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Subject:  Re: To become a landlord or not ? Date:  4/2/2011  7:32 PM
Author:  aj485 Number:  112915 of 127613

We were interrupted by one agent with some potential buyers. There was a big stack of realtor cards in the kitchen. People are definitely visiting.

If you are getting lots of visits, but no offers, there is something wrong. Generally, that's price.

Most likely, I would start with 1 year lease with a tenant, then go month to month after that. And if market conditions, improve, kick the tenant out and sell. If not, continue to rent it out.

Seems like a gamble with a variable rate loan.

Well, if rates aren't going anywhere I'm fine keeping the HELOC. I just fear that they will be higher in 3 years.

I wouldn't count on rates staying the same for all that long. From this article

Charles I. Plosser, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, said an increase in economic growth or inflation could require the Fed to begin withdrawing its record monetary stimulus and possibly raise its main interest rate by the end of this year.
some central bankers are focusing on the strategy and timing for shrinking the Fed's record $2.63 trillion balance sheet and eventually raising interest rates above the zero-to-0.25 percent range that has been in place since December 2008. The committee sets the Fed's policy on interest rates.

"We should not be too sanguine in believing that such a time is a long way off or that the process will only be gradual," Plosser said.

Fisher said the Fed was moving closer to a period where reversing its accommodative policies "makes a lot more sense." He said the economy now was "self-sustaining."

With trial balloons like this being flown, rate increases probably won't take 3 years to materialize.

At 5.625% fixed rate on investment property, with principal payment included, the loan payment would be $1439. Monthly cash flow would be about $500 negative with today's rents.

Seems like an argument to sell. You seem to be in a place where you can either bleed away money through rate increases on the HELOC or negative cash flow after refinancing, or you can get it over with all at once by selling. Since you have said you don't want to be a landlord, that argues toward selling.

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