Should I Sell or Rent Out My House? How to Weigh the Pros and Cons

Many homeowners who need to move decide to sell their current home so they can have plenty of cash to buy their next digs. Still, though, some might wonder: Should I sell or rent out my house? It’s a good question.

Owning rental property, after all, brings in predictable, long-term income. But make no mistake, backing into a landlord role comes with some hefty responsibilities—and no small amount of headaches.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide which road is right for you.

Can you afford to own two homes?

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“Financial wherewithal should be the No. 1 component as you weigh whether to hold on to the house,” says John Lazenby, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor® Association. Here’s what that means:

two mortgages

a mortgage adviser

local rental rates

Koki Adasi

depreciation

Will your old property appreciate?

Market conditions should weigh heavily in your decision as well.

Can you effectively oversee the rental?

Being a landlord isn’t for everyone, points out Lazenby. “Ask yourself if you will be able to tolerate the stress that comes with being responsible for the home you’re living in, as well as a rental, particularly if it is long-distance.”

And before you become a landlord, you need to conduct your due diligence: A decent amount of upfront research is needed on the licensing and other laws that pertain to rentals in your city, county, and state.

Will you ever want to return to your home, sweet home?

If you’re relocating, either for work or personal reasons, consider the possibility that you might return to the area at some point to be near family or friends, suggests Lazenby. If the home offered everything you wanted and the financial factors line up, you may choose to rent it out so that you one day have the option to return.

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