Rent vs Buy in 20016>Question Details

Vi Tagala, Other/Just Looking in 20016

Should I sell or rent? If I rent, should I do it furnished?

Asked by Vi Tagala, 20016 Sun Nov 9, 2008

I currently live in DC in a 2 bed, 2 bath newly renovated condo with garage parking in Vaughan Place at McLean Gardens. I got the place in May 2006 and paid around $375,000 for it. I'm probably moving to NYC next May/June for work. Most likely, I'll be living with my aunt instead of finding my own place.

Should I sell my place here in DC or should I rent it out? The mortgage payments are about $2,500 a month plus the HOA and parking fees which is another $300 or so. With the housing market as it is, I'm afraid that we won't be able to sell it or won't be able to sell it for an amount that we can work with for a later purchase in NYC.

If I do rent, I might just leave my furniture in DC, which could be an option of renting my place furnished. Is that a good idea? Or considering that I would want my furniture to bring to New York later on, it's not a good idea for a long term lease.

Any advice would be great. Thanks!

Help the community by answering this question:


Dear Marivic,

This isn't an easy decision to make, so let's take it in parts:

-- selling is harder now, and you're right about taking any profit out of your unit after commissions today
-- however, the market is getting better every day, with much 'movement' expected with a new administration coming to town
-- owning your McLean unit for a few more years should serve you well
-- as a rental your place is very attractive, size and location wise
-- renting it furnished helps you as wel: (i) you don't have any place to take your furniture, so will save storage costs ($400/month?) and (ii) renting 'furnished' adds nicely to a rental rate say $500/month or more to a $2,500/month unfurnished number)
-- renting quite short term, say 'furnished' in 6-month increments could add even more to a per month rate

You may have other considerations, or course, but it sounds to me like renting, (furnished at that), may be your best option. Let me know if I can help, 301-801-2970. Cheers

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 9, 2008
I have a little different perspective for you as I used to live at Vaughan Place and know these units quite well. While n one knows what the market will be this Spring, we as realtors all know that it is the best time to Sell and this type of property is hot right now in D.C. I am optimistic that you should be able to sell your place for close to your purchase price (+ or - a few $$$). Especially with parking.

If you rent you will never cover your mortgage and HOA. In addition the rent becomes income and is therefore TAXED. When you factor in appreciation on both the place and your furniture, I feel this becomes a bad idea, unless you would consider keeping the place long term and making it an investment property, but that is a whole other conversation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
There is no clear cut answer to your question. I would start by reading landlord/tenant laws in DC (which tend to be very much in favor of tenants) and decide if you want to be a landlord. Also, who will look after your property while you are in NY? If you decide you could be a landlord then I would look at the numbers. Find an agent you are comfortable working with that can help you decide what recent comps look like for both selling and renting. You may be able to rent it quicker than selling but chances are you will be doing it at a loss (meaning mortgage and HOA fees won't be covered by the rent). Are you prepared financially to cover the loss? If you are operating at a loss will you be able to deduct the loss and save some money that way? It would make sense to contact a good accountant for answers to that question.

Although the resale market is slower than it was in the past, properties are still selling. Your timing will have you trying to sell in the most active part of the year... which is a good thing. Without knowing what you owe on your home, it is hard to say what you would net from the sale. Without seeing your home it is hard to tell what it would list for. For a more complete answer I would suggest speaking with an agent to go over the answers in more detail. I am both an agent and landlord of multiple properties and would be happy to help you in any way I can. Please call me 240-372-3902 or email me Hopefully this helps a bit!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
Rent it, leave the furniture, see a C PAasap so you know what will happen when you sell...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 9, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
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