Sell House Rent Place

Updated on December 12, 2011
S.H. asks from Kansas City, MO
17 answers

Did anyone ever just sell their house and rent a place even though you had the money to still keep your house? I feel owning a home is so expensive and one thing after another with a home it just keeps adding up and is so expensive. Also, I feel home ownership requires a lot of maintenace and fixing things up takes away time from kids. I also feel we would have so much more money if we didn't own a home! Yes, we could buy a much cheaper house too and have a much lower payment. However, is it crazy that I like the idea of renting since any repairs we'd just call the owner and it's then their issue? We do have little kids.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I understand what you mean. It's like the move Money Pit around here. We spend so much on repairs that it would be cheaper to rent and pay a maintenance fee.

I suggest you consider a condo with repairs included in the fees.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

Owning a home is not for everyone. There is a lot of maintenance and up keep that never goes away. My husband’s ex tells my step kids all the time that they need to own homes when they are old enough. I have told them to buy when they are ready. And that renting offers a lot of flexibility. It is a big commitment and can easily tie you down.

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answers from Albany on

I can't imagine being a renter. I've got three kids, a dog (hopefully soon, back to two dogs), I like my house MY way (color on the walls, MY choice of flooring, decor, etc), I like to garden, I like to choose my own appliances, there's no END to why I'd be a landlord's worst nightmare! Let's face it kids are LOUD, plus I like the music loud while cooking and drinking on a FRiday night, sometimes I smoke in the garage. And kids BREAK stuff....

Sure, for the here and now of it, renting would be cheaper. But fastforward a decade and beyond, especially when the market goes back to normal, you'll actually OWN something, and you'll be able to USE that equity for a zillion different things.

Really, unless you're going to make a HUGE FORTUNE selling your house now (really?), in the LONG run, it's WAY more financially wise to own.


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answers from Portland on

Have you taken into consideration that when you're paying a mortgage payment you are increasing your equity, meaning you own something of value? When you're renting your rent payments do not give you equity. You're paying rent and only getting a place to live.

You can use that equity if you have a financial crisis. And once the mortgage is paid you own your home, which you can then sell for money and buy or rent when you're retired.

I have friends who paid rent their entire lives and are struggling to live now that they're retired. They have no equity to use. Another friend sold her house and does now rent. The sale of her house gives her the money to be able to live in a retirement facility. Otherwise she'd be struggling to live on Social Security.

Yes, renting may be easier as far as house upkeep but renting is living month to month. Buying is an investment that will help you in the future.
It is also teaching your children how to be financially responsible and planning for the future.

Planning for retirement may seem like something you can wait to do but if you want to continue living in your current lifestyle once you retire you have to have investments starting when you're young. I speak from experience.

I have a mortgage on my house. I'm refinancing and taking money out of my equity to do repairs.

Another possibility is for you to sell your house and buy one that will require less repairs. Then put aside a set amount in savings for future repairs.

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answers from Washington DC on

Personally? I can't imagine being a renter. I DO see the "upside" of renting - any problem - broken heater/AC - not your problem....

However, I can't imagine NOT owning...not having a place to call MINE....wondering if the owner/landlord will think of a reason not to have us there anymore...or raising the rent...

What I have found as a home owner is that you need to FIX the problem instead of putting a band aid over it....our neighbors have done this for some problems they have been having with a home they are renting out...they have been putting "band aids" on the problems instead of FIXING it...they have spent more money in the long run putting temporary fixes (aka band aids) instead of just forking over the money to have it done right the first time.

Their home/rental unit has now sat vacant for almost a year...because of the problems they won't FIX...**THAT** scares me away from renting as well....

Maybe you should consider selling your home and buying a new one...smaller?? I don't know. I just know that I can't imagine renting...

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answers from Salinas on

I would never sell my house to rent. Now, I love my house, love that I can do what I want with it. Stay as long as we want, have privacy and build equity.
It's expensive to maintain but I don't look at that as expenses as much as investments. Maintaining a home helps it to keep or increase it's value in most cases. Unless you got banged hard in the bubble and you're underwater or in debt I would think selling to rent is not a good financial move.
The idea of not paying rent/mortagage during retirement is very appealing. That's at least $2000 per month (in my area for a little house or condo) I will not need to save towards retirement. What about the mortagage interest tax deductions? There's a fair amount you save right there especially in the early years of a mortgage. Also, rent will continue to rise over the years, you mortagage will not. I'd think long and hard (and consult a financial advisor) before becoming a renter, possibly for the rest of your life!

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answers from New York on

I know an older retired couple who sold their house and bought a condo. They were no longer phyically capable of maintaining their home and it was a good choice for them.

For most owning your own home is part of the American dream, but not everyone has the same dream. Now is a really bad time to sell your home, but it's something you should consider and talk over with your husband.

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answers from St. Louis on

So far as I can tell the only time renting is better than ownership is when you have little equity to put down. I remember a guy quipping in the Wall Street Journal when he became upside down, I don't kid myself, I am renting. :)

Otherwise if you look at equity increases, tax deductions, in other words the benefits, vs the expenses in aggregate it is better to own.

I don't know about where you live but I own half my home, in other words I have quite a bit of equity. I pay 1,200 a month which includes escrow, to rent a home in my subdivision of the same size it is 3,000 a month. So I am not sure where all this extra money is you would have.

Marda brings up a very good point too, I could retire at 60 with no house payment. You will not hit a point where you will no longer have to pay rent. :(

So I guess the answer is no, I wouldn't do it.

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Houston on

Update: in response to some people's issues with not having the money for retirement - I completely disagree that your home should be your retirement. Yes, it sure is nice to not have to pay a mortgage or rent during your retirement, but your home should NOT be your only retirement $$. You never have any idea of what will be going on in the real estate market when you retire - you can't count on your house's value.

Original: I've had friends who, though they can afford it, have said they will never buy a home - always rent.

Many people who have only rented don't realize the amount of resources it takes to own a home - not just money, but time and energy, too.

My BIL and SIL have only rented. He recently had to replace three doors, window blinds, and some windows because their children/BIL's family had done some pretty extensive damage.

Some of the drawbacks... it's not your home so you can't always decorate/update the way you'd like. You've got to live with their appliances unless you're going to bring your own and possibly store any that come with the house. Unless you have the arrangement with your landlord, you have to contact them and wait for them to contact whoever for any repairs that need to be done. Any damage you would have to repair and/or pay for repairs. Say, you stain the carpet pretty badly - the landlord can charge you to replace the whole room's carpet if required (typically prorated for the age of the carpet).

If you're comfortable with it, don't worry about what others are doing or saying. Do what you think is best for your family.

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answers from Medford on

If you sell a home, and make a profit, there are rules about how long you have until you invest that money in another home, and if you dont invest in another home, your taxes on the profit are huge. I do bellieve its called capitol gains. You could lose a lot of money you thought youd have to live on. Also, your house payment now, is a lot less than what someone would pay to rent it, so if you sell your home and rent another home, you will be paying a lot more than the owner of the rental is paying, thus you are making him a profit. We are buying a new home, and the estimae of our payment is half of the estimate it would rent for. If I wanted to rent it out instead of live in it, Id be making a lot of money. You would be that person who is paying a lot of money to me. Remember too, not all landlords are decent and fix things to your liking, or in a timely manner. Once when renting an apartment, we had the worst fridge in the world. He didnt care. We finally had to call and let him know it stopped working completely and we so hoped wed have a nice new fridge in its place. No such luck. He showed up with another beat up broken down ugly dirty fridge he drug out of another apartment. He woudnt fix broken faucets, knobs, windows, or anything else. He rented to some crappy people who made life miserable and wouldnt do anything about it when we complained. Needless to say we didnt stay long. Condos might be nice and someone else maintains the grounds and fixes appiances, but its not much different than apartment living. You have rules to live by, and every little thing can cost you money. You are also at the mercy of the owner deciding to kick you out so his son/daughter/ mother, whoever, can take over your space. Or worse yet, he may be pocking the payments and not paying his payments and you can be evicted when he loses his building and is foreclosed on. Id rather own my own and hire a few handymen or yard guys to help out, and enjoy my profit later in life.

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answers from San Francisco on

I often feel the same way! Before my hubby and I bought our house, we lived in a VERY small house with a VERY cheap rent! We never learned how to fix anything since we only had to call the landlord.

We do still have the money to keep our home, but I often think that we could rent a 3 bedroom apartment and pay less for rent than our mortgage and then not only would we have more money each month, but we wouldn't have the chore of yard work. Also, our heater has broken two times, and our hot water heater has had to be replaced. If we were renting, it would have been no big deal for us, but being homeowners, it was quite a big deal!

So, I've thought about it; never said anything to my hubby; but probably will never do it.

(Trying to use paragraphs! Ha! Ha!)

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Dave Ramsay recommends this ALL the time...especially if you carry a lot of personal debt (loans, credit cards, etc.)

If debt isn't the issue with you, then I do think you'd be better downsizing to a smaller home or looking into something like a condo or townhouse community where some of the stuff is taken care of by the homeowner's assoc. so you can be putting money into something providing equity.

Your mortgage should not be more that 25% of your NET income.

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answers from Boston on

My father always said that if you are going to live somewhere more than 5 years then buy, otherwise it is better to have the freedom to move around for jobs and not have the maintenance hassles.
It is partially a quality of life decision - will you like living in a smaller apartment and have no weekend chores but also perhaps no yard and more neighbor noises? We plan to live in our home until we can no longer maintain it easily and then sell it and with the money it will hopefully bring buy a smaller condo or even rent closer to a city center where we can walk places or take public transportation.
Whatever you do, keep saving the money that would have gone to a mortgage.

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answers from Dallas on

My husband has tossed this around, but only as a way to get a home built, not as a permanent solution. To me, renting, depsite maintenance and upkeep, is tossing your money away since no equity being built, etc.
But if you want to try it for a while, why not try it for a couple of years - if you invest/save the $$ you would have used on home repairs, etc. AND don't spend the $$you get from the sale of your house - you are in no worse shape financially.
Also, don't expect the repairs on a rent house/property to happen quickly. I remember the years of renting prior to children - nightmare in getting things done, work orders, poor landlords, remodelling done for the apartment (not to make it pretty, just to add pipes, etc)_ andleaving huge messes from the workmen and I had no recourse because it wasn't MY home, etc.
Always a trade off.
good luck with your decision.

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answers from Houston on

My wife and I are always talking about this when the kids are all gone. All different options, move to another country, buy an RV and travel the U.S, or simply downsize to a loft or condo...... ahhhh dreaming can be fun...
I agree with all you said. It would be nice.

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answers from Los Angeles on

The traditional wisdom is to own a home and build equity, but if you look at your actual out-flow of cash toward mortgage payments, taxes, utilities, maintenance, repairs, not to mention the added stress of the real estate market, this wisdom is not necessarily true. Your home is a liability until you own it outright, and the expenses continue with taxes and maintenance even after you own it outright.
Sure - you may be building equity, but that depends on what you put down, how much principal you're paying off each month vs. interest, how long you've been in your home, and (the big volatile question) what the real estate market is doing in your area! The equity in your home is only REAL when you sell or cash it out through a re-finance.
If you do decide to sell & rent, I'd advise taking whatever "savings" you calculate between your mortgage+taxes+maintenance and your rental expenses & put that extra into a very savvy investment account. Rent can also be volatile, and you don't want to be caught off guard with a rental increase or way later in life when you do stop working and want to have a roof over your head!

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