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How to Decide Whether to Sell or Lease Your Home When Relocating

Happy family moving into new homeWhether you are planning to relocate due to a job change or just for personal reasons, you have a decision to make: Should you sell your current home or lease it out? Here are a few things to take into consideration to help you make this decision a little bit easier.

  1. Finances/Expenses—One factor that you should consider when deciding whether or not to sell or lease your home is the financial aspect. Do you have a good bit of equity in your current home? If so, either you can decide to sell the home and make some money off the sale or you can choose to lease it and potentially bring in a monthly income. On the other hand, you also need to realize that there are other expenses associated with leasing your home. For instance, if you are planning to move out of town, you may need to consider hiring a property manager. You will also need to factor in the cost of insurance and maintenance fees.
  2. Your Willingness to be a Landlord—You will need to be ready and willing to be a landlord if you choose to lease your home, unless you plan on hiring a property manager. A landlord will be responsible for finding tenants to lease the home, make any and all home repairs that are needed, and may even have to deal with occasionally evicting tenants. If you are thinking of hiring a property manager to deal with all of this, you will have to consider that this will ultimately cause you to lose some of your rental income.
  3. Housing or Rental Market—You also need to be weary of the housing and rental markets. While they may be hot right now, the market can fluctuate significantly at any time.
  4. Risks—One thing to note is that there are risks no matter which route you decide to take. If you choose to sell your home, you may not sell it as quickly as you need to in order to move. On the other hand, if you choose to lease your home, there is a chance that you may not be able to keep it leased out. You may also have tenants that pay their rent late or even leave your home in bad shape when they leave which could lower the home's value.
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