If you’re a homeowner ready to make a move, you may be thinking about using your current house as a short-term rental property instead of selling it. A short-term rental (STR) is typically offered as an alternative to a hotel, and they’re an investment that’s gained popularity in recent years. According to a Harris Poll survey, 28% of homeowners have considered using a rental service to temporarily rent out their home for additional income.
Owning a short-term rental can be a tempting idea, but you may find the reality of being responsible for one difficult to take on. Here are some of the challenges you could face if you rent out your house instead of selling it.
A Short-Term Rental Comes with Responsibilities
Successfully owning and renting a house takes work. Think through your ability to make that commitment, especially if you plan to use a platform that advertises your rental listing. Most of them have specific requirements hosts have to meet, and it takes a lot of work. A recent article from Bankrate explains:
“Managing a rental property can be time-consuming and challenging. Are you handy and able to make some repairs yourself? If not, do you have a network of affordable contractors you can reach out to in a pinch? Consider whether you want to take on the added responsibility of being a landlord, which means screening tenants and fielding issues, among other responsibilities, or paying for a third party to take care of things instead.”
Not only is there the upfront time and cost of owning a short-term rental, but there are also risks that could come up for you down the road. Investopedia warns:
“Risks of hosting include renting your place to rude guests, theft or damaged property, complaints from neighbors, and potential regulatory violations depending on your location.”
There’s a lot to consider before taking the leap and converting your house into a short-term rental. If you aren’t ready for the work it takes, it could be wiser to sell instead.
Your House May Not Be Ideal for Your Rental Goals
Not every house ends up being a profitable short-term rental either. One of the biggest factors is where your home is located. The less likely your neighborhood is to be a travel destination, the fewer requests you should expect from potential renters—and that impacts your bottom line. An article from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) advises:
“When it comes to the viability of profitable STRs . . . consider factors like location, amenities, and whether the property is appealing. Most people seek STRs in locations where they vacation, so proximity to attractions is important. Likewise, the property should cater to a variety of travelers.”
It’s smart to do your homework and learn how much rentals in your area go for, how much business they get throughout the year, and how this compares to your goals.
Converting your home into a short-term rental isn’t a decision you should make without doing your research. To decide if selling your house is a better alternative, talk with a local real estate advisor today.
As mortgage rates rose last year, activity in the housing market slowed down. And as a result, homes started seeing fewer offers and stayed on the market longer. That meant some homeowners decided to press pause on selling.
Now, however, rates are beginning to come down—and buyers are starting to reenter the market. In fact, the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) shows mortgage applications increased last week by 7% compared to the week before.
So, if you’ve been planning to sell your house but you’re unsure if there will be anyone to buy it, this shift in the market could be your chance. Here’s what experts are saying about buyers returning to the market as we approach spring.
Mike Fratantoni, SVP and Chief Economist, MBA:
“Mortgage rates are now at their lowest level since September 2022, and about a percentage point below the peak mortgage rate last fall. As we enter the beginning of the spring buying season, lower mortgage rates and more homes on the market will help affordability for first-time homebuyers.”
“The upcoming months should see a return of buyers, as mortgage rates appear to have already peaked and have been coming down since mid-November.”
Thomas LaSalvia, Senior Economist, Moody’s Analytics:
“We expect the labor market to remain robust, wages to continue to rise—maybe not at the pace that they did during the pandemic, but that will open up some opportunity for folks to enter homeownership as interest rates stabilize a bit.”
Sam Khater, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac:
“Homebuyers are waiting for rates to decrease more significantly, and when they do, a strong job market and a large demographic tailwind of Millennial renters will provide support to the purchase market.”
If you’ve been thinking about making a move, now’s the time to get your house ready to sell. Contact a local real estate professional to learn about buyer demand in your area and the best time to put your house on the market.
There are plenty of good reasons you might be ready to move. No matter your motivations, before you list your current house, you need to consider where you’ll go next.
In today’s market, it makes sense to explore all your options. That includes both homes that have been lived in before as well as newly built ones. To help you decide which is right for you, let’s compare the benefits of each. Regardless of which option you choose to explore, working with a trusted real estate professional throughout the process is essential.
The Benefits of Newly Built Homes
First, let’s look at the benefits of purchasing a newly constructed home. With a brand-new house, you’ll be able to:
1. Build your dream home
If you build a home from the ground up, you’ll have the option to select the custom features you want, including appliances, finishes, landscaping, layout, and more. Bankrate puts it like this:
“Building means customizing. . . . instead of wishing your home had a certain kind of flooring, a sunroom or some other special amenity, you’ll be able to tailor the property to your exact needs. You also won’t be limited to a specific location or neighborhood.”
2. Take advantage of builder concessions
In today’s market, a lot of home builders are working hard to sell their current inventory before they add more to their mix. That means many of them are offering concessions and are more willing to negotiate with buyers. That could work to your advantage in the process.
3. Minimize home repairs
Many builders offer a warranty, so you’ll have peace of mind on unlikely repairs. Plus, you won’t have as many little improvement projects to tackle. As realtor.com says:
“. . . if something goes wrong with your new home, not only are there likely some manufacturer warranties in place, but many builders also include additional home warranties . . .”
4. Take advantage of energy efficiency
When building a home, you can choose brand-new, energy-efficient options to help lower your utility costs, protect the environment, and reduce your carbon footprint.
The Benefits of Existing Homes
Now, let’s compare those to the perks that come with buying an existing home. With a pre-existing home, you can:
1. Explore a wider variety of home styles and floorplans
With decades of homes to choose from, you’ll have a broader range of floorplans and designs available.
2. Appreciate that lived-in charm
The character of older homes is hard to reproduce. If you value timeless craftsmanship or design elements, you may prefer an existing home.
3. Join an established neighborhood
Existing homes give you the option to get to know the neighborhood, community, or traffic patterns before you commit. Plus, they have more developed landscaping and trees, which can give you additional privacy and curb appeal.
4. Move in faster
If you have a short timeframe to move or you just don’t want the process to take several months while your home is under construction, buying an existing home might make sense for you. U.S. News explains:
“When you’re choosing a home, existing or new, you should also consider how long it might take to move into that home. Just because you have a contract doesn’t mean that your new home will be completed (or even started) at the time you agree to the purchase. It can be a struggle waiting for the walls to go up as you wonder what your home will become.”
When thinking about where you’ll go after you sell your house, remember your options. As you start your search, think about what’s most important to you. By working with a trusted real estate agent, you can be confident you’re making the most educated, informed decision.
If you have questions about the options in your area, meet with a local real estate professional to discuss what’s available and what’s right for you.
Last year, the housing market slowed down in response to higher mortgage rates, and that had an impact on home prices. If you’re thinking of selling your house soon, that means you’ll want to adjust your expectations accordingly. As realtor.com explains:
“. . . some of the more prominent pandemic trends have changed, so sellers might wish to adjust accordingly to get the best deal possible.”
In a more moderate market, how you price your house will make a big difference to not only your bottom line, but to how quickly your house could sell. And the reality is, homes priced right are still selling in today’s market.
Why Pricing Your House Appropriately Matters
Especially today, your asking price sends a message to potential buyers.
If it’s priced too low, you may leave money on the table or discourage buyers who may see a lower-than-expected price tag and wonder if that means something is wrong with the home.
If it’s priced too high, you run the risk of deterring buyers. When that happens, you may have to lower the price to try to reignite interest in your house when it sits on the market for a while. But be aware that a price drop can be seen as a red flag by some buyers who will wonder what that means about the home.
To avoid either headache, price it right from the start. A real estate professional knows how to determine that ideal asking price. They balance the value of homes in your neighborhood, current market trends, buyer demand, the condition of your house, and more to find the right price. This helps lead to stronger offers and a greater likelihood your house will sell quickly.
The visual below helps summarize the impact your asking price can have:
Homes that are priced at current market value are still selling. To make sure you price your house appropriately, maximize your sales potential, and minimize your hassle, reach out to a trusted real estate professional.
During the pandemic, second homes became popular because of the rise in work-from-home flexibility. That’s because owning a second home, especially in the luxury market, allowed those homeowners to spend more time in their favorite places or with different home features. Keep in mind, a luxury home isn’t only defined by price. In a recent article, Investopedia shares additional factors that push a home into this category: location, such as a home on the water or in a desirable city, and features, the things that make the home itself feel luxurious.
A recent report from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) explains just how much remote work impacted the demand for second and luxury homes:
“The unprecedented ten-fold increase towards remote work since the pandemic is an historic development that will continue to fuel second home demand for many years to come.”
But what if you bought a second home that you no longer use? If you’re now shifting back into the office or are seeing your priorities and needs change, you may find you’re not utilizing your second home as much. If so, it may be time to sell it.
And if you own what’s considered a luxury home, buyer demand for it may be even greater. In another report, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing explains:
“. . . the last few years have left their legacy for the luxury market. While it might only represent a small percentage of the overall real estate market, luxury homeownership’s influence is growing. Not only has the purchase of homes valued over $1 million (a figure considered by the National Association of Realtors to be a benchmark for luxury) tripled from 2.6% to 6.5% since 2018, but demand for multiple luxury properties has soared over the last two years.
This phenomenal increase has been driven by a growing affluent demographic who consider owning a luxury property a necessity in their asset portfolio. All indications are that this trend is here to stay, albeit that demand is set to return to a more sustainable level.”
If you own a luxury second home that isn’t being used as much anymore, now’s the time to sell. There are still buyers in the market who are looking for a home like yours today.
Connect with your real estate advisor to explore the benefits of selling your second home this year.