Are you worried about taking the wrong financial steps in deciding whether to rent or sell your home? How to make the right call. If your current home no longer suits you, selling it is a popular option. In some cases, however, it may make more sense to turn it into a rental home.
There are many factors to consider when manufacturing “Sell my house vs. rent” Decision, including:
• your financial situation;
• Local market conditions for rental housing;
• your future housing plans;
• Your tolerance as a landlord;
• state and federal income taxes;
• Current and forecast home prices.
Other factors to consider are:
• Is your move permanent? Are you going away for a couple of years and planning to return to the area? It may make more financial sense to rent your home and move back in when you return.
• You will be transferred but will likely come back. For example, suppose you have owned and lived in your home for two or more years but are now temporarily moved to another city and plan to return afterwards. You can rent your home for up to three years without losing the chance of a sale with no capital gains tax. As long as you have owned and lived in the house for two of the five years prior to the sale, a capital gain can in principle be ruled out. So by converting your home into a rental apartment, you retain the option to move back in or sell it on your return and avoid paying capital gains tax on any profit.
• Can you rent your home enough to cover your mortgage payments and expenses? If you can, you can keep your home to help finance your retirement. Your tenants pay rent every month. You likely won’t pay tax on this income if you have enough expenses to offset it (such as mortgage interest and repair costs). When you’ve paid off your mortgage or retired, you can sell the home and convert your equity into a principal, or keep renting it and earn income during your retirement.
• Do you need further tax deductions? Renting out your home instead of selling it can give you a tax write-off. In most cases, divide the amount you paid for the home plus the cost of major improvements (minus the value of the land) by 27.5 (the number of years a home has to be depreciated under tax law) to get your financial statements to get depreciation.
• You think house prices will rise in the next five years. Even if your rental income doesn’t cover all of your expenses (mortgage, property taxes, repairs, etc.), you can make up for that loss if the value of your home increases before it is sold. For example, let’s say your home is worth $ 100,000 today and your expenses are $ 1,000 a year more than the rent you can collect. You will lose $ 10,000 ($ 1,000 x 10 years) over 10 years, but if your home sale makes more than $ 110,000, you will make money despite those annual losses. Your annual losses can be tax deductible, saving you money on your tax bill.
• What is the condition of your house? Tenants may be more willing than buyers to overlook outdated home plumbing because tenants know they are only walking through your house, not owning it. If you don’t have the money to invest in improvements, renting might be a better choice.
• You need the profits from the sale of your home to finance your move. If you need another home and need to sell your current home so you can use the equity as a down payment, you may want to sell your home or rent it. If you don’t need all of the equity in your home to make your down payment, you may be able to take out a home loan or refinance into an investor loan and use the loan proceeds as a down payment and still make your home look nice.
• They worry about the condition and panic about repairs. If someone lives in your home, they can sand the walls, burn the countertops, and forget to water your precious shrubs. If you can’t live with this wear and tear, sell your home instead of renting it out. Becoming a landlord usually means that you still have to maintain your home. You will receive the bills if the plumbing leaks or the refrigerator dies. If DIY repairs are impossible and paying for the upkeep is going to panic you, opt to sell your home or rent it to save your mind. You can save yourself a lot of these headaches by hiring a property manager, but of course it will cost you.
Overall, you should consider your needs when deciding whether to rent or sell your property. Consulting a realtor about your options can help resolve any concerns you may have about selling or renting your home. Realtors are well versed on both sides of the spectrum and can help you resolve any concerns and are always ready to assist you with selling or renting your property. A broker is one of the best allies you can have when making decisions based on the real estate industry.
Rich Cosgrove is the President of Stark Trumbull Area Realtors, who serve Counties of Stark, Carroll and Trumbull.
Get the latest news and more in your inbox