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Can You Afford to Lease Your Home?

Can You Afford to Lease Your Home?

If you’re looking to move into another home while still paying off your current mortgage, renting your property out can definitely help pay that off faster. It can also, however, make it hard to get a loan for your new home.

Some argue that the best rental property is one that has been fully paid off, that way you can afford the costs of renting out property and still make a monthly profit. If that’s not possible for you, you still have options. Use a mortgage calculator with taxes and insurance to figure out how long you would have to rent the property out before you could pay the mortgage off completely. Compare that with the current real estate market to make an educated decision about renting your property.

What does the real estate market in your area look like?

It can be hard to predict where the real estate market will be in five, 10 or 15 years, but you’ll need to do some research if you want to make the most money possible on your property.

First, look at rental trends in your area. If they’ve been on the rise, you might be able to profit from renting quicker than if you were to sell. Then, evaluate your neighborhood. If it’s becoming more popular and rising in value, you might consider renting while interest is high. If the neighborhood is dwindling at all, it might be best to sell now.

Then, talk to experts about trends they’ve seen to make sure your choice aligns closely with market predictions.

Are you ready — and willing — to be a landlord?

Deciding to rent means deciding to become a landlord — which not an ideal job for everyone. You’ll need to keep careful records, pay for certain maintenance expenses, and vet all possible renters to ensure they’re the type you’d feel comfortable living on your property.

Ask yourself if you’re willing to take the 3 a.m. calls when a pipe bursts, or if you’d be willing to pay a property manager to handle those, which would, of course, eat into your profits. Are you ready to chase down rental payments if they become late? If the responsibilities of being a landlord seem stressful, or like they’re not worth the money they would cost, consider selling your home outright and using the money for your next property.

There’s no one-size-fits all approach to moving homes. Consider the above factors, speak to your realtor and bank, and decide which option would help you make the most money while also reducing stress.

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