HELP!!! Should we rent out our house or walk away?

Asked by Lisa, Maricopa, CA Mon Jan 26, 2009

we have a gorgeous 3900 sq ft house (shutters, hardwood floors, stainless) in Tortosa and we need to move out of state due to a job transfer. Our mortgage is $250,000 (we've already loss our $60,000 down payment) and our model is selling for $190,000 or much less. how much could we rent for? are houses even renting out in Tortosa? would you foreclose? we have perfect credit, but we don't want to rent out the house (from 2000 miles away) for the next 10 years until the market here improves. we don't make enough money to pay for 2 mortgages. Thank you!

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Randy Hooker, Agent, Chandler, AZ
Wed Sep 22, 2010
I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and speculate that since Lisa posted her question in January of 2009, she's more than likely made some firm decisions by now. In fact, I'll bet on it. Any takers? LOL
0 votes
Dagmar Mouri…, , Chandler, AZ
Wed Sep 22, 2010
I can only answer your question in general terms. There are free of charge HUD counselors available to look at your entire situation and your options. However, I'm a Maricopa Realtor and this is my take on your situation:
If you are going to move out of state and you want to sell the home in Tortosa AND you don't have the savings to pay off the mortgage balance plus sales costs, then you probably have a hardship that qualifies you for a Short Sale.
Without looking at the comparables, just going by my rough estimate as a Maricopa Realtor, your house currently would not sell for more than around 140k. Over the years this property will regain a good portion of the value that it has lost. However, it will take several years until the sales value matches the mortgage balance plus sales costs.
During these years you would pay several hundred Dollars per month in addition to the rent that you are getting. Let's assume the rent is somewhere around $1300 or $1400. You know what your house payment including property tax and insurance is. Property management and HOA fees on top and not to forget potentially you are not receiving rent sometimes. My estimate is you are loosing somewhere around 7k each year.(I calculated with 6% interest and several "guesstimates"). That is not the solution.
Then there are mortgage modifications. Those are not completed with under the HAMP program with homes that are not owner occupied. Beware, the lender may grant you a trial period only to cancel later. I cannot go into detail here but one of my clients got her modification cancelled after a few months because th e home was occupied by renters and the owner lived in California. The lender knew that when she applied for the modification. Also the HAMP program pushes your payment only below 31% of your gross income which is too much for most people anyway. They don't consider your debts or car loans or anything - they jsut use the 31% of gross income. Be careful when someone promises to get your mortgage balance lowered. I have not met someone who got that done but I heard there are many out there that make promises and charge fees. It's sad to say, I wish I had better news but you share a problem that many of us have in Maricopa - you bought at a time where as we now know the prices were totally inflated. I recommend you look into the Short Sale option in more details. The effect on your credit is a lot less than with a foreclosure and you can get financing for the next home after around 2 or 3 years versus 5 or 7 with foreclosure. Foreclosure also hurts Security Clearances - if that is an issue for you. I'm a Maricopa Realtor and I received additional training to handle Short Sales. I would be glad to answer your questions. There is no obligation!
Dagmar Mouritsen
RE/MAX Elite
(520) 316-6101 or
0 votes
Mike Linkena…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Tue Sep 8, 2009
Don't walk away! Hopefully you guys have hired a good short sale specialist to help out
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Stew Keene, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Mon Jan 26, 2009

Contact the lender servicing your loan. See if they will modify your mortgage for you so you can afford to lease it enough to cover the payment. Let them know of your hardship.

Another alternative might be if you can modify the loan to real market value, you could in effect sell it. I have agents I work with in Maricopa that I can refer you to to help assist you.

Also, you need to have a place to live where you are moving to. Have you arranged that already? Are you going to rent where you are living? If you foreclose you are looking at difficult times in purchasing a home and your credit score might be so low it may be difficult to rent.

Be careful what you decide.

Best of Luck,

Stew Keene
Ph (480) 220-7491
Fax (866) 711-8573
Keller Williams - Scottsdale, AZ
2008-2009 Master of Real Estate award recipient
0 votes
Carlos Ramir…, Agent, Mesa, AZ
Mon Jan 26, 2009

Your situation deserves more attention and a more personalized consultation than what we can do here. There are several options, including rental, loan modification, short sale, etc... All of them are better options than just walking away.

I have worked a lot with foreclosures and and short sales in Maricopa. Please let me know if you would like to discuss your specifica more in detailed with me.

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Randy Hooker, Agent, Chandler, AZ
Mon Jan 26, 2009
Yikes, Lisa!

I hate to say it this way, but welcome to the crowd! You know, life goes on, in spite of current market conditions. nobody on this forum can recommend that you walk away and let your lender foreclose on you. You could consider a short sale, but that will hurt your credit - but not as bad as a foreclosure. And it doesn'tsound like a short sale would work for you anyway.

Best advice is to connect with a local, reputable,experienced Realtor that consult with you privately, confidentially about your situation and options.

Let me know if I can help.

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