The Dilemma: Do I sell, lease, or stay?

By Ron Wynn


It’s a big decision knowing what to do. People often sell their homes when they are going through life changes, which are aging, health issues, divorce, financial reasons, etc. Many times when people retire, they start to think about how they can live on a comfortable budget. Some of it might mean to sell your home and put your money to work for you. Of course, if you’re going to stay in the area, rents are very high and it sometimes just doesn’t pay. On the other hand, when people own their house free and clear, staying put is usually cheaper than to move anywhere else. That is not entirely true. If you put your money to work for you through a financial planner, you can also offset your expenses. If you are looking to buy again and you don’t take advantage of proposition 60, your taxes are going to be exorbitant, if you are purchasing up from the price for which you sold.


Some owners sell because they are tired of the traffic and need to get away while others want to move closer to family. Of course, some people say “our house is way too large;” however, lately people have just been shutting off a room and renting them out.

Elective/arbitrary moving has become less and less common. It is just too expensive to pack up and move into a new house. It is expensive, with repairs needing to be made, commissions that need to be paid, and unforeseen things that come up. On the other hand, if you can see yourself living somewhere where property values are lower, you can buy a beautiful place for a fourth of your equity and put the rest to work with you. Prices are often very affordable in most other places.

If you are married, there is a $500,000 tax deduction if it is your primarily residence and you qualify. Also, if you have lived in your property at least two out of the last five years, you still qualify for the same deduction. Therefore, you might rent your property for up to three years. If your property is a rental property, you can also exchange it for another rental property, but that will not help you in terms of where you will live as your primary residence.

Finally, if you hold your property for your next of kin to inherit, with today’s tax laws, they will more than likely inherit your property tax free unless you have a sizable estate. Be sure to check with your CPA and tax attorney whether or not this consideration should be made for you in particular. There are many alternatives and options, whether to keep your property, to lease your property, or to sell your property. Some people prefer “in house” assisted care as an alternative to moving to a “board and care” if they can afford it and would much prefer that, to moving. Feel free to call me to discuss alternatives and possibilities. You have many options to consider.

For real estate advice, or if you have any questions, reach out to Ron Wynn at [email protected]



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