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In 2014 I bought a small single residence fully paid for $96,078.43 that is currently about $153,203. After selling it (assuming that I can find a buyer for that price), after all taxes and expenses I'd walk away with $39,861 in profit. It makes about $450 a month in rent. Expenses are almost nothing. About $20 /mo in insurance and once in a couple of years, some fixing has to be done.

The tenant is a sweet old lady. I can't raise the rent too much if at all. I haven't done it until now.

I Sept 2019, I sold a similar apartment with similar numbers so that left me with about 100k in cash (besides owning my primary residence) that I am holding. I had some of it in VBIAX for a couple of years but I wasn't happy with the results so I sold it as well and am trying to make a short list of stocks that I wish to buy.

My earned income is (unfortunately) not high and I never have to pay taxes as I have a wife and 7 children ages 1.5 - 17.5 all who are living at home. I have never hit the threshold for taxes. On may 1 I will have to file for unemployment (3rd time in 8 years) do to the corona slowdown.

I am 50 years old in case that will affect the answers I get.

The apartments in the area overall went up in value since 2014 but it doesn't look like it will continue as there are a lot undesirables who live in the area (besides my own observation, brokers have told me so as well) so the area only attracts lower income residents, but one never knows if the value will won't increase.

Assuming my numbers are correct, what would be a compelling reason to sell this apartment now and put the money in stocks (or I am open to other ideas) vs. holding on to it?

I'd love to hear what the experts on this wonderful list think. I get very educated from all of your answers.

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    Regarding the tax questions, is in the United States? As an aside, I must admit I chuckled at the precision of "about $153,203"
    – user662852
    Apr 20 '20 at 15:51
  • It's outside the U.S., the renter pays the property tax and their utilities. Don't worry, there are purchase taxes and selling taxes so one eventually pays.
    – Geltman
    Apr 21 '20 at 6:06
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You don't pay property taxes on this property?

Assuming that the $450 is profit and not rent receipts, you are basically getting 3.5% on your money, more if your locale includes closing costs on your property. IMO the profit from the sale of the property is irrelevant in this discussion.

As with most of us, you did some really good thing and some not so good things. The not so good thing is your pending unemployment and your low income even in good economic times. What happens if this property undergoes a $20K assessment? What happens if you have to evict the tenant? What happens if she stops paying the rent?

If I was in your shoes I would work very hard to increase my income. How long will that take? If it will take a long time, then I would probably sell the property. If it will not, then it is a coin flip on keeping or not keeping the property. Do you like owning rentals? For some of us the answer is a resounding "no", some others love owning the rental properties.

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  • See my comment about the taxes above.
    – Geltman
    Apr 21 '20 at 6:07
  • I agree with the income bit. I am not lazy and I am somewhat good at what I do but I live in an peripheral area due to family reasons. That and my age hasn't landed me many good opportunities. My sob story. I gave my background info to give a broader picture but I was hoping to hear what people say what I am getting from the apartment vs investing it otherwise. From your answer, I am hearing that I can choose either one, there is no compelling way. Correct?
    – Geltman
    Apr 21 '20 at 6:13

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