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I'm thinking of selling the house
Old 08-12-2012, 08:04 AM   #1
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I'm thinking of selling the house

I'm thinking of selling my house. I've thought about it off and on, but figured it would be hard to sell, especially with the current market. Well we were at a wedding the other day and my wife mentioned that we were thinking of downsizing at some point. Now we have someone that seams very interested. We have had people in the past that said if we would sell, that they would be interested, but didn't really put much stock in it.

The one interested is a local school principle and his wife is a Dentist, so I am pretty sure they have the means. They came over and looked it over and I told them what I would have to have. They said just let them know, they were not in a hurry, but were ready. They were thinking of building, but wanted a large lot and can't find one, I have a little over 2 acres in town, I built in 2001.

So now I have to make a decision, the plus is I wouldn't have to move, we have a large yard and the neighbors we have are nice. We have farm fields across the street and to the south of my property. Im on the very edge of town.

The negatives about the house is its bigger than we need, about 3000sq.ft. And its a two story and I'm sure at some point a ranch would be nice. While taking care of the yard is no problem now, it is a lot of yard.

So now we need to make a decision. One problem we have is if we sell we are not sure where we want to move to. We have thought about just buying a fifth wheel and taking off for 6 months or more and trying that out. Or buying a smaller house locally, but there is nothing really holding us here, so we could move anywhere, as long as the cost of living is somewhat reasonable.

So has anyone else downsized and have any suggestions? If I sell I would want to put some money in my pocket and not spend more that 200K for a replacement.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:17 AM   #2
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My next door neighbor was in the exact same position. They decided to downsize from their large house on a large piece of property, so they went ahead and listed it.

The problem is that they are insisting on getting about 35% more than they paid in 2003. The place has been on the market for well over two years now.

Theirs is an unusual place, since it's completely out of place in this neighborhood (too big and expensive), so it will take a special buyer to even consider it.

I would talk with at least a few different realtors to get their take before deciding on a price.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:24 AM   #3
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We are currently downsizing. Where we are moving is temporary also. We will live there for two years (probably). Our plans are to upgrade to a fifth wheel and use it for two purposes - 1st to travel and try out the areas we have in mind for retiring permanently and 2nd if we find the area and we decide to build instead of buy - it will be our home while we build...
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:33 AM   #4
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We have thought about just buying a fifth wheel and taking off for 6 months or more and trying that out. Or buying a smaller house locally, but there is nothing really holding us here, so we could move anywhere, as long as the cost of living is somewhat reasonable.
I think the RV option has a lot going for it. First, it would give you the opportunity to check out different locations to see if anything 'clicked'. If you find someplace you think you'd like to settle, you could live there for a few months to give it a good test drive. Second, after living in the RV for a few months a downsized house even half the size of your current place will seem huge!
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:57 AM   #5
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Wow. In this day and age a bird in the hand is worth three in the bush - with an interested buyer you have a unique opportunity (and will avoid the cost of a broker commission as well unless you need to concede it in your price).

We downsized but did it in a different way in that we renovated our summer home to be year round and sold our main home which was larger. Having less house and grounds to clean and take care of is very liberating.

My folks did the RV thing for a few years when they first retired, and ultimately found a place that clicked and bought a home and sold the RV. Plus, you could always rent a house until you have a better idea of what you want to do for the long run.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:00 AM   #6
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maybe it would be a good idea to get a real estate agent to do some comps of places that have sold.

most everyone over estimates thier on home by compairing it to other homes on the market...but they might be over priced also, so its best to look at what sold.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:24 AM   #7
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It just depends on how much you like your current home. Sounds like you might be giving up some pretty views, but that large lot could become a headache in a few years. If you do decide to sell, Rewahoo's advice makes sense. Travel and take your time deciding where to go. I would eventually buy something small for a home base and use the RV for travel and snowbirding.

Good luck.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:52 AM   #8
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It is seldom that I read a thread, and agree completely with every post on the thread. I think you have received some terrific responses and I agree with every one of them.

This is a terrific opportunity. It sounds to me like you have decided that you don't want to stay in your (large) home forever. You have an opportunity to sell now. If you decide to sell, the RV option sounds like fun until you find the home you want (if you enjoy RV's... otherwise, I'd suggest renting). Getting your own realtor might save you some money or at least some aggravation.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:51 AM   #9
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We will be homeless on August 30. We sold our house. It was just too big-3400 sq. feet. We had been thinking of it for two years. We spent a year de cluttering and preparing to sell (20 plus gallons of paint). The real estate market where we live is good so we sold two months ago. We have been early retired for two years. Our home equity has not been part of our retirement financial plan.

A 16x8x8 container will be placed in our driveway in about 10 days. We have a week to pack it. Then it goes into storage-secure.heated etc, until we settle again. The downsizing, de cluttering, and parting with unneeded items has been liberating for us.

We have five-six months of travel planned-Europe-South Africa-Florida-Costa Rica with cruises, land trips, and condo rentals mixed in. For us it was now or never. It did not make sense to travel for such a long period of time and have a home to concern ourselves with.

We did spend a few months shopping for a new home prior to selling. The excercise was as much about elimination as it was finding the 'right' type of home, condo, whatever. Now that time has passed we believe that our housing preferences may change again after 6 months of travel. Who knows?

What is interesting is now that we sold we decided to look at what our 'net savings' would be from not owning a home. Our fixed costs plus after tax income on our home proceeds is just shy of $2200. month. Our storage/insurance costs are $400. That frees up about $1800. a month for travel. And this number does not include our current food, gas, clothing expenses prior to travel.

We still have 'holes' in our plan....three weeks of open space mid Dec -Jan 1 and the month of Feb (no use returning to the snow belt in Feb). At this point we really have no return date.

Our children were a little surprised and accused us of mid life crisis. We are a little old for mid life crisis. Besides, we did this once before-35 years ago when we sold up and travelled through Europe in a VW van. This time we will be a a different level of creature comfort. I suspect one of their concerns was actually having to shift or discard the many items that they had left in our house.

Our only concern now is how to pack for six months and some climate changes. I have a 21" roller, DW has a 24" roller, and we have one carry on between us. There have been a few pangs of apprehension from time to time but so far absolutely no regrets. Time will tell.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:01 PM   #10
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I gave him a ballpark price and he did not seam to have any problem with it. It was higher than I paid in 2001, but not a lot and we have added some things since then. I know he can't build a new home for what I would sell him this one for. I originally had 5 acres but sold 3, and now there are 3 very nice homes sitting on those lots. I made a very nice profit on those. sold them in 2005. I'm pocketing that and maybe 10% or so.

I see no need in a Realtor. Ive sold land and homes before and just used a title company. Ive used a Realtor before, I just see no need since I already have a buyer.

I just have to get serious now and figure out if we really want to sell, and what to do it we do.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:03 PM   #11
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.....Our children were a little surprised and accused us of mid life crisis. We are a little old for mid life crisis. ......

Our only concern now is how to pack for six months and some climate changes. I have a 21" roller, DW has a 24" roller, and we have one carry on between us. There have been a few pangs of apprehension from time to time but so far absolutely no regrets. Time will tell.
Good for you. I hope that you are wrong and it really is a mid-life crisis.

DW and I traveled for 3 weeks in Europe a few years ago with just two rollerbags and carry on backpacks. While we only did it for 3 weeks, from that experience I think six months would be challenging, but do-able, particularly if you can access reasonable priced laundry facilities (in our case we were staying wit relatives along the way).
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:07 PM   #12
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Wow Brett, sounds exciting. The reason we thought about the fifth wheel is we could take a little more of our stuff along. We also already own a diesel truck. We have started the de cluttering, but still have a way's to go. And we still have a lot of stuff, but the stuff doesn't mean much to us anymore.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:13 PM   #13
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The negatives about the house is its bigger than we need, about 3000sq.ft. And its a two story and I'm sure at some point a ranch would be nice. While taking care of the yard is no problem now, it is a lot of yard.

So now we need to make a decision. One problem we have is if we sell we are not sure where we want to move to. We have thought about just buying a fifth wheel and taking off for 6 months or more and trying that out. Or buying a smaller house locally, but there is nothing really holding us here, so we could move anywhere, as long as the cost of living is somewhat reasonable.

So has anyone else downsized and have any suggestions? If I sell I would want to put some money in my pocket and not spend more that 200K for a replacement.
I'm just across the river from you!

IMO, "buying a 5th wheel to try it out" may not make fiscal sense. While I haven't priced them, I've heard from other people that they can be quite pricey (not just the trailer itself, but also the truck to pull it, if you don't already have one with the HP to do the job). Are you 100% sure you will use the 5th wheel a hell of a lot to get your money/depreciation out of it?

While St. Louis/St. Charles wasn't as hard-hit as some other housing markets, it's still slow enough to let you take your pick from what's on the market. A decent amount to choose from.

As far as other areas, have you really thought about what areas you would want to be in? If you can handle some humid summers and not-too-cold winters, you might find that the St. Louis/St. Charles area has quite a bit going for it (lots of outdoor/indoor activities, moderate cost of living, while still not being a huge city with tons of larger-city-negatives). What are some things about St. Charles that you don't like? Anyplace you visit will seem great at first, but every place has some negatives. Think long and hard what you would improve from your current place, and then truly look at other areas to see if it would be that much better overall.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:26 PM   #14
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You might want to rent an RV for a few weeks or a few trips prior to buying one.

At the very least, do NOT buy a new RV. Let someone else take the depreciation.

There are lots of three year and under units out there-returned by people who cannot make the payments or people who bought them new and then found out that the lifestyle was not for them.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:29 PM   #15
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Our children were a little surprised and accused us of mid life crisis. We are a little old for mid life crisis. Besides, we did this once before-35 years ago when we sold up and travelled through Europe in a VW van. This time we will be a a different level of creature comfort. I suspect one of their concerns was actually having to shift or discard the many items that they had left in our house.

.
If this is a midlife crisis it's a great one ! What an adventure !
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:41 PM   #16
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You might want to rent an RV for a few weeks or a few trips prior to buying one.

At the very least, do NOT buy a new RV. Let someone else take the depreciation.

There are lots of three year and under units out there-returned by people who cannot make the payments or people who bought them new and then found out that the lifestyle was not for them.
We would never buy a new one, we have a travel trailer now. But would like to try one with a little more room. And maybe built in the last decade.

We will probably start looking at some smaller homes in the area. We are somewhat centrally located and would like a home base even if we do decide to travel more.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:32 PM   #17
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Hi dm,

As you have such a large block, is subdividing an option? Would the current potential buyers consider purchasing the house on one acre? That way you could keep the other acre, free up some cash, and give yourself the option to build again or sell it as a lifestyle block in the future.

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Old 08-13-2012, 09:37 AM   #18
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Hi dm,

As you have such a large block, is subdividing an option? Would the current potential buyers consider purchasing the house on one acre? That way you could keep the other acre, free up some cash, and give yourself the option to build again or sell it as a lifestyle block in the future.

Cheers
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I could subdivide, but the big selling point is he wants the large yard. I could take about a 1/2 acre, but that would come out of the back yard, there is a street in front and behind the plot. He has kids and wants a pool back there. It would be easier to just buy another place and sell this one whole.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:43 AM   #19
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I do understand the desire to have a travel trailer to use as 'home', we had one that functioned as a mother-in-law that we parked on our son's property. My opinion is that many leak, you should park it under a shelter when you aren't living in it. From the point of view of a homemaker it is nicer than camping but not at all comparable to a house.

There are extended vacation rental websites, many with offerings in other than traditional vacation destinations. Before you buy an RV setup do an analysis of the cost, including deprecation, and compare it to vacation rental options. The cost of an RV setup does not change with the season while the vacation rental market discounts significantly when kids go back to school.
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