When it comes time to move, some homeowners strongly consider renting out their current property instead of selling it.  

It makes some sense - there has been a lot of writing done about how buying a home is ultimately cheaper than selling one, and so renting out a property you already own seems like this would be a good opportunity to generate more income.

It isn't bad, at face value.  Becoming an investor, however, is more work than many homeowners realize.  Here are 10 questions, courtesy of the KCM blog, that you should ask before you decide to rent out your home, rather than sell. Of course, it takes a certain kind of personality and risk tolerance as well.

  1. If your tenant says they can't afford to pay the rent this month due to other obligations, how will you respond?  This is most common during back-to-school time and holiday seasons.
  2. What percentage of tenants do you think can't afford to pay their rent?  Many homeowners cannot afford to make their mortgage payments either, in this economy.

5 Reasons to Sell TodayThis year, whether due to weather, economics, or a combination of the two, the spring market started later than is typical. Many home buyers are in the thick of their house hunt. Some home sellers are unsure if the time is right to sell, thinking that maybe they should wait until fall, or maybe wait another year to see where the market is headed (though waiting is most often costly.)

There are some great reasons that sellers should seek to list their home in the market as it is now.  Here are 5 great reasons, courtesy of the KCM blog.

1. Demand is exceptionally strong

Prospective home buyers are particularly ready to get out on the market, as many of them put off their house hunt after the extreme winter weather we experienced this year.  According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the number of buyers present in the market fell in December, January, and February, and respectively, there has been an upsurge in buyers in these past few months.  Buyers with high desire to buy lend to quick transactions that lend well to your asking price and timeline.

2. Competition will be less now than down the road

Supply is currently under the 6 months' supply mark, meaning in most markets (including Chicago) there are more buyers than there are homes. This bodes well for sellers, as less competition lends well to buyers meeting your asking price.

However, an upsurge in inventory is expected later this year, as a return to positive equity continues - allowing many homeowners the ability to sell. Additionally, new construction of single-family homes is beginning its increase as well, which does not lend favorably to selling an older home.  In other words, options are going to start increasing as the year progresses, putting your own property up against more competition.

3. The process will be quicker

What Turns Buyers OffWhen it comes time to sell your home, you want to make sure you're putting your best foot forward so that buyers will see themselves living in your home - and paying what you'd want them to pay.  In order to do so, make sure you're avoiding these top turn offs for buyers.

A room that isn't what it's supposed to be.

There's nothing like expecting to see a "3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, plus garage" as a buyer, and showing up at the actual site finding out that one bedroom has been converted into a personal gym and the garage has been re-made into a sweet rehearsal space for your up-and-coming garage band.

While your first thought may be, "But they can always convert it back into whatever they want," the simple truth is that many buyers aren't able to see above the pre-existing space (or even if they do, don't want to put in the work that may be required to convert it back).  Bedrooms and garages specifically are spaces that can be a make-or-break for many buyers - and believe us, they want bedrooms and garages to be what they're supposed to be.

Hardwood floors that are completely covered by carpet.

Hardwood floors add a clean, high design look that many buyers today want to see.  Covering it up with carpet can dissuade buyers with allergies or those who want a more low-maintenance cleaning environment.  It is best to simply let the buyer decide if they want to cover them up themselves, rather than having to imagine past the carpet you already have.

Pools.

How to Rebound from a Short SaleShort sales allow homeowners who are "under water" (owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth) to sell their home.  This is the case when a lender agrees to accept less than what is owed on the property, helping the borrower ultimately avoid foreclosure (one of many options).

But how does a borrower come back from this type of transaction?  Doesn't a short sale brand you as a "high-risk" borrower for the future?

There are some ways, according to the New York Times, that homeowners in this situation can bounce back.  Here are some suggestions.

Keep Great Documentation

When you're looking to buy your next home, Fannie Mae automatically requires a waiting period of at least 4 years when for sellers who can only put down 10 percent down (2 years for 20 percent) - essentially, a penalty.  

According to Myron Headen, senior vice president in the residential mortgage division of Bryn Mawr Trust in Pennsylvania, Fannie does in fact allow the 4 year period to be cut in half for borrowers who can document "extenuating circumstances" - meaning one-time events beyond the control of the borrower, such as: job loss, medical bills, a financial hit from divorce.  Be prepared to show that you had no reasonable option other than to default.

Additionally, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has a "Back to Work" program that extends borrowing privileges to applicants that would otherwise be ineligible who are able to prove that their financial problems were the result of a one-time event, AND that they were able to re-establish satisfactory credit for the last year.

Pay Attention To Your Credit While Waiting

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