I own two properties. I bought my condo I live in for $325,000 with $150,000 down.I owe $175,000. It is on

Asked by Susan, Haverhill, MA Mon May 11, 2009

the market right now for $299,000 and not selling. My other property I bought for $265,000 w/ $ 50,000 down . I owe $205,000 but it is on the market for $197,000. I wish to stay in the first property but need to sell one property because I can not afford to carry them both. I was thinking of renting the $199,000 condo to get out of this problem.That would mean contributing $500 per month to cover the mortgage. I am not sure I want to be a landlord. I have also applied for loan modifications for both but the process is taking so long...... Any suggestions?

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Nina Rogoff’s answer
Nina Rogoff, Agent, Medfield, MA
Sun Sep 12, 2010
Susan, you need to determine how quickly you need to change your current financial situation. If you want to stay in the first property you described, why is it on the market? If you want to sell your other property, contact a real estate agent in that town, find out what the real estate agent recommends you list at based on a comparative market analysis of what similar homes have sold for in the past 3-6 months. Price your house to sell quickly by listing it slightly below the market price. If you do this, and prepare your home for sale properly (decluttering, making necessary repairs) it should sell quickly.

If your financial situation is less urgent, you may want to talk to a local realtor about what you can rent the other property for. However, if you have to contribute $500/month to cover the mortgage that may not be financially sound. It's not always easy finding good tenants, maintaining a rental in the condition necessary to rent it, dealing with tenant issues, etc. Talk with a mortgage lender about your financial situation and then make a determination that fits your situation. Good luck!
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Kevin Vitali, Agent, Tewksbury, MA
Thu Sep 9, 2010
Any dealing with the bank can be painful, so I hear what you are saying. Being a landlord can be tough, but if you can avoid foreclosure and the credit problems that go along with it. Or maybe it is time to cash out of both and regroup. Anything can sell for the right price in any market.
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MaryBeth Mil…, Agent, Pembroke, MA
Wed Aug 11, 2010
I feel your anguish, I am a long term real estate professional and purchased rental property nearing the height of the market, who knew? I think that the answer Territory RE was right on the money. Right now you have to look to the month to month outlay of funds but you apparently have always done things the right way and you don't want a foreclosure or such to damage you into the future. When you check with someone who can look at your full financial picture, past, present and future goals, they may suggest a rental is not a bad option. Depending where you are a nice condo is sure to rent for a good amount of money and hopefully enough to cover the mortgage if not insurance and taxes too. A condo is a great rental property, no lawn maintenance, no worry about the leaky roof and lots of condos have handy people at the end of the phone at reasonable prices for a leaky faucet or small paint job. You may find that now being a landlord - which is your own small business- provides tax deductions which offset the anticipated $500.00 per month that you feel you will contribute presently.

Do not hesitate to give me a call if you wish to discuss this in more detail. Things may not be as bad as your think!
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Deb McCourt, Agent, Ashburnham, MA
Tue May 12, 2009
I think I remember you asking about this about a month ago ?? It IS taking a long time. The only suggestion I can think of would be to list them BOTH. You keep the one that doesn't sell. Condo's tend to be more of a challenge in the "re-fi" world but you should have answers from them by now.
Best wishes on getting through this.
Web Reference:  http://www.debmccourt.com
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Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Tue May 12, 2009
I think you should test the rental market. Foreclosure might have worse future implications than being a landlord for a couple years to see if the market turns around.

You are in tough situation and should consider sitting down with an accountant or financial adviser to help organize your situation and outline a good option for you based on your income.
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