Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Real Estate Agent

I called a real estate agent friend from my running club, and asked for some advice about selling my house. She came over today for a brief visit, to see the property.

The good news is property values have increased - comparable homes are selling for $340K to $350K. One major catch is my home needs some work on the roof. I knew when I bought my house I'd have to repair the roof or replace it within three to six years - which of course is now one to four years - and I was planning on doing that next year. This regular maintenance would be fine (just one of those home related expenses) assuming I kept it longer for it to appreciate.

Since a roof certification is needed to sell, I will likely have to give some sort of allowance on the sale price. After deducting the money I've spent on painting the house, replacing the furnace, plumping repairs, and of course realtor fees, I may not break even on a sale!

I'll meet the realtor again on Monday, when she'll have a more detailed report and market analysis ready. Right now, it looks like the net will be something between gaining $5K to losing $5K.

I'm not exactly happy about the prospect of losing money on this transaction. Fortunately property does well in this market - I can think of other areas I've lived where a home wouldn't have appreciated much at all over two years, and I'd be faced with a much larger loss having to sell this early. I suppose I can rationalize it by telling myself it is as though I paid around $200/month in rent over the last two years.

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