I'm relocating - need help deciding to rent or sell my current house
September 27, 2016 4:32 AM   Subscribe

I need to move house 150 miles away for a new job after being made redundant from my current job. I'm in the UK, my mortgage can be paid off with my redundancy payment, and I'm going to rent in the new city. I'm having a lot of trouble in deciding what to do with my current house - sell it or rent it out. Help me decide what to do.

Reasons not to sell - rental income, plus the house has generally been increasing in value. If I sold, the money would likely be on deposit, earning not much interest, for at least a year or two.

Reasons to sell - I'm worried about the potential hassle of renting out a place 150 miles away. I've never rented out before, I've had an intensely stressful few months dealing with loss of job and scrambling to find a new one. Now I have a house move followed by starting a fairly demanding new job, so I need to be as kind to myself as possible.

The house was built in the 1960s and I've had a few repairs to deal with recently and dealing with that kind of thing from a distance while working long hours worries me.

Specifically, I had a plumber come to service the boiler today and he is recommending I replace it, cost around £2200. It could potentially be repaired for a minimal sum but is 20 years old and over time he could forsee more repairs. If I'm selling, I would fix it. The kitchen, where it is located, is dated although clean and serviceable and I'm sure a buyer would remodel it anyway. If renting, probably would replace it to minimise future hassles.

I've not lived in rented accommodation for many years so I'm not sure how I'll feel about it, having owned my own place for many years. I have briefly visited the new city, I barely know it, but if the new job works out well, I might want to buy a place there. At which point I'd either have to take a large mortgage or sell old house to pay for it. So it might not be worth hanging on to the old house for only a year or two.

I keep going round in circles and can't decide, but time is up and I have to!
posted by ElasticParrot to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Since you do not immediately need the proceeds from the sale of the estate, I would: put off the decision for a bit -- you know, procrastination, the easiest way to be a grown-up -- by paying a rental agency (normally a % of the rent on this side of the pond) and seeing how that goes for a year or two. If you don't like landlording even with somebody taking care of the details, and/or you do want to buy again -- sell then.

Other 'should I rent' threads here have had a mix of 'No, landlording is terrible' and 'Yes, but use an agency to rent it for you; it was worth every cent' answers... (I am not a landlady but know a number of people who rent; the only time I hear bad stories {rare} is when the person tried to do it all themselves and did not do it very well; it's a job and you need to either expect that or farm it out to an agency, you need to vet your tenants well, etc.)

(And, because you might be selling in a year or two, I'd just fix rather than replace the boiler for now.)
posted by kmennie at 4:43 AM on September 27, 2016

Don't sell. Renting out need not be the hassle you are fearing - but I would invest in the new boiler because 20 years is end-of-life-cycle really. If the kitchen is clean and serviceable, just replace some of the appliances (tenants love brand new appliances), at a fraction of the cost of a total refit.

You don't even need an agent. I have used www.openrent.co.uk and found it excellent. They will reference your tenants for you. Have a few small jobs done on the place before you leave and forge a relationship with the builders/plumbers who do them, then you have someone to call if there's a leak or whatever. It's a hassle upfront but then again half the letting agents out there are not much use when things go wrong. Good luck!
posted by Coda Tronca at 5:06 AM on September 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Get a letting agent and let the place for a while. I live overseas and my UK property is no hassle at all other than having to do a UK tax return. I occasionally get very pleasant emails from my letting agent informing me about a repair or tenancy renewal options and if tenants elect not to renew they tell me about viewings and interested prospective tenants. It is minimal effort and in the last almost six years my place has been empty for a total of 4 weeks - basically a few days between old tenant moving out and new tenant moving in. So if the letting market in your city is good this couldn't be easier. Get a few quotes and see if anybody in your circle can recommend anybody as well.
posted by koahiatamadl at 5:26 AM on September 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

For sure i would rent it mostly due to the finances. If you will have little or no morrgage payment that becomes a revenue stream (assuming job $ used to pay mortgage now oays your rent or a new mortgage). Passive income and a guaranteed nest egg are amazing options to have. I both rented myself and used a property manager and far prefer using the manager. For me it was a well deserved 10% fee.
posted by chasles at 6:37 AM on September 27, 2016

I don't know how expensive it is in the UK, but I pay 5% to a property manager and it's worth every cent. I still clear a couple of hundred per month over the mortgage and I own a house that I'll probably move back to eventually.
posted by Huck500 at 7:00 AM on September 27, 2016

As someone who has been trying to decide whether to sell or rent my place out, it really comes down to what will make you happier in the short and long term. Like you, I got a lot of people advising me to rent the place out, because it could make better money than the equity invested in the stock market. But I just don't want the hassle, so I'm going to sell, and am very happy with that decision. So listen to financial logic, but also your gut.
posted by ldthomps at 7:48 AM on September 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older 5:2 Diet with a Thyroid Condition?   |   How do I gift a small share in a stock to a child? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.