Is this a bad time to sell my house and buy a similar one nearby?

Asked by D. Lee, Quincy, MA Fri Nov 9, 2007

If I want to sell a house and then buy a house in a nearby town with similar market trends, why should it matter if values are up or down. I am planning to come as close to a swap as possible. I hear that more houses are on the market now and take longer to sell, but what are the real numbers of Quincy Mass and Scituate Ma

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Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Fri Nov 9, 2007
Sounds like a plan to me. I have been advising my clients that this is a great time to either swap properties or move up or purchase investment properties.

If you are both buying and selling and the market is similar; if the new home is $700K and the old home is $600K, both at 5% lower than last year. You'd be saving $35,000 on the new home and losing $30,000 on the old home, with a net difference of $5,000 savings if you swap the two homes.

Of course, you are going to incurr the expenses but you would have that no matter when you sell or buy. .

Another advantage to me is that since property value is going down, the property tax for you new home will be relative lower if you buy it if you wait.

2 votes
Gerry Bourge…, Agent, Leominster, MA
Sun Nov 11, 2007
If you can make the move into a better location, do so. In my opinion (along with market data), I see the more desireable towns/neighborhoods are not dropping in value as much as the less desireable ones. If you can get out of your property at a price that makes sense for you to get into a better spot I wouldn't hesitate. Mortgage interest rates are still very low making a step up a good decision. In my market area I see this to be the best time for someone to 'buy up' in the 17 years I've been selling real estate (a little more money is buying a LOT more house).
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1 vote
Jon Ernest, , Brookline, MA
Sat Nov 10, 2007
Everyone is touching on the same idea, and that is that when you buy and sell at the same time, you advantages/disadvantages make the other a wash. You just have to be careful, it is a down market, so you're going to have to take a beating on the sale... Just make sure you give a beating on the purchase to make up for it. Don't forget about closing costs too... get the seller of your purchase to pay them.
1 vote
Michael Weeks, , Sturbridge, MA
Sat Nov 10, 2007
Excellent answer Sylvia, buying up in a down market is a great way for homeowners to profit from a transaction in a slow period. If your current home has devalued over the last few years by as much as 10 percent, to use an example, a $400,000 value in 2006 would now be a $360,000 value. Losing $40,000 dollars, is of course very significant until that money is reinvested in a new home previously valued at $500,000 in 2006, which today would be reduced to $450,000. The $40,000 that you lost is gained back plus $10,000 by purchasing today for $50,000 less, instead of 2 years ago when the market was considered "hot". Smart buyers recognize this and, in this scenario, put a cool $10,000 in their pockets while moving into an upscale home!
1 vote
Jon Simmons, , 28512
Fri Nov 9, 2007
Now is a great time to buy, not so great to sell. Market your existing home at a fair price and make your own price reduction on your new home with an offer and see where the dust settles. Staying in your new home longer than 3 years alsmost always asures you a profitable experience.
1 vote
Mikel DeFran…, Agent, Canton, MA
Sat Jan 22, 2011
it is never a bad time if it fulfills your goals. Are you swapping a better town for a smaller house? More yard for less house etc.

So you are correct, if the market conditions in each town are comparable it makes no difference if the market is up or down ( keep in mind to budget between 5%-8% for all your fees, commission, tax stamps closing costs, moving fees ). So even if the home values are the same.. it's not REALLY an even swap.

Also consider that the market affects different towns differently... do you think Dorchester has fallen more or less than Hingham? It's not even close.. Dorchester has been slammed while Hingham is OK.

Quincy is where I live, and one of the town that I have constantly updated market information for, including hard to find info like all sold homes, list vs sell statistics and more. I work in Scituate as a buyer agent.. but do not catalog Scituate statistics.
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0 votes
Ngioffre, Both Buyer And Seller, Miami Beach, FL
Fri Jun 4, 2010
It is a bad time to sell. If you do sell try online services to help you sell your home.
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0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Hemet, CA
Sun Nov 11, 2007
This can be a great time to do so. Selling when down and buying in the same area when down is just a wash and, as an added benefit, you have less gain on the home you sell if subject to capital gains will have lower property taxes on the one you buy. A win, win in this market for sure.
0 votes
Cindy, , Milpitas, CA
Fri Nov 9, 2007
This is the time to buy and hold. If you wish to sell, you might not get a lot of money out of it. You would want to find out how fast houses in your neighborhood are selling and how much you plan to sell your house, tax considerations and profits. Take all these things into account before swapping.
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