Should you sell or buy first?
You’re ready to sell your old house and purchase a new home – but the big question is:
Do you sell first or buy first?
Whichever one you tick off first, you face the risk of some kind of limbo. The state of the market and your own financial situation can help determine the right procedure for your circumstances.
Pros and cons of buying first
Buying your next property before you sell your previous home gives you the luxury of choosing the property that suits you best and moving house comfortably within your own timeframe. If you purchase early enough, you can move your furniture into the new home, leaving the property on the market uncluttered and available for potential buyers to view. However, this strategy only works if you are in a strong financial position and can afford to hold out for the assets from your previous home. It’s also beneficial if the market indicates that your home will sell quickly. Alternately, you might find it financially beneficial to rent out the original property, making some income from the old home while you settle into your new home. If the first property takes a long time to sell, you could find yourself juggling two mortgages. Bridging finance can help smooth the way if your previous home takes longer to sell than expected. Another financial hazard is if your first home sells for considerably less than expected.
Pros and cons of selling first
Selling your home before purchasing another property is definitely the most financially prudent strategy. Your funds are available and you know your exact budget for the next property purchase. The stress of selling first lies in the pressure of finding a suitable property to purchase before you lose access to your previous home. House-hunting while your property is on the market can be discouraging because you may see the perfect property sell before you have the funds to make an offer. Once you have sold, the pressure of a short settlement period can result in a hasty ill-considered purchase.
Renting in between
One option to ease the stress is to rent for the period in between putting your house on the market and purchasing your new home. This gives you at least six months flexibility to sell your home and then search for the perfect property without any anxiety about potentially finding yourself homeless. In order to figure out whether this is the right option for your situation, you need to include the cost of rent for at least six months into your calculations. Even if you do purchase immediately after your sale, you will be required to continue paying rent for the duration of the lease.
Seek expert advice
An expert such as a mortgage broker can help you make an informed decision by giving you some insight into the current market. You can base your decision on whether your home is projected to sell quickly or slowly, along with your options for purchasing a suitable new property within the desired time frame.