Author Topic: Considering whether or not to list my house - feedback and advice please  (Read 1972 times)

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11843
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
I bought this house (1200 sq. ft bungalow, finished basement, three bedrooms, one bathroom, plus a toilet and basin in a huge laundry room in the finished basement, so technically 1 1/2 baths).  It is on one acre on a country road.

I have done some improvements - ripped out grotty carpet in the bedrooms and put in oak hardwood to match the main living area, put in AC (hot humid summers make it necessary, plus buyers look for it).  I have patched walls and repainted in the basement so it is now much lighter and more open.  I am about to paint the whole main floor, which also means the dated wallpaper borders where wall meet ceiling in the kitchen, main bath, and bedrooms will be gone.

I am also putting in a new front walk this spring - when the previous owners added a garage, it went on the side of the house opposite the original driveway, so the old walk goes to lawn, and there is no walk to the driveway - this needs doing.

These are all things I have done for "me" but are also things that add value to the house.  I do like it here, have integrated into my small town community, and normally would not be thinking of selling.

BUT - nearby local events are indicating that this is about to become a hot market, after several years of slow decline.  This house is within commuting distance of the nearest major city (I know, I did it back when I was working)  which is the one that is likely to have people leaving and looking for a new area.  Much as I like it here, it would be nice to either be closer to the other nearby city, the one I tend to visit when I want city amenities, or actually live there (renting, now that I know my dog is a good apartment dog). 

So - feedback - has anyone done this, simply put a house on the market because it seems to be about to be a hot market?

And given the angst I see from people trying to sell, is there any advice beyond the obvious (get the house in good shape for a building inspection, great curb appeal, make it sparkle, no pet signs when viewers come except for the partly fenced yard for the dog, be reasonably priced) that anyone would volunteer?

Cheddar Stacker

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3715
  • Age: 41
  • Location: USA
Wait until it IS a hot market, don't sell when it is about to become hot. If you know you can find a better, cheaper, closer to where you want to be home, what is keeping you there?

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11843
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
First, I don't expect it to stay a hot market- the reason it will become hot is ephemeral.

Second, when I bought this house I was leaving my husband but staying in the area because I liked it, and this house was the closest I could find that met my needs.  Since then I have changed jobs, which meant working in a different city (which I now prefer), and have retired, so can go just about anywhere.  The retirement also means my house needs are changing.  But I have made friends and a life here. 

I am at the edge of the commuting area for the first city, and could easily move 20km further away, where the market would not be hot.  It was always a toss-up as to whether I would stay in this house or not, a lot depends on the marital finances when we finally settle them.

Cheddar Stacker

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3715
  • Age: 41
  • Location: USA
A fresh start sounds like a good idea to me. Cash out while while the market is hot, downsize if it was too much house for one person, move away from any potential bad memories, and move to a lower cost area where you want to be anyway.

I say do it as soon as the finances are set, but consider a rental for a year if you are not sure that's exactly where you want to be.

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11843
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
@cheddar stacker
Exactly - my house has three bedrooms  - one for me, one for when my DD is home, and one was my home office.  I am no longer working, don't need the home office.  DD is home less and less as she starts her own independent life.  At this point a good air mattress may be the best option for her visits.

I do like having a house, because I am an avid gardener, so that has been my biggest hesitation in moving to a rental.  However, a smaller house means I could take off more in the winter, when gardening doesn't happen (3 feet of snow right now, and yes it is March 16).  Or, have a house about the same size (around here houses smaller than 1200 sq. ft. are very rare) but no finished basement (I hardly use mine) and with more living area and less wasted space (i.e. one or two bedrooms) on the main floor.  Plus if I can't find a house I like, I can rent for a bit while I look for the "perfect" house.

Thinking about finances - I know both MMM and jlcollinsnh think that often houses have a lot of hidden costs.  The finances may be different here in Canada compared to the U.S.  First, there are no tax deductions for a house (i.e. your interest is irrelevant), and there are no capital gains or losses when you sell your principle residence.  The money that is invested in a house and not earning interest may actually be a "good thing" depending on one's income - the investment income that pays the rent may be taxable income and if  income before that is close to the next level up, the tax paid on that investment income could be considerable.    I know I need to run the numbers, but again I am waiting for the financial settlement from my divorce (what that will be is very blurry) before I can figure out my full financial picture. 

Have other Canadians (especially those in Ontario or other provinces with similar provincial tax rates) run their numbers?