Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Not a Seller's Market

If you’ve been thinking about selling your house, you may just want to reconsider…unless your house is one of the lower quality homes in the neighborhood.

Ben and I have recently found ourselves completely shocked and helpless after consulting with a realtor and a property appraiser about potentially putting our house the market.  We live in a great neighborhood in which most of the houses are COMPLETELY different.  I don’t want to say that we have the nicest house in the neighborhood, but we definitely have one of the nicest because of all of the money and time we have put back into our house.  Ben was fortunate to have gotten a killer deal on house almost seven years ago.  It was a complete dump that was weeks away from going into foreclosure.  The house is now beautiful and full of character since it was built in 1887 (yes, that’s an 18).

After talking to a realtor and the appraiser, we have learned that the inside of our house (besides the number of bedrooms and square footage) has absolutely nothing to do with the value.  It all depends on what the comparable houses in the neighborhood have sold for in the last six months.  The appraiser was actually able to give an informal appraisal without even seeing the outside or inside of our house.  It doesn’t matter that we have refinished all of the original hardwood floors, or completely gutted the 100 square foot bathroom for a complete update, and completely updated the second bathroom, or redid the entire kitchen with new appliances, counters, backsplash and refinished cabinets, or that we built and expanded a new deck on our patio, or that we have a heated, large workshop with running water and a bathroom connected to the two car garage, or that we have all newly painted walls and new window treatments, new carpet and light fixtures…the list goes on.

I can’t be upset with the realtor or the appraiser because it’s simply how the market is right now…it’s a buyer’s market.  We are now left with the decision of whether or not we are satisfied with only getting enough out of the house to pay off the mortgage (which I’m thankful we are doing that well because I know there are a lot of people that won’t even be breaking even for years to come), or we sit on the house hoping the market improves but then taking the risk that the mortgage rates will sky rocket.

What to do, what to do.  Do you have any advice for us?

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