The house that no one wants, but I'm stuck with
December 13, 2013 3:15 PM Subscribe
I'm in a pickle - I own a house that I've been renting out for several years but things recently soured with the tenants and property managers and it is now vacant. Listed for sale but market is painfully slow - should I hold out for a buyer or list it for rent again?
posted by photo guy to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Quick background: Bought the property in 2007 (in suburban Kansas) for use as a primary residence. Sudden layoff + extended unemployment led me to start renting out house via property manager 2009 - 2013. New job required me to move far away (first to the east coast, then overseas) - I currently am stationed in Germany till 2015. Tried briefly selling property in 2009 before renting out, but the lowball offer I accepted fell through. Listed house again Nov 2013 when relations with property manager soured.
- House had unusually good "bones" for the area (many houses in the neighborhood have hidden structural defects and water-leakage issues, but mine is quite solid) but admiteddly needed a little minor TLC and a few cosmetic updates.
- House is close to a school and very nice park. Is in a cute 1940-1950s era suburb away from major roads and highways.
- Area is extremely quiet, lots of families with young kids and retirees (e.g. few young people in the area or colleges nearby). The vast majority of houses are owner-occupied. Guess this could be good or bad.
- Thanks to careful planning and years of saving, I have a ton of equity (approx 27-28%) and am otherwise in pretty good financial shape.
- House has a very unusual spiral staircase on one side of living room leading to basement (only other entrance to basement is through garage, common in houses that age). I liked it, but most buyers think the stairs are "dangerous" or "awkward-looking" and it really kills the saleability; I think buyers get turned off as soon as they see that damn staircase.
- House is a tad dated and well overdue for some TLC. This is part of the reason relations soured with prop manager, they did not tell me when work needed to be done. Hired a handyman who is fixing most of these issues (new paint, minor pluming issues, various lawnwork, etc) over the next couple of months.
- My current job pays very well, but employer sadly did not provide a relocation package nor a "buy-out" option to help with getting rid of my current property.
- I am 6000 miles away and am crazy-busy most of the time. I really don't have time to even think about this house - my poor father who is local has been having to do all the legwork for listing the property, repairs, etc.
- My understanding is that since I am no longer actively trying to rent it out, I can no longer get the tax write-off benefits of having rental property (e.g. all the money I'm losing is no longer tax-deductible). Please correct me if I'm wrong.
To the questions: House is listed with a reputable agent, but have had very little interest from buyers since listing (poss in part due to time of year?). Should I keep it on the market or go back to renting it out? Any other options I haven't considered???