When a homeowner must move, the decision as to what to do with the house can be difficult. Many single-family homeowners like the idea of keeping it and renting it out for extra income. And while becoming an accidental landlord is a good choice at times, it isn't always the best way to go. How can you tell the difference? Here are five indicators that selling your property outright may be the smarter move.
1. The Market Is Hot
If you don't sell your home right now, you take a chance on ending up selling it during a down period in the housing market. No one knows what the future may hold, so if the real estate market is hot for sellers, you do well to get that great price while you can.
2. You Don't Have a Lot of Time
Being a landlord on your own can be a real challenge. Individual landlords have to handle everything — from vetting tenants to performing maintenance and repairs to suing for eviction — alone. This can take a lot of time. So if you already have a busy schedule, kids, or a full-time job, seriously consider whether you can devote the time and energy necessary.
3. The Home Is Pristine
As the live-in homeowner, you kept the house in the best condition. Along with it being your home, it's an important investment. If you sell it now, you recoup that investment and you know what condition it's in. Renters will not be so careful with your investment, though. They may damage the house and lower its value or cost you money to return it to a sellable state.
4. You're Moving Out of State
Are you moving to another state or a distant part of your own state? If so, know that maintaining a home here will mean you must manage it long-distance. This can make every part of being a landlord just a little more difficult. You'll have a harder time keeping tabs on the real estate market and the condition of the home. So even if you do want to try being a landlord, this may not be the ideal situation to do so.
5. The Area Isn't What It Used to Be
Think about how the town, city, or neighborhood was when you moved in. Has it improved? Or has it stagnated or even gone downhill? If the community isn't improving, it will eventually drag on the value of homes and your ability to sell whenever you want. You may be best off if you get out now while things are still relatively good.
Does your personal situation and your house fall into any of these categories? If so, you may find that selling it makes much more sense than trying to turn it into a rental property. If you might sell your single-family house, talk with a real estate agent today.