Hat tip to Susie for sending this in from CNNMoney:
Tim Trampedach, a 36-year-old business owner who lives in San Francisco, has seen his home’s value soar from $1.2 million to $1.6 million in the past three years. He and his wife want to move into a bigger place, but there are simply no homes within their price range in their Portrero Hill neighborhood.
“My wife and I are effectively locked into the house,” he said. “We can’t sell because we can’t afford anything else nearby.”
They would probably struggle to buy their existing home at its current value of $1.6 million, let alone buy a more-expensive home that would make it worth it to move. If you just bought at $1.2M, jumping up to $2,000,000 or more is a big stretch.
But if you can make the jump financially, then how do you pull it off?
Here are more excerpts from the article:
In fact, demand is so high that real estate agents are actively seeking people who are willing to sell. “You get letters in the mail asking if you’re interested in selling,” said Jackson. “People knock on your doors.”
In mid-April she got an enticing, unsolicited offer on the house, which Zillow estimates to be worth $420,000.
“My husband and I talked it over,” she said. “We hemmed and hawed. It was too good to be true, but we worried: Would we find a house we wanted?”
The buyer agreed to give the couple until October to find a new place, so they took the offer.
One way sellers can protect themselves is to make the sale of their home contingent upon their ability to find another one to move into.
Patrick Matson and his fiance, Margarita Munoz, insisted on such a clause when they put their Anaheim, Calif. home up for sale. Up until last Friday they had an offer on their home, but their own search did not go well.
The couple had made offers on two homes in La Mirada, where they liked the school district for their four-year-old son. But both offers were rejected.
The homes they looked at were between $430,000 and $480,000, but were no bigger or better than their current place, which they listed for $415,000.
Discouraged, the couple decided to reject the offer and take their home off the market.
“It was not an easy decision to make, provided that we knew the folks who had an offer in on our home were going to be disappointed and it wasn’t what we wanted either,” said Matson.
The couple plans to make some upgrades to their current place and will try again in a year or two, he said. “Hopefully the market won’t be so competitive by then.”
You have to be able to buy high enough to make it worth it – my rule of thumb is 50% higher than the old house - AND be able to convince the seller that you aren’t submitting an offer contingent upon finding a buyer for your old house. Having your buyers do their inspection and appraisal and then release their contingencies would go a long way to making your offer look non-contingent.
You may have to help your buyer with some costs to get to that stage, but to pull it off the move-up, you have to make bold and decisive moves, work with a great agent, and hope for some luck!