I wish I’d purchased a home every year of my career, and that I still owned all 30 properties to provide me with steady income as I grow older. Yes, there would be headaches – maintaining properties, replacing furnaces, dealing with unpaid mortgages – but there would also be houses I purchased for $125,000 that would now sell for $450,000. Or houses I purchased for $175,000 that would now sell for $750,000. If I had 30 of those, I’d be in a different economic sphere.
Granted, I sacrificed owning those houses to pursue a life with more peace of mind and fewer additional expenses; I don’t regret that. I do own a few homes that are currently rented and that’s the maximum emotional and time capacity I have in light of all the other commitments in my life.
My suggestion is that you try to keep the home you own, ideally with a low interest rate and a long-term horizon. If you don’t live near the property, hire a professional property manager – someone who can find and qualify tenants, collect payments, and handle upgrades as necessary. A good property manager is worth more than what most of them charge, especially since they know the laws in your state regarding tenants and have experience with maintenance issues and evictions, should those issues come up. Of course, you’ll need to factor the cost of a property manager into your decision to sell or rent.
Town homes present a particularly convenient real estate ownership vehicle in terms of time management. There is minimal yard upkeep and the average town home has modest maintenance costs in general compared to a single family home. If you want some level of security, buy a home warranty that covers the major appliances, furnace, a/c unit, etc.
Real estate can be a worthwhile investment, but it’s not for everyone. Contact a Realtor® to learn whether your local market favors rentals. If you need to buy/sell a home in a place you don’t live and you need a Realtor, reach out to Relocation Nation, a phenomenal service that has a proprietary vetting system to match you with the best local Realtors in any area and personally connect you with them.
About Eric Stewart
Eric Stewart started his real estate career in 1987 and each year he and his group sell over 150 homes in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The Eric Stewart Group has completed more than 3,000 real estate transactions, placing Eric in the top 1% of Realtors® in the nation. With a comprehensive approach to marketing and a knack for negotiation, the Eric Stewart Group has built a reputation of trust and tireless persistence throughout the area.