Our first home purchase was a duplex. As newlyweds we managed an apartment complex, and always thought how a duplex would make for a great first home, and a future investment. Years later, when we were looking to buy and my brother, Eric, was looking to rent, it seemed the perfect solution.
We purchased a nice older duplex with three bedrooms in each unit, in a not so nice neighborhood. It worked out wonderfully, and we intended to live there several years, buy something else, and then keep the house as a rental unit. We never anticipated an out of state move.
After we moved we did try to sell it, but with no luck. We can not come down on our price enough to make it attractive to investors. It really would only be attractive to a buyer who wanted to live in it like we did. Since it is a buyer's real estate market there, single unit houses are very affordable. It puts our house in a difficult to sell situation.
The house is rented. The tenants take very good care of the place. One is timely with the rent. The other? Well, she isn't, but the rent always comes albeit late. We do make a little profit on the place.
Still, I wish we could sell it. It is just a hassle to deal with from four hours away. Repairs, tenant changes and maintenance are all a hassle. I hate the debt that looms from that property. If it were not rented, we would be in a serious financial bind.
In answer to the question in the title, I guess we really don't have a choice. In this market, with the amount we still owe on it, we have to keep it.