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Old 01-17-2020, 09:17 AM   #21
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We sold first. We did some travel, then came back to rent.

Renting was ideal for us. It gave us a chance to try and buy. A six month rental turned into four years. Then we bought. The real estate market was going south during that time. Our money did much, much better in the market. Renting was a nice change after owning for thirty five plus years.

There is no right answer. It really depends on the market where you are selling and the market where you are buying. Plus, in our instance, our willingness to move into a rental and take our time.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:52 AM   #22
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I’d sell first and then buy so you can look with no time pressure. If you find your dream home before you’ve sold, it sounds like you have the financial flexibility to jump on it. Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:55 PM   #23
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OldPhd: You must be my twin! We are doing exactly the same thing...trying to decide how much to put into the old house and if it really makes that much of a difference. But we are doing it based on our realtor and our daughter's recommendations: our daughter is a pretty good real estate person having bought and sold and moved multiple times and made $$ (luck plays into it of course too).
Front range is tricky: you want to avoid tornado alley and the worst of bad driving conditions in the foothills area. I think we have found a couple of sweet spots. We are not 1000 miles away but it hardly matters if it takes a day to get down there. SO we've watched a couple of places go that I might have bid on had I been closer to selling here. I simply could not bear to buy and own two even though we can do pretty much exactly as you described.
At the old place... we painted (7-8 years since done, but one former nursery with a rainbow!), refinished hardwood floors (30 years since done), and put in a new electric panel. Panel was 25 years old with signs of a small amount of water coming in, certainly functional but not desirable. Also used a realtor. She was on board with the work we planned, even pushed for a couple more things which we ended up doing as part of the contract (couple of new window panes that were degassed, not all that expensive). I was out of town before it hit the market and never went back, she handled it all. At best, I might have come out $10K ahead without doing the work. Probably would've taken longer since I would need the right buyer, someone who had cash and/or wanted to put in some sweat equity. No regrets. Spent about $500 on a move out cleaning, probably one of the best uses of money, highly recommended!

At the new place... Window was Longmont to Fort Collins, west of I-25 (tried to be in the weather shadow), but not too far west to have a back mountain view. Reasonable access to RMNP was our priority, since I grew up spending a lot of time there. But didn't want to live that high for weather, and be in more of a town for medical and shopping. Ended up about a half mile east of I-25. It's about an hour up, just went up earlier this week on a sunny day, nice to spend a little time and grab lunch in Estes. Got a great view, but house is bigger than needed for 2 of us. Having said that, most of our neighbors on the ridge with the view are couples like us, in or near retirement age. We can afford it, and want the amenities, so we all blew the dough!

One comment on the two places at once... aside from cleaning out years of crap, I have a hobby with large items that I moved myself and didn't want to store. Difficult to sell and replace, had my toys for years and customized them. This was a complicating factor that not everyone would have. No regrets on having two places, the amount extra we spent was modest. We also had a relatively cheap place before (new place is about 3.5x cost of old place).

Also under an hour to DIA, we have 2 trips planned for a total of 6 weeks this winter to warmer climes and grandson. Life is good!

I think you need to just be here to look at places when ready to buy. As others have said, renting to ensure you like the area is a good idea. For us, we decided that having visited the area as much as we have we could avoid that. Thought about moving a year sooner but had to many trips planned, so this year was the move year with nothing else on the calendar. To each his own. Very happy with how it has all worked out, I'd say make your plan and execute, stop dilly dallying!
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:59 AM   #24
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Sell, Sell, Sell



I invest in single and multi-fam and in my humble opinion, the market seems to be in a bubble. I am long-term investor so I'm making sure I can re-finance anything I need to know while things are good and am going to hang on since I have a long time horizon. Also, I want to caution that of course this is all anecdotal but my gut feel is to sell now.

Here are a few observations I've seen that may or may not apply to you.

1. I can't find anything decent to buy as an investor. Forget buying on MLS. I couldn't find many deals on MLS even so I don't use it. I generally find all my deals off-market and this means I'm getting a bank property or auction or a vacant fixer-upper. Generally, the spread on these were great and you get 15% returns (because they need so much work and its a lot of risk). At least in the North East now, it's so tough to get anything that makes investing sense even off-market. Even buying for cash on auction sites is tough and I'm seeing people bid at above market values sometimes due to bidding frenzy on some smaller houses.

2. I've seen people with zero experience that would never bid on houses normally bid on them. I have a friend that is a waitress and she is trying to get in. I have another friend that works at home depot that is looking to flip. They basically said that they are seeing how much the people on the fix and flip shows are making on TV and on you tube,face book and they want to try their hand at it. Now, there is nothing wrong with this normally but these folks have zero experience in flipping and it reminds of when everyone was buying houses in the last crash. Luckily, its still not easy to get a mortgage so at least they are relying on hard money loans. I'm also seeing this pattern in all the online groups and conferences that I'm going to where the number of folks interested and attending has almost doubled from a few years ago.

3. The contractors I work with are having a hard time getting paid in the last 12 months. Why is this happening when the economy is solid. The only thing I can guess is that investors are buying at prices that don't make sense and when reno budgets go over, they can't pay the contractor.
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Old 01-19-2020, 12:19 PM   #25
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I vote sell first, rent for a bit to get to know the area, and buy later.

On our last move we almost bought a house the week Megacorp gave us to look around the new area. That would have been a horrible decision. We sold our old house and rented for 3 months to get to know the area more. If we had not done that we would not have found our dream home.
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:00 PM   #26
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The last 3xs we have bought and then sold because it’s impossible to rent with 4 dogs. Only once did it take longer than expected to sell and was stressful.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:22 PM   #27
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Just be aware that the greater Denver market is really tight.
https://www.dmarealtors.com/dmar-rea...-report-jan-20

Where our daughter lives (just south of Stanley Lake in Arvada), it is see it at 0801 and make an offer at 0820 on the first day.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:35 PM   #28
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T.........it’s impossible to rent with 4 dogs. ..........
That a good point. Even with one large dog, potential landlords give you a lot of grief.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:51 PM   #29
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If you can sell your current home at the absolutely top retail price, go for it and rent at the other end.

If you just get a normal price for your home, go ahead and prepare to move and recondition your current house to improve the selling price.

We bought another house 65 miles away 3 months ago. And I've been hauling furniture and boxes ever since. We're going from 5200 square feet to 3900 square feet, and we're finally close to getting everything out of the old house. Then the reconditioning starts. We are fortunate not to be strapped with mortgages, but homeowners' insurance and utilities are eating my pocketbook. I'm just hopeful the last home will be a quick sale as it's a fabulous home.
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:51 PM   #30
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The house needs to be sellable, livable, and clean. It does not need the latest trends and trinkets (granite and travertine, AI enabled tech etc).

Just needs to be presentable. The market will dictate your selling price. It's either trending up, or down and you can expect something similar to the comps in the area because others will expect to pay near the prices the comps went for.

I was "lucky" I bought my first home (with a bank loan) on that obama First time tax credit. So I instantly saved $8,000. Then, I snagged an excellent interest rate. Stayed there 2 years, spend about 10k in improvements and sweat equity and sold it for $50k more than we paid due to a job change. Had the job change not forced us to move maybe we still live there today...who knows.

When I came back from that job change...for ANOTHER job change 1 year later, I tried to replicate the same thing with a more expensive home. Bought the home...lived in it 2 years, then listed it...

Barely any showings in a HOT seller's market. All the mid-level homes were selling in 1 to 2 days, ours sat for 3 months and we took it off the market before Turkey Day. Still here today. We will own this sucker outright before we move the next time. We might even be cash buyers for our next home, who knows.

The first rule of Real Estate, Location. The Second rule of Real Estate, Location... and the third rule of Real Estate is... you guessed it, LOCATION! Schools, and wal-marts.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:14 PM   #31
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...The house needs to be sellable, livable, and clean. It does not need the latest trends and trinkets (granite and travertine, AI enabled tech etc)...
Ok Boomer! Just kidding. It depends on who is buying houses in your price range / area. If it is mostly older people, then I agree. But, if mostly younger people, then you are competing with what they see on HGTV, and you need to make it attractive to them. So, you need to put in some of these things to be competitive.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:35 PM   #32
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I sold/bought for my current house. I bought/sold for my prior house.

I would never sell/buy again for the following reasons:

- the market was hot. It took forever to find a house we liked. My daughter bought a house in Denver a year ago - almost every house had multiple offers, etc. Unless you aren’t picky, it might take awhile.

- all the money from the first house just sat around making no interest while finding the new house. Meanwhile I was paying expensive rent.

- I was paying for storage as we were in an apartment.

- moving twice sucks.

Find your perfect home, buy it, then sell your old home. Any time between buying and selling can be used to paint it/fix ups. Any money spent on having two houses will probably be less than rent and moving expenses.
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:14 PM   #33
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^^^^ +1. We will be selling/buying soon, for many of these reasons.
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:34 PM   #34
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I'm looking at the same situation. I have available cash to buy first and then sell my current house in the Colorado Front Range area. The location that I am looking at is way cheaper than Denver metro.

Like they say "take the money and run".
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:44 PM   #35
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We’re hopefully closing on our new house in the sunny SW today. We both grew tired of the dark and cold from mid October until April or even mid June, as we saw last year.

We ruled out any place with humidity and winters below 60 F. Our budget ruled out San Diego and Hi. Not many cities of decent size left, and we didn’t want small town or rural. It’s a sellers market, so not many choices.

Visited 2 open houses the day we hit town, after google stalking a few dozen and facing financial reality. Our dream house on Zillow was a nightmare fix up in reality, so we went with house 2.

Will spend a month or two remodeling, then back to our former home just to pack and evac.

Not much of interest has listed since we contracted. Tons of out of towners buying everything, good, bad and ugly. Glad we could make cash offer. You snooze, you lose.
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:24 PM   #36
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We’re hopefully closing on our new house in the sunny SW today. We both grew tired of the dark and cold from mid October until April or even mid June, as we saw last year.

We ruled out any place with humidity and winters below 60 F. Our budget ruled out San Diego and Hi. Not many cities of decent size left, and we didn’t want small town or rural. It’s a sellers market, so not many choices.
Would you mind sharing where you decided on? (Or, if you don't want to name the city, could you say something like "SW New Mexico" or something?)

Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:17 PM   #37
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Would you mind sharing where you decided on? (Or, if you don't want to name the city, could you say something like "SW New Mexico" or something?)



Thanks!


Southern Arizona, suburban. Still is affordable with warm sunny winters. Just have to survive June through August heat wise. We’ll see...

We’re now learning about scorpions, in the middle of “winter”. Can’t have everything.
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:34 PM   #38
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Hello to all who were kind enough to respond to my inquiry re: sell first and buy later.
All these years later, I can share my experience. I write this from my new home in Salida, Colorado in the beautiful Arkansas River Vally just west of Colorado Springs.
In the end the Montana real estate market took off and we were able to sell our beautiful MT home with no trouble.
Last November, in the midst of COVID< we found this dream irrigated 10 acres with a remodelled turn of the century farmhouse and bought it knowing that the MT real estate market would help.
Despite all that, it was an unnerving process. We did get our asking price which turned out to be more than what we paid here, something I never would have dreamed possible when I wrote this post way back in Jan 2020.
All your advice was correct: it was a ton of work, way worse than I could have expected with many stressful twists and turns.
I am so glad we took this on when we did as this work would have grown impossible as we aged. You think you are cleaning out your house as you go...but there is so much you pass over or skip because you can do it later. Selling truly made us clean everything out and it was WORK. Now today I have a much smaller easier to care for home in a location closer to our kids and closer to things we want to do in winter. We know this our perfect "mid retirement" home and we also know the next move will be so much easier given everything we have done to scale down.
THANKS ALL! Now, on to have fun: Sept we are doing our bucket list trip of a lifetime, three weeks on a guided float down the Grand Canyon!!!!
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:39 PM   #39
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I write this from my new home in Salida, Colorado!
One of the best fly fishing areas I have ever enjoyed. Congratulations on the successful move!

And you're seriously going to love the Canyon trip. I've done it twice.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:37 PM   #40
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So glad this all worked out, and that you are now living in your perfect mid retirement home!
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