Jul 30, 2010

Need to Move for Work? Consider Renting, Not Selling Home

As this recent article in the Washington Post by Michael A. Fletcher describes, a number of unemployed Americans are finding that, even if jobs are available in other cities, they can't sell their homes -- or can't sell them for enough to cover their mortgages -- leaving them, effectively, stuck.

Surprisingly, however, the article doesn't mention the possibility of renting out the space until house values improve. This won't work for everyone, but it can work well for those living in areas where rents have actually risen or held steady since the real estate bust. In many cases, demand has actually been driven up by the numbers of people foreclosed upon or otherwise unable to qualify for a mortgage.

For example, check out this July 27 Bloomberg article by Prashant Ghopal, stating that, "U.S. apartment landlords are seeing a surge in rentals as mounting foreclosures reduce homeownership and an improving job market for young adults encourages them to find their own places to live."

Still, even at a decent rent, the amount might not cover the mortgage and other expenses. You'd need to run some numbers. For help with that, see Nolo's award-winning book, First-Time Landlord: Your Guide to Renting Out a Single-Family Home, and the free article, "What It's Like Being a Landlord."