We’re in a seller’s market right now, so the realtor says he could sell our house in a month, which is probably true. But then when we came back in a year we’d have to *buy* a house and I seriously doubt it will be a buyers market at that point. So yes, we could take this opportunity to downsize and to move into a better elementary district, but all the time spent buying and selling and buying (or renting and buying) sounds like a nightmare to me. So we’re just going to try to rent out the house.
The real estate agent thinks we can get $2,800/mo for our house but I seriously doubt that’s the case. The comps he was showing are in better elementary school zones and the houses probably aren’t falling apart quite to the extent that ours currently is. They have nicer lawns too. And it’s unlikely they’re one year rentals, which is always bad for people who want, you know, longer than a year. Also we’re not supposed to rent to students, though we’re fairly sure someone on our block is now doing just that (6 cars in front is generally a hint).
Covering our costs if we put things in storage will be $2,200 + management fees. Of course, about $1000 of our mortgage goes to principal these days so really we’d be covering costs with more like $1,200 + management fees.
Craigslist is no help on pricing because nobody with a house as nice as ours posts on Craigslist in our town, so Craigslist rentals tend to top out at $1650 or occasionally $2000 for houses that have the same number of bedrooms as ours but are more in the 2000 sq ft range vs 3000. Houses like ours are all listed via MLS.
Fortunately, so long as we keep under $5K/mo in Paradise City, we don’t need to actually rent out the house at all and could even hire someone to house-sit for us. So we’re not desperate for rentals to go through. But still, I’d rather ask $2,200 and have the house get rented than ask $2,800 and have to keep in on the market until September or forever.
We are listed on sabbatical homes and on the university housing available webpage, but no pictures yet (other than an old one of the outside) because our house is a mess and we haven’t had a chance to take pictures. Nobody has contacted us to ask any questions.
I’m tempted just to wait until the summer and we’ve figured out where we’re going in Paradise City. Then ship what we’re going to ship and store what we’re going to store, and then list the place. I suppose in the worst case scenario, the management company can keep it furnished and then rent it out for huge amounts of money on gameday weekends.
On top of that, DH or I are traveling all month and we’re only seeing each other a few days. And I’m behind on a ton of work. So in reality, nothing is going to happen until May because nothing can happen until May. I suppose that will save us money and aggravation on trying to keep the house “show-ready” which is nearly impossible with a 2 year old in residence, even if we do hire a regular house cleaner. (We couldn’t even keep the house clean for the most recent in-laws visit!)
Have you ever tried to rent out a home? Any tips for short term rentals?