Home & Leisure



The Dilemma: Do I Sell, Lease or Stay?

Ron Wynne on

It's a big decision. People often sell their homes when they are going through life changes such as aging, health issues, divorce, finances, etc. Many times, when people retire, they start to think about how they can live on a comfortable budget. That might mean selling your home and putting your money to work for you. Of course, you could rent your property, but if rental prices are high and it's, therefore, hard to fill vacancies, it might not worth it. When people own their house free and clear, staying put is usually cheaper than moving, unless you put your money to work for you through a financial planner and offset your moving expenses. If you are looking to buy again, you should take advantage of tax advantages and avoid scenarios that would bring an exorbitant amount of taxes.

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 their house is way too large, but lately, people have just been separating off a room and renting it out. Those with health problems or needs due to aging often prefer in-house assisted care to board-and-care options if they can afford it.

Elective/arbitrary moving has become less and less common. It's just expensive to pack up and move into a new house, not to mention repairs that need to be made, commissions that need to be paid and unforeseen things that come up. That said, 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 for you.

If you sell your primary residence and have lived in that home for at least two out of the last five years before the sale, there is a capital gains tax exclusion of up to $250,000 for single people and up to $500,000 for married people. Therefore, you might rent your property for up to three years before you sell. If your property is a rental property, you can 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, that person could inherit your property tax-free, depending on your state laws and the size of your estate. Check with your CPA and tax attorney about whether or not this consideration should be made for you in particular.


There are many factors to weigh when considering whether to keep your property, lease your property or sell your property. Feel free to call me to discuss the possibilities.


For more information, please call Ron Wynn at 310-963-9944, or email him at Ron@RonWynn.com. To find out more about Ron and read his past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate, Inc.



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