Life happens. Job offers, new babies, in-laws who want to move in - no matter how much you love your home or where you live, there will be times when moving is your only option. It’s often an exciting time as you embark on a new adventure.
At the same time, those life changes mean you may have to say goodbye to a home you’ve loved for years, one you’ve put your own blood, sweat, and tears into to make perfect. Not to mention, you know exactly how much those granite countertops, new sinks, and hardwood floors cost to install.
Selling your home breaks your heart.
You've made so many great memories in your home and you're hesitant to list it on the market. Depending on your situation, you don’t have to pop up a “For Sale” sign and never look back. You may be able to rent your home so that you don’t have to give it up forever. Take a look at four times when you may want to consider renting instead of selling.
You Can’t Get the Price You Want
You put your home on the market, and it sits there for weeks or even months. A few curious neighbors come by to scope things out, and you received one lowball offer, but that’s been it. Maybe you’ve priced your home to avoid a short sell or maybe the timing is bad in your neighborhood, but either way you can’t get the asking price you want for your home.
As long as the rent will cover (or more than cover) your mortgage and any property management fees, taxes, and insurance, consider renting it instead of selling. Listen to your Realtor®’s advice about the value of your home and whether the price you want is realistic in the current market. If in a few years there’s a chance you may get the price you want, renting is an excellent alternative that can potentially put cash in your pocket while you wait.
You Plan to Retire to the Area
Chances are, if you’re already living anywhere along the Emerald Coast area, you know this is the place to retire. However, a job, a family obligation, and any number of other reasons may mean you need to leave the area. Assuming your home is in excellent condition, and it’s a home you love, renting may allow you to earn some income from it, pay down the mortgage, and come back to it when you’re ready to retire.
Depending on the type of rentals you allow - short term or long term - it may even become your vacation home each year. You’ll still be able to enjoy it until you move back to the area permanently. Talk to your property manager about the viability of short term rentals versus long term rentals. There are different considerations for both.
You Want to Maximize Profit and Income
You’re planning for your future, and you know that, over long periods of time, property increases in value. You’ve also done your homework and know that rents in your area will more than cover the cost of your mortgage, taxes, and insurance. This property could start bringing in income, allowing you to save more, retire faster, and build a second income.
Real estate as investment and property management isn’t for everyone. You must carefully weigh the income you can make with the expense of upkeep, tenant acquirement, potential eviction, damage repair, as well as your own mortgage and other costs. Talk to a property management about rent prices for a home like yours and what the market may be able to bear in the future to get a sense of whether renting will yield the financial results you want or if selling will net you a higher profit instead.
You Love Your Home
Sure, your home is a building with walls, a roof, plumbing, electrical wires, and a cement foundation. But it’s also the place where your baby took her first steps. You still have the growth chart for all of your kids. The scuff marks on the floor aren’t annoying, they’re signs of the life lived in your home. You love your home. If your situation allows, you don’t have to give up your beloved home. Whether the move is a temporary one or not, you have the option to rent it out to a new family and come back in a few years. You may even find, as the years go by, that you enjoy the extra income or you’ve found a new home to love. Renting your home out gives you time to decide without feeling like you were forced to give up the home you love.
Renting isn’t right for every property owner. You have to decide how involved you want to be and if you’re ready for the potential costs that can’t be predicted - burst pipes in the middle of winter, downed trees after a storm, tenants who don’t pay. Sometimes selling is the only option you have especially if you need a down payment for your new home. There is no right answer for everyone, but before you give up on your dream beach home because you have to move or take the only lowball offer you get, talk to a property manager to find out if renting is a viable option.