Selling your house today is definitely a challenge. The declining value of real estate today makes it really hard for home owners to sell their homes at will. The bad thing about it is that even though the value of their property is on a decline, your mortgage contribution stays the same. Sometimes, there are those who tried to sell their house but instead of receiving money, they have to shell out cash because the original price is way higher compared to the selling price today.

But you don’t just leave your home and forget about selling your home. You will still be burdened with mortgage debt eventually ending in foreclosure. That will greatly hurt your credit rating and no one wants to end up with a very bad credit rating because you stayed in a bad market area.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to selling your home. These ideas will somehow offset your mortgage payment and could even end up with you having a new place that you can call home.

Idea # 1: Renting Your House

Because of the slump in the real estate industry, more and more individuals and couples have opted to rent instead of buying a new house. Investors and realtors on the other hand have acknowledged this trend and have given the home-owners and option in listing their homes not only for sale but also for rent as well. The rent might not be big but as long as money comes in, it should provide help in paying for the mortgage.

To protect yourself from possible scams or being left with nothing, always have a cancellation clause with your tenants. Simply put, the cancellation clause requires your tenants to inform you in advance in case they will opt to leave your property. Usually, they will be required for a deposit just in case they opt to leave without saying anything informing their landlord.

Rental fees could be determined by checking your local newspaper or online. That way, you’ll see how much is the price for renting your property.

Idea # 2: Rent to Own

The idea is simple – rent the place to the person interested in buying your home a little higher so that the renter could pay some part of the rent for mortgage. It’s a very slow process but just imagine keeping 15% – 25% of the rent for house payment is a good way of saving money.

The disadvantage of this setting is in the tenant since the money they pay when they opt out is non-refundable. This is also a good way for the tenants to evaluate the home for themselves and eventually buying your house. They could even add some home improvements while they are staying there.

Idea # 3: House Swapping

This is probably the most radical idea but could be very effective if you just go with it. House swapping is again, a growing trend in the country. Those who find themselves having a hard time looking for a home to sell can look for others who are also looking for a new home. You can take a look at their home while they also consider your home. If you reach an agreement you can swap houses.

But don’t do this on a hand shake. Both of you should have a realtor so that each of you will have a fair treatment in terms of price and value of your home. Remember that houses in one city and state will not have the same value in one state. If you’re on a rural area planning to swap with a city based home, be prepared to add some cash to level the transaction between home owners.