How do I decide whether to sell my house or keep it as a rental?

3 Replies

I have owned the house for 3 years and with all the building around me I have seen tremendous growth.  

 Recently I spoke with a realtor and they said they would list it at 220k which is way more than the 170k I still owe on it.  Houses are selling on average at around 2 days.  However with houses selling fast it also leaves very few open rentals available.  Every single apartment building is full.  I called each one.  She thinks we could get into a multiple bidder situation, but I am not counting on that.  The house has potential as the basement is unfinished and just needs general updating to see full potential.  I don't have the time or the money to do that which is why I am considering selling and getting into something else.

My 3 bedroom would rent for 1500-1575 per month with cash flow around 250 per month according to the bigger pockets calculator.

I haven't made up my mind yet on what to do, but I am curious to hear from others who have been in a similar situation.

We are in a similar situation with our current home on whether to rent or sell and move on. I think the neighborhood also plays a role getting a renter and keeping them in. 

Is this house big enough for a small family to grow in? 

Are there schools nearby? 

Proximity to major employment?

The cash flow sounds like a good amount of additional income, but the market sounds like it is in your favor to sell also. Lots of things to think about.


The area has seen huge growth.  They doubled the size of the high school and built a 5th elementary school.  Within 4 miles there are about 4 schools.  

The house is only 3 bedroom.  However the basement could be finished to add an additional bedroom and bathroom if needed.  Huge 2 car garage with large driveway.  It's also on a half acre lot so there is room to build out if they wanted to.  Also I am about 2 or 3 miles outside the popular area so it's very quiet and not a busy street.  The neighbors on both sides of me are awesome.  One is retired and keeps to himself.  Super friendly.  The other only comes out on the weekends for a day or two.  He's a nice guy too.   Behind the house is farm land.  I couldn't ask for better neighbors. The farmer behind me has lots of acreage and it's family owned.  He has no intention to sell.  It's been in the family over 100 years.

I am only 3.5 miles from the major highway.  There are over 25 places hiring in town that can't fill the jobs because the workers can't find a place to live nearby.  (according to the local paper here) There are also a few colleges within 12 miles.

There are several bus stations within 4 miles if someone needed to catch a bus to work downtown.

Something interesting I found out the day after my offer was accepted. There were 3 other offers that came in.  One of which was from a known real estate investor.  Not sure if was going to flip it or just demolish and build new.  There are a few houses on my block that someone had demoed and built brand new ones.  I lucked out as it would have been a multiple bidding situation again.  That year I was outbid on 4 homes.

@Brent Paul

<DISCLAIMER> I am a complete newbie.  I don't even own the house I currently live in.  My wife does.  I have been reading BP forums since February.  I live in a small town in NE OK that you've probably never heard of.  I have zero experience.  That being said, be sure to take what I have to say with a grain of salt.  Your mileage may vary

</DISCLAIMER>

Whew!  Now that THAT is out of the way, I would say that you should definitely NOT sell your house.  You've listed many reasons why you shouldn't sell.  You're house WILL rent.  I understand that you don't have time/money to deal with the house right now.  You owe $170k on it.  Even if you only rented it for $1500 (the low end of your rental range) it would be paid off in 11.08 years.  I don't remember what the formula for calculating loans is, so the time frame would be a bit longer.  Have you ever played Robert Kiosaki's CashFlow 101?  One of the easiest ways I know of to lose the game is to sell your properties.  So don't.  Just don't.  You got extremely lucky that you were able to purchase that property, and the fact that you know that an investor bid on the property and didn't get it, and you did, should tell you that holding onto the property would be a GOOD thing.