that is the century old question. Like many things in life, you need to do your homework, be prepared and fully understand your options. What are the current market conditions? Is it a hot buyers market or a soft sellers market? What can you expect to net out of your current home and is it ready to be put on the market? If your current house sells fast, but you have not closed on the new one, where do you live? Can you afford two house payments? Here are some thoughts and suggestions:
- get several opinions of the value of your current home via appraisers, agents, Internet and your own search
- meet with your mortgage broker (more then one is a good idea). Find out your options regarding mortgage approvals for two properties, temporary (home equity, bridge) loans, locking in interest rates, and get any suggestions from your mortgage person regarding current market conditions
- go inside and take a look at as many properties as possible. This will give you a good idea of the new home you will be buying. Plus it gives you a good idea of how your current property needs to look to sell fast
- consider all options. If you sell first, do I have a temporary place to live. If I buy first, can I afford two mortgage payments.
It is very rare to buy the new home at a low price, then sell your current one at a high price. I usually prefer to buy first. This way you get the house you want and at the best price. Put in as many offers as it takes to get the best price. Once you get a good deal, now you can price your home just below the competition and it should sell fast. If you sell first, then you are under a lot of pressure to pay top dollar and it may not be the perfect property you were looking for. Remember, the three most pressured moments of your life will be dealing with 1. a family death 2. a divorce 3. buying a new home