Homeowners Consider Cashing Out to Rent

By: Amir Efrati: The Wall Street Journal
Homeowners in the hottest real estate markets increasingly are thinking about cashing out and renting until property prices weaken. They are attempting to time the market themselves, monitoring local prices to determine when the peak has been reached.

These are run-of-the-mill homeowners who have watched the value of their primary assets soar in recent years, as opposed to speculators who specialize in flipping homes and rentals to turn a profit.

However, financial experts recommend cashing out only if downsizing or a relocation was already on the horizon. They take the risk of selling too soon and missing out on substantial gains in value, and some discover that they have priced themselves out of the market.

According to research by the Corcoran Group, a Manhattan apartment purchased in 1982 for $237,000 was worth 187 percent more, or $660,000, in 1988. However, the value of the same apartment slid to $397,000 in 1995, bouncing back up to its previous peak four years later.


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