I can think of 2 things you can do.
The first would be to hire a propert manager to rent out and keep an eye on your property and find new renters if necessary. If you just break even on the expenses, you'll be doing OK.
The second suggestion would be seller financing. If you can sell the house but hold the mortgage yourself, perhaps with a 5-year balloon payment, you could get a better price.
We, too, had the same dilemma when we were transferred to another state. We managed for 10 years to rent our home with the help of family, friends, and some hired help. It worked for us. The best advice I can give you is screen, screen, screen. It avoids many problems. We had a couple of bad apples over the years, but nothing major. You should market your house as an "executive residence," and contact local companies, hospitals, colleges, that may have people moving to the area that would be potential tenants.
If it is worth a 1/3 to a 1/2 _after_ lots of improvements then you could be waiting a lot of years.
We incidentally are in the same boat, and we are just figuring whether we can retire without the equity in the house. We figure that the house has no value (to us), so we could just walk away, and it would be a weight off our shoulders and a credit score hit for a few years. We have done the numbers and figure that the costs of keeping the house far outweigh the likely capital gain as it creeps back up to the mortgage value and into positive territory over the next 10 years.
Our solution has been to refinance our primary residence (which has a small home equity line against it) and fold in the mortgage on our rental property, which will cut our payment in half and give us the income rather than what we've been paying the bank. Our situation is somewhat unique as the rental property is considered a commercial loan and we're paying higher interest. The residential loan will be a couple of points lower and between the 2 loans, we will be saving half.
The plan is to sell it when price are closer to normal and pay off the entire mortgage and. one hopes, have a nest egg left over.
Not sure if this will be helpful to you or not. Good luck.
If you decide to rent and are too far away to manage the rental yourself, hire a property manager to take care of rental and maintenance. They usually charge 10-20%.- -A. Penuel
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