Whether you’re moving for personal reasons or are being relocated internationally or to another state for work, keeping your current home as an investment property is an option when you move. If you’re in the Seattle area where tech companies frequently relocate their employees, this is even more attractive to investors, as Seattle has some of the highest rental rates in the country, and your destinations rent is likely to be cheaper.

Here, we will walk you through the process of getting your property ready to rent out when you relocate.

Removing Your Valuables

It is important that you go over everything in your home and remove anything that you want to be in the same condition when you get back or that you want to take with you. This may involve paying for storage, but storage is still cheaper than having a family heirloom ruined by a tenant. Items to consider include valuable furniture or appliances, chandeliers and light fixtures, personal belongings, paintings or art, and anything else that you cannot easily replace.

Preparing Your Home

Have professional cleaners come in, including professional carpet cleaners if you have carpet, and then have your home inspected. An inspection of your home will list the condition and quality of everything before you move tenants in, which will allow you to successfully dispute any damage caused by the tenants when they move out. You can learn more about getting a property inspection here.

You should, however, expect natural wear and tear to the property.


You need insurance on any property that you are renting out, just in case something happens to it. In addition to keeping your normal natural disaster insurance, you should ask your provider about a landlord’s policy, which will cover damage caused by the tenant, may cover missed rental periods, and will cover any liability for the tenant while they are in residence.

If you have a mortgage on the property, you should contact your bank and see if they have any existing requirements for renting out the property. In most cases, they will simply request that you get insurance. However, depending on your bank’s policy, they may raise the interest rates.

Local Property Management

Renting property requires a great deal of hands on management, which means that you have to invest in a property management company. While you can pay a friend or family member to handle the details, professional property management companies are low cost, and integrate a great deal of technical services such as marketing, tenant screening, maintenance, rent collection, etc. into one service. This is extremely convenient if you aren’t living nearby.

Determine the Rent

In most cases, a property management company will help you to determine an appropriate rental rate, so if you’re hiring one, consider contacting them before doing any advanced calculations on your own. However, you can typically set the rent rate based on what nearby houses in a similar condition are renting for, any available amenities, and the size of a home.

Renting your primary residence when you relocate for work can greatly increase your income, even if it’s only for a 12-18-month period. However, it is important that you take steps to protect your property, ensure that your possessions are safe, and that you can handle property management from wherever you are.

If you’re considering renting your property, contact SJA Property Management, a local Seattle company, for a free quote.