Stay put or sell?

Asked by Vivien, Chatsworth, CA Tue Sep 22, 2009

We were trying to move into a better school district and a bigger house. Now our house is listed for 5 months, and not sold. Our kid likes his current school, and I am thinking we should try to stay close to where we live right now. Our house payment is going to be like $1300 next 6 months due to the low interest rate. My current agents want us to keep lowering the listing price. I just don't know whether I should just take the sale off the market, and wait till next spring to see whether my kid gets into a better school in the neighbourhood, or keep lowering the listing price until the current house sells. I looked around before, it was hard to find comparables to what we have right now with what we can afford. So if we sell the house, we could be paying more, or be really unhappy with the condition.

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Andrew Jones, Agent, Venice Beach, CA
Tue Sep 22, 2009
Hello again Vivien,

Here's a link good tool that I offer called Market Snapshot which gives you this weeks real estate conditions and community information for all of Los Angeles & Orange Counties, and parts of Riverside & San Bernardino.

Take care.
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Andrew Jones, Agent, Venice Beach, CA
Tue Sep 22, 2009
Hi Vivien,

If you're looking for a long-term home to raise yor kids in, you may consider moving now if you can afford it. Time and circumstances have a way of slipping away from us and you could end up in the same home five years from now. On the other hand, if you are comfortable financially and happy where you are that might not be a bad thing.

I don't know if you have any equity in your current home, but your mortgage payments will probably be more than they are now. Figure that you'll pay around $750 an month for every $100k that you borrow at 5.5%. This includes the loan payment, property tax impounds and regular hazard insurance charges. It does not include PMI (mortgage insurance) which you'll have to pay with a downpayment of less than 20% to 25%.

You agent is also right about lowering the price if you want to sell. Unfortunately, you've been chasing the market down by listing to high. Now your home is 'stale' and a lot of agents don't look at it anymore, or they are searching for homes that haven't been on the market as long. If you decide to sell and lower the price, think about what you can do to make the house be as attractive as it can be. You'll get every dollar that you put into improving the look of your home back with interest, or maybe you'll end up wanting to stay anyway.

You seem to have a pretty good sense of what the issues are. If you make the leap, this may not be a bad time to do it. This is especially true if you're in for the long-term. Best of luck.
0 votes
Rebecca Cham…, , Palos Verdes Estates, CA
Tue Sep 22, 2009
Keep in mind that if you are purchasing in the same price range you are selling, you are competing with the buyer that are looking at your house. Usually you don't get a better house for less money.

The market determines the sale price and unless the house isn't being marketed properly then it is a function of price and what buyers are willing to pay.

You can always reduced the price, see what you will get offers at and make the sale contingent on finding a replacement property.
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