It’s the new year and time to get a new place. Whether you are upsizing, downsizing or just moving…the first question is always about your next place.
If you have a place to go (i.e., we bought a cape house, we have a place in Florida, I’m moving back in with mom and dad) the process is straightforward. We’ll ask questions to gain clarity like when you are moving, will you sell your current place before you move, will you be doing anything to prep your old place for sale (paint is the great freshener!) We also suggest our clients not spend a small fortune on renovations as they often won’t get a full return on their money.
Some people won’t want to sell until they have the next place in hand. Owning two properties can be challenging and is doable with the right financial prowess. Some mortgage companies offer “bridge loans” for this…. although it might be easier to use a home equity line on the current home (and this can be set up well in advance.) Some folks may even take a short-term loan from a 401K or other retirement account. Obviously, a discussion with a financial advisor is well warranted.
We’ve worked with some clients who simply can’t or won’t carry two properties. This is particularly challenging in this inventory constrained market. While there are times the stars and moons align, we often see clients end up on one of two dead-end paths:
- Their home gets an offer, and the client doesn’t know where they are moving. This causes a reassessment of their strategy, and sometimes they take the home off the market. Two years later they are still in the house.
- They find a home and the seller will not accept an offer with a “home sale contingency.” So they pass on the property and repeat the process on another property. They eventually end up frustrated and two years later are still in the house.
A more tempered approach is to consider temporary housing for some period. An apartment can be the needed relief valve if an attractive offer comes in on the house prior to identifying a new home.
To some this is awful. It’s two moves and into an apartment. Frankly it can be exciting with a fresh perspective. You get to explore and otherwise try out an area before moving there (we’ve had clients move into the city only to come back to the suburbs.) When you do find that special home you can either come in with a cash offer or an offer needing minimal financing, and without a home sale contingency.…. making your offer very attractive.
You may also have the ultimate flexibility in closing on the new home as you simply need to end a lease. When sellers are looking at offers the $$ are always important as are the terms. We’ve had clients accept lower $ offers for terms more in line with their situation.
This is an exciting time. Enjoy and and stay sanitized!
Here is free app for your phone/tablet tied directly to the MLS https://www.homesnap.com/Gary-Kelley
Gary is heard on WCRN AM 830 discussing “All Things Real Estate.”
If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call 508-733-6005.