with regard to our house, we never planned to keep it. in fact, we'd originally planned to sell it prior to coming to South Africa
but my sister decided to leave her hubby after 23 years of marriage and came to AZ because that's where my mom was....we were on a 6 month contract
in FL at the time....so rather than come back to AZ and prep the house to sell, we rented it to her (at a fairly substantial rental loss but that's what ya do for family
and/or friends in my world).
Our goal was to sell it and buy a small place in some tropical diving
location like Costa Rica
, etc.....so again, keeping it was never in the plans. It's way too big for us now....a 3200 sq ft one story house with 5 bdrms, a library, exercise room, massive back yard with pool and built in bbq area, court yard, butler's pantry, 3 car garage, etc.
My sister has kept it pristine and everything that has gone wrong with it has been fixed immediately so it's ready for new renters. I'm thinking with a high end home, renters are often of a higher quality (although when i was young and poor and a renter, I still treated the rentals I lived is as if they were my own).
I don't think we could cash flow it even though our mortgage is at 3.25% because of all the extras (pool service
, lawn service
, HOA) but we could come pretty close to breaking even and we could let it appreciate for a couple more years til we're ready to buy a boat. We're fortunate that we purchased when the market hit bottom and our home has already gone up almost $100K in value.
I guess the bottom line is I am with ya when you said "that hanging onto a house only for financial considerations may not make sense." I don't think it makes sense for us beyond the time we are here in SA.