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Selling vs. renting our house: how we knew the right choice (for us)

Along with a little ticket purchase last week, this summer has been a bit monumental for our family: we also sold our house. Yep, this house. We weren’t sure what we were going to do with the pad when we hit the skies for a year, but once we returned from our spring book tour road trip, we just knew. It was time to sell.

The alternative would have been to rent it out, which we were actually leaning towards. But when we wrote out all the pros and cons for either option, it was plainly clear that selling was the right option—for us.

Selling a house is a major decision, and the whys and the hows are about as black and white as a flamingo. Here are the reasons we knew it was best to sell—maybe you can relate.

1. It’s a seller’s market here.

Bend, Oregon is a strong seller’s market right now; even stronger a few months ago when we actually sold the the house. We did the math on what we’d get for the house, which we bought just a few years ago and remodeled extensively. That number convinced us it was worth it to finish those last remaining house projects over a (really tiring) month. We’re also fairly conservative with our money, and Bend’s market is risky since it fluctuates so heavily. I didn’t want to risk waiting till we got back.

Renting out vs. selling your home: tips to know what's best

2. We didn’t love stuff that we couldn’t change.

It’s a sweet house, and it’s served us well. There are things I absolutely love about it—the impeccable natural lighting throughout, the treehouse in the backyard, the overall layout. But there were things we didn’t love, and those things we couldn’t change: namely, the location and the size. After a year of living there, we realized that the location made our preferred lifestyle challenging (such as having only one car and walking most everywhere), and it actually felt too big. It’s hard to decrease your home’s square footage.

Those things eventually became important enough for us to want to sell, even if we weren’t about to travel.

Renting out vs. selling your home: tips to know what's best

3. We wouldn’t make the best landlords.

Our communication abilities will get a bit sketchy once we hit the road, and there are enough variables to owning a rental to make us potentially difficult to work with (even with a management company taking over the details). We could made it work without the other factors listed here, but in combination with the market’s condition and our location priorities, it would just feel more frustrating than profitable to lease out our home.

Renting out vs. selling your home: tips to know what's best

4. Having the house would hold us back.

If we rented it out, part of us would be thinking about the house back in the States, and in our situation, we want to be fully engaged with wherever we are in the world. Naturally this isn’t a universal case for everyone debating whether they should sell, but there are situations sometimes that couldn’t be fully enjoyed or embraced if there was also a house percolating in the background. We didn’t want that.

Renting out vs. selling your home: tips to know what's best

5. It was never our “forever house” to begin with.

Ultimately, here’s what it came down to: we’d put our house on the market even if we weren’t about to travel. We love Bend right now, so most likely we’d just look for another house in our town.

Once we realized our decision would be the same without travel in the equation, it was a no-brainer. Even when we bought the house, we never thought we’d be there long-term—it never felt like the house we’d grow old in. Because it didn’t hold our hearts, it was an easy decision.

Tips for knowing when to rent out vs when to sell your house.

We used the same stellar realtor to sell our house, and once more, Sarah was phenomenal. Finding her in the Endorsed Local Provider database was one of the best financial moves we’ve made since our arrival to Bend three years ago. If you need a realtor, I recommend checking out the ELP program to see who you can find in your area.

We trust Sarah implicitly—she knows our town’s market inside and out, she knows what sells a house, and she’s never pressured us to do anything unwise, unethical, or uncomfortable. She sealed the deal with a buyer who offered considerably more than our asking price, and the process was smooth as molasses (trust me, we kept waiting for something to go wrong. It never did.) Plus, she introduced us to our latest babysitter. Win.

What’s your town’s market like right now? Are you dealing with the indecision of whether to sell or buy?

This post is sponsored by Lampo Group’s ELP Program.

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