- 19 April, 2018
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Is Your Home “Just Right?” Know When to Love It and When to List It
If only the decision where as easy as answering that single question: Do I love my house or should I list it? Certainly, the economy and regional housing trends play a role in determining whether a “buyers’ market” or “seller’s’ market” exists. But even more than those big-picture considerations, there are some more personal matters you will want to look at. In order to answer is your home “just right?” know when to love it and when to list it correctly and wisely, you will have to put some thought into your response. To get you started, here are a few things you will want to think about before planting your roots deeper or calling a Realtor.
The first question to ask about your current house is the Goldilocks
question: Is it too big, too small, or just right? If you work from home, you have
frequent overnight guests or you plan to start a family, bigger is better. Filling your square footage with additional furniture — or by creating a home office — is easier to do over time in a large home than attempting to plan and save money to add on to a small home. Depending on your lifestyle now and for the foreseeable future, first decide if you have too little, too much, or just enough space. Then check “love it” (just enough) or “list it” (too small or too big) accordingly.
Are You House Poor?
We have all heard the stories about couples living in 3,000 sq. ft. homes in gated communities with no furniture to sit on. That’s an extreme case of being house poor. More common are the individuals, couples, or families who manage to make their house payment each month, but use the rest of their income to pay the bills and put gas in their cars. If you are house poor, you may not be able to remain happy in your home unless your income increases significantly. If you are “house poor,” put a check under “list it.” If your current budget works for you, “love it.”
If the current market value of your home is higher than the total
amount you have paid against your mortgage, then you have equity. With equity in your home, listing it may benefit you financially because selling at or above market value could mean having more than enough cash to pay off your mortgage plus fund your move. With little or no equity – or being upside-down on your mortgage (owing more than your home is worth) – selling could be financially disastrous. Talk to a mortgage specialist to find out for sure whether your equity checkmark should go under “love it” or “list it,” based on your level of equity.
Finally, you must honestly and objectively look at your
home – inside and out – and ask yourself: Would it sell as-is if I put it on the market today? Factors to consider include how recently your home was redecorated (paint and other cosmetic updates), and the condition of the kitchen and bathroom(s). If these areas of your home have not been modernized and updated within the last five years, they’re out of date, and most buyers will look elsewhere. As well, if your home has fewer than two bathrooms and has partitioned rooms, it is unlikely to bring top dollar because most buyers are looking for open concept homes with updated or renovated kitchens and bathrooms. How would you feel about your home if you looked at it as a buyer? Your answer to that question alone may tell you whether you should “love it” or “list it.”
Understanding these and other factors will help you determine which decision is best for you. Still, have questions? Reach out to Rapid Mortgage today to discover answers and options that meet all your mortgage needs.