Profile picture for lmulato

Should I rent out my home or try to short sell/foreclosure?

My family and I bought our 3-bedroom, 2-level townhome in 2006 for 359K. We have been current on payments even even before our modification and the current low interest rates (interest-only ARM). The loan is in my name only. My wife and her parents are purchasing another home in another heighborhood in order to combine resources and help them in their retirement years. We plan to move in that home. I have noticed houses in our neighborhood selling for around 245K so it was suggested that we rent out our current home. I am not sure about having to continue to worry about a home that will probably never resale at the value we purchased. I would appreciate some suggestions on what we should do in this instance. Thank you.

  • February 06 2012 - Centreville
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Answers (11)

Becoming a Landlord may be more than you want to deal with... do you own other investment property? Have you ever been a landlord? There are many many pitfalls in the renting business. I own a number of units in and around the area inwhich I work. I've been managing my rentals long before I became a licensed Realtor over 20 years ago. You could find that being a landlord is harder than you think and then when you get your home back it will have damage you didn't expect to have repair before you can rent it to another tenant.
  • March 02 2012
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The first thing you should do is speak with an attorney to determine your liability and how a short sale will impact your life.  I send my short sale sellers to Art Grace, attorney w/MBH in Gainesville, 703-915-3177.

This consultation is about $150 and worth every penny. 

After your consultation with an attorney, if you decide to short sell, PLEASE be sure to hire an agent with short sale experience and the proper designations such as the SFR or CDPE.  The agent is key to getting the transaction closed.

Hope this helps!
  • February 29 2012
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It is a very tough decision to make, and there is a lot of people in the same situation. There are lots of myths in regard to short sales and one of them is that you have to be late on you mortgage to be considered. Some lenders don't even require that anymore.  I've closed short sales without the borrower being late and in fact this is what really affects your credit score the most. I'm not saying that it won't affect you at all, but it would definitley be less impacted than being delinquent for a year and then short selling. Call me if you would  like to get more information about the process. Best of Luck! 
  • February 23 2012
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These are the times we live in! 

If you short sale the property your credit will be ruined.

If you rent it, you may never recover your loss.

This is one of those situations where it's going to come down to picking your poison.

I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation and I can only wish you and your family the best of luck.
  • February 20 2012
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Profile picture for Money_Mogul
As long as you can get good renters who will pay you enough to cover your mortgage payment then I would rent it.  Just about all other circumstances I would recommend trying to short sell it.
  • February 20 2012
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Rent it out if it is paying off your mortgage payments. Let the tenants for your mortgage, great investment for your future
  • February 14 2012
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Profile picture for lmulato
I appreciate all the answers you've offered. Even though my wife and I have been leaning towards renting, we wanted to make the most educated decision possible. We have serious misgivings about a foreclosure and short sale and have always thought it important to keep current on our payments even when we were paying twice as much as we are currently paying.
  • February 08 2012
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Depending on how much loss you need to take every month that is the difference between the rent and your mortgage+HOA. Also after taking the losses you may have to keep some reserve in case tenants decide not to renew lease or repairs come up.

If the financial hardship is too much for you to bare on the monthly loss  than you may want to speak to a short sale or a financial consultant for recommendation.

Any Realtor or professional would discourage you to let go the home to foreclosure. If you have options explore before making that big decision.

Good Luck!
  • February 08 2012
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Many homeowners who bought in the height of the market are finding themselves in the very same situation. I disagree that your house will "never sell at the value purchased" but it may take 5 to 10 years.
You may want to consult a financial advisor and/or a local attorney who is well versed in short sales and foreclosures. Lenders have to agree to accept a short sale, it is not guaranteed and a foreclosure will damage your credit for years to come.
Best of luck to you!
  • February 08 2012
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Profile picture for jamulhern
It is a tough question - I would check against what current rents are and see if it is a possibility to rent for more than what you owe.  Remember though that being a landlord is a mindset so decide carefully.  Also, be careful where you get your information from regarding values - although most real estate news continues to be negative, our region is seeing increased growth and has been receiving positive news.

Jimmy
  • February 06 2012
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If you can afford the home, then keep it and keep paying the mortgage, which you agreed to do when you bought it.  If you can rent it because you don't want to live there, go ahead.  Most banks want you to continue to live in the home during the short sale process. They want to know you are there and taking care of the property.  Banks do NOT have to agree to a short sale, where you are forgiven the shortage of what you owe compared to what you can sell for.  If you have money, the bank can require you pay for all or some of that difference. You have to show financial hardship without resources to pay the shortage yourself. Your credit WILL be affected for years to come.  If you walk away all together and allow a foreclosure, then the bank CAN come after you for the shortage and they can come after you for that deficiency for many years, they don't have to do it now. Your credit is affected for even longer than a short sale.
  • February 06 2012
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