Rental property help or hurt for child college costs?

1 Reply

I own a rental property (a former family home that I've been unable to sell the last few years) near a college campus that barely pays for itself when rented out @ $1075/mo. I owe $100K on it with a current market value around $120-125K. I was thinking to try to sell the house this year but am now unsure if that's the best move. My oldest child will start college in the fall and based on current finances with the house obligation, our family financial contribution is just doable. The (private 4yr) school says that if family finances stay the same, the family contribution should stay about the same throughout. I'll have another child starting college in 2 more years.

In the longterm, what is the likely impact on the family contribution for the next few years if I sell the house, versus keeping it and continuing to pay down the principal, even though I don't otherwise net much of anything on the rent?

not sure about your formula for family contribution or how a rental property impacts that. Assuming you sell for $125,000, give 3% concession to buyer, pay 6% to realtors and your share of closing costs, you are looking to walk away with about $12,000...before capital gains.  Is that worth it?  It may not generate much cash flow monthly, but does the depreciation not help you at tax time?   Can you rent to your kids and have them get roommates to help save on dorm expense?...assuming the won't live at home.