I have been a Landlord for a long time. The prospect of becoming a Landlord is one you need to take a hard look at before jumping in. Some things to consider:
1. How much does it cost to carry your condo? Would the rent cover all the expenses?
2. How stable are the condo's assessments? If they go up, does the rent make up for the difference? Are you allowed to rent?
3. If a tenant goes behind on rent, can you carry both your new rent and the condo? For how many months? If you get no rent for 6 months, will you be able to afford your new rent?
If after you ask yourself these questions, and you're not terrified, then you can probably financial swing it. The next question is for your accountant. You'll see a decreased benefit from the interest deductions on your taxes. You will be able to write off some other items, and the rental income will be considered taxable, minus the depreciation. Definitely check with your tax adviser.
You may want to consider lowering the price on your condo, if possible, or discuss with your agent the possibility of a short sale. This may put you into a better position to buy a bigger place later at a deep discount given the market conditions.
Best of Luck.
I empathize with your circumstances. Wayne pointed out several viable points to consider. Maybe it's as simple as the old euphemism - be careful what you pray for, you might get it.
You want more space and veritably need it, but if you look to rent out your place and you then become renters what happens in the instance of the what if?
What if the renters are finks and stop paying rent and you have to evict and go months without pay? What if the renters are finks but you don't have to evict them because they move out in the middle of the night? And if they damage the premises?
I am not a gloom and doom guy by nature, and our experience as landlord has been really great. But what if you get that one class-a knucklehead? Yikes!
I wonder if changing direction with the sale of your condo might be a better use of your resources. With rates freakishly low, tax advantages for first-time buyers, stimulus dollars seeping into the economy - now may be the time to find a new realtor who has a marketing strategy for you. Yes, there is an overabundance of inventory in Rogers Park. But if you meet with a real estate professional to establish expectations related to the market and implement a marketing plan you may be able to achieve your goal of greater space.
I wish for you good fortune in your decision making!
The Real Estate Lounge Chicago with @properties
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However in many instances if a person clears items no longer used amazing how much space you can create, till condo sales.
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