Selling To Renting Opinions
I would like some insight/thoughts on the following scenario.
I have a friend who owns their home (has a mortgage). They bought when prices were high and their payments are a lot for them, but they are making it. The neighborhood they live in is established and is one of the best in our area (many historic homes, a great park, good school). The home is smaller and needs some renovations, but it has a huge yard and her husband can do all the work himself. They are making it every month, but things are tight. They recently had a third child which wasn't in their original plans.
She told me they thinking of selling their house and renting. She claims they want out of the area (feels crime is on the rise, and things in outlying areas are not so great) and have their eyes on an area about 40 minutes away. She says they think they will sell the house (They will make possibly 15,000 when they walk away...when I say make I mean they will pocket. They have put a lot more into the house than that)and pay off all their debt and move into a rental for a few years and save for something else.
I have told her to really think this through because I have always been told owning is better than renting. I feel they are making a big mistake and will regret it. I am posting here, because she has repeatedly asked for my advice, but I want to make sure my feelings aren't getting in the way too much. Here are some other things I think of in this situation...
1. All of their friends (and many family members) live within five miles of current home. They have three young children.
2. She is a flight attendant and is out of town at least two-three days a week.
3. Her husband works construction and has long hours (when he is working)
4. They do not know much about the area they are thinking of moving to other than it looks cute.
I can see that getting out of debt and not struggling each month would be enticing. However, they are not desitute. They live okay. I could also see them doing this if in a few years the potential for their income to go way up was there. However, they won't be seeing any major income spikes. She will get increases, but his income is not likely to go way up. I fear that with the way things are going in a few years they may have hard time getting into something else...they will essentially be looking at a house similar to what they have now. I think her thought is that in a few years they are going to be able to buy in a nicer, newer neighborhood and reality is (at least in my eyes) that doesn't seem realistic. What things could I share with my friend that I might not be seeing? I would love for her to stay in her current home because I see it having so much potential and being in a great neighborhood. I think my biggest concern is they are being unrealistic about where they think they should end up. I also feel like she has no idea what renting will be like with three children. Along with that, I fear they won't save and in three years they will not have money to put down on a house. Again, I would just like some insight so when she asks me again I can share all viewpoints with her. Thanks!