Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go?

I apologize in advance for this long post, but I want to get all the facts in before I solicit anyone's opinions.

I am at a crossroad where I an trying to decide if I should stay in my home or sell and reinvest the money. Currently I have four condominiums in the same community. Three of them are rental properties that I bought 13 years ago and I live in one. Ironically with the cycle real estate went through over the past decade +, my rentals have the same market value as they did when I bought them They went from $80k a piece, up to $190k a piece at the height of the boom, down to $20k a piece and now are worth about $80K a piece again. The only difference is that I had the tenants pay off 13 years of equity and made about $2000 positive cash flow per year on them each. My home does not have a mortgage on it and is worth about $85K (after some touch up renovations). Currently I have a vacant rental unit and was thinking about moving in to that and selling my current home (pocketing the $85,000 tax free). Although I would be missing out on that rental income, I was thinking that I could take that $85K and leverage it into more rental units.

I am on the condo board where these units are so I don't face all of the challenges that others may in getting tenants approved and things like that. However, I am terrified of the potential special assessments that we may face when our building's 40 year inspection comes up and with the new Statute in FL requiring that all condo buildings be retro fitted with fire suppression systems.

My original goal was to hold on to these units and hope they increased in value to $125K a piece over the next 17 years. All of my mortgages would be paid off by the tenants and I would have $500k to put toward retirement (minus capital gains tax if I cash out and don't do a 1031 exchange). I could stay the course and live where I am with no mortgage payments, or I could partially liquidate and try to leverage some of that money into another real estate venture(s).

So DG Family, what do you think? Should I stay or should I go?


Live well, laugh often and love much.

Walter Fabiszewski
Southern, FL

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