November 12, 2007

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day

What was the sense of relief like when you sold your last home (and when was that)?


Anonymous said...

I sold in July 2005 after owning 3 1/2 years. My dad just closed last Friday on his sale in Los Angeles. He didn't want to sell in 2005 when I told him he should but at least he got out with near peak value. He bought in 1972 for 125k and sold for 3.5M. He now rents a great place for just under 4200/mo now and loves it!

Anonymous said...

We sold in Fairfax, VA in 06 after 300 DOM (nightmare). Dropped price by 150K & kissed it goodbye!!

I could finally sleep nights!

Had done the Texas oil RE crash in the 80's & knew where this was headed - that crash lasted a good 8-10 years & that was local - Heaven help us all with this global credit mess

Oh yeah, we rent now & even got the floplords down from what he was asking for rent by 200 Monthly & made them pay the HOA too.

Looking forward to renting a much bigger & better house next year for the same rent, as these type of situations will continue to rise over the next few years!

I had a pal years ago that always said:

"I am not where I live"

- good advice!

Anonymous said...

We sold in March 2007 at a premium in only 10 days on the market. We feel extremely lucky. Now we are sitting it out and waiting.

Parentalcation said...

I sold my house in Sumter, SC 2 months ago, due to a recent military assignment to Alaska. I got lucky and sold it to a girl in my shop who had just got married. I bought in 2003 for 116K and sold for 149K (5% commission0. Not megabucks, but the little profit I made paid of all my credit cards and bank a small amount.

I was talking to the carpet guy (I had new carpet installed), and he said I was lucky, since the market had slowed considerably (carpet guys are in-tune I guess). It was his comments that led me to research the housing bubble.

This directly led me to the decision to move into base housing here in Anchorage, instead of buying a house. A little research showed me the bubble was strong here as well, and I didn't want to get stuck.

Thank you HP!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Day 5 here as a renter. We sold on Thursday, moved right in to the center of a nice city. The place we are renting is a brand new 4 level townhouse, on the water. It sat empty for a year. We are renting for 2100K a month. Not cheap - but less than the monthly nut of owning at mcmansion 15 miles away from work and schools. The gas alone was costing 300 a month. Now we walk.

Oh, the window was leaking in our new rental. I called the landlord - he came right over...I am going to love this.

Anonymous said...

Sold Fall of 2006 & it was the biggest relief of my life. The threat to one's finances of having an unsold home in another city far enough away to make you a long distance landlord is huge. I took a 60k loss (price drop = realwhore commissions, other transaction costs and leaving behind alot of appliances) and while tough to stomach, once I did it the burden lift was amazing. I now rent an equivalent space close to my new job for less that want I was paying to own even after the tax benefits. Some regrets, but they are off set by the fact that I can now live my life without the burden of being a homedebtor.

NOVA said...

No relief, I sold at the peak not knowing it was the peak. :)

My tenants sold a million dollar home...those guys had a huge sigh of relief.

BigOtis said...

Bear with me for my last house sale story, perhaps foretelling this Real Estate Agent fiasco. It was in 1979, we moved because I changed jobs to another state.

I put the For Sale by Owner on a sign in the front yard, along with the price. A few weeks later, a real estate agent called, said a young couple saw the house, came to him, and he's calling for them. I said, OK, the price is now 6% higher than posted, and I wanted half of the increase. To my (but not his) amazement, they took the deal.

The point is not whether I priced it correctly (I think I did), it is that they paid 6% more than I asked, just to give a cut to this "shyster". We bought in the new state and still live in the house, 28 years now.

toxicNJ said...

Sold 4 weeks ago- not past peak in my case as it was part of a relo deal with my company. Had two appraisers come in in April and they had such a vast spread that a third one came in and we had to take the average of the higher two. Ended up getting more for the house than we paid for it 18 months ago (at peak)- so talk about lucky! Shows you how arbitrary appraisals are- all three used the same comps, and there was over 15% difference between them!
Now taking the equity for the last 3 sales (all due to relo's with companies so we have never paid comission or closing costs at either end) and using the interest to pay the rent on the house we are in now. First time we have rented in over 9 years and I have to admit, it is nice to be able to spend the weekend not having to do repairs on this 3 bedroom home, and boy does it need repairs. House is being renting by someone that can't sell it.

Anonymous said...

never sold a house. Real estate in the long run always goes up. Always.

westwest888 said...

I feel the relief that I was smart enough not to buy one with no money down at 23 years old. Rather than "leave it to the professionals", I did my own due diligence. Thanks HP! And now I've found a friend in Ron Paul.

banshee said...

Haven't sold. Bought houses in 1992, 1997, and 2000. All on 15 yr fixed, at 5% refi'd during the low rates. All will be paid off in <8 years. And we'll still live in two of them once I'm tired of my current job (we're renting now, since 2005). First one, until the kids are out of school, then, we'll move to the retirement place in the mountains.

Nice to have some paper wealth. Sure, maybe real estate always goes up in the long run. But we just have two houses in places we want to live. And we're renting them out for positive cash flow now. No reason to sell, even if we do leave money on the table. The transaction costs and likelihood of finding places we want is too tough.

LauraVella said...

We sold our home at the end of 04' and thought prices would tumble shortly there after...

We've been sleeping well since then.

I constantly remind my husband we are so lucky to be renting right now.

Anonymous said...

It was the biggest relief to me, everybody said i was looney.

Thanks in part to HP I sold in august 2006, a 2500 square foot home i owned for 3 years. made $100,000 and got out of dodge. A home has not sold at the same price since, in a bad way, meaning housing prices fell. Everybody said I was a nutjob for selling and renting. My rental is 3000 square feet and cost $900 less than my stupid house, and I make over $400/ month return on the proceeds. Yeah i am a real dumba$$ huh? Meanwhile all the people that said I am crazy are freaking out and are upside down. Meanwhile, I am completely debt free and loving it! BTW that four hundred a month is equivilent to a 10% raise on take home of my wife's salary. For me its 5%, So we are now richer every single month thanks to sheeple. Thanks Sheeple and Keith, we love renting!

But don't you know? Housing prices only go up, they aren/t making any more land!

Anonymous said...

>> I constantly remind my husband we are so lucky to be renting right now.

Yeah, keep telling yourselves that...

Anonymous said...

Bought in '00, sold last month after 60 DOM. Everyone I run into is amazed that we sold - "no one else is selling."

I spent some time explaining that everyone else was overpriced - simple as that. It didn't go over well.

We pocketed $100k and paid off the wife's car. (I drive a beater.) Now we're renting a townhome for $1200/mo that sat empty for three years. The dryer and washing machine doesn't work, but the owner is having those replaced.

Ah, stress free. So nice.

Anonymous said...

I sold in the Poconos PA, closed on 10/22 after being on the market for a little over a year (six months of that FSBO, rest with C21). The price we got when the contracts were signed on 8/1 was well more than it was worth when we actually closed to the tune of about 20K based on current prices in the area, but thankfully my young inexperienced buyer didn't notice or care...they got 100% financing through a state program and it cost them a total of $500 to get in the door. I couldn't afford to heat the damn place...and now they have DOUBLE my mortgage...sound familar???? The scheme continues!

I am beyond we're renting a 'lease to own' for a year and time will tell if we actually buy or not.

Mammoth said...

“What was the sense of relief like?“

Mere words can not describe it. Feels like I just barely made it under the wire!

Sold my former rental on Oct. 31. The plan was to list it – at a REASONABLE PRICE for two months – and then rent it out again if it didn’t sell.

But after spending every weekend plus a few evenings every week, for 2½ months fixing the house up and making it look nice to a buyer, the thought of having to do it all over again at some point in the future to sell it then, it made me queasy in the stomach.

Had two dinners with king crab & champagne the following week, which was very nice. You have to reward yourself when something good like this happens, you know. We all need to be prudent, but you can’t always be TOO cheap…

The next step? Last week I wired in the funds to pay off my residence. The thought of finally actually being debt-free is mind-boggling! My employer could lay me off tomorrow and it wouldn’t be a big problem, now that I need to scrounge up ~$1,500 less per month to keep a roof over my head.

A low-wage job would tide me over if nothing else was available.

Still have ~$25K left over…any suggestions on how to invest this?


Anonymous said...

For those that have sold and are out of this mess, please realize how fortunate you are. Whether it was your own intelligence, advice from HP, or luck. Many people will and are getting hurt badly. True, for some, it's there own fault. But, there are also innocents in all of this.
"There but for the grace of God go I."

Anonymous said...

Had rental properties for 13 years but was getting tired of the hassles and not getting much ROI.

Was listening to Bob Chapman in June 05 when he called the top of the housing bubble. It was august when the rentals were listed. Closed the last one at the end of September. Proceeds PAID OFF our main house, no extra $ for trips or cars but that is ok. Yes I still have a house to maintain, but property taxes are cheaper than rent.
It was not until February of this year until I started following HB!

Anonymous said...

Sold 11/06 for $55,000 profit. I'm one of the idiots that took a no down loan in 2004, but I got out ;)

Renting, comfortable, and thankful to deleverage before the oncoming mother of all deflations.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
>> I constantly remind my husband we are so lucky to be renting right now.

Yeah, keep telling yourselves that...

November 12, 2007 3:05 PM
And what will you be telling your kids when they eject you from your overpriced cr@pbox and in the soup line. Tough love says you tell them the truth, that your a dumb@$$.

Mason said...

Sold my first house after 5 years of ownership on November 5th. I bought for 80k sold for 140k.

The combination wanting to sell because the market was tanking, and needing to sell because my son was born (needed a 3rd bedroom) made for one pressure cooker of a situation.

Thank GOD we're free, and living with relatives hoping the right house comes along, otherwise we will rent.

Montpellier said...

It's been quite a while - 1999 - since I sold my last house. It was a great sense of relief to unload it, though I probably should have hung on and run it as rental - it would have been cash-positive, and that neighborhood doubled in the past couple of years...enough to have paid off all other outstanding debt.

Ah well...hindsight is 20/20.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...My turn! My turn for show and tell!

Bought in 2003 sold in late 2005, made very nice sum off of it which immediately went to pay for wife's bills, new furniture, bad investment and up grades on the new home. :(

Got Divorced gave the wife all of, cars, furniture everything...kept just my books, cat and clothes.

At 36 feels so weird to be free of everything but a few credit card bills and a small school loan.

Around me people are falling or struggling and I'M SCARED...This thing coming is no joke! Argentina/Mexico style but people up here have almost no work ethic nor skills...What the hell is going to happen?

Have almost got my shit together and will begin buying silver...not much but better than most...I pray for a better tommorow but I fear it maybe too late.

True sometimes this place sounds like some "Hermit/Compound/Survivalist" site but because of this site I made $172K...that quickly disappeared to pay off the AMERICAN dream of big Japanese TVs, Italian furniture, Spanish tile and German cars.

This site changed my life...There's always so much gloating but let me tell you folks as a Level 4 prison cop...Crime touches everyone...and the government might hide the stats but as you well know when people are hungry they will steal and when people covet they will kill...Save the bravado, just keep you and your love ones safe.

Anonymous said...

We decided to move from one exurb to another in the DC area for quality of life reasons. Our timing couldn't have been better. We built a custom home in 2000, paid $378K. We went to settlement in June, 2006 and sold the house for $750K--WITH NO REALTOR. Our total costs amounted to the For Sale signs purchased from Home Depot for $20 and our attorney fees of $1,400. We sat down with the buyers over coffee and wrote down everything we wanted in the contract and I sent these notes to the attorney who drew up the contract. Our buyers were having terrible problems because the realtor handling the sale of THEIR home was incompetent--They said they wished they had done a FSBO like we did. The buyers thanked us many times for the way our sale was handled and were very pleased to have not been "jerked around" as they felt they were by their realtor.

Interestingly enough, we had plans drawn to build a new house at our new location and were in negotiations with the builder when we moved. We knew we would be renting for a while until the house was built. As it turns out, we started being really jerked around by this builder (who owned a lot in an already established neighborhood) and we decided to walk away from the whole thing. So here we are a year and half later still renting. Unfortunately, we rented this house when the market was still high and the rent is probably several hundred dollars more than what it would rent for now, however, what we spend on the additional rent comes nowhere near what we could have lost based on the market right now. When our one year lease was up, the landlord agreed to us continuing to rent on a month-to month basis. So when the right thing comes along, we can move with no penalty--well worth the additonal rental costs.

Interestingly enough, we can't find anything that we want to buy--Yes, the McMansions are at bargain prices but this is not what we want. With the market continuing to go down, this may actually be a good thing!

How relieved are we? I can't even begin to explain it. Had we postponed our move by a year, or even six months, things would have turned out quite differently I am sure.

The realtors in my old area were FURIOUS, even calling me on the phone trying to scare me into listing with them. I have absolutely no respect for realtors. At 6% commission, they would have earned a $45,000 commission to sell my house as opposed to the $1,400 I paid in legal fees to have the contract and other documents drawn up. And by the way, I showed the house a total of 3 times.

Anonymous said...

Sold on the Westside of Los Angeles two years ago, planning to buy back in after prices fell, like they did in the 1990s.

Good news was getting a top price and becoming debt-free. Bad news was paying big capital gains taxes and broker commission. Ugly news is the local market has been mostly flat since then (but for how much longer?).

Out at the peak said...

In Oct/Nov 2005, my heart beat harder than it ever had while trying to unload. It was hard to sleep at night.

The 30 day escrow was the worst. I knew in my gut that the family couldn't afford it and that the appraisal needed some special sauce. Thankfully, it all worked out and I got maximum proceeds. Unfortunately for the buyers, the bank took it back and both parties are taking a big hit.

It sold for $418/sqft. Now it is listed at $291/sqft. It's in escrow now, but I do not know at what price. My original purchase was at $224/sqft in 2000.

Anonymous said...

Sold in a leafy section of NW DC in 12/05 after 5.5 years ownership. Sold in one open house: 425-->875k.

area 51 said...

20 tons of wood and concrete off my back.

August 2006

out at the peak said...

Sold in Reston, NoVA. jan 2006. 2bd. 2ba condo for 319K. bought in 2000 for 100k. My first place.

Thanks to sites like this that let me see what was coming. I still track the market in that area and new construction is getting fairly close to what I sold my place for.....and it was built in 1985 and needed a lot of work before I could sell it....carpet, new furance, fireplace etc....

Ziggy said...

I bought and sold 38 homes between 2001 and 2004. I made money on all of them. I figured the top of the market would be August 2004. I was early. I screwed up and bought 2 homes last year and almost got caught. I sold them both for a small profit.

I was driving around the other day and noticed about 15 of the homes I sold were for sale. Each and every one was under water. There is not one home I would buy back for what I sold it.

It was a great run. I shorted CTX today with January puts.

Mammoth said...

Out at the Peak, you’ve implied an important point which I also realized when fixing up the house that I just sold.

Many people buy houses as ‘an investment,’ without considering all the money, work, and time which needs to be put back into a house before it is sold. Depending how busy one is, just the time itself may be very valuable. Since most people have jobs which typically occupy 40 hours/week, who wants to spend their precious free time fixing up a house?

In comparing housing with other investments, how much maintenance do stocks, mutual funds, CD’s and gold need? For those who would argue that these investments may go down in value, please keep in mind that so can houses.


Anonymous said...

I sold my Malibu beachfront in June 06. Just in time. Not to worry. I made out with a $2.5 million in profit! I dont have to work anymore. All I do is surf the internet and post lies like everyone else.

resisting husband said...

I have never owned a house. I am a 29 year old grad student, finishing this year.

however, i know a few people who bought in 2001 by luck, and told them all last year to hit the sell button, and don't be too greedy. None of em listened, they Heloced, and now are stuck in an expensive house even though they bought it cheap.

I also know a few people who bought last year, despite me telling them that they would be better off waiting a few years and stacking up money for a down payment. Nobody listened to that either.

Conclusion: Nobody listens to me
2nd Conlcusion: They should have listened to me
3rd Conclusion: Not listening to me = U R Screwed

FaceDown said...

2-part story.

Bought new in 1998 in Denver and prices went sky-high with the dotcom bonanza. (Denver was heavy on the telecom side and housing prices went up wildly) Sold the house in late 2003 to move to the East coast. Bought at $166k and sold for $280k

Bought a McCrapbox in Delaware in December of 2003 for $375k. Decided to move back to Denver 2 years later. Sold the house for $483k in January 2006.

Got back to Denver and bought another house. While buying our present house, we were well aware of the bubble bursting. We ended up getting 7% off the price of the house. And we understood that its value would go down over the next several years (maybe more). However, because we had the dumb luck to "win" on our 2 previous homes and because we have rolled all gains back into the subsequent house, we are close to debt-free.

How do we feel about having sold our McCrapbox in January, 2006? We feel like the luckiest people on Earth. We were scared to death that we would get trapped with that thing. I've never lost sleep over any of this and I am thankful. I do, however, feel sorry for the folks who bought our house after 2 days on the market.

michael said...

We sold about a year ago after changing careers and moving cities. Wasn't planning on doing it and was fully aware that we were probably at the top.

Only took 3 months to move it, but I was scared to death, and the damn thing took quite a chunk out of our cash before it was off our hands.

Whew. It did make me want to sing the happy happy joy joy song.

LauraVella said...

Anon said:"Yeah, keep telling yourselves that"...

The longer we rent, we save more $$ and the less we will pay on property taxes and insurance when we buy a home. Not to mention houses will be half-off in three years here in the east bay.

sam said...

March '06. Missed the bubble top by 5%. I took my realtor out for a closing dinner (she was not familiar with the concept) and stuck her with the check despite the $350k payout in the pocket.

It felt pretty damn good. Could see the crazieness and dumb greed takeover the market. We know how these things end eventually...

Now livin the capitalist dream (on divs & interest), w/ lots of popcorn, waiting to buy again in a couple years, or sooner if blood runs in the streets.

LauraVella said...

Anon said:"And what will you be telling your kids when they eject you from your overpriced cr@pbox and in the soup line. Tough love says you tell them the truth, that your a dumb@$$."

My kids are going to kick me out of rental?! LOL!

You're an angry drunk. Stop drinking so much!

Anonymous said...

We bought a house near us in Phoenix for pops in Dec 2003, he was getting forgetful. Turned out he was in the early stages of Alzheimers.
He moved into assisted living in May 2005.
We thought about renting it out, but when we saw what it could sell for we decided to sell
Put the for sale sign up in June and got 2 offers the next day, one was from a single person who had 20/80 financing with no downpayment, the other from a couple who had 20% downpayment and good credit. We accepted the couples offer and never looked back.
Sold at the peak, the timing was luck, but at those prices it was a no brainer. Happy and relieved not to be a landlord.
Also even tho' it was a sellers market, we fixed the place up so it was move in ready, new carpet, fresh paint, new tile. I would always try and leave a good vibe when selling, so the next people in the home could at least feel like we were grateful and that we wished them well in their new home. A lot of people just want to crap on the buyer for some reason, I heard a story of one seller who took all the lightbulbs out when they sold! How miserable and petty is that?

Anonymous said...

i did not sell but i feel a need to share. i bought my one bedroom condo in downtown long beach ca for $38,900 with a $2,000 down payment in november 1996 at the bottom of the market as a reo from the bank. i watched it go up. even took out a little money to help pay for a car. i resisted the urge to sell in 2006 for $300,000 because, in my case, rent would cost more than my mortgage. i am now happy and stress-free paying $250 mortgage and $205 hoa, even paying $100 extra toward the principle.

Lost Cause said...

Lucky that our house sold in three days at the peak of the frenzy, unlucky we were going into foreclosure with an auction date. Got a good price, albeit not the best price. We paid all of our bills off at the same time. Never a better feeling in my life than no bills and money in the bank. The weight of the house, the car, and some very large banks went off of my shoulders.

Lost Cause said...

Hey I read Bob Chapman too, but I would hate to have him as a dinner guest. Can't he ever find something good to talk about? Why all the doom and gloom, Bob? (except that it sells more gold.)

Anonymous said...

Sold in Sept '06.

The buyer was going to completely refurbish it. I figured he could sell it for 275k once all the repairs were made.

I don't know what his deal is, but he is still working on the house! He has done the whole exterior perfectly, but is still doing flooring and counters.

I thought he could make 25-30K on it, but I am sure his holding costs alone are now 6-8K, plus his asking is down to 267K.

I can't feel bad for him though - he did use all cash.

We cleared about 100K, but had no bills to pay, thanks to our 8 and 12 year old vehicles.

Anonymous said...

Sold our So Cal home this summer - closed August 8 to be exact, right as the mortgage meltdown began. We bought in 2003 with 0 down and banked more than 200k after closing and commission. We missed the top of the market and had to lower the price aggressively to get sold, but we watched all the chumps on the market hold out for higher prices. Didn't think much about the $50k I was "losing" but the $100k that I was gaining....

Anonymous said...

I sold my 3000 SQ Ft home in Awatukee in August after 400 DOM. Sold in the low 400's. There is a model match for sale at 295k.
Thank you for buying my overpriced home!

Anonymous said...

Bought in Detroit suburbs May 2005, sold in February 2007 for the same price ($200k), but out $40k in improvements + realwhore fees. The house wasn't a flip, we just had to make it perfect to sell in that market. Luckily we had a down payment originally so we walked away with enough to rent a truck to move with.

Now renting a bigger place, theoretically worth double the old place, for half the nut we had in Detroit. My pay doubled, and my wife stayed even, but had her pick of jobs. I miss having room for extra cars and a motorhome, but not missing the honey-do list.

Anonymous said...

sold in northern Calif. in May of this year, bought in 1997, thanks to lurking at the housingbubble blog for a few years knew the pop was imminent, "discounted" the house about 3% and had it sold in a week...the local market froze within a month, am very happy to have got out by the skin of my teeth