Receiving orders to change your duty station (PCS) can be a stressful time, especially if you are a homeowner. Typically, military members change duty stations every three to four years. This means there’s a possibility that you haven’t fully unpacked from your last move. One decision every homeowner must make is whether they should sell their house or rent it. There are pros and cons to either scenario; both could make you a lot of money or drain your savings. Start by asking yourself these five questions to see if you should sell or rent your house when you are PCSing.
Do you want to be a landlord?
The concept seems easy: get someone to move into your house, collect monthly rent and profit. Unfortunately, there is much more that goes into it. As the homeowner, you’re responsible to fix things in a timely manner. Dishwasher broken? Need to replace it. Water damage from a hurricane? Need to replace it. Depending on your renters, you may not need to physically be there to fix it, but you will be expected to pay for the fix. You may be blessed with renters from rental heaven or you could get the opposite end of the spectrum.
What is the current price of your home?
If there’s a chance that you won’t make any money when you sell your house, you should consider renting until the market increases. Housing markets constantly change, so there is a chance that in a year you will be able to make a profit.
Are you okay with someone living in your home?
Even if you create a list of rules the tenants must follow to rent your home, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they’ll abide by them. If you specify that they must maintain a clean living space, what is clean? Your version of clean and their version of clean may be very different. You’ll need to discuss if they can change the décor, have pets and who will handle lawn care. My husband mows our lawn at least once a week; I know if we rented and someone didn’t mow very often, he would lose it. In the end, no one will take care of your house the way you would.
Can you afford two mortgages if you can’t rent it?
Just because you’ve decided to rent your house for additional income doesn’t guarantee that someone will immediately rent it. If you can’t find someone to rent your home, you will be paying for that mortgage and the one at your next location.
Would you consider moving back?
I have a friend who was stationed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, which is where her entire family lives. She has a house that she recently renovated. Then, out of nowhere, she received orders to PCS. She decided to rent because she knows she wants to eventually move back into the house to be near family. If you have no connection to the area and it’s not a steady market, consider selling. But, if there’s a chance you’d move back because you love the area, consider renting.
This isn’t an all-inclusive list, but it’s a great way to get the conversation started. Selling your house is a quick, relatively painless process that can add money to your wallet. While renting is more of gamble, it can make you a lot of money or put you in debt. You’ll need to explore all sides of both options to ensure that you’re making a smart financial decision.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.