You can likely do a short sale due to job relocation because job relocation is considered a viable hardship. but if you can make the payments and purchase your new home, you may not have a hardship. I would recommend you go ahead and close on the home in the new location because it sounds as if you qualify while still owning this current home. After you do a short sale, it may be 1.5 to 2 years before you can get a new loan. I can refer you to a lender who can give you the exact time contstraints.
Regarding renting the home here, once you rent it, it becomes a business and you get the tax advantages like deducting your depreciation and other expenses. Your after tax loss will be less than $600 per month and I have a spreadsheet that can calculate what that loss would be. You want to analyze your before tax and after tax scenarios.
If the $20,000 under factors in your closing costs, that is not a very big short sale loss. GMAC has a reputation of a very good, efficient process for short sales.
There are quite a few factors for you to consider. If you buy after you make this current home a rental, you have to be a landlord for about a year to be able to mitigate your mortgage payment with the rental income when calculating your ratios for your new purchase. It sounds as if you do not need this calculation to qualify for your new home, so the best approach would be to focus on the HUGE wealth building benefits of owning real estate as an investment. Rents are going to go up in King County.
If you would like to have a more in-depth discussion on your situation, you can contact me at http://www.karenmcknight.com .
Yes, more than likely you can get a short sale approved for this type situation with GMAC. You will need an expert short sale agent to assist you. I have excellent referrals in your area and am happy to help. Please contact me at your earliest convenience 425-268-1066
I have successfully closed a number of GMAC short sales for clients. There are a number of factors to consider when contemplating a proposal but a move out of the area is one the bank will factor in when they look at their cooperation with you and that factor will weigh in your favor. Here are some facts to consider: http://www.searchseattle.net/distressed-property.php
Here is a client testimonial of a client whose home I helped close as a short sale:
I will gladly sit down with you for a no-obligation and confidential appointment to discuss your options, feel free contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 425.876.6164
Best of luck to you!