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Instead of selling home
Old 01-11-2007, 03:49 PM   #1
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Instead of selling home

My nest will be empty in about 7 months as the kids are off to college. I want to move down, to a smaller home in the same city (greater Houston).

Sell the current house, find and buy the next house, and time them correctly so only one move is necessary is a big task (done it once 8 years ago), costly and time consuming.

I'm thinking of trading my house with someone wanting to move up. It would save both parties sale commission, and plenty of time to plan the move.

Sounds great, but can it be done? I have no idea where to begin. Have you done it before? Are there middle men specializing in this type of transaction?

Thanks
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-11-2007, 05:04 PM   #2
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Re: Instead of selling home

I am intrested in this as well! So come on folks, has anyone been successful in this
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-11-2007, 05:34 PM   #3
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Re: Instead of selling home

I've always gone the easy route.

Bought the new house, moved all my stuff and then sold the old house.

Even if you dont have the cash, you can probably swing an easy NP/NCC HELOC on the old home (interest only version) large enough to buy the newer, smaller home...do your move while the old home is up for sale and then pay off the HELOC during closing. Might cost you a few bucks in interest but I'm guessing thats going to work out better for you than trying to find someone in a situation where both of you want each others house...

An alternative thats more hassle but less costly is a newer moving option. They bring a big "box" on a flatbed truck and leave it in your driveway. At your leisure (although theres a daily 'rental' rate) you load all your stuff into the box. When you're done, they come and pick it up and store it in a warehouse until you get your new place. Then they bring it over and leave it in the driveway there. Sort of a time-delayed move.
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-11-2007, 06:41 PM   #4
 
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Re: Instead of selling home

Sam,

I suggest the route El Guapo goes. Go buy the home you want - concentrate on getting what you'll end up with, rather than how you got there.

If you made the 'perfect' timing deal, but did not really care for the place you were moving to, would you really be happy!

I look at a home as more than just a place to park your stuff. - I have to have an emotional connection to it.
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-11-2007, 11:53 PM   #5
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Re: Instead of selling home

El Guapo and Cut-Throat,
Thanks for the suggestion. That would be the best way to do it. But I'm trying to avoid owing two homes simultaneously. I'm also worry about the worst case where my home doesn't sell for 3 months after I move into the new one. My neighbor got into that situation and ended up owing both homes for almost a year.
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-12-2007, 05:47 AM   #6
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Re: Instead of selling home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
El Guapo and Cut-Throat,
Thanks for the suggestion. That would be the best way to do it. But I'm trying to avoid owing two homes simultaneously. I'm also worry about the worst case where my home doesn't sell for 3 months after I move into the new one. My neighbor got into that situation and ended up owing both homes for almost a year.
That is exactly why I refused to buy a new home before my old one sold. My realtor HATED us for doing this but I think it it made her work harder to sell our current home.

We're closing on both of them next week and we're just going to pay rent on the old home for 4 days to get our stuff moved out.

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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-12-2007, 09:30 AM   #7
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Re: Instead of selling home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
But I'm trying to avoid owing two homes simultaneously. I'm also worry about the worst case where my home doesn't sell for 3 months after I move into the new one. My neighbor got into that situation and ended up owing both homes for almost a year.
Sounds like you're trying to choose between the physical/mental hassle of two moves and the financial hassle of owning two homes... I'm not sure there's a "neither" option unless you can negotiate two closings in the same week. And that's no picnic either!

What about the military system of two packouts-- one for short-term and the other for "later"? Pack your spare bedrooms, special-purpose rooms, and less-used stuff into storage while you sell the house (decluttering helps the sale too) and then live off the bare-bones possessions while you're buying the new house. You could put the bare-bones suitcases in a hotel room or condotel or a month-to-month rental, buy the new home, occupy it relatively quickly with your bare-bones possessions, and then unpack the "later" shipment at your leisure.

There's still a colossal hassle factor, especially the first time you do this system, and just about everything you thought you wouldn't need will be stored away in the "later" box. But if you're trying to save both time and money then this is among the less-painful options.

BTW congratulations on launching them all! The empty nest also gives you the option of selling the house, putting everything into storage, packing your vacation suitcases, and traveling for a few months before you start looking for another house.
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-12-2007, 10:08 AM   #8
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Re: Instead of selling home

It's hard enough for one buyer to find the house he/she wants. To find two buyers that want each other's house seems almost impossible.

When we bought our house, I ended up having to have a mortgage for two days.

Twice, when my sister bought a new house, she fell in love with it before selling the old one. In both cases she ended up owning two houses for several months -- financial disaster.
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-12-2007, 10:30 AM   #9
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Re: Instead of selling home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I'm not sure there's a "neither" option unless you can negotiate two closings in the same week. And that's no picnic either!
It can be done! I have two closings in a 3 hour period next week

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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-12-2007, 10:58 AM   #10
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Re: Instead of selling home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I'm not sure there's a "neither" option unless you can negotiate two closings in the same week. And that's no picnic either!
Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
It can be done! I have two closings in a 3 hour period next week
Yep, I did it once before, 8 years ago. Old house in the morning, new house in the afternoon. Rented the old house for a 4 days long weekend, and completed the move with 1 day to spare. I lucked out that time, finding the house I wanted (no compromise) in less than 1 month. But it's possible that my standard was lower then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
BTW congratulations on launching them all! The empty nest also gives you the option of selling the house, putting everything into storage, packing your vacation suitcases, and traveling for a few months before you start looking for another house.
Thanks. I think I will delay that option for another 4 years, when I'm 99% sure they can really be on their own. Then I would sell everything, furniture included, quit my job, and travel for at least one year before settling down. Nice dream, time to wake up.
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-12-2007, 10:01 PM   #11
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Re: Instead of selling home

We're in the process of doing it the way Nords describes above. I guess all this time in the military has at least taught me how to pack & move!
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-13-2007, 07:16 AM   #12
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Re: Instead of selling home

Simultaneous closings (or nearly so) are not that hard to accomplish, if you get really involved and expend alot of effort in controlling all the loose ends. I can't imagine setting out to try and trade homes as likely to work. It might happen to someone by chance though.
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-14-2007, 01:09 AM   #13
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Re: Instead of selling home

This sounds like a great situation for a short-term apartment lease and a storage facility. Two moves is a pain, but if you can't have two houses at once I'd hate to rush things by trying to coordinate selling the old house and buying the new one to manage one move and not having two payments. The apartment and two moves sounds less stressful and also is not nearly as problematic if one deal or the other falls through.

A friend just moved and refused to consider apartments or moving twice, but the house she was moving into had several problems that delayed the move-in date, so she wound up moving twice anyway (to a hotel and storage unit for a week or two and then the house) and had tons and tons of extra stress piled on. I also believe she rushed her buying decision based on the closing date of her sold house.

Those pod movers sound nifty, but when I checked into them they were far more expensive than renting a truck and storage unit. I can't imagine that any self-move solution could be more expensive than those things.

In answer to the original question, I find it highly unlikely that you'll find someone to trade houses with. And wouldn't you have to find someone with an empty house to sell? It's not like you could trade houses with an owner-occupied house and simultaneously move into each other's houses. One party will have to completely empty their house before the other party can begin moving in. So there's still a coordination problem.
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-15-2007, 01:21 PM   #14
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Re: Instead of selling home

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
In answer to the original question, I find it highly unlikely that you'll find someone to trade houses with. And wouldn't you have to find someone with an empty house to sell? It's not like you could trade houses with an owner-occupied house and simultaneously move into each other's houses. One party will have to completely empty their house before the other party can begin moving in. So there's still a coordination problem.
Good point Jim. Yes, it does require additional flexibility and coordination.
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-15-2007, 01:44 PM   #15
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Re: Instead of selling home

I guess you could also agree to keep each others stuff on top of the house. Just move your photos and maybe your tivo's.

That'd be really simple.

In fact, you find someone who's the same size as you and has the same taste in clothing...you'd make this a piece of cake.

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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-15-2007, 08:58 PM   #16
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Re: Instead of selling home

Why stop there? If the wives don't like to move, they don't have to either
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Re: Instead of selling home
Old 01-15-2007, 11:49 PM   #17
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Re: Instead of selling home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
Why stop there? If the wives don't like to move, they don't have to either
Boomer submarines have two crews-- Blue & Gold. When one crew's on the submarine, the other's inport enjoying a few months of R&R and training for the next patrol.

On one East Coast boomer, the two crew's engineers ended up in adjacent base houses. For the next three years the spouses & kids spent a lot of time with the two engineers individually. Each Eng would help the other family with borrowing tools, fixing appliances, babysitting, whatever. One thing led to another and near the end of their tours the wives negotiated their spouse swaps. I guess each wife decided she was getting a better deal. I don't know how the kids felt about the whole thing.

The "scandal" was hilarious, but the military's official family-swap paperwork was pretty nasty. To say nothing of their transfer fitness reports.
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