Is it encouraging to see a growing number of metro areas with rising, median prices, which is improving the equity of existing home owners.
This reminds me that there is a huge disparity between the values of homes in California and homes in the deep south. The disparity existed before, during and after the bubble.
I remember talking to hundreds of displaced southerners after the Katrina, Rita and Wilma hurricane trifecta of 2005. Comparable homes were one fifth to one half of the value of homes in our region and about a tenth of the value of homes in the SF Bay area. I think the ratios are still in that range.
Don't get me wrong, I still believe in owning your own home but owning property for investments may be more risky.
It would be risky if you've never been a property manager, and will not be local to handle the issues related to home ownership.
It would be risky if you need the equity to be more liquid for your investment portfolio. And,
it would be risky if you are believing that the home will be increasing in value in the near future.
My opinion may not be popular but I am studying some economists viewpoints. Until we have jobs, the economy cannot be improving based on reality. The current low interest rates are because the government is printing money and keeping it low artificially to stimulate the economy. Sooner or later, with the deficit running so high, the interest rates will need to start increasing. When the interest rates start increasing, the property values will decrease more.
We are having an increase in property values right now based on the simple fact of supply and demand in Sacramento. There are few houses, and there are alot of buyers who want to buy a home with a low interest rate. So you can get a higher price than you could a year ago. That increase will continue until the interest rate starts to rise.
Your circumstances may be different, but based on your question, I think selling might be a better option under most situations.
I've had clients in the past that in the same situation you are in now. I had a few sell there home, and a few ended up renting there home.
So what I've seen is that some are not cut out to be land lords and rent, and some wanted to rent but they decided to sell.
You mentioned your moving out of the area so on top of moving and reloacting do you have the time, money, and patience of being a land lord. On top of your mortgage payment garbage, property taxes,etc. I would not tackle being a land lord if your are going to move out of town. I would highly recommend a property management company which will add a little bit more on expenses.
If you feel you can handle the ups and downs of renting then I would hire a property management company in your area and rent it out. That way from what you wrote on the value your not coming in with $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 to close escrow.
If you don't have the time and you are financially able to cover the difference from sale price to your pay off amount then I would sell.
As stated earlier you need to do the pros and cons and see works best for you.
You can then use that information with the info about renting to make your decision. Depending upon your market, you'll need to weigh the pros and cons of getting on with your life vs waiting for the market to return.
If there is a positive number remaining after subtracting the expenses, I would choose the decision to continue to own until property values increased enough for you to sell and put something in your pocket. My reasoning is that receiving even a small amount of money every month is better than paying a large chunk of money to sell it now.
Two problems I have with this post though. There are no homes built in 2004 in Carmichael, CA 95608 that would be worth less than $100,000. So I think your question was posted in the wrong zip code.