We decided that rather than sell our little house, we would find a renter for it. We tried to find Trinity students but that didn't work out, and we ended up getting very lucky to find a personal friend who was looking for a place and we are now renting to her, someone we trust to take care of the house and be a responsible renter! The timing also worked out perfectly because she moved in right as we moved out, so we were able to avoid having to go any period of time paying double mortgages.
In order to prepare the house for the renter to move in, we created a very long list of repairs we needed to complete. We installed a privacy fence first. Then we replaced the old, yellowing laminate flooring in the laundry room with fresh new tile. It turned out really nicely!
We also had the bathtub professionally refinished, initiated a pest control plan, re-leveled the gate so it would properly lock, repaired the running toilet, touch-up painted in all rooms, replaced the flooring under the sink, and thoroughly cleaned the house from top to bottom. It was so much work and we wondered why some of these projects hadn't been done sooner so we could enjoy the results!
We also swapped out the refrigerator with a side-by-side one that was in the new house so that the renter would have the benefit of a water and ice dispenser rather than the old refrigerator we had been using while we lived in the house.
After she moved in, we also installed a sprinkler system so that she would not have to worry about hand-watering the yard and that it would stay in good condition and maintain the value of the home and its curb appeal. This was a big investment but we consider it just that, an investment, so it was worth it.
We are not sure if we will keep renting the house out forever, but for now it's been a good situation and we are happy with how everything turned out.