‘The Big Move’ is a MarketWatch section that examines property details, from finding a new home to applying for a mortgage.
Have a question about buying or selling a home? Want to know where your next move should be? Send to Jacob Passy at TheBigMove@marketwatch.com.
I have lived in my house for 40 years. I live on 5.25 acres and I went to the city to divide the land into divisions and put it in a passage.
I like where I live, but the house is getting old and the child is gone. I am a 58 year old nurse. I pay $ 800 a month in property and mortgage tax, which totals $ 2,500 a month.
More than two years ago, they offered me a pretty good sum to sell the house for $ 500,000. I had another house that I liked and would plan to buy, so I wanted to sell it. But the sale fell on my house, so I had to walk away from the house I wanted to buy.
There are no houses for sale now and I haven’t found anything I would like. So I should hire until I find something. Should I do that? Or just wait for more houses to show up in the market and sell them when I find something? I probably won’t get that much, but the houses won’t be that expensive to buy either. Isn’t everything equal?
It would be nice to spend money, go on vacation and not have to work so hard. But I also don’t want to be stuck in rent and pay as much as I was when I had my house, and be unhappy because I hire a g in a place I don’t want to live.
I love my house I live in! But property taxes are simply too expensive and I am approaching retirement and I will have to sell it. I still owe money to my house and won’t repay it before I retire unless I move.
The cost of home ownership is rising rapidly across the country, so you’re not alone when you feel overwhelmed.
A recent study by real estate company Attom Data Solutions found that for the average household, home ownership was available in only 41% of counties across the country. In other words, in the other 59% of county counties, the average family would have to spend more than a third of the payment to go home on housing costs, including mortgage payments and property taxes.
Many sellers are in exactly the same boat as you. They would sell in an instant – if they could find a home to buy. The stock of homes sold is at a record low and this creates some vicious circle. Domestic sellers are reluctant to put their properties on the market because there is almost no guarantee that they will have an apartment after the sale is completed.
Renting may seem like a one-way ticket to save money, but that’s far from certain. You don’t say where you live, but there’s a decent chance it’s not all that cheap to rent. In fact, rents in suburban and rural areas rose sharply during the pandemic as families sought more space to live outside major cities. A separate report from Attom Data Solutions found that owning a three-bedroom house (at the average price of an apartment) is cheaper than renting a three-bedroom house in almost two-thirds of the country.
There are other disadvantages to renting, for sure. You have no control over your future housing costs, so you may be able to afford the rent for the first year, but there’s nothing stopping the landlord from raising it when you go to renovate. And when you own a home, you build up valuable financial assets.
A recent study found that home ownership, despite rising housing prices, is still more affordable than rent in nearly two-thirds of the U.S.
By renting, the money you spend does not come back to you. Even if you have lower monthly expenses, you deal a lot with what you do with those savings. Ideally, you would file it or store it for a rainy day and not spend it.
But you are not powerless. Given how low mortgage rates are still – even though they have risen in recent weeks – I suggest you check to see if refinancing is right for you. But given how long you’ve been in your home and the fact that you’re still struggling to repay your mortgage, I assume you’ve refinanced a bit lately.
You don’t say what you did after you went to the local government to divide your land, but if it sits there, you would consider selling it. Since you have a mortgage, however, this will not necessarily be an easy process.
Once the land is divided, you must obtain written consent from the lender or servicer of the mortgage on which the property rests, said Tom Trott, head of the Maryland branch of Embrace Home Loans.
“This requirement is in most mortgages and standard language in the trust of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” Trott said. You will need the permission of your lender to sell part of the property. However, if this is difficult to obtain, you still have options.
“Assuming we couldn’t get timely approval, another option would be to make a sale and refinance the remaining balance at the same time,” Trott said.