My family moved recently. We moved from Burnsville to Lakeville. Not far I know, but interesting nonetheless.
See, I never sold my "own" property before just other people's. That's because the last time I bought (in 1997) and sold (in 2001), I hired a realtor. This time I WAS the Realtor! (I got licensed in 2002.) Back then the market was really soaring. Multiple offers were the norm, obtaining financing was so easy, days on market were shorter, and yearly appreciation was about 8% in Dakota County.
Now the market is quite different.
So why did I choose to sell AND BUY in this market? Three reasons:
First, I believe in home ownership. Owning a home has given my family privacy, space, a sense of independence and pride, tax benefits, and a safe place to rest our heads and entertain family and friends. It is still the AMERICAN DREAM for many including us. Some aspects of home ownership are just immeasurable you know.
Second, our lifestyle and goals changed like it does for so many families. For most, it's a marriage or divorce, a death, birth or illness, or a new job, job loss or retirement. And sometimes it can even be a combination of those. Often times the timing is what it is.
For us, it was about changing school districts, living near more children for our daughter Allison to play with, reducing our overall debt, and lowering our monthly payments yet still RE-INVESTING & BELIEVING in the housing market. The housing market has a history of outperforming the stock market I often remind many including my own family, and the interest rates are still really low. Long-term it is a GREAT investment.
We were able to accomplish our new goals by downsizing. Yes, downsizing! Not in overall square footage but by lowering our loan amount (sales price) and interest rate. See we bought a house for a lot less than we sold ours. However, we still enjoy the same benefits our last house offered and more!
How? We bought a bank-owned (REO) property. Let's face it, they are prevelant. And we had invested in our last house over the past eight years, which meant maintaining and improving it - new mechanicals, exterior, cabinets, flooring, etc.
Now we could have found a place to rent instead and perhaps played it "safe" as some say. You know, let the news headlines scare us into NOT investing. But we believe we can continue to manage the responsibility and risk, and we look forward to the continued opportunities that come with home ownership.
The market turnaround is coming, and at this first-time homebuyer price point we feel confident we'll profit when it does.
Lastly, it was important for me to experience FIRST-HAND again what buyers go through when they purchase a home, and what owners go through when they sell. Even when every thing goes perfectly, it is still a stressful process.
My goal is to make it as painless as possible for others, and I love it!