The rental market is quite strong in our area, and rental rates are up. If you are staying in the area, you can probably do a fine job of handling the rental yourself, but I highly recommend using Tenant Screening. Also be sure to get suffcient deposits (most often first month, last month and a security deposit) and most management professionals recommend that you do not allow smoking or pets, as they can cause significant damage to the home.
If you are leaving the area, I think it would be wise to hire a professional property manager. Quality and experience vary, so get recommendations, and if you wish, you can contact me for a reference.
If you are staying in the area, and not excited about becoming a landlord, I would not hesitate to sell your home. If it is priced and presented well, it should sell. You will save a little money on the reduced selling costs, and you will be in a position to make a very good buy on your purchase, between the lower prices, the great interest rates, and the expanded inventory from which to choose your new home.
So many people think this is a bad time to sell and buy, but I think it is a GREAT time to do so. The homes in the more modest price ranges are moving faster than higher end homes, and many sellers are now willing to look at contingent offers, which was almost unheard of a couple years ago. A contingent offer can be win-win for a seller, since they have their "eggs" in two baskets, rather than one. If they find another buyer for their home, they are in good shape, or if the contingent buyer finds a buyer first, they win too. A contingency on a listing is not negetive either, as long as it is short, because it sends the message to other buyers that the home is desireable.
As a contingent buyer, the situation is also win-win because it does not involve any monetary risk. You can take your time and shop, put in an offer, and if accepted, work on getting your home sold. If your home does not sell before the seller finds another buyer, you will get your earnest money back, no loss, no foul. The difficulty can lie in the emotional cost if you become too attached to that new home and can't get your home sold before another buyer shows up. You would probably have the fall-back position of renting your home then, and going forward if your home does not sell quickly enough, but the odds are that your current home should sell first, if it is priced right and in a lower price range than your new purchase.
As always, I recommend that you sit down with a very experienced agent who will help you thresh out your options without pressuring you to make a decision that might be more in their best interests than yours.
It seems that one well meaning agent said that you should not post your question here, but ask Local Agents about what to do...? Ok, he got 4 thumbs down on that one, but it seems more local agents are starting to show up on Trulia now to help out. I agree that it helps to have someone locally to talk with and it may be best to just call or go in to see one of us.
We had one couple who just got transferred from Ft. Lewis to Germany only a year after buying a new home in Spanaway ..., there was NO WAY that they could sell their home without actually loosing money or paying at Escrow to sell. - What we did was offer to find a good reliable renter for them by doing professional "Tenant Screening" which costs the prospective tenant $35. We use Landlord Solutions in Tacoma for that, as they do a credit check and criminal background plus check for past evictions etc.
Another couple in your situation had to move due to a job transfer just last month. One of the things you can do and we have done as in this case, is to let prospective tenants know that if they desire to own a home but are not yet quite ready....., that they MUST realize that mortgage payments are higher than rent is normally and if they wish to take advantage of our Rent to Own Program, then they need to at least cover the owners monthly mortgage payment. Yes..., there are incentives to do that which are realistic.
So, I will encourage you to at least think about doing a Rent to Own program with your home. Emily and I have bought 4 homes and a Duplex in just the past 12 months. All are were rented out (all are in the black $$$) within a week of purchase, but two of them are on our Rent to Own Program.... which we have set up in our offices for us and our clients. LOOK ---- Tenants tend to pay higher rents and take better care of the property, in the space of a year, two or three (depending on your contract) they can buy it... and in the process will even pay more for the home then they would have today. There are actually three different programs we have developed, and its a win win for everyone involved. - Yes, this is also something you can do on your own so I will not go into what our rates are or other self serving details.
Our home and office is in Parkland so we know this area QUITE well. You can do it, with or without an agent. Emily and I handle both real estate sales (52 sold in 06/07) and own a property management company just a few minutes from your home.
Just as a side note. Welcome to Joe Maxwell for his 1st post and good answer from Steve, thumbs up... as well as good comments from Christine, Don and Meladee. Move your mouse over a persons photo for more details about them and see the "Thumbs up and Thumbs down" feature to use if you like or dislike a post. When in doubt, please refer to our Community Guidelines. - Local Agents helping local buyers and sellers.... way cool. Use the search bar to put in: Washington to get local posts.
Good luck Scott..... Calls and emails are welcome by all agents who post here!
Donald J. Leske II - Broker
BCI PROPERTIES, LLC
We've seen homes for sale that are priced to sell, receiving offers sometimes within 30 days. So, check the competition and price accordingly. If I can help, please let me know. Thank you.
I can see from the county records that bought your home there recently. The same plan located at 17725 24th Ave Ct E sold on Dec 28, 2007 for $245,000. If the condition of that home was similar to yours then your only option will be to rent. Fortunately, the rental market is good. Expect to be able to find tenants at the $1450/mo. range. This will be less than your mortgage payment but you'll be better off in the long run when the market recovers. Good luck.
Have been a broker in the area for many years and drive by Rainier View court everyday going to work. In my opinion it is best to look at your personal financial situation and long term goals for the future. It is a good time to own rental properties as well as a great opportunity to buy. I would get with a realtor in the area who is knowledgable in the rental market and understands the how purchasing in your current financial situation makes it helpful to grow your wealth.
I wish you the best of Success
As with selling a home, correct pricing will determine how quickly you can get a tenant into your home. Just as we shop for an apple (looking for the crispest, best looking one) tenants will do the same when shopping for a house to rent. The house that is priced the most competitively will probably be the one that rents first.
Being a Realtor, I saw an old listing of your house on the MLS. If your house still is in the same condition, you should have no problem getting $1500 a month. I've seen homes like yours rent anywhere from $1350-$1700, depending on your level of motivation and need.
Your post is a perfect example of "questions not to ask". Let me explain.
The odds of someone knowing your exact situation (meaning works in your market, knows your home inside and out, knows your personal situation) are very low. So, please forgive me, but rather than accept answers from perhaps well-intentioned people, ask the opinion of a local professional.
Someone that knows your market, your area, your block. Plus, if I were consulting with you, I would ask:
Why are you moving? What options do you have? What might happen if you are unable to move?
Can you wait? Is it better to sell now at a loss, than wait.? If you have to wait ten years, are you okay with that?
So many questions that can only be answered in a dialogue, a two way conersation with someone that knows their business, and cares about what happens to you and your faimly.
Good luck. If you do not have anyone, look around in Trulia for an expert in your area. If all else fails, contact me for a referral.
Questions to help you figure out your options. Depending on the going rents in your area ...will it cover your mortgage payment? If so...that means you could get a monthly positive cash flow. Can you afford to buy a new place without the equity from a sale of your current place? I don't have data on Pierce county rentals unfortunately, but depending on how you answer these questions (not saying you should or have to publically), it may dictate which option you take., but overall, ..I see the rental market doing really well right now.