For some homeowners the decision to sell their home is a no-brainer. Not only are they ready for a change, the real estate market and their finances are also in great shape. The only additional sign they need to make it official is the For Sale sign to stick in their front yard.
Then there are those times when homeowners simply aren’t sure selling is the right move. It’s not surprising that Dave gets a lot of calls from these homeowners who just need some impartial advice to help them see past the little details they’re hung up on. Take a look at these three cases where Dave told the callers it was time to sell, and see if any apply to you.
When we came across this great article from Dave Ramsey, it really resonated with our team, because we see situations like this all the time.
1. You’re Not a Joyful Homeowner
When Daniel from Salt Lake City called to get Dave Ramsey’s advice about putting his home on the market, Dave noticed one important element of homeownership was missing from Daniel’s situation—joy!
Daniel and his family were living in a home he described as livable, but in need of updating. “It’s got a sweet ’80s kitchen and a ’60s bathroom and some other things that need to be dealt with,” he told Dave. Their budget was tight, so he didn’t have the cash on hand to pay for the renovations. Plus, Daniel didn’t want to spend any more money on this home—not even to put it on the market. So he asked Dave if he should sink more money into the home or sell as-is and “be free.”
“[This home] has not brought you joy,” Dave said. “It’s not even a home. It’s like every time you walk in there, you’re like, This place sucks. It was a bad decision. It’s like a sharp stick in the eye.”
Dave gave Daniel two options: He could come up with a step-by-step plan to cash-flow the renovations so Daniel and his family could enjoy their home, or he could get it on the market as fast as he could and just get rid of it.
Dave was in favor of the second option. “They’ve got a house on every corner,” Dave pointed out. “You can get another house.”
If you’re in a home that’s simply making you unhappy, consider your options. Can you afford to make the home what you want it to be?
If so—what are you waiting for? Get a plan together and move toward that goal!
But if you can’t stand the thought of sinking one more dime into a house you hate, get it on the market ASAP! Consult a real estate agent who knows your local market to help you price your home and get it in front of buyers who will be as happy to move in as you will be to move out.
2. For New Work Opportunities
Jessica called Dave when a blessing for their family—a new job for Jessica’s husband—was quickly turning into a curse. Her husband worked two hours from their home in Nashville, leaving at 3 a.m. and getting home at 7 p.m. They were hesitant to sell their home and move closer to his workplace since they could only sell it for enough to pay off their mortgage.
For Dave, the solution was clear. “I would be gone as fast as I could be gone,” he told Jessica. “You guys don’t have a life! I hear a little baby in the background, and this poor guy just lives on the road. Come up with the money. Sell the house.”
Fortunately, Jessica and her husband had the money in their emergency fund to cover the closing costs of their home sale. Dave said this move was a perfect reason to put their emergency fund to use.
“You’re making $95,000 [a year],” he said. “You can rebuild the emergency fund. Get a little rental and be able to see your husband!”
If you’re feeling stuck in a home because you don’t think you could break even if you sold it, ask a real estate agent to conduct a comparative market analysis (CMA). Using recent sales of homes similar to yours in your area, your CMA will show you how much your home could sell for.
You could be in for a surprise. Many homes that were underwater after the real estate meltdown a few years ago have regained their value in recent years.
3. For Better School Options
Dave gets a lot of calls from couples who disagree over what Dave would say about their situation. That’s why Amy called from Macon to ask Dave if her family should stay in their home and send their daughter to private school or if they should buy a slightly more expensive home in a better school district.
“My husband says Dave would say we should make a lateral move, but I say I don’t know what Dave would say,” Amy explained.
Fortunately, this was a problem Dave and his family had faced personally. “We sold our house, moved to a good school district and rented for two years while we saved up and paid cash for a house,” Dave said. “Our kids went the rest of the way through [school] in some high-quality public schools.”
He added that Amy and her husband could buy a home without renting as long as they got a 15-year mortgage with a payment that was no more than 25% of their take-home pay.
“It’s okay to move into a better neighborhood or not,” he said. “If you sell your home for $130,000 and you move into a $200,000 house, you spent more, but that [home] is going to go up in value. The $150,000 you’re going to spend over the years on [private school] tuition is not. That money is just burned. It’s gone.”
Amy and her husband were in a good place financially to make this move. They were debt-free except for their mortgage and they knew they would make a nice profit on the sale of their home.
Of course, these aren’t the only three reasons to sell your home.
If you’re having trouble deciding if now is the time to put your home on the market, an experienced real estate agent at West + Main Homes can help you explore your options. Contact us, let's talk about your situation and how we can help you with your life goals through your Real Estate investments.