Never sell primary residence?

I know many have the general opinion “never sell.” If I end up moving out of state, I’d have to decide what to do w/ my home in Contra Costa. Zillow thinks I can rent it for just over my PITI, so it looks like a rent/price ratio of like 0.5%. This may be optimistic. I know the biggerpockets folks like a ratio of 1%, but I’ve seen some here say that 0.5% can be OK. Either way, it’s not particularly attractive to me and I’d be an out-of-state landlord.

So what do you think you would do, assuming there’s no financial need to get equity out of the property right now? If I keep it as a rental, we could always come back without worry about being priced out. But I hate the idea of renters living in my home… finishes are not “rental” quality so I assume major repairs would be needed later.

I am in a similar situation and am staring at rent/price ratio of 0.3%
My initial thoughts are to give it for rent for a year and see how the out-of-state landlord experience pans out. I did not consider the rent/price ratio until you mentioned it. What are the disadvantages of a low rent/price ratio like 0.3%?

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Sell get the $500k tax free…the best gift ever from Uncle Sam…Once you rent it out, you jeopardize that gift…


“Never Sell” is not correct, even for bay area !

Analyze before selling, pros and cons, profit or loss, rent vs sell etc - at various angles with your comfort.

When my friend moved to NC, he sold his Dublin home, got tax free cash, bought a new home at NC with full cash. At some point of time, we need to have loan free life.

Since you move out of bay area, better to sell and take $500k tax benefit which you can use it for your next home.


With Trump fooling around with taxes, you never know when the $500k tax free deal might disappear. I have used it several times…May use it again this summer…The best wealth building tool I know.


+1 for selling and taking the 500k max cap gain exemption. Why not? Clean slate and you will have all that cash to enjoy and investment. Do you really want to hire a management company or manage the property from out of state? Life is short and frankly you have better things to do. Since the getting is presumably still good now as you prep for sale, take the money and run. I don’t buy that the market locally will run away from you (esp in Contra Costa) forever.

too lazy to look it up, can you do this any number of times?


I am under the impression that I can still use the 500k exemption for 2 yrs after I rent. Will there be any complications wrt prorating for depreciation during rental period?

That is my understanding.

If you bought the house as primary and did not rent it out in the beginning, you can sell within 2 years and still get tax free gain. But Bette look it up or consult with a CPA for confirmation.

2 people are moving out of state and considering selling? It’s scary considering our small sample size here. If we have 50 people in the forum, that’s 4%.

Is the great migration away starting now?

I just did some research on that last month, I am actually listing my previous primary next month for the very reason. I moved out 1.5 years ago and rented it. I believe I still can claim the exemption up to 500K (250K for single filer). So as long as you don’t move back in after you move out, you got 3 years to sell. And you can repeat that process every 2 years.

So just don’t do Live -> Rent -> Live. If you do, your profit will be prorated.

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@myo Why are you selling? Dont think the rent makes sense for the PITI? Dont think fremont will appreciate @ the rate of south bay near term? Looking for more cash flow?

Primary motivation is purely location of family. I’d stay otherwise. CA housing prices, taxes, etc. are worth it to me for the area. Sure, it’ll be nice to have lower taxes and COL but that’s not the reason I’m thinking of leaving. Also, nothing is set in stone yet. Haven’t even looked for jobs.

Thanks all for the advice.

Primary motivation is to capture tax-free gain and I could restructure the proceed in more efficient way, who know might buy another one in Fremont with all the things going on. And wife now has realtor license, so cost of selling became lower.

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Should I get a realtor license if I sell my house? Commission is a lot of money, but I don’t have any connections in the biz. I can get the license by taking the test without any courses.

Get the license. .You still have to register under a broker. But you will save money…However there are plenty of brokers that will list for a low flat fee…

I would say go with a flat fee broker if only motivation to get realtor license is to save commissions on this one sale. Get a license if you have plans to use it for other txns as well.

Too small a sample size plus not enough visibility for people moving in to be aware of this forum would make this stat dangerously misleading

Any ballpark indication of what this flat fee is typically like?