To rent or to sell, tis the question of the day. While inventory in many markets across the nation have created bidding wars, renting is still popular too. Selling your home may bring in a large sum of cash, but rent can also bring in the cash you need. Therefore, we have some tips to help you decide what you should do now that the housing market is recovering.
Rent vs Sell – you have to ask yourself how much you can sell your home for when compared to how much you still owe on the property. If you owe too much, renting could be a better value for you. Becoming a landlord can be a lot of hassle. However, you will make a monthly income while paying the home loan down.
Let’s look at renting the home:
Rent income – Your goal should be to rent the home for at least $200 a month above your loan, insurance and tax costs. You will need to set that amount aside each month for repairs that will be needed later. If you cannot make a profit off your home, rent if for what you owe and have a clause in the lease that will make them liable for all home repairs. Just keep in mind, your home will need repairs so you will have to trust the renter a whole lot.
Home upgrades – Just like a homebuyer, a renter will want to live in a nice home that does not need repaired and is not falling apart. However, you don’t want to invest a large amount into upgrades and repairs if you are renting. If you need carpeting, builders grade should suffice. Investing in expensive carpet won’t help you rent your home. It will get damaged, and all renters care about is clean carpet.
Property maintenance – When you rent you will have maintenance just like owning the home. Sometimes you will have more if a tenant is not taking care of your property. Therefore, just like we referenced above, you will need to rent your home for more than what you owe so you can save up for repairs. A deposit will help some if a renter leaves the home in disarray. But, if the water heater goes out while the tenant is still occupying the home, you will need that extra cash to get it fixed. Be prepared for many unexpected repairs.
If renting is not for you and you owe too much on your home, ask your lender if they would agree to a short sale. Just beware that it could hinder you from buying another property right away. Hopefully, these tips will help you weigh your pros and cons to help you make the decision that is right for your situation.