So Which Is Best: Renting Out or Selling My Home?

We frequently talk to homeowners in Pittsburgh who are moving into a different home or leaving the area for work or other responsibilities who aren’t sure what to do with their property. 

Deciding whether you want to sell or rent out your property is a very personal decision and there’s no single answer. 

Your decision will depend on a number of factors – contrary to what you might believe, though, not all of these factors involve finances!

Today, we’re going to share some of the points we talk through with owners who are deciding between renting out or selling their home.


#1: Consider Short and Long Term Financial Goals and Needs

If you need some immediate cash fast, it’s better to sell your property

Renting out a home can build wealth and earn you incredible profits, but it’s not going to happen right away. 

You need to settle into a long term investment strategy in order to make real money. 

So, if you’re looking for money to use as a down payment on a new home, you want to invest elsewhere, put a child through college, etc.; selling is better for you right now. 

However, when you don’t have an immediate need for the equity that’s in your property, it might be better for your financial future to rent out the home

You’ll earn some regular cash flow and hold onto your asset while it continues to appreciate in value. 

Long term investors will earn more by renting out the property.


#2: Think About the Value of a Great Tenant and a Maintained Home

As a rental property, your home has the potential to earn your regular income. 

A property with positive cash flow has higher earnings than expenses. 

For example: 

if you rent out your home for $1,500/month, your mortgage payment is $800 per month, and your taxes, insurance, and other expenses add up to $300 a month, you’re earning a pretty healthy cash flow. 


$1,500 / month      Your rental rate

-$800 / month        Mortgage payment

-$300 / month        Taxes, insurance, other expenses

$400 / month        Cash flow


Even if you’re breaking even with your income and expenses, remember that there are still several benefits to renting out your property:

  1. Your resident is paying down your mortgage
  2. Your asset is increasing in value
  3. Your resident is taking care of the property

If you’re preserving the condition of your property and keeping it occupied with great residents who pay rent on time and follow the terms of your lease, a rental will provide income and ROI for as long as you own it.


#3: Consider Renting the Property for Tax Benefits

Don’t forget the tax benefits of renting out a property! 

When you sell a home, you may have capital gains taxes to absorb. 

However, when you rent out your property, you can protect yourself from a lot of tax liability. 

Depreciation is a deduction you can take, and you can also deduct the costs of maintaining your home. 

Additionally, professional services like property management are tax-deductible.


#4: Don’t Forget to Take Emotions into Account

When it comes to a home, there are also some emotional elements involved. 

If you can’t bear the thought of someone else living in your home while you’re still attached to it, it may be better to sell and move on. 

If you might return to the Pittsburgh area at some point in the future, keep it so you have a place to live when you come back.

We’re Here to Help

We’d be happy to talk through these issues with you, and to figure out the solution that will make the most sense for your bottom line and your peace of mind. 

Contact us at Arbors Management today!