Home Selling in Tucson>Question Details

Kac1981az, Home Seller in Tucson, AZ

Leaving the state: Short sale or Rent?

Asked by Kac1981az, Tucson, AZ Mon Feb 1, 2010

I've been great on my house payments for the past 3 years. I was recently laid off, however, and I've still managed to make my payments. The good news is I found two possible jobs. The one job I've accepted, requires me to move out of state. The other is in state, but its an 1.5 hours from my house. The out of state job is willing to reimburse 14% if I sell my house. Thus, I'm thinking a short sale would be best. However, I'm worried the bank will not let me short sale and my credit hit maybe huge. I'm 29 (which is a plus). I am having a hard time choosing between a short sale or to Rent? Renting out of state, might be a pain and I'd be taking a loss. Any advice?

Help the community by answering this question:


FHA provides a solution for people in exactly your situation. Short sale the home in Tucson then buy a new one wherever you are relocating with 3.5% down. Contact me to find out how.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 9, 2012
As a side note: I've met with Neal Savage below, who's an excellent resource. I'd also recommend Tony Ray Baker, who's assisted me with several real estate transactions, before I was in the business.

There are several others, such as Rob Alvarez, who is the finest property manager in the city, in my opinion.

You did the right thing by asking your question here, now get out there and be proactive. Contact me again, at any point. I'm here to help and in Tucson frequently, but again the gentleman above are individuals whom I would not hesitate to work with in the slightest.

To be fair and balanced, the other agents who responded are equally qualified, I am sure and they've been professional and accurate in their responses. But, I have not had any personal dealings with them, so I'm unable to specifically recommend any of them over the other. Nonetheless, everyone here is right on target and adept at helping you fully.

Web Reference: http://www.ericmabrams.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
That does sound like a dilemma, and having lived in Tucson for 22+ years I can understand how you could be torn.

Renting a home from afar is not all that difficult, and I'd be happy to put you in touch with a close colleague who manages roughly 150 properties for out-of-state owners. I currently have rental property in Tucson, although I do spend quite a bit of time there, approaching 50/50%, so I'm able to manage my properties myself.

As you've correctly pointed out one is never guaranteed that their bank will accept a submitted offer, when one attempts a short-sale. Given that you're 29, you should be aware that the short-sale can have a negative effect on your credit, but it will heal, and it will actually return to a reasonable level quite quickly.

Keep in mind, FHA loans only require a 620 FICO score. There's talk of raising that level, but not by much, so if a short-sale is successful, you should be able to buy a home within 3-years.

My thoughts are this: Tucson is a very difficult place to find employment during the best of times. If you're offered an out of state job, and you feel it's a good offer, I would be inclined to recommend you take it.

The 14% reimbursement will go a small way toward assisting you with your short-sale, for instance once you receive an offer, you can tell the bank you'll increase that offer by an additional 14%. That will smooth things along. But, keep in mind, banks are now looking for market value for their homes.

They'll usually allow a home to be sold short, in your situation, given that you're unemployed, etc. But, they'll want what to obtain the market value for the home. It's important to work with a realtor who understands that their definition of market value, may not be in-line with what neighborhood comparables actually are. So, your real estate agent should have a very clear idea of what your home is worth, and be ready to back up that claim if the bank thinks its worth more.

Ideally, you'll also want to work with a realtor who utilizes a short-sale coordinator (SSC). An SSC is someone who assists the realtor in getting a submitted offer accepted by the bank. Realtors can also accomplish this, but few have the time, and they're not professionals in this realm. Many mortgage brokers have abandoned their mortgage placement services, and have instead gone into short-sale negotiations, as they already have contacts within most banks that have locally lent to home borrowers. Keep in mind the SSC is paid by the realtor, not by you. They generally take a small part of the realtor's commission.

One thing to keep in mind if you rent is the following: once your home is classified as a rental property, should you be forced to conduct a short-sale in the future, you will receive a 1099 tax statement from your lender for any short-comings between the sale of the home and what you owed. The IRS may consider any forgiven debt to be taxable income.

This is not the case, if you conduct a short-sale on your primary residence, and the IRS does not tax forgiven debt on primary residences. So, carefully weigh that issue, with the assistance of a qualified CPA, if possible.

I can recommend one, if you need help in that area.

My advice, given that I do not know your full story, and I am not representing you, would be to attempt to sell your home. Your credit score may decline for a spell, but it will recover. At your age, it is not fun to be "short" every month on your mortgage.

This is an important time in your life, and a time to save for your future and retirement. You do not need an out-of-state home keeping you up at night.

On the other hand, if you plan to move back to Tucson in the next year or 2, it does make sense to keep the home. While you would be short, it will be better to lose a bit of money each month, than a large chunk of your credit score and equity.

Tucson's values, while not exactly on the path to recovery, as of yet, do hold promise. We have finally seen some extensive development downtown, we might even see a rapid transit system put in place within the next decade and we have an entire generation of Baby Boomers who are going to pick Tucson over Phoenix.

Tucson is not without it's problems, nor is any city for that matter, but the allure of the climate, the inexpensiveness of its homes, and the friendly people are all draws that few cities can claim. So, your home will recover its value in time, but no one, not I, nor any professional in the market or on T.V. can predict when that will occur.

This is a time to be realistic and proactive, to realize you have your entire life in front of you, your health, and many excellent realtors in the city who can assist you. You're in a good place. Keep things positive and know a good realtor can assist you, and you'll be fine with renting or selling.

Contact me at any time,
Eric Abrams
CA Real Estate Broker
CAR R01862927
Web Reference: http://www.ericmabrams.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
Find a local REALTOR you trust for advice. Find out how the local market is specific to the area your home is located. Get a referral to an agent in the outstate location for an appraisal of values and market behavior Your are right a short sale is the lender's approval. It will hurt your credit for purchasing a new home for two years or more. Pencil it out for renting your current home if you move out of state versus the instate job and travel. It may be worth keeping the house if your can cover the mortgage payment and even if you have to subsidize a minor amount. Have a property manager handle the rental. Approach your lender to see if they would take a lesser payment for a period of time. Check with a local property manager to see what rent you could receive for your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
Dear Kac1981az,

Definitely talk to a realtor who you can trust. My personal opinion is, if you would like to keep the house after you move out of state and is able to manage the payments then rent it out for a year or two. Due to the current market situation renting will be better at this time. I will be happy to refer you to a good property management company here in Tucson so call me at 520-907-8488 if you would like to talk to them. If you do want to short sale your property, like Bob said, I will suggest that you talk to someone who knows how to handle the short sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
I see much good advice has already been offered. I will give you one comment of advice- contact a real estate professional and discuss this right away. Considering your credit is good, I certainly would not risk your credit standing and if renting is feasible, I would consider it. Of course, renting out of state is difficult but you may also find a realtor that can manage the property at a nominal fee. Good luck with the new job.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
That's a tough choice. Perhaps we can first assess the feasibility of renting. Do you know someone, such as a real estate agent or landlord or property manager, who knows residential-income markets and whose judgment you trust? Do you have a friend or relative who can help keep an eye on your house while it's a rental? You are correct in thinking you probably would not make enough rent to pay the mortgage, but how much you lose may depend on where the house is located and may be offset over a couple of years by price appreciation, depreciation and tax write-offs.
I own properties near the University which are easy to rent to students, for example, plus I rent my patio home in the Foothills on a long-term basis, and I rent my Foothills condo to vacationers. These are three very different types of rentals, each with its own quirks, in two very different sub-markets, and prospective tenants come from different advertising sources.
I am not a property manager, but I can recommend one who is honest and works for 5% and who has no affiliation with me. I am a real estate licensee in Arizona, but I have no personal experience with short sales. I understand lenders are under pressure to help Sellers find a buyer, and the rules are changing, but I would suggest you talk to an agent with plenty of short-sale experience. Good luck in your new job!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
All the answers I've seen offer very good advice. The one thing I would like to add is this; How long do you want to be a landlord? If your hope is to wait until the market rebounds and you can sell the property at a break even point you may be looking at a long wait.

You should definately sit down with a REALTOR and evaluate how much you owe versus your market value. Many still expect the market to fall up to 10% further before a rebounding. This could mean renting your home and living with the costs associated with that (such as negative rent, management costs and maintainance) for many years.

I would be happy to talk to you in depth if you like. I can be reached at (520) 312-0417.

Good luck, I hope everything works out for you,

Paul Juell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
That's not an easy question to answer. It would depend on how far upside down you would be monthly if you rented the house. Personally, I would never try to rent property here while living in another state unless I had it professionally managed. Property management here can cost as little as 5 percent of the rent received. The prices have pretty much bottomed here and a small increase is expected by year end. The short sale credit ding will affect you for at least two years so if you can handle the negative cash flow for a time renting may be your best bet. If you do sell work with someone who knows how to handle short sales.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
Dear Kac1981az,

You may have a nice combination to escape this home without any credit issues. A quick analysis of your property would determine the rentability and/or saleability. I have 3 very good property managers that can take the fear out of being a "long distant" landlord. Another rent sceanario is to rent your home as a "vacation rental". This allows you to charge nearly 4 times the normal rent. I have 3 vacation properties and you can see by the availibility calendar that business is good.
Club Wolff West
Blue Wolff Resort
Poco Lobo
Please let me know if I can help answer any additional questions or assist you in marketing your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
This is a tough question and one that many sellers grapple with. For most people, the decision hinges on whether or not they are able to find tenants at a decent rate within a reasonable amount of time. If you move out of state and are left making two house payments, it can drain your reserves very quickly.

Regarding whether the bank will approve or not... They will if you can show them a legitimate hardship. Since you have to move out of state (or at minimum out of Tucson) you are much more likely to get them to approve, especially if you are unable to find a tenant or are unable to afford to subsidize the rent long term.

BUT most banks won't pay much attention to your pleas for help until you actually start missing payments. And that's where the credit hit comes in. Under current lending guidelines you won't be able to purchase a home again for 2 years after a short sale (4 years after a foreclosure).

I specialize in working with people to avoid foreclosure and have written in depth about the pros and cons of doing a short sale on my website. See the Negative Consequences of a Short Sale - http://www.tucsonexpertagent.com/1080162.html and the Benefits to Selling your Home as a Short Sale - http://www.tucsonexpertagent.com/1080996.html.

Before you make your final decision, make sure you consult with your accountant and a real estate attorney. Each seller's situation is diffferent so it is important that you get professional advice from all angles. If you have more questions or would like to consult with me over the phone in more detail regarding your situation, I can be reached at (520) 481-3695.

Congratulations on your new job(s) - I wish you the best!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 1, 2010
I just wanted to let you know that loosing your job and taking a job so far away is in fact considered a hardship. A hardship is the basis for a short sale. They are a pain in rear and YES, you credit will take a big hit. If you get it back up, you should be able to buy again in 2 years if doing a short sale. Also if you have creditcards you can expect that they will raise your interest rate and cut your credit limit. I have heard this happening over and over again, even on loan modifications. Just know the facts and then you will be informed to make the decision that is best for you.

Only you can make the decision that is best for you. I am just letting you know that what you have is a hardship qualification.

Best of Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 1, 2010
I suggest you talk with a real estate agent you can trust and go over all the details. You may not have a choice about doing a short sale. In order to short sale you will need to prove a hardship and show the lender all your bank statements, check stubs, income tax returns and so on.
If you did do a shjort sale, yes your credit rating will be hit and you most likely would not be able to buy a home for 2 -3 years.
As I said, it would be best to talk with an agent and run all the numbers. If you would like you can always give me a call.
Good luck
Richatrd Lecinski
Long Realty Company
Tucson, Az


0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 1, 2010
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