Buy and Sell
by Karla ° Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I don’t think I realized how difficult the home search was going to be. For starters, I am not a big picture kind of person. For me, it’s all in the details, and if the kitchen must be torched to rid the house of its evil orange and brown linoleum flooring, I can’t see past all the work and time it will take to make that house our home. Mark on the other hand is much more big picture focused and can walk into a home and envision us building a life there despite the probability that we’ll need to knock down walls and eat the Easter Bunny for dinner who thought purple countertops and pink tiles would be a good idea.

What it really boils down to is the fact that I like shiny and new, but shiny and new comes with a higher price tag, less space and proximity issues. We live just outside of Toronto and being centrally located to commuter trains is important for Mark because he already spends 2 ½ hours a day commuting and even moving a few kilometers North means his day is just that much longer. Older model homes are much cheaper, generally larger than new homes, more centrally located and have bigger yards and finished basements, but they require work. Which is a problem because the extent of my handy man skills is limited to making the tool box look pretty by colour coordinating the screwdrivers.

Also, we can’t seem to come to a consensus about whether to buy a home before or after we sell the one we currently live in. We have agreed that the next home we buy will be a 10-15 year commitment, so I think buying a home first and then selling our home makes the most sense because that leaves us with all the time in the world to find a home that we love. That being said, if we buy first, we have to sell our home, like yesterday, and that automatically makes us a motivated seller and we may end up having to take a huge cut on the list price of our home in order to get the funding for the new home in time.

Mark on the other hand, prefers the idea of selling our home first and then beginning the search for a new home because that way, we don’t have to be motivated to sell and end up underselling our current home. His solution to finding the perfect home is to put a long close on this house, like four months, which should give us plenty of time to search. I’m hesitant about that because I don’t want to be bound by time constraints when searching for a new home and end up settling for something I don’t love.

How would you do it?

Buy then sell or sell then buy?

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Comments:


When we moved from Kentucky to New Jersey, we sold our home in Kentucky first. Fortunately, it only took us a few weeks. Then we were in a mad rush trying to find a new home. Its a tough situation, with no easy answer.
Posted by Blogger Christy :  April 11, 2007
 

We are in the midst of a similar situation. I highly recommend selling first and then finding a house. I don't know about banking in Canada, but having the sale proceeds in the bank make it easier to qualify for a bigger note on the house you want to purchase. I wouldn't put too long for closing though (4 months) b/c that will put off buyers. Worst case scenario- you sell your home and have to move to a rental or apratment for a month or two-at least you've sold the home. I thought ours would sit on the market for a few months, it sold in 2 days, with less than a month for close. We just put a contract on a house about 2 weeks ago. Hope you find something wonderful; you deserve it!
Posted by Anonymous txhorns :  April 11, 2007
 

Find your dream home and put a conditional offer in pending the sale of your house
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  April 11, 2007
 

sell then buy...even if you have to rent apt for awhile, it gives you the time and the $$$ to look.
JMHO
erika
Posted by Anonymous uumomma :  April 11, 2007
 

We sold, then bought, but I'm not sure it was the perfect way to do it. It turned out to be fairly stressful, because the people who bought it pushed us fairly hard on a possession date, so we had to push it up and ended up with only a month and a half to find a house and move. At the time, the housing market was slow and since it was the first real offer we got in three months, we took it. I'm not sure what to advise, because the other way probably would have been stressful too, since it took us longer than we expected to sell the old house and we wouldn't have been able to afford 2 mortgages.
Posted by Blogger Heather :  April 11, 2007
 

We're about to be in that situation, but if you sell first, be sure to find someplace for Sampson. even apartments that take pets will often limit to dogs under 30 pounds.
Posted by Blogger methatiam :  April 11, 2007
 

i 100% would sell first and be looking simutaneously for a new home. i could not buy then sell as i could not handle the stress of of having 2 mortgages or even the remote possibility. i would rather be homeless for a month or two with all my stuff in storgae and doing a short term rental somewhere then be under the stress of 2 mortgages which i know i can't afford.

however. if i could afford to pay 2 mortgages for about 2-3 months then the story may be different but being i want to move up from a $250,000 to like $400,000 home in 5 years say......i dont think that is really a reality.

unless i win me the princess margaret lottery
Posted by Blogger dawnatello :  April 11, 2007
 

A friend bought a brand-new house about 2 years ago and to this day, their old house hasn't been sold yet! They are really struggling to make ends meet because they have to pay for two mortgages. The housing market in the US is really slow but I don't know about Canada. Hope you figure out what's best for you and your family!
Posted by Anonymous Keri :  April 11, 2007
 

Oooohh, that's a tough one. My parents bought before selling years ago and had a horrible time selling their first place. They rented it out for a long time. It really broke them in the end actually. I'm sure you wouldn't be in the same situation because this was 30 years ago in northern BC, but still, I would be way too scared to do it!
Posted by Blogger cinnalily :  April 11, 2007
 

I would try and sell first and as someone said put a conditional offer on your house. And, yes you will probably have to end up in house that is not brand new. We did. Location is more important than the tiles. You can replace tiles but not your location.
Posted by Blogger Day :  April 11, 2007
 

You're in a tough spot! I often watch "Buy Me" on HGTV, which features a lot of home sales/searches in the Toronto area. Whew, what an undertaking!

Personally, being of the conservative mindset, I would try to sell my house first. However, since Toronto area is just so tight for a decent house for a decent price in a decent neighbourhood, I might find my new house first, put in a conditional offer of selling your house, and the put yours on the market.

GOOD LUCK!!!
Posted by Blogger delphi :  April 11, 2007
 

i vote we ask samson....just kidding, i say sell then buy for sure so you aren't stuck with two mortages! or you can rent out your current house and buy now and then sell whenever
 

Sell, (Mark has a good idea of a long closing, IF the buyers will go for it which they may not) then buy. Look as much as you can during the closing, but don't make a bid unless you are sure the sale is coming through. If you don't find something you love, don't buy until you do. We had the exact same game plan, except prices aren't falling quite fast enough over here.
Posted by Blogger Gina :  April 11, 2007
 

We have decided to do both....
We have set a far off date that we will list by and have sort of begun to do stuff in prepartion of listing on that date and in the mean time are looking and if the perfect house comes up we will buy first and sell later but if it doesn't we will do it the other way around. If we make it to the sell by date and the perfect house hasn't already motivated us to move we will sell then buy. That didn't make as much sense typed out as if does in my head
Posted by Anonymous Carson :  April 11, 2007
 

Contingent offers are mostly the way to go in this scenario...just keep in mind the Toronto market. Your realtor should be able to tell you the average time frame a home in your neighborhood stays on the market.

Another option is sell your home now and do a rent back from the new owners- if you need more time to find a place.
Posted by Blogger Samantha :  April 11, 2007
 

I wish I had advice for you. We are currently looking into new construction so that we can avoid some of the hassle involved in buying and selling houses while having young children to deal with. If that doesn't work out, we are going to put the house up for sale with an extended close date so we have time to find a "previously enjoyed" home.

Good luck!
Cate
Posted by Blogger Cate :  April 11, 2007
 

Oh my goodness darlin, sell then buy if you can.

Get what you really want for your house, and in the meantime look for what you really want in a new house - and make your offer conditional on the sale of you own.

And people take years to update their homes to their liking. If you're all happy and healthy my bet is you'll be able to live in a bit of kitsch for a while.

xo
Posted by Blogger Jen & Co. :  April 12, 2007
 

I think I would sell then buy if I had the choice. Having the extra money for a downpayment would be a nice bonus (thats if you can make some money off of the house you are living in now). I couldn't imagine having to pay two mortgages, especially if it took a few months to sell your OLD house. Yikes!!

Good Luck! :)
Posted by Blogger Melanie :  April 12, 2007
 

I'd try to sell first, but there's no reason you can't be searching in the meantime. There is such a thing as selling your home and then renting from the buyers/new owners. This way you don't incur the cost of a second move. Carrying two mortgages is scary and risky, especially with it being such a buyer's market. Remember, you and your lovely family will make the home, not the condition of the walls etc when you move in. Besides, if you save money on the hosue can't you put the difference to handy men?
Posted by Blogger Amanda :  April 12, 2007
 

Sell then buy. We spent a summer doing little things around our first home in preparation for selling it. We removed some wallpaper and painted a neutral color, cleaned carpets, cleaned out closets and stored items in a rented storage unit so we could show how much storage space the home had. We did yard maintenance, repainted the wrought iron railings on the front porch etc. We put our house up for sale on October 1 thinking we'd probably not sell it until spring. HA! In 3 days we had an offer for our asking price by a pre approved buyer!

Talk about a mad scramble to find a new home! But we did find a new home and everything fell like dominoes.

I'd do a bit of checking around to see if there are any apt. complexes that would rent on a month to month basis if you'd sell your current home before finding another. That might give you some more wiggle room.

Good luck!
Posted by Blogger Poppy :  April 12, 2007
 

I think selling your old house and renting it back until you move into your new home is the ideal way to move home. I met with the head of a UK property buying company who pioneer this very approach. They specialize in helping people complete on the buying of a new house bought off-plan but their 'sell and rent-back' service works equally well with anyone buying any second-hand home. The two good things about this method is that
1. when you sell and rent back to them you become a cash-buyer for your next home and this gives you more leverage for negotiating a discount while you still stay in your old home
2. you're able to pounce on the new home of your choice as soon as you see it and railroad the purchase of your new home through before your competition can even work-up steam !
Check out their website
buy a new house off plan
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  April 12, 2008
 

I think selling your old house and renting it back until you move into your new home is the ideal way to move home. I met with the head of a UK property buying company who pioneer this very approach. They specialize in helping people complete on the buying of a new house bought off-plan but their 'sell and rent-back' service works equally well with anyone buying any second-hand home. The two good things about this method is that
1. when you sell and rent back to them you become a cash-buyer for your next home and this gives you more leverage for negotiating a discount while you still stay in your old home
2. you're able to pounce on the new home of your choice as soon as you see it and railroad the purchase of your new home through before your competition can even work-up steam !
Check out their website
buy a new house off plan

They also offer a kind of 'haggling' service where they'll try to obtain a discount for you when you're looking to buy a new house off-plan.
Although they're based in the UK, they negotiate discounts on new off-plan property for people and professional property investors looking to buy property in any location in the world.

They are thoroughly professional, businesslike and pragmatic in their approach.
When you ask them negotiate an off-plan property-buying discount on your behalf they go to work on the developer right away !
Asking them to obtain a discount for any new off-plan property worldwide makes perfect sense . . .
example of buying discount off-plan property worldwide
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  April 12, 2008
 


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