It’s the beginning of PCS season and orders are starting to arrive. This presents military homeowners and their families with a big decision: to rent or sell their home!
As a military homeowner receiving PCS orders, one of your first major decisions is what to do with your current home. Sell? Rent? It’s a big decision, with many factors to consider. Let’s take a look at the options and points to consider for each.
1. Keep your home and become a military landlord.
If you own your home, chances are that you bought it because you loved it, the community, or with the idea of future rental income in mind. What should you consider when deciding whether or not becoming a landlord is for you?
- Future Plans: Planning on returning to the area? Rent your home and retain ownership. You will have a home to come back to when you return to this duty station.
- Finances: Depending on your payments and the rental market, renting your home could offset the cost of your mortgage, insurance and taxes. However, every month the house is not rented it’s an extra financial burden.
- Maintenance/Management: Becoming a landlord is not just about rental income. Chances are that you will be living far enough away that managing your rental (emergency repairs and regular maintenance) will present a challenge. There are costs associated with maintenance and management.
- Rental Market Conditions: Check online to see what comparable houses rent for in your area. Be realistic about rent levels. Unfortunately, the rent may be lower than your mortgage payment, but if you want to find a tenant, the rent must be comparable to what’s in the market. This also holds true if comparable rents are more than your mortgage. In this situation you stand to make a few dollars.
- Finding Tenants: You will need to maintain steady tenants to preserve rental income. You will need to list your home with AHRN.com and other listing services to attract potential tenants.
2. Sell you home.
If becoming a landlord does not appeal to you, selling your home is another option.
- For Sale by Owner or hire a Realtor: This is your first big decision. Selling a home takes time and resources. Evaluate whether you have both the time and resources to sell your home or if you need a professional realtor.
- VA Loan Options: If you purchased your home with a VA loan, selling your home outright may restore your VA loan entitlement and make it easier to purchase a home at your new duty station.
- Timeline: The PCS timeline often leaves military families with little time to list and market their home, leaving you responsible for a mortgage on an empty house. Can you afford to pay the mortgage on an empty house if it sits on the market for 3 months to a year?
- Financial Position: Depending on the local market, there is the possibility of losing money on the sale of your home.
AHRN.com Support Services
Whether you decide to keep your home and rent it or sell, AHRN.com has resources available to help.
Need to find tenants? Rent your home to a fellow military member. List your rental on AHRN.com for FREE!
Want to sell your home? AHRN.com offers both a network of pre-screened realtors through Home Captain Realty and VA Loan resources through Zillow. Click the links below for more information on these services.
Need to find housing at your new duty station? AHRN.com has the largest inventory of available housing in military communities!
Check out MyBaseGuide.com for important information on your new duty station!