Make real estate a design tool for life

REThink Real Estate

Q: I bought my first home about five years ago. Since then, I bought a multifamily home and moved into it, renting out my first home, and then bought another house and that’s where I live now. I got a great deal on this house, which is in one of the best neighborhoods in my area, because it needs so much work. Now, with the economy, I’m concerned that I’ll never be able to do the needed repairs. It’s too broken down to rent, and I couldn’t cover my expenses on it, even if I were able to rent it out. In fact, I’m nervous that if we have a big earthquake, my foundation problems will cause major, irreparable damage to the house.

On a lark, I went to look at some new condos and lofts that are being rented downtown — I loved them, and I could rent one for less than half of what I pay to live in my current home. I believe that real estate is a big part of building wealth, but I’m seriously thinking about selling this house and living in one of those rental apartments. What do you think?