Throughout the military community, spring marks the beginning of the Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season, along with warmer weather. As you prepare for your PCS military move, you may be wondering, “Should I rent or sell my home?”
This is a huge decision you will need to make before you transport your life across the country or world, and both options come with their own set of responsibilities. Let’s take a look at your options as a service member or military family when it comes to selling or becoming a military landlord.
Should I Rent My Home Before PCSing?
If you own your home, the odds are that you bought it because you loved it and it fits your needs as a single service member or military family. If that’s the case, then it is possible that other military members would also find your home accommodating during their PCS at your nearby base.
Perhaps you are at a duty station that you might come back to, or maybe you purchased your home with the idea of rental income in mind. If you are trying to convince yourself to hold onto that investment and become a military landlord, here are some factors to consider:
Pros of Becoming a Military Landlord:
- When you rent your home, you retain ownership. This means that you will have a home to come back to if you return to this duty station.
- By keeping ownership of the home, you have a property that will continue to build equity and more security for your future.
- In many military communities, the rental market is strong enough to raise rental prices higher than most mortgages. You could potentially set your rent price at a rate that will offset the cost of your mortgage, insurance and property taxes.
- There are plenty of listing services out there, such as AHRN, to help you market your property and attract the perfect military tenants.
If you are PCSing relatively far away from your property, maintaining your property and a relationship with renters is a potentially challenging “con” of being a military landlord. If the idea of being a hands-on landlord doesn’t appeal to you, you can always hire a property manager.
These professionals serve as a resource to help you qualify tenants, address emergencies, handle maintenance and collect payments. By going this route, you would cut into the profit you would be making off of the property.
However, you would have the peace of mind that everything is being handled while you focus on what is important— your duties at your new PCS location.
Should You Sell Your House Before PCSing?
Let’s say that becoming a landlord does not feel like the right move right now. After all, the PCS timeline often gives military families little time to list and market their homes for rent, leaving them responsible for paying the mortgage on an empty property.
Whether you own a condo, duplex or single-unit property, selling your property is another viable option that comes with a plethora of benefits.
Benefits of Selling Your Home
- 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.
- Selling your home eliminates the need to manage a home from a distance.
- After you sell your home, you will no longer be responsible for paying the mortgage or finding someone to pay rent so that you can afford the mortgage.
- Unloading your property from your list of responsibilities could help you break ties with an area you no longer wish to visit.
Some of the “cons” that come with selling a home are that you may need the services of a real estate agent to sell your property. This comes with a cost that is often the seller’s responsibility to pay. You’ll also be losing out on an investment that, with property maintenance, is almost guaranteed to build in equity over time.
Your Military Housing Resource
While most service members have to deal with the challenges of frequent moves or ever-changing housing needs, each individual needs to consider their own specific situation when deciding whether to rent or sell.
Both options present pros and cons and will be influenced by your personal preferences. Whether you choose to rent your home, AHRN.com is here to support you with easy-to-manage listings or by helping you find military housing as you report to your new installation.