The Big Move: We have two kids and want a bigger house in the Bay Area in a better school district. Do we sell our current home, or rent it?

Dear MarketWatch,

We offered a house in the Bay Area before our first child was born, in 2015. It was a four-bedroom house in a detached neighborhood. At the time, it was more than adequate for us, since it was an easy travel to work.

Since then, we’ve welcomed two additions to the family, and things have changed. We want more space with two kids, and with the first one almost ready to start kindergarten, we also want to circulate to a nicer neighborhood with a better school district.

However the situation is we’re stuck. We’ve been touring initiate houses and been browsing real-estate brokerage sites, but bigger properties are very far away from our workplaces, and properties with better schools are significantly more costly. 

We don’t want to lose the fairness we built up on our current house, which we think may arrive in beneficial, so we’re adversarial to selling. Our current house is valued at $1.5 million. We are considering renting the house, but our real-estate agent said that we’d have a hard time finding tenants.

What are our alternate strategies? What blueprint you imply?


The Giant Pass’ is a MarketWatch column looking at the ins and outs of real estate, from navigating the search for a unusual house to applying for a mortgage.

Accomplish you have a establish a question to about buying or selling a house? Accomplish you want to know where your next circulate must be? Email Aarthi Swaminathan at

Dear Lost,

It’s moderately remarkable how closely housing is tied to education. Where you are living largely affects where you slither to school. And that has profound implications for one’s future — from future earnings to neighborhood ties, and so on. Many parents worship you finish up making sacrifices on this exact situation as they want their kids to circulate to glorious schools, have glorious opportunities, and a glorious foundation for their future. 

Your desire to circulate is general, but what is not general is the housing market you’ll face when you happen to aquire. With unusually low present of properties on account of folk rushing to purchase properties during the pandemic, you’re left with the few properties that folk are selling. 

So finding tenants and renting the house is indeed your easiest wager. That helps you with your month-to-month mortgage payments and allow you to maintain the house as it appreciates over time. However the reason why your broker isn’t confident of this plan is because you’re not the easiest one trying to pull this off. Many house house owners are choosing to rent versus sell, trying to maintain on to properties that they offered during the pandemic, and that’s pushed down the series of house listings available, according to John Burns Research & Consulting. 

Your desire to circulate is general, but what is not general is the housing market you’ll face when you happen to aquire. 

You have a few other alternate strategies, however, given your want for space and a better school district.

One, you may pull some fairness on your current house to increase your funds. Whereas that comes with risks — including the fact that house values may change over the following couple of years, and also on account of the fact that you’re putting your house on the line — it may assist you establish down more money on your 2nd house, which may lower your 2nd mortgage rate (for those that are financing the purchase with a mortgage). However this may not be an attractive chance, since rates are fairly high.

Two, you may wait. Patience may pay off, if rates arrive down. In that time, you can also continue to hunt for properties, and work with your real-estate agent to name via their networks if certain house house owners are shut to listing. Maybe your agent who is amazingly familiar with the local market has some strategies that may assist you find a hard-to-arrive-by house that isn’t as costly, or even one that hasn’t hit the market but.

And three, for those that are pressed to circulate fast, you may fair chunk the bullet and sell. I understand it’s hard to offer up the fairness you’ve built on a million-dollar house, but that house has finished its work for you by appreciating considerably over the years, and it’s allowing you to circulate up to a bigger and more costly one. Selling will assist you release your fairness and you are free to circulate to whichever school district is the easiest for your kid (offered you are able to purchase there). 

Your situation over buying a more costly house when the housing market is out of whack is understandable. It may be worth talking to your agent about the dynamics of your local market, and to search for what your strategy must be.

However based on my conversations with house house owners living in the Bay Area in fresh weeks, most of them said they had more or much less felt overwhelmed and involved when they first moved up and offered a more costly house. In the longer flee, they ended up securing better, larger-paying jobs, so the payments became far more manageable over time. And a house that’s potentially doubled in value over that duration. 

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