If you feel stuck in your house–not because you can’t fit through the front door, but because you want to move and can’t– raise your hand. Look around. You’re not the only one with your hand in the air.
Six years ago when we built our house, our subdivision was hopping. Houses went on the market and sold the next day close to asking price. There was a builder’s home show in our neighborhood that drove interest in houses here even higher. We thought we were making a great investment by moving here. After 5-10 years, it should be worth a lot more than we paid for it, and then we could afford to buy our dream home, right?
*Bonnnk!* Wrong answer.
Fast-forward to 2010. Now houses in our ‘hood can languish on the market for a year, two years. Some sit empty for months after foreclosure. The prices get lowered and then lowered some more until it seems like they’re giving the houses away.
This house has been on the market since I told you about it in early 2008. It was $316,000 then and has been reduced to $259,000. Despite their efforts at staging that I showed you here, it still hasn’t sold.
I like my house. But it’s hard not to feel kind of trapped, knowing we probably couldn’t sell and move even if we wanted to. Not easily, anyway, or without losing money on the deal.
A friend of mine found a house he wanted to buy in the country, so he had a real estate agent come to his house to tell him what his house is worth. He put a lot of work into it over the last few years and it looks beautiful. The agent told him they’d ask $60,000 less than he paid for it a few years ago, “And we’ll probably have to go down from there.” His professional advice? “Stay put until the market turns around, and then maybe you can break even.” Not what a homeowner wants to hear.
Of course, the market isn’t the only reason you might feel stuck where you are. Maybe you have to stay there for financial reasons, job reasons, or family reasons. What’s your reason for not making the move you want? And how are you coping with your situation?