My husband and I thought we wanted to move until we de-cluttered, redecorated and staged our current home to put it on the market. We decided we could easily enjoy living in our “new” home until our home appreciates. At this time, there are desperate home sellers in my subdivision who are competing with the bargain foreclosures and short sales. As their traditional resale homes sell, the values are beginning to recover. My husband and I realized we would be better off by being the last to sell in a seller’s market rather than the first. According to a recent article by Market Watch, the weak job market may be straining real estate. Most of the new jobs created after the recession are lower-paying jobs. I live in a subdivision with homes that could have been starter homes for many people as well as some larger models that were probably trade-up homes.
Lowering mortgage standards
Earlier this year, lenders implemented more restrictive mortgage standards, but experts say lenders may loosen credit. In my Florida community, most first-time homebuyers can’t afford the expensive new construction. I’ve noticed a lot of the builders in my area are catering to the trade-up or step-up homebuyer who wants a larger house with more amenities, but some are thinking about the first-time home buyer. According to Market Watch, D.R. Horton has an “Express Homes brand” to target entry-level homebuyers. Once first-time home buyers can qualify, they should be buying some of my neighbors’ homes. At this time, entry-level buyers make up 29 percent of the existing home sales market compared to the typical 40 percent average.
Being realistic about the listing price
Virtually all of my neighbors are selling at a break-even point. I don’t know many people who bought around the time of the housing bubble who expect to make a huge profit. At the same time, a realistic listing price now many not be realistic in another year or two. One of my neighbors is listing his home for $230,000. If he succeeds, the values in the community will go up. Even if he sells his home for $200,000 it will be a great boost to values in a community dominated by $120,000 to $150,000 short sales and foreclosures.
Seeing our property’s value
Instead of just thinking about how much our home is worth in the open market, we started to think about how much it’s worth to us. We can save tens of thousands of dollars by staying put right now. While cleaning and staging our home, we fell back in love with our house. We just couldn’t see it’s potential under all of the clutter. Doing a thorough, periodic cleaning will help us in the future when we go to list.
One of the problems will being the last to sell in a seller’s market is that we’d be left to either rent or buy at the top of a possible housing bubble. Our solution has been to search for a rental property that could become our eventual retirement home once we are ready to sell our current home.
More from this contributor:
What We Gave up to Buy Our Dream Home
Buying Real Estate Like Grandparents
We Didn’t Stretch to Buy Our Home