Should You Sell Your Home?


Shirley Hicks

Shirley Hicks


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As more career-minded adults find love later in life, it isn’t uncommon for these two merging lives to have to figure out what to do with the homes their bringing into the marriage. The most common solution is to sell one (or both) and find their perfect home together. When thinking of this situation, you have several options to explore and we’ll explore a few of those options in this article.

  • Sell one home, and live in the other home.
  • Sell both homes, and buy a new house together.
  • Rent out one of the homes, and live in the other.
  • Rent out both homes, and buy a new house together.

Sell one home, live in the other home

Selling one home and living in the other often sounds the most reasonable – and often it is, especially if one of the homes meets all the requirements of the newlywed couple.

We’re not going to spend any time reinforcing the reasons to stay in a home as often the reasons for doing so do not require a list of reasons. Selling a home now often requires some discussion.

First, you ought to recognize that regardless if you keep one home and sell the other, both people will need to do some major decluttering – two fully furnished, fully decorated, fully lived-in homes do not merge within one of the preexisting living spaces. We’re not talking about one person decluttering by half and the other matching; we’re suggesting each person declutter by over 50%. Of course, this isn’t a hard fast rule, but generally speaking, people have much more stuff than they really recognize.

Sell both homes, and buy a new house together.

Selling both homes is often the best option when neither home truly matches the couple’s needs and/or wants. When you think about it, both homes often represent a time of different priorities, purchased around a different stage in life and with entirely different needs in mind. Merging a household often requires a new understanding of future priorities, interests, and needs, hence the need for a new bigger, or smaller home.

Selling both homes is often the best option when merging families that include children; it prevents one set of kids from feeling like their space has been invaded by another group of kids who feel like the invaders. Homes often come with years of good (and bad) memories – moving on (literally) is a way to build new memories with your spouse.

When selling both homes comes into view, establishing a comprehensive plan becomes necessary to simplify the process – talk with a REALTOR® to establish a game plan.

Rent out one (or both homes)

There are many reasons you may want to rent out one or both homes – real estate is often a sound investment, and like any investment, be sure to weigh the benefits against the risks. Since you already recognize the tremendous benefits of real estate investment, let’s cover some of the most common risks that may not be on your mind.

  • If your home(s) still have a mortgage payment, it often doesn’t take much of a hiccup to add financial strain. Be sure you can comfortably afford periods of rental vacancy.
  • Unlike most stocks, selling a home isn’t instantaneous; and to prevent emotional decisions regarding your new real estate holdings, you ought to have a written understanding of your financial goals related to the properties AND a firm understanding of the conditions in which you will sell.
  • Becoming market unaware. When you’re living in the neighborhood, it’s easy to see what’s going on, who’s selling, who’s moving in, and what new developments are going on around you. These small changes over time influence your local market – and as such, you’re in a better position to understand when you might want to sell or even improve your property. When you’re not around, these things could land up being a bad surprise that diminishes property value hurting your ability to maximize your investment potential.



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