Project: Selling The House – Update 4

Well, it’s Friday, May 15th, and the house has officially sold!

We sold the house!

True to the Realtor’s word, we closed at noon today. And with hardly a hitch! Well, one slight hitch: When the Buyer had asked about buying my curtains, I’d asked the Realtor to offer her the lawnmower as well. He never got back with me on the mower, but apparently she did want it. She arrived at the closing with a pre-written check for both the curtains and the mower. But, thinking she wasn’t buying it, we’d already moved the mower. So now we’ll need to borrow a trailer AGAIN to move the mower back to the house (it’s a riding mower).

I walked away from closing with a $300 check for the curtains and mower, and a $2,262 check for the house. When I run the numbers, the house was a total loss for me. But at this point, I’m happy to be walking away, and with a little something to show for it. I’m saying goodbye to the past, and looking forward to a better future with Bryan.

Despite losing money on this house, I’m not totally against buying a home with Bryan in the future. However, there are a few things I’d do different the next time around:

1) Buy a home I could see living in long-term. I always knew my one bedroom house was going to be a temporary thing. IF I buy again, I’d like to know it will be someplace I can hopefully stay for a couple of decades. You never know what might happen, but it’s always a good idea when buying a house to make it a long-term thing.

2) If buying a fixer-upper, be realistic about how much it will cost to fix, and whether the return will make it a good investment. Sure, you never know what future housing values will look like. But I pretty much always knew I wouldn’t be able to get back what I put into my house.

3) Have a decent down payment at the time of purchase. I bought my house with $0. With a mortgage, you pay the majority of the interest during the first half of the loan, which means it takes FOREVER to build up much equity in the house. Especially on a lower-value home. A small dip in the market can quickly push you upside down on the house. Next time I buy, I’d like to have a down payment saved up in advance. Possibly at least enough to avoid PMI. Having some equity in the house right off the bat means you have the option of selling much sooner, if need be. I probably would have sold my house 4 years ago, but I didn’t have the equity to do so. Again, you never know when your plans are going to change! Better to leave room for options!

It was many years in the making, but I finally accomplished my goal of selling the house! Now that my student loan is paid off, and my mortgage is gone, I only have the car loan left to worry about. And the extra cash flow is going to be a huge help in knocking that out! I’m super excited about moving forward with Bryan and my plans for the future. And not having the house anymore is a huge amount of stress off of me!

– Cindy W.

Comments

  1. Congrats! Our house is on the market and we will be selling it at a loss. Can’t wait until it’s gone though!

    1. I thought mine would end up selling at a loss, so I’m a little shocked to be walking away with anything. It is such a wonderful feeling to finally be done!

  2. Congratulations! And I think that financially speaking you should just call it a wash and start from here — try not to think about the $$ you put into it 🙂 It’s a huge deal just to have the weight of responsibility for a house you weren’t living in off your shoulders. Yay!

    1. Thanks! It is such a huge relief to finally be done! I don’t even think I’d be worrying so much about the loss if it weren’t for Bryan. But then, he’s older, and has lived through a time when home values going up was always the reality. He hasn’t bought or sold in the “new market”. Whereas for me, the impact of the bubble bursting has been my reality, so I was much more pessimistic about selling. I expected to lose money, so walking away with anything at all was a bonus.

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