Do You Love It ... Or Should You List It?
The decision to sell your home is rarely (if ever) simple, and it isn’t a decision that you can reach in a half hour – no matter what reality TV may have led you to believe! However, there may be signs it’s time to consider moving. Whether your home has become a stressor or you’re just over the commute to work, it might be time to start your pros and cons list of whether to move or stay. Here are a few ways to know if it’s time to sell or stay, or consider another option (like refinancing).
Situation 1: You’re starting to hate everything.
The verdict: Update or sell.
Lost that initial honeymoon feeling? Once the rose-colored glasses are off, you might start to dislike things about your home you once loved (or were at least complacent with). It can be easy to want to throw in the towel as soon as you start to realize things that annoy you, but just remember: the grass isn’t always greener! If you’ve only been in the home a short while, you might want to consider making updates around the house to tackle the areas you no longer love. Try the big (like upgrading the kitchen or bathroom) to the small (like repainting or adding new textiles) to try to make the place your own. If you still don’t love it after awhile, consider listing it then.
Situation 2: You’re paying PMI.
The verdict: Refinance or do nothing.
Put down less than 20% for your down payment? If so, your loan likely came with private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is adding a little extra to your mortgage payment each month. If you now have at least 20% equity in your home, you can refinance and remove the PMI. If you don’t have at least 20% equity yet, it might be worth waiting a little bit longer.
Situation 3: You can’t stand your neighborhood (or it no longer works for your lifestyle).
The verdict: Sell.
Has your neighborhood changed significantly since you moved in? Can’t stand your nosy neighbors? Or maybe your go-to parking space has been taken over? Or perhaps your lifestyle changed recently, and you no longer fit in. While there are many things you can do to improve your home’s interior and exterior, you can’t change the location. If heading home makes you feel miserable, or you really need a new type of place for your family or lifestyle, it’s time to find new surroundings. (Expert tip: When searching for your new home, visit potential neighborhoods at multiple times of the day to get a true sense of what it’s like to live there.)
Situation 4: You’ve made recent investments.
The verdict: Stay … or sell.
Recently put a lot of work into the home? If you’ve made big investments into the home and now you love it again, by all means – stay put! Don’t be afraid to enjoy your home and the work you’ve done. If you went through renovations with the purpose of selling, feel free to start the process of listing. However, take note: While renovations often add to the value of a home, they don’t guarantee a higher sales price and shouldn’t be the sole motivation for selling. (Especially if your improvements were highly personal!)
On the other side, if you’re just made a big investment in another part of your life – such as starting a business, going back to school, purchasing something big (like a boat) – you probably want to stay put if your finances are stretched a bit thin.
Situation 5: You’re out of space.
The verdict: Sell.
Growing family? No room for your home business (or pets or [insert hobby here])? Instead of drastically changing your lifestyle, change your home. If budget is a concern, prioritize space over other items on your real estate wish list like a specific neighborhood, high-end amenities, new construction or a newly-updated home.
At Corbett & Co, we’re here to help – whatever direction you choose! Get in touch today to chat about your options.