Other VanOrden Posts

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Leasing versus Selling our Alaskan Home

We have lived in our beautiful 5 bedroom Alaskan home for 14 years as of July 2012.  All but our oldest two sons “grew-up” here along the Eagle River in one of the most amazing river valleys in the world.  It is the home we will always remember as our real home.  Over 38 years of marriage we never came close to staying in the same house this long. 

Two months ago we reluctantly put it on the market to sell.  It’s painful to have people looking at our beloved castle with a critical eye.  Most have loved the home, but it is a pricey venture to buy a 3200 square foot river-bluff property with all the moose and bears that come with it. 

On Monday a fine young couple came through the house to see if it is the one they would like to rent while they are stationed here in Alaska. They raved at the entire tour and especially the mountain views out our third floor bedroom window.   He is a dentist in the military and needs a 3 year lease.  I prefer to sell, but really liked this young couple and think they will live lightly with no pets or smoking in our home.  So we are now leaning toward leasing. 

Here are the issues with changing our property to a rental:

1) When we eventually sell we will have to consider capital gains taxes.

2) About 20% of rental income needs to be put aside to pay for potential damage and/or maintenance. 

3) Worrying about a property 3000 miles from where we will be living in retirement will bring some stress no matter how well it goes.

4) We have to consider whether we will depreciate the home for tax purpose while it is a rental property.

5) Will our new carpet survive renter?  etc, etc. etc... 

Looking carefully at all the ramifications and consulting our tax accountant are necessary steps as we evaluate.  But it is looking like we will lease and we are feeling good closure from that leaning.  Confirmation is always a comforting step in these big decisions.