Receiving Permanent Change-of-Station orders is a stressful time for any service member, but it's even worse when you own your home. You don't have any say in your move, and you typically only have a few months to do something about your home. Should you rent it out or sell it? Both have their advantages and disadvantages. To find out how to decide on the best option before your PCS, read on.
Renting Out Your Home
It's fairly common for military members to simply rent out their homes after they've been given PCS orders. If you're near a base, listing your home for rent at a price near the military's Monthly Housing Allowance is a good way to attract tenants.
Despite the fact that it may be easy to find a tenant, renting does have some significant downsides. You're taking on the responsibility of a landlord, so you'll be responsible for keeping your house in good condition and dealing with any maintenance emergencies that arise. It can be difficult to do that long-distance after a move, and it can easily become stressful trying to manage being a landlord along with your career.
Selling Your Home
Selling your home before your military relocation is a good way to get some quick money, especially if you have significant equity in your home. If your home is in good condition and the housing market in your neighborhood is good, you stand to gain quite a bit of money by selling your home. This helps with your military relocation expenses, including purchasing or renting a home in your new location.
The downside, of course, is that houses don't always sell. For a civilian, this can be a major setback. However, it's livable. For a member of the military, it's a serious problem — once you get your PCS orders, you're relocating regardless of whether or not your home sells.
What's The Best Option?
You can see that deciding to rent out your home or deciding to sell it both have major risks. Assuming you're not dead-set on one or the other, it's best to take a blended approach before your relocation. By doing this, you can mitigate your risk.
The moment you receive your PCS orders, contact a Military Relocation Professional. MRPs are real estate agents that take extra certification courses that give them a greater understanding of the way military relocation works. They understand the urgency with which military members need to sell their homes, and working with one can boost your chance of a quick sale.
You'll want to list your home on the market quickly in order to give potential buyers time to see it. Hopefully, you can manage to close on a deal before you have to transfer. If you can't however, then you can still work with your MRP — unlike most other real estate agents, they also help people find homes for rent.
If your transfer date is looming and it doesn't look like your home will sell in time, your MRP can help you look for a tenant who is a member of the military. Afterward, you can hire a property management company to perform landlord duties for you — you'll make less in rent, but you don't have to manage it yourself.
Overall, this approach to military relocation minimizes your risk. Your home has ample time on the market, and you'll be able to have your property managed for you if it doesn't sell.
Fo more information, contact a military relocation service.