When I got married, both my wife and I owned townhomes. Her's was bigger, so we moved into hers with the idea I'd sell mine. However, the market wasn't good for selling mine at the time (i.e...the development was still being built out, so it was hard to compete with brand new units being sold w/ incentives and I'd only put 5% down when purchased just two years prior so I would have been lucky to break even). I decided to rent it out. That was 2001 and it turned out to be the right decision for me but I didn't going into the landlord business without reading a couple books first to get an idea how to handle this successfully.
Almost 10 years later, I've keep the place rented the entire time with the exception of one month where I purposely left it open so I could go in and repaint and do a couple very minor repairs. In the meantime, I've had a favorable tax benefit while building up what I'd estimate (based on current sales of units in the development and what remains on my mortgage) as approximately $30 - $40K in equity.
I realize variables are different for many, but I think it is at least worth considering renting the unit out.
1) Sell, eat the money, and move. As is noted earlier though, in talking with a neighbor who has been trying to sell for 2 years, he's lost a sale because the bank wouldn't finance in this development.
2) Buy somewhere else and rent this out. Most likely option, however with the number of people buying new homes and then letting their old home be foreclosed, it's more difficult.
Noticed a new foreclosure notice up, place was just foreclosed and auctioned like 2 years ago, it's nuts.
I don't do signatures. Blondes, brunettes, and red heads are a different story.
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