Wow – what a creative question! The answer is yes, if you live in an area where the houses are more valuable just because of location. If your home is in an area that sells for more money per square foot, like many areas in east Tennessee (Wears Valley, Townsend, Farragut, Sequoia Hills area of Knoxville, parts of Maryville, just to name a few) this may be an option to consider. Here is how it works.
First to answer your question, “Can I sell my house fast?”
To confirm this is possible, go online and check out the area right around your house. Call a realtor to come out and do a “Market Analysis” of your home. Ask the agent what he or she feels you can realistically sell your home for if you wanted to sell in the next quarter. Also ask this agent whether there are some things the agent sees that could be done to make a difference in an offer price on the house. It doesn’t hurt to ask! It doesn’t mean you are going to actually do all of these items, but it will at least provide you a starting point. And, perhaps you should do the things being recommended. You would be so surprised at what will actually cause a home to sell for the highest dollar.
The key to selling your house fast, keeping your local job, and buying another house for less is to get as much as you can out of your current house. So clean, mulch, and fix all the small items that you have procrastinated on. Most importantly: de-clutter!
Next let’s address if you can, “Keep my local job and pay less for another house?”
Go house looking outside of the area in which you are currently living. Look in the areas that are a reasonable drive to your job and are less expensive per square foot. Sometimes just moving over the county line will do it. Moving out just a little bit further than others are willing to drive can also be a win. You know, cows can make great neighbors! Be willing to live a bit off the grid. Well water can be a fantastic blessing (remember, it’s almost free!), and finding a place with trees rather than a yard to mow can be less expensive and easier on upkeep. A house that is smaller but arranged well can also cut the budget and be quicker to clean and less expensive to maintain. Smaller homes have an advantage of often being less expensive on utilities. The one area of your budget you will have to pay attention to is transportation. Don’t forget to factor in a longer commute to work in terms of gas and time.
Next, check out your lending. What is your current monthly payment? What is the interest rate? Call a lender and have them pull your credit. Ask them for advice. Ask them what they can offer you if you were to sell you current home and buy another that is less expensive. Find out what types of loans are available. Know how much money you need to put down. There are some loans that certain homes qualify for which don’t require any money down and you can have the seller pay your closing costs. Interest rates are still very low and you might be surprised at what your new monthly payment will be.
This might be a great opportunity to make some money on the sale of your current home. Take the profits and pay off high credit card debt, purchase a new home with no money out of pocket and start again debt free except your home. This is a good way to commit to a new and healthier lifestyle by taking the pressure off the monthly budget. I suggest you have a credit card burning before you move into your new home! You might roast some marshmallows, celebrate. (Don’t forget fire pits are cheap and fun! Plus, they add value to property. Sorry – I am always thinking like a realtor.)
So let’s look at some hypothetical numbers.
Say your house is going to sell potentially for $200,000. You owe $125,000. You have $75,000 equity in your house. It will cost you about $15,000 to sell it (paying commission, fixing it up, closing costs, etc.). So now you have $60,000.
The payment on this house was $1400 a month. You purchase the same type home with same square foot, but you are “out of the way.” You pay $160,000 for the new house. Your new monthly payment is somewhere between $750 and $800 (not including taxes and insurance payments). You had the seller pay your closing costs and you used a Rural Development Loan with no money down, so you took your profits and paid off $30,000 in credit card debt and $10,000 to the hospital for the last baby. The other $20,000 you paid off your truck.
Your budget before selling your home included paying off high debts that seemed to go on forever (not to mention that truck payment!), so you have reduced your monthly expenses, have a lower house payment, and are still close to work. Yes! You did it!! It cost you the stress of fixing up your house, moving outside of “your comfort zone” and a little more time in the paid off truck driving to work, but you are more relaxed and have a better outlook that perhaps leads to a happier time with your family! If this is you… maybe you should just… Do It!