Facing Foreclosure? A Logical Alternative
“Why not rent your house and let your tenants pay the mortgage for you?”
Property owners who can’t pay their mortgage(s) for various reasons must make serious and timely choices. One choice is to ask their lender for permission to sell short of what they owe (shortsale). Not desirable because this choice could take months to resolve itself. Another choice is to allow foreclosure to occur, which eventually leads to eviction and huge personal trauma. Both choices are financially hazardous and WILL take their long-term toll on credit reports. On the other hand, picture someone who gets a cross-country job transfer after recently purchasing. Unless the employer picks up all expenses or loss, selling so soon will simply cost too much. Imagine this happening in a plunging real estate market. A transferred home owner could easily find himself upside down with very little hope of recovery.
Renting the property might just be the answer. Finding a good tenant, charging a fair rent amount, and having the property professionally managed buys time for the home owner. The question is always asked, “Why not let the tenant pay your mortgage for you?” While the sales market value decreases it is very common that rental values increase because people still need places to live. Tenants are somewhat conditioned to expect rent increases each year. Even if the rent amount is not equal to or greater than the mortgage, insurance, real estate taxes combined, often times landlords can handle some negative monthly cashflow better than they can handle selling short, foreclosing and losing their home altogether, or coming up with several thousand dollars at the settlement table. One thing is for sure, there are certainly temporary highs and lows in a typical real estate market, but generally real estate values appreciate over time.
So renting might be a logical alternative, but it could be overwhelming unless you have help. You’ll need to figure out what you want to accomplish with your particular situation, study the market, decide whether renting is beneficial (or not), find professional help, and go for it!