Friday, January 4, 2008

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

If you have a property to sell before you buy, many Sellers in Bucks County struggle with whether to buy or sell first. Ideally, you can coordinate the settlements back to back and there is no difficulty in getting the proceeds of your home sale to move forward with your purchase. Ahhhh, it’s so lovely to have things work out.

But it doesn’t always work that way. Here’s a quick snapshot of the risks and rewards of selling first, or buying first:

Sell Your Home First
The drawback is you may not find a property that you like and have to move in with family or temporary housing for a while. This could wreak havoc on your life, especially if you have kids in school, and you’ll incur storage fees for your possessions. The reward is that you know exactly how much money you are getting from your home sale, can make offers without a home sale contingency, and don’t have the stress of carrying two mortgages.

Buy Your Home First

The drawback is that you may be inviting financial disaster. You may either have to carry two mortgages for an extended period of time OR you may have to fire sale your house and not realize the equity you thought you were going to get. The benefit is that you have the luxury of working on your new home prior to moving in (painting, etc), can move your possessions in at your leisure, and any children only have to move once.

What’s my recommendation? It depends on your financial situation. Some people can carry two mortgages without financial ruin, or have a lot of equity where a $10-20K hit isn’t going to make or break them. However, if you’re not in that group, I would sell first, and ask for an extended settlement of 4 months to give yourself time to find a home. There is a ton of inventory on the market and you have a good chance at finding your home quickly.

However, my last few home sales have been under 30 days on market, so it can be done.

How do I get it done? Look for my next post where I’ll run through it…

In the meantime, enjoy!

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