I'm at a crossroads. I own a house and have decided to move to a different school zone no later than next year to keep my child schooling with friends and also in a significantly better academically-performing school.

The decision I have to make is whether to rent out my house or sell. The rent I can get if I keep my house — about $530 a week after agent's fees — is much lower than the $620 a week rent I'll have to pay in the school zone.

The rental income won't cover my mortgage payments. Once I allow for landlord expenses and topping up the mortgage payments, plus paying my own rent, I will have to spend about $130 more a week than I do now.

I paid $662,336 for the house in 2017, and based on sales info for my neighbourhood from One Roof, I anticipate that the house will sell for $670,000, out of which I'll have to pay agent fees.

Should I sell, even at a loss, and put the money in other investment options? The risk of defaulting on the mortgage is quite high if I keep the house, as I'm treading water now.
Thanks for your help. Regards, highly-stressed solo mum.

The things we do for our kids! But that's the way it's meant to be.

Some people reading your letter would say something along the lines of: "Stay where you are and send your child to a local school. It's not the school's record, but the home environment that will affect your child's performance."

But that's an issue beyond the scope of this column. And in any case, I understand your desire to keep your child with friends. So we'll set that idea aside.


We'll also set aside the possibility of selling your house and buying a smaller, less


Debt or invest?

Super legacy

Risk and return