Life doesn’t always turn out in the way you’d expected and even the best laid plans can come undone. Where sudden, unexpected debt is concerned, it’s likely to affect all areas of your life, from lifestyle habits and food shopping, to more important factors such as your car and property. Here’s an insight into some of the ways you can deal with your property if you suddenly experience debt, along with the pros and cons of each.
Letting out a room in your property
If you’ve got one or more spare rooms in your property – perhaps due to your kids leaving home, or a guest room that’s not in use – then one option to help with a debt problem is to let out a room in your home.
This can help bring in some extra cash each month and, if you let a room on a long-term basis, you will know how much extra you’ll be earning each month. If you use the Rent a Room scheme you could earn up to £7500 per year tax free.
Taking in a lodger isn’t for everyone and it can change the dynamics and feel of life in your home, especially where you need to share some rooms, such a bathroom or kitchen. Also, this won’t provide an instant lump-sum and it will depend on how in debt you are as to how viable it proves to be.
Letting out your whole property
If it’s only you in your home and you don’t need all the extra space anymore, then you could consider renting out the whole of your property. It will of course mean you’ll need to move out, but if you’ve got friends or relatives who’ll put you up for free, it can be a viable option.
Your property could be let furnished with your furniture in situ or unfurnished. A furnished property could potentially earn you more than an unfurnished one, depending on its location and the type of tenants you’re aiming for. You’ll also not have to worry about spending out on furnishing it or buying appliances as yours will already be there.
Unfurnished properties have their benefits too, and are more likely to appeal to families who already have their own furniture or want a long-term let that they can personalise with their own belongings.
On the downside, you might worry about becoming a landlord, having to deal with repairs and finding tenants and the potential wear and tear costs involved. And if you haven’t got anywhere else to stay rent-free, it might not be cost effective.
Selling your property through an estate agent
If the level of your debt means that you’ll need to sell your house in order to cope with it and clear debts, then you can sell it conventionally through an estate agent.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that it will be a quick process or even sell. Although you may be quoted a positive sounding figure, and your house may go up for sale at that price to start with, with many buyers providing offers, there’s no guarantee you’ll get exactly the price you’re looking for.
Sell your property quickly for cash
If your debt problem is very pressing and you really need to earn extra cash as soon as possible, then a quick and convenient option is to sell your property quickly for cash.
It can be hard to find a cash buyer immediately if you’re trying to sell through an estate agent, but by using a specialist company that buys houses for cash, you can free up your debt quickly. If your property meets the criteria (for example, it’s in the geographical area that the quick sale company specialise in), you could receive an offer to purchase your property with 24 hours of it being viewed.
One small downside is that you might not get as much for your property as you could have if you waited around for an offer via an estate agent, but when debt is concerned, sometimes you just don’t have time to wait for ‘what might’ happen.