It depends on a lot of things.

If you have to move… it doesn’t much matter if the market is good or bad, you have to move, so the only advice I can offer is to make sure that you are priced competitively and that your house is in top condition.  Landscape it, stage it, get great photos, and price it right… it will sell.

If you have to move, but can afford to hold the property as an investment property, it might be a good deal for you.  Obviously you need to consult a tax professional and maybe your accountant as well, but if you rent your home out for a few years, you might still be able to avoid capital gains taxes if it is sold within an appropriate time frame… unless the IRS rules change.

Assuming that you are in a position to carry the property between renters, if the market comes back within the appropriate time frame, you may get enough more at sale to make it worthwhile.

Let’s say that the house would have to sell for $200,000 in the current market.

  • If your carrying costs are about $1700/mo.
  • And the rent would be about $2000/mo.

you would gross about $7200 over two years.  More importantly, you might see a price increase up to 5% (might be more or less) which might add up to another $10,000.

That is $17,000 in two years.  It is sort of a hedge play on the price of the new house…

If you are moving up, the timing might be good.   You aren’t going to see the same pricing on the house that you sell that you might have seen in 2006.  Of course there are micro-markets that are running counter to that.  But, for most areas, selling now will yield a lower amount than a few years ago… and buying the next house will yield a similar discount.

So, if you “lose” 5% on your $300,000 house, and “get” 5% on your new $400,000 dollars, you are trading the $15,000 loss for a $20,000 gain.  That means that on the transaction, you are $5,000 ahead.

Couple that with great interest rates if you have good or great credit, along with the huge inventory on the market, and the result is that price selection and terms are great for many move up buyers.

If you are downsizing… it isn’t looking so good.   Look over the last two sections.  If you can work the deal without your equity, and you don’t mind the work of owning a rental, you might be in good shape.  If not, everything in the last section will be working against you… unless you are in one of the hot pockets where selling is easy, and buying in a different area.  I’m not going to work the math like I did above, because it is exactly the same… just putting you on the negative side.

If you are an investor, there are opportunities.  Don’t think that you can find flips all over the place.  This is not that type of market, and flipping is always dangerous.  But, there are properties on the market that can be cash-flow positive from the moment they are rented.  So, not only are the making money in the long run, but they are producing positive cash flow.

Investors are scooping up deals right now.

The bottom line is that for some, this isn’t a bad market.  For others, it isn’t much different than it was a few years ago.  Still, for many, this isn’t a good time to move.

If you are thinking about your move, give me a call and we can talk about the specifics of your property.