Q: My job is moving to another state. With today’s poor real estate market, I will not be able to sell my current home without taking a substantial financial loss, which I cannot afford.

I’ve rented out my house and will be moving soon. I plan to purchase a house at my new location and will try to carry two mortgages. If I’m not able to keep up with two mortgages and am forced to give up my old house to foreclosure or short sale, what ramifications, if any, will it have on my new home and on my credit rating?

A: Let’s back up a moment: Why would you purchase a new house if you cannot sell your old house without taking a substantial loss?

You should be able to rent far more cheaply than you can own at this point in time. If you rent a property instead of buying you won’t have to commit extra cash for things like homeowners insurance, taxes, maintenance and upkeep. It should be far less of a strain on your budget to rent rather than buy a house.

As time goes on, and your finances become stronger, you can consider purchasing a home in your new location.

As far as foreclosures and short sales go, they’re a heavy blow to your credit history and credit score. It’s not quite as bad as having a bankruptcy on your credit history, but you could see your score decline by 100 points or more if you go into foreclosure or complete a short sale. That loss of 100 points or more would be in addition to any loss you may face if you stop paying your mortgage on that home.

I would try to live as cheaply as you can in your new location, save as much money as possible, stay current on your old mortgage, and try to plan for a time over the next few years when you can sell your house and move on with your life.

Good luck.