placed one of our fire extinguishers in the wrong spot and it wasn’t the specific distance away from the other fire extinguisher. This seemingly insignificant detail cost us the inspection and we FAILED! We were already in Spain, our first guest was due to arrive in a couple days, and we weren’t STR approved!
Thankfully, the inspector allowed us to move the fire extinguisher to the correct spot and send him a picture. Once he received it, he approved us! All that hard work had paid off. We were in Spain 🇪🇸
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